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September 18, 2008 Weblog:

Anti-Capitalists on the Sub-Prime Crisis

Many popular anti-capitalists are interviewed in the Guardian regarding their view on the current sub-prime crisis.

Chris Harman - Socialist Workers Party

"The whole system is unwinding; the other day we saw the biggest nationalisation in the history of humanity and that still wasn't enough.

"This could be a big moment for the left. But we really need to stand up and use the "c" word, say this is a crisis of capitalism and that people are suffering."

Sheila Rowbotham - Socialist feminist

"The problem now - unlike in the 1880s, when people discovered the ideas of socialism, and in the 1930s, when it seemed that communism was the solution - is that the left doesn't have a coherent alternative vision."

Hari Kunzru - Novelist

"In New York apparently, 12,000 jobs went, just like that, and Wall Street represents 20% of the city's jobs and something like 90% its tax base. So there's a definite sense here of systemic crisis.

"This will only genuinely become a crisis of capitalism if people generally become aware that much of the growth and prosperity produced by capitalism is a fiction."

September 15, 2008 Weblog:

New website: Tar Sands Free BC

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Tar Sands Free BC is a comprehensive new website that has been launched as part of a growing movement against the expansion of the tar sands in North America.

Check back frequently for regular news updates on the tar sands in BC & the world.

September 14, 2008 Weblog:

Subprime Crisis Claims Another Major Bank

First a series of mortgage companies. Then UK bank Northern Rock. Then Bear Sterns, followed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Now another major US bank, Lehman Brothers, is about to crumble under the weight of disastrous decision making in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis and ensuing credit crunch.

Lehman Brothers controls almost $700 billion in assets. According to the Guardian, the US authorities have authorized emergency trading of Lehman's shares should it file for bankruptcy.

Though the US bailouts of Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were supposed to prevent a 'domino effect' of US banks collapsing, it appears banks are failing anyways.

Should Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest bank on Wall Street collapse "it will be one of the biggest failures in Wall Street history"...again.

September 14, 2008 Weblog:

BC forestry industry "in a tail spin"

BC finance minister, Colin Hansen, has just released a report showing that forestry revenues in BC are down by 36 per cent.

Hansen was quoted in the Tyee's new election blog "The Hook" as saying: "The downturn we are seeing in the forest sector is unprecedented. Since 1993 it has never even come close to being that low."

The pine beetle, sub-prime crisis, high dollar and a series of forestry strikes in BC have all contributed to the downturn which the NDP finance critic Bruce Ralston characterized the industry as being "in a tail spin".

September 13, 2008 Weblog:

Bolivia is popular, Bolivia is strong!

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Bolivia on edge after martial law declared screams a headline in today's Toronto Star. The Reuters piece blasts President Evo Morales for "banning protests," obscuring the cause of the violence inside of Bolivia almost completely.

Manuel Rozental, Colombian surgeon and activist, stated this morning that right wing groups [led by opposition regional governors] in Bolivia are hoping to pull off a "mediatic coup."

"Bolivia is popular, Bolivia is strong, the truth, the official truth will only come from the Government and popular organizations and their guidance must be sought," he wrote.

In a separate story, Reuters reported today that "Officials said at least 15 people -- mostly pro-government peasant farmers -- had been killed in clashes on Thursday with backers of the opposition regional governor."

Olivia Burlingame Goumbri wrote in Alternet that "Despite the fact that [Morales] represents the majority of Bolivians, refusals to recognize President Morales and his legitimate policy initiatives since he was first elected in 2005 have been a growing problem, and one that reflects racism."

Refusals to recognize Morales don't stop with the Bolivian elite, but reverberate through western government policies and the media.

» continue reading "Bolivia is popular, Bolivia is strong!"

September 12, 2008 Weblog:

Less Democratic than Thou

Democracy Watch has compiled a list of some of the legal loopholes and omissions that make the election process less democratic.

September 12, 2008 Weblog:

Afghanistan as an Election Issue

Derrick O'keefe had a good little editorial about making the war an election issue a few days ago.

The worth-always-reading Toronto Star columnist Haroon Siddiqui follows suit today with an excellent outline of the current state of the war.

As word of a civilian carnage spread, the U.S. dismissed it as "outrageous Taliban propaganda." Later it said, variously, that five insurgents had been killed, maybe seven, or perhaps seven civilians and 25 insurgents or 30 or 35.

