Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A young Irish girl and a British soldier, 1970s


Artists create picture to be seen by drones. The girl in the picture had her entire family bombed and killed by a drone.

Some researchers say Pigs have the intelligence of a three year old human child. 

Letter to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Dear Right Honourable Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Gail Shea,

I am writing you to voice my opposition to the seal hunt, which is now, once again, underway in this great country of ours. And, what a hunt it will be! Shooting! Clubbing! Drowning! Bleeding to death! 
And I see your typically 19th century minded government has gone ahead, in its most progressive fashion, and maintained the annual quota at 400,000. 

That is a pretty ridiculous number, considering nobody wants this stuff anymore. Anywhere in the world. But, your government derives many of its votes from knuckle dragging, gun toting, barbaric, redneck idiots, so I don't blame you for taking a stand against us, the granola munching, lefty, hippy, animal rights activists. I mean, you must know that you will never get a single vote from us, right? That is why you made the comments about how 'we' are responsible for China not wanting our seal products. 
When, in reality, the Chinese people do not want these products. Believe me, this is a country whose people will eat almost anything, I mean, these people decorate their homes with elephant tusks and eat grizzly bear gall bladders because they believe it will give them virility or something. The last people on Earth to ever pay any mind to an animal rights activist is Chinese people.

And it is not just your government. It has been a succession of governments, even the filthy Liberals, who have tried to hock our seal products to the Chinese, as far back as 1985. Canada was built on three things, Gail. Genocide of First Nations, cheap Chinese labour and seal pelts. So, your government, being the anachronistic, Victorian era government that it is, wants to harken back to the days of yore, when men were men and every living thing on God's green Earth ran scared.

For goodness sake, Gail, your government is already giving away all our resources to China, running roughshod over Canadians and First Nations to get that diluted bitumen to the coast and into ships, bound for refineries and untold Chinese jobs. But that is for another time and it is a subject best tabled in the presence of the Minister in Charge of the Destruction of Canada for Big Oil.

I can't even be polite or civil anymore to your government, they represent all that is wrong in this world. 
You called this hunt "sustainable" and "humane", when given the opportunity to speak to the media. Do you actually believe this, Gail? Clubbing and shooting sentient mammals to death, drowning them, sticking gaff hooks into the bellies of still-alive seals? In the presence of other seals, including their parents or pups? You call this HUMANE? If you say that is humane, then I challenge you to look within yourself and question your own beliefs about the sanctity of life. 

You also said that "90 percent of the seals are killed with high powered rifles", as if that is a nice friendly little way to die. Oh! a bullet in the face! Goody! That's all a seal ever wanted!
And what about the other 10%? Clubbed, drowned, gaffed, bled to death. Super humane, Gail. Canada should be proud.

This industry will eventually end, when the people of this country get off their lazy asses and do something worthwhile to stand up for this once great nation. The EU has banned our seal products, Russia doesn't want them, even China doesn't want them. I guess the furs will be stacking up in some warehouse somewhere, with nobody to buy them.

I don't know why your government doesn't just buy out the controversial hunting program, it would look really good on our country to do something progressive for once. But no, it will never happen under the watchful eye of Mein Harper because every single decision that is made in Ottawa is ideologically driven and, in some cases, as in the seal hunt, it is even done in spite.

Have a happy Easter. And remember, Jesus was an animal lover.

Tony Durke.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

IPCC report censored. Unsurprisingly.

"A major climate report presented to the world was censored by the very governments who requested it, frustrating and angering some of its lead authors. …
[E]ntire paragraphs, plus graphs showing where carbon emissions have been increasing the fastest, were deleted from the summary during a week’s debate prior to its release. Other sections had their meaning and purpose significantly diluted. They were victims of a bruising skirmish between governments in the developed and developing world over who should shoulder the blame for, and the responsibility for fixing, climate change.
One report author joked that he felt like a “pawn” who had been sacrificed in a game. Several others told Fairfax [Media Limited] the rancour was much greater than in previous IPCC meetings.
The encounter was a prelude to what promises to be a bitter battle in Paris next year, where countries are intended to sign a new binding treaty on radical action against global warming. Countries including — but not limited to — the United States, Brazil, China and Saudi Arabia fought to ensure the summary could not be used as a weapon against them in pre-Paris negotiations."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