The police chief in Herat put the toll at 90. The United Nations Special Representative for Afghanistan confirmed the news: "We found convincing evidence, based on the testimony of eyewitnesses and others, that some 90 civilians were killed, including 60 children."

Phone video footage emerged showing gruesome images of 40 bodies lined up in a mosque, "a majority of them babies and toddlers, some burned so badly they are barely recognizable," said the BBC.

The Canadian media remained mostly mute. Afghan TV naturally kept up with the story, and also that of the mounting public anger.

The opposition response to Harper's promise to pull out of Afghanistan completely by 2011 has so far drawn a response along the lines of "it won't actually happen, Harper will break the promise."

And that's probably accurate. Some military families seem to think so, anyway.

» continue reading "Afghanistan as an Election Issue"

September 11, 2008 Weblog:

Meanwhile, Stateside

Wonkette has this, uh, amusing take on Sarah Palin's first foreign policy gaffe:

To be fair, no one has any f-ing clue what to do about Russia, except that We Must Do Something To Stop Them. But when you’re asked in an interview under any circumstances whether we’ll have to go to War with Russia, you should never respond “Perhaps so,” BECAUSE WAR WITH RUSSIA WOULD BE THE WORST THING IMAGINABLE. It may be the logical outcome of all this NATO-expansion, rub-it-in-Russia’s-nose B.S. people throw around so willingly, but you’re not supposed to let anyone know that, Palin! Even John McCain — who would love nothing more than a full ground siege of f-ing Moscow, it would be the culmination of years of wet dreams — would not have said “Perhaps so”; he’d have something like, “not war, but we must contain the Czar.” And there would be no follow-ups because John McCain is a War Hero and honorable.

September 11, 2008 Weblog:

TRNN journalists charged with unlawful assembly

TRNN journalists charged with unlawful assembly

Documentary report by Real News team arrested along with 818 people during the RNC

The right to assembly

» continue reading "TRNN journalists charged with unlawful assembly"

September 11, 2008 Weblog:

Bush praised, Rio Tinto tossed in Norway

It was a busy 24 hours for a Norwegian Socialist Finance Minister.

Kristin Halvorsen, the head of the Socialist Left Party in Norway and Finance Minister in the coalition government banned government investment in mining giant Rio Tinto and said George W. Bush "showed good social-democratic tendencies".

Halvorsen was referring to the US governments decision to bail out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Norwegian government, which operates a massive surplus-fund, invested heavily in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and suffered major losses recently as a result.

On the same day, Halvorsen also reported that the same surplus fund would no longer be investing in Rio Tinto due to environmental concerns. "Wal-Mart, British arms manufacturer BAE Systems and US defense firm Lockheed Martin have also been blacklisted" in the past, according to the BBC.

The surplus-fund is Europe's biggest investor and holds nearly 1% of Europe's listed shares.

September 10, 2008 Weblog:

Six Nations Needs Urgent Support

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This morning, the Brantford Police arrested two young activists from 6 Nations, aged 17 and 19. The two were arrested in transit while trying to leave the campsite on Fen Ridge Court. Twenty cops in 8 unmarked cars pulled over the vehicle they were travelling in, and arrested the two teenagers who are currently in jail. Activists at the site in Brantford have asked for supporters to come to the site tonight and/or tomorrow.

The Hampton Inn site on Fen Ridge has been shut down completely for two weeks. It had also been shut down several times over the last few months by various representations from 6 Nations including Ruby and Floyd Montour, the Confederacy Council, the Men's Fire, and now grassroots activists including Boots Powless and a newly dubbed NYM-6 Nations. The current callout comes directly from the activists on site.

The group has maintained the site beside the Hampton Inn development site in a tepee for over 60 days, upholding the declaration put forward by the Men's Fire that these sites should be shut down pending settlement of outstanding land disputes. Further, all three sites that have been targeted from the base camp have been sited as posing ecological threats; the Fen Ridge industrial development area and the Oak Park Road development site are located in an environmentally sensitive area less than a kilometre from the Grand River.

A Callout for supporters to be physically on-the-ground as early as tonight has been issued from the camp. They are also asking for food and phone cards ("solo" brand).

To get to the site:

» continue reading "Six Nations Needs Urgent Support"

September 10, 2008 Weblog:

Haïti: Exposition sur les conséquences du coup d'état de 2004

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Le photographe Montréalais Darren Ell présente sa nouvelle exposition intitulée Haïti: Rembobiner. M. Ell a créé l'expo en réponse à la politique canadienne, française et américaine en Haïti. L'expo comporte des photos, des extraits de vidéo et des textes ramassés lors de ses voyages en Haïti entre 2006 et 2008. Elle expose le rôle des puissances étrangères dans la déstabilisation et le renversement du gouvernement populaire de Jean-Bertrand Aristide en février 2004. Elle examine aussi les séquelles du renversement du gouvernement élu, un événement avec lequel les Haïtiens vivent encore aujourd'hui. M. Ell remet en question la supposée bienveillance de la présence militaire et policière des Nations-unies qui est la puissance prédominante en Haïti depuis 2004.

Les photographies et les projections de l'expo situent l'intervention étrangère dans l'histoire coloniale d'Haïti. Des photos ont été prises lors des opérations onusiennes et des manifestations contre la vie chère. Elles évoquent les tableaux des peintres français œuvrant au plus fort de la puissance impériale française, et elles rappellent le travail du peintre activiste américain Léon Golub.

La première projection combine un paysage tranquille et abandonné de Cité Soleil avec la voix du Canado-Haïtien Jean St-Vil, qui récite le témoignage de Frantz Gabriel, seul témoin de l'enlèvement de Jean-Bertrand Aristide le 29 février 2004. Gabriel fut responsable de la sécurité d'Aristide et a été lui-même enlevé. La deuxième projection montre des douzaines de noms, accompagnés de données légales, de prisonniers politiques emprisonnés pendant le coup d'état.

» continue reading "Haïti: Exposition sur les conséquences du coup d'état de 2004"

September 10, 2008 Weblog:

Haiti: Photo Exhibition about the Consequences of the 2004 coup d'état

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A new exhibition by Montreal photographer Darren Ell is set to open on September 18th. Ell's exhibition, Haiti: Rewind, was created as a response to Canadian, French and U.S. policy in Haiti and comprises material drawn from Ell's visits to Haiti between 2006 and 2008. The photo exhibition exposes the role of these three powers in the destabilization and subsequent overthrow of the popular government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in February 2004.

The photo exhibition looks at the consequences of the overthrow of the elected government, an event with which the Haitian people are living to this day. It questions the purported benevolence of the United Nations force that has been the predominant power in Haiti since 2004.

The photographs and video installations of the exhibition place current foreign meddling in Haiti squarely within colonial history. Photographs taken in Port-au-Prince during UN police raids and popular demonstrations against rising prices harken back to French painters working at the height of French imperial power in Haiti in the late 1700's and to activist American painter Leon Golub.

The first video installation features a serene but abandoned landscape from Cité Soleil with a voice-over by Haitian-Canadian Jean St-Vil reading Frantz Gabriel's eye-witness account of the abduction of Jean-Bertrand Aristide on February 29th, 2004. Gabriel was responsible for Aristide's security and was abducted himself.

The second video installation is a looping projection of legal data concerning the hundreds of political prisoners still detained in Haiti. The information for this piece was obtained from Haiti's Bureau des avocats internationaux (Office of International Lawyers).

» continue reading "Haiti: Photo Exhibition about the Consequences of the 2004 coup d'état"

September 10, 2008 Weblog:

Election Coverage Coverage Echo Echo

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Globe: "A Web ad featuring a defecating bird and fallout over the Greens' exclusion from a televised leaders debate dominated Day 3 of the federal election campaign on Tuesday despite efforts by the two major parties to supplement nasty attacks with weightier content."

The media during an election is a bizarre spectacle indeed. The media decide that bird poop is a huge deal, and discuss it endlessly. Then, at the end of the day, they summarize their own coverage by saying that the substantial announcement were "dominated" or "overshadowed." The summary of their own reporting nonetheless gives top billing to the bird poop, and passing, insubstantial reference to the issues that it concedes are the only ones having any "weight".

In related news, Jack Layton flew a bunch of journalists over the biggest and most destructive industrial project in human history and we get a brief story with a few quotes. And we can be sure that without further prompting, no one will look into it further. The hundreds of journalists assigned to cover the election prefer, undoubtedly, to cover the latest gaffe or bird poop mini-scandal.

I would like to make one modest suggestion: election coverage doesn't have to look like this.

September 9, 2008 Weblog:

La Presse v. Harper

On the cover of yesterday's La Presse: Harper polling at 43% nationally, if election was held today he'd likely have a majority.