circus elephants for the kids

Centuries of listening never got them anywhere
The time it took to say it wore them all out
The attention spans are shorter than they used to be
Still, this is all more or less the same old story
Wars and Sales got us to where we are today
a place between there and here
a land of have no fear
except the one that creeps up on you and leaves you feeling
restless and sleepless
The kinda nights lived by a rounder a drifter a shiftless grifter
the romance of a life notorious
lost all its glory, really
it is too late, the dream has already passed
all you can hope for is a warm place to sleep
and music to listen to
Stories to tell and stories to read
You can be as hard as you want but you will break
at the sight of the simplicity
What was once a nexus is now a singularity
The love I have found
The sound of alliance

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It’s Equal Pay Day – a day that shows how far into 2013 women must work to earn what men earned in 2012. After all, women still make just 77 cents to a man’s dollar. This gender gap affects women (and their families) from all backgrounds, ages, and at all levels of education – and it’s unacceptable. 

Patriarchy must die.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Like local tv personalities you over dressed
The ones you tried to impress never noticed
just like you they were caught up in themselves
all you wanted to hear was your own voice
the choice you made was the predictable one
like ol' faithful you gushed every time
you dropped the dime
and sang the song that was requested
shaking hands was what you were made for
at least bred for in that small town
never one to be swayed by others
you did your own research
from questionable less reputable resources some said
not the kind of message you would want for the children
or for that matter put on the stand
in a court of law
was it something you saw or something you heard
the word is what comes down
in a small town
are the blood running through the veins of this place
trucks in the roadside stops
signs the only sign of anyone left alive

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sun rises
Trees grow
Rain falls
The surprise is in the eyes
when not just the mighty 
but all of us
have fallen
and though it leaves us breathless
and raucous
A force to be feared
like a snake
In the end you are running for the anti-venom
Or running from something
usually the past
If only life had an autocorrect 
instead it has moments
where you seek acceptance
you know the ones I mean
where we are the people that we dream of
You have the unmitigated attention of others
A connection that fits like a puzzle
and you try not to waste it
but somehow it feels like that
pretty normal
in an after school special kinda way
Or a john hughes film
the deductible you pay is the time it takes
to make it all happen
Time = Money

Ah, the indomitable Mr. Gervais...

Friday, March 21, 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

the ethics of make-up

Making up is hard to do


Animal ingredients

A number of different animal ingredients could be used in your makeup. Vegetarians should watch out for stearic acid and glycerin, both of which could come from animal or vegetable sources, sorbitan or octyl stearate, cochineal/carmine (found in lipsticks and made from crushed beetles), and silk - found in some eyeshadows. Vegans should also look out for beeswax, honey and lanolin.
Unfortunately, most products don’t include ingredients listings.

Harmful cultural practice?

Susan Jeffries in her book “Beauty and Misogyny” suggests that the wearing of makeup not only consumes women’s time and money but also their emotional space.(1) Though makeup’s supporters argue that it offers an opportunity for women to exercise creativity, this is rather limited, she argues, because “women are required to conform to strict rules in order to function in workplaces and escape criticism and discrimination.”(1) She concludes that makeup fits the criterion of a harmful cultural practice as defined by the UN, because “the substances that women apply to their hair, face and body in pursuit of beauty are directly dangerous to our health”.(1)
In liberated 2012, women can do whatever they like. It’s all about choice – including the choice of whether to wear make-up or not. However, given the pressure of marketing and society’s expectations of women to look ‘good’, it’s interesting to examine women’s relationship with make-up. Does make-up feel like a necessity or a fun optional extra? We asked three young women about their relationship with make-up.

VIA Ethical Consumer

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

This charity is amongst the World's smallest and most effective. It is literally 2 people who make a difference in untold poverty stricken children's lives. Right now they are working in Cambodia and all they rely on is an email list of generous people who send money to them for clothes, books, first aid, clean water, shoes, shelter and the list goes on.

Consider donating even a small amount to these folks, if you want to give to a worthwhile cause. Every cent will be spent wisely.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


York #1

York #2

Art Auction!