On the cover of today's La Presse: Julie Couillard's new book.

Inside spread: one of the Conservative candidates in Quebec is a member of Opus Dei, a secretive Catholic cult that seeks to place its members in positions of power, may or may not engage in ritual self-flagellation, keeps brainwashed women as wage slaves, and did they mention that they're very secretive?

Next page: ex-PMs and celebrities deplore Canada's "lack of action" on climate change. Also: Sierra Club gives Cons an "F+" grade on the environment.

Next page: Interview with a Liberal candidate and actor who was appointed by Conservatives, and was there just long enough to see how ideologically flawed the whole Conservative machine is. He quit to run for the Liberals.

Next full spread: Duceppe appeals to federalists to vote for the Bloc to stop Harper; Dion calls Harper a liar.

Arts and Culture section, front page: Interview with Liza Frulla, former Heritage Minister, discusses at length how inexperienced and damaging Josée Verner is.

September 9, 2008 Weblog:

Monbiot: "Trade deals are the new gunboats"

George Monbiot discusses fishing, free trade and modern day pillage in his article titled Rich countries once used gunboats to seize food. Now they use trade deals.

Monbiot writes: "Where once they used gunboats and sepoys, the rich nations now use chequebooks and lawyers to seize food from the hungry. The scramble for resources has begun, but - in the short term, at any rate - we will hardly notice. The rich world's governments will protect themselves from the political cost of shortages, even if it means that other people must starve."

September 9, 2008 Weblog:

Golden Opportunity: Mining Against All Costs

Originally published in the Canadian Dimension magazine, September/October 2008 issue

Guided by resource discovery and the heavy-handed rule of the free market, the mining of gold today is “rush-mining,” much as it was a century ago. From the Indigenous lands of Brazil to those in Canada, from Tanzania to the Philippines, whenever gold is discovered, local communities are forced to migrate or attempt to adjust to the new industry. In fact, only eleven per cent of the gold mined worldwide has a practical use in technologies like biomedicine or electronics. Meanwhile, seventy per cent is used for jewellery, with the rest going to investment. Some 35,000 tonnes of gold simply sit in bank vaults around the world, while the environment and innumerable communities are destroyed for its excavation.

Canada plays a huge role in this global market, being home to the largest gold-mining corporations in the world. At the very top reigns Barrick Gold, with others like Goldcorp, Gabriel and Pacific Rim close behind. Collectively they mine on every continent except Antarctica, on which mining is forbidden. But not all gold is excavated by large, corporate colonialists, nor is all of it done abroad. One quarter comes from artisanal or small-scale mining, and minimal but continuous extraction takes place at home (mostly in Ontario and Quebec.)

Countries in Central America and Central Africa have low environmental regulations and worker-safety requirements. They are resource-rich, and are therefore a lucrative destination for Canadian businesses. At home, even though most resource extraction takes place on Indigenous lands, we have relatively strict extraction, land-use and environmental laws, meaning most companies strive to mine offshore.

» continue reading "Golden Opportunity: Mining Against All Costs"

September 9, 2008 Weblog:

Palin: Praying for a Pipeline

"I can do my part, by doing things like working really really hard to get a natural gas pipeline, about a $30 billion project that is going to create a lot of jobs for Alaskans, and we'll have a lot of energy flowing through here, and pray about that also. I think god's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that..." -Sarah Palin

September 9, 2008 Weblog:

Gonaives four years after Hurricane Jeanne: What can the victims hope?

Time to make money or to help people?

By Wadner Pierre- www.haitianalysis.com

Early in September of 2004, the people of Gonaives, the “city of Independence”, located 152 kilometers north of the capital, Port-au-Prince, woke to the destruction brought by Hurricane Jeanne. Four years after Jeanne killed 3000 people, Gonaives is in agony again.

Hurricane Gustav has devastated southern Haiti: Southeast (Jacmel) department, South department (Les Cayes), Grand’Anse (Jeremie) and Nippes (Miragoane) department. Authorities do not yet have reliable numbers but early reports estimate at least 190 people dead – a death toll that will certainly rise.

Officials say 61 people were killed by Hurricane Hanna, which also just struck Haiti. Twenty one of those dead were found in Gonaives alone.

Hurricane Jeanne ravaged Haiti in 2004 only eight months after the coup that ousted Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Gerard Latortue, head of the UN installed dictatorship and a native of Govaives, received money from all over the world to help Gonaives rebuild. Unfortunately, the victims received very little benefit from the money. Gonaives lies below sea level but levees were never built; many roads have still not been repaired. The meager results obtained with international aid money have produced a widespread belief in Gonaives that Latortue's cronies and corrupt NGOs simply pocketed the money.

In 2004 a young survivor of Hurricane Jeanne talked to a reporter and sarcastically thanked Jeanne for destroying her life by killing off her parents and countless relatives. Today many survive on the rooftops of their homes, and say that the flooding from Hannah is even worse than it was with Jeanne, which left 250,000 Gonaives resident homeless.

» continue reading "Gonaives four years after Hurricane Jeanne: What can the victims hope?"

September 8, 2008 Weblog:

Gonaives and the rest of Haiti need your help now

People everywhere in the globe, listen the voice of people in Gonaives and in the rest of Haiti. It is hard and it's really hard a sit can be for people. As a Haitian and a Gonaivian man I am very concern, I ask you my brothers and sisters in the world to help my relatives there in the way you can. Haiti is not the most hit by the hurricanes, but we are the most victimized people, cause our political leaders most of them don't care about people live. They care about themselves and they families. Those who want to improve live; they often plot against them and keep the country in perpetual instability politic, that is the way they make money. The loss of sight is more humane than the one presented by the authorities. How they can pretend determine the number of death and disappeared people while they do not have any infrastructures to reach them. After four years, which road has been rebuilt in Gonaives? Therefore, they are happy to steal the money and the aids that people deserve. Once gain, they do not put the real problem of Haiti on the table, particularly Gonaives, where the level of the ocean is higher than the land. Nobody cannot forget what happened in New Orleans in 2005, even this city was protected by levees and after the levees broke, you could see how ravaged was New Orleans by floodwater. Then Gonaives before and after Jeanne the just passed Hanna was not and is not protected by levees. And the worst is, no plan to prevent or to protect the city from another natural disaster as this of Jeanne and Hanna.

» continue reading "Gonaives and the rest of Haiti need your help now"

September 8, 2008 Weblog:

$490 Billion defense road map rollout, blacked out by media

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You would think something like a detailed road map of ‘the modernization of the Canadian forces’, at the big fancy 8th Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas (CDMA) would elicit some sort discussion or analysis from the Canadian media/ chattering class. At the conference, Peter Mackay began to spin links between the need to respond to ‘natural disasters’ and ‘security of the Olympics’ with armed security. The highlight of the conference was the release of Canada's 20-year, $490 billion “Canada First Defense Strategy,” a detailed plan to modernize its armed forces and its military industry. McKay also signed a Memoranda of Understanding with his counterparts in Honduras, Guatemala and Bolivia, which falls under the Military Training Assistance Programme (MTAP). Yet hardly a boo, has been published about this week long conference, as the Republican convention in St Paul and the buzz around the soon to be announced election provided a nice blackout about things that were going on, that the media and lobbyist just aren't so interested in regular folks to know about.

So what do we know happened this week in the luxury resort of Banff where the delegates from 34 countries met under the theme of ‘Co-operation and Collaboration”?
According to CP Canadian Defense Minister and host of the conference, Peter MacKay addressed the crowd by stirring their shared belief that "Now more than ever, we are all connected and need to cooperate to achieve the security, democratic development, and prosperity we all desire”.

» continue reading "$490 Billion defense road map rollout, blacked out by media "

September 7, 2008 Weblog:

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae "Nationalized"

Over $5 trillion in troubled mortgages have been taken over (read: nationalized) by the US government. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the two largest mortgage providers in the US) have been put into "conservatorship" in order to stop them from collapsing.

This is the biggest government bailout in US history and comes on the heels of Royal Bank chief executive Gordon Nixon saying that the global financial system has been "pushed to the brink".

September 6, 2008 Weblog:

On HBO's The Wire & two Americas

David Simon, executive producer and writer of HBO's The Wire, ruminates on Baltimore and the USA.

"Well, there are about 350 television shows about the affluent America, the comfortable America, the viable and cohesive nation where everyone gets what they want if they either work hard or know someone or have a pretty face or cheat like hell. That America is available every night, on every channel in the Comcast package.

For a brief time, there was one television drama about the other America."