Mitch and Shar with their Tony Durke original, 'A Coalition Finds its way to Freedom', at the Oscar Party fundraiser for Cineworks in Vancouver, at the QE Playhouse. Photo by Lindsay Bailey. 

International Women's Day

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sunshine for Birthday Girl

In our eyes lie the secret to life
Not the house, the home
The way in which we roam is the decider
The wider picture is the one that draws focus
The trivialities turn the clock
We all just keep walking and talk gets deafening
You and I know the difference between that and this
which is a true collaboration
A destination to get to every day
For the most part, we make it
and if we don't, we fake it until we make it
which is what everybody else does
at any rate

birthday girl

Oh, you, my lover, friend and now mother
I like this in you, it is what came to be and it suits you
Wearing the ring is my shield for the parts of the world that are scary
It is bullet proof and beautiful
Growing up was easy and now that you are grown
Your understanding is alluring and humour beguiling
You threw the rule book out the window
You sped up when the light turned orange
Always the confidence, always the brilliance
And a dash of innocence

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

                     Antartica.                                                                                            NASA
                      flat iron, new york, 1930s.

Might as well jump. Jump! Go ahead and jump. Jump!

There have been quite a number of Wall Street jumpers lately. Seems like taking the plunge out of the office window is becoming the choice du jour for guilty, failed banksters. And for money. What a pointless thing to kill yourself over.  Not everyone is feeling sympathetic...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I don't know why a coalition is a dreaded word. It is welcome, in my view. The Cons were kept at bay when they were a minority Government, with a coalition able to block motions in the House. I think that was one of the best positions this country has ever been in, politically, and the politicians of all stripes squandered that unique circumstance. Of course, ol' Harper there, called it an 'attack on democracy' or something. I am paraphrasing but it was something like that. This coming from a guy that has appointed more senators, prorogued Parliament, passed massive omnibus bills, with huge changes to the environment acts, couched in budget bills. I could go on... But, I digress.
The opinion that a coalition is bad seems to be trumped about in the media, as well. They like it because it keeps the foolish Left divided and the Cons take majority of the house, under the ridiculous FPTP voting system, with like 38% of the popular vote or something.
Elizabeth May might not be PM material but she is a fantastic and effective politician. Mulcair has turned out to be very good leader, in my opinion, holding his majesty's feet to the fire over this whole senate scandal. Trudeau, I think, is a bad choice for the Liberals, they seem ill advised when it comes to picking drivers of their bus. But, they need to get their act together and join forces to defeat the Harpercons. 
Our small differences are what is keeping us apart and the wolves in charge. We best be figuring this sh#t out before May 2015.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Vancouver; Out with the Old, in with the New

More than 750 homes are demolished annually in Vancouver, many of them pre-1940s houses built with a high level of craftsmanship and quality materials.  Most of these homes are already adapted, or adaptable, to modern living requirements and are a more affordable and ecologically sustainable option than the houses that currently replace them.  Each demolition sends more than 50 tonnes of waste to the landfill, taking with it the history and character of the streetscape and the mature gardens that grace our established neighbourhoods.
We the undersigned call on City Council to take immediate action to:
1) remove from zoning and building code bylaws any biases favouring demolition and new construction over retention;
2) review and amend single-family(RS) zoning in a collaborative process with affected communities so that retention of pre-1940s homes has significant advantages over demolition and new construction while ensuring the character, scale and fundamental nature of the neighbourhoods are preserved;
3) provide greater review and scrutiny of pre-1940s homes prior to accepting proposed development applications and/or demolitions; and
4) fast-track and prioritize development applications that retain pre-1940s character and heritage housing.

Vancouver Character House Network
Please view our video:

When they call it the 'best place on Earth', they must be talking from the perspective of the developers in this town, who have free reign to destroy all history and build condos and malls in its place. 

Please sign a petition to City Council asking that Vancouver pull its head out of its ass and start saving more historical buildings. New isn't always necessarily better.

via and Vancouver Character House Network

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


To those who stay put
the world is but an imaginary place
but to the movers and the shakers
the world is all around them
an endless invitation

The first to help you up
are the ones who
know how it feels to fall down