September 6, 2008 Weblog:

Conservative Image Problem

An anonymous "award-winning Canadian documentary filmmaker and screenwriter" shows the Conservative Party of Canada why it might be a problem to cut $44 million in arts funding before an election.

September 6, 2008 Weblog:

Obama: the Dashing

From the Red Pepper Obama Blog:

The story of the left’s infatuation with Barack Obama follows an established storyline. So many hopes that "this time", things will be different: that Obama won’t be like Lula in Brazil in 2002 – who came to power on a Socialist platform only to bow to the power of global finance once in office; like Tony Blair in 1997, when a generation of progressives who’d grown up to hate Thatcher and the Tories could not but rejoice; the Green Party coming to power in Germany in 1998, where – no use in hiding it – I, too, had high hopes; the African National Congress in South Africa – backed by Communists, but soon a key driver of Neoliberalism in Southern Africa. So many hopes dashed. And yet, the infatuation continues…

September 4, 2008 Weblog:

Venezuelan Cooperatives

The excellent Upside Down World has an interesting, critical take on the Venezuelan cooperative movement.

September 2, 2008 Weblog:

Alert, save people's lives in Gonaives

Dear friends everywhere,

What is happening now in Gonaives is worse than hurricane Jeanne in 2004, Hanna is hitting Gonaives now. I talked to my mother who lives there, she said (I quote) "My son it is hard for your mother and people in Gonaives, we do not know what to do. Nothing, nothing, it is raining, wind".

The situation that she explained is the same for almost people in Gonaives are living this morning. Les Cayes in southern Haiti, Cap-Haitian, It is the worst time for Haiti.

God bless Haiti and save people's lives in Gonaives, my city, Cap-Haitian, Les Cayes and the rest of our entire Planet.

September 1, 2008 Weblog:

Amy Goodman arrested at RNC in St. Paul

Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar from Democracy Now! were arrested today (September 1) at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.

They are requesting that concerned journalists and citizens call Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman’s office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).

August 31, 2008 Weblog:

On That day, Everybody Ate: Margaret Trost's testimony of hope for the hopeless

By: Wadner Pierre-haitianalysis.com

"On That Day, Everybody Ate: One Woman’s Story of Hope and Possibility in Haiti" is the title of Margaret Trost's newly released book about her experiences in Haiti.

After her husband's untimely death, Mrs. Margaret traveled to Haiti to heal her broken heart by serving others. She was deeply moved by the struggles of the poor and resolved to do all she could to help them. In the year 2000, she founded the What If? Foundation in collaboration with Father Gerard Jean-Juste, a prominent Haitian humanitarian, political activist, and the priest of St. Claire’s Church in Port-au-Prince. He also lived in Florida for many years where he fought for the rights of Haitian immigrants. The Foundation’s mission is to provide food and education to impoverished children in Haiti. Together, Fr. Jean-Juste and Margaret have worked to establish a food program, educational scholarships, and a summer camp for children in the Tiplas Kazo neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Members of the St. Clare’s community run these programs. The What If? Foundation provides the funding. It is an effective partnership that started small and has grown over the years. On That Day, Everybody Ate tells the story of this remarkable journey.

The What If? Foundation provided the funds to serve the first food program meal at St. Clare’s after mass on Sunday, March 19th 2000 - the day the Catholic Church celebrates Saint Joseph, patron saint of workers. Five hundred children enjoyed a meal that included rice, beans, and vegetables grown by Haitian farmers:

» continue reading "On That day, Everybody Ate: Margaret Trost's testimony of hope for the hopeless"

August 31, 2008 Weblog:

The Conservative message on the North? Militarize it.

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The Conservatives have already identified seven issues for what seems like an imminent election this fall: Health Care, Child care, Tackling Crime, Lower Taxes, Environment, Accountability and Arctic Sovereignty.

Afghanistan, according to the Conservatives, isn't an election priority for Canadians. Filling the North with soldiers, warplanes, and tanks, apparently, is.

Snippets from Conservative messaging on the Arctic, meant to be sent by Canadians as letters to editors, include:

"I’m glad our government is finally seeing the potential of the Canadian Arctic and is making real plans to protect and defend it... A serious military presence is what we need and that’s what Stephen Harper is giving us... we have to show the world we have the military means to assert our sovereignty... Conservatives are talking about respect for our Northern governments, economic development, environmental protection and increased military presence as means to assert sovereignty in our Arctic..."

Photo art by Matt Davis.

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