March 11 at 4 p.m., the National Film Board documentary The Coca-Cola Case is being screened at the University of Regina in the new theatre in the Lab Building. Written and produced by German Gutierrez and Carmen Garcia, the film serves as a devastating indictment of the Atlanta-based multi-national for its union-busting activities in Columbia, and Guatemala that includes the funding of para-military groups in those countries who intimidate and even assassinate union leaders. According to the filmmakers, since 2002 over 470 labour activists have been brutally murdered. Here’s the trailer (YouTube)
You got any plans for next Tuesday? If not, and even if you do, consider dropping by the Multi-Purpose Room at Riddell Centre between 7-9 p.m. as the University of Regina kicks off a process to develop a new Campus Master Plan that will guide development at the university for the next five years and beyond.
In a press release, U of R president Vianne Timmons (pictured) said “As part of the community, the University of Regina always welcomes comments from the public. The reason for doing a Campus Master Plan is so the university can meet the changing needs of students, staff, faculty and the larger community in the years to come.”
Accessibility and sustainability are only two of many issues that will be looked at. The target for completing the plan is December 2010, with implementation to begin in 2011. For more info see: www.uregina.ca/physplnt/masterplan
Dog Blog’s morning news round-up, which has probably never, ever actually been posted at 6:00 a.m.
1 BUDGET! “Steady Budget Offers few Surprises”, says CBC. “Hope Keeps Flaherty’s Balanced Budget Afloat“, says the Globe And Mail. “This Budget Will Set Conservative Hearts Aglow“, says the Toronto Star’s Chantal Hébert. “Feds Aim For 17.6 Billion In Savings Over five Years“, says the Leader-Post.
2 MORE BUDGET! Saskatchewan’s Finance minister ironically says the federal budget is marred by wishful thinking on revenues. (I like the fact Gantefoer acknowledges the irony. Yes, he had to, I know. I still like it. I like it when politicians admit their screw-ups — makes them seem human.)
3 STILL MORE BUDGET “Canada’s Wind Energy Sector Laments Loss of Incentives” says the Leader-Post. “PM Gambles that Voters care About The Deficit, Little Else” says the Globe’s John Ibbitsion.
4 JAPAN WON’T JOIN TUNA BAN “There is no choice for the Japanese government. We Japanese eat tuna,” says one Japanese wholesaler. (Washington Post) Well here’s a thought, moron: let’s just fucking eat all the bluefin tuna and then it will be gone forever. How’s that sound Japan, you fucking idiots?
5 VATICAN GAY SEX SCANDAL A “Gentleman Of His Holiness”–yes, that’s apparently a job title–was busted for negotiating with a male prostitute. Huh there’s a shock, closeted gays in the Catholic Church. (Guardian)
6 DID YOU HEAR? A GUNMAN WAS KILLED TRYING TO ENTER THE PENTAGON LAST NIGHT. So, an angry white nutter who believed the U.S. government was behind the 9-11 attacks turns to armed, anti-government violence. (He was a marijuana user too–so much for the cliche of the mellow pothead.) (Washington Post) What did I just say?
1 STADIUM STADIUM STADIUM STADIUM The Leader-Post has nine (!!!) stories on their website right now on the proposed downtown stadium. Judging from their headlines, most seem generally positive and excited. Us? We range from conditionally pro-stadium (me and POSSIBLY Rosie, I think) to undeclared and mysterious (Greg) to hostile (pretty much everyone else.) Links here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. (Leader-Post)
2 IT’S BUDGET DAY Here’s the link to the Globe’scoverage . Nice to see the paper’s pulled in Tom Flanagan, who’s kind of like Canada’s Karl Rove, to answer budget questions from readers. Barrrrf. (Globe And Mail)
3 OUT ON HIS ASPER Izzy’s son David officially cedes control of CanWest. (Winnipeg Free Press). Confidential note to Mr. D.: So prairie dog’s now outlasted Conrad Black andthe Asper brood. High five!
4 SASK PHARMACISTS CAN DO MORE When your doctor’s on vacation they can give you a prescription refill, plus there’s a few other things. Sounds reasonable. (CBC)
5 ALLEGED NUDE DUDE IN COURT And he’s not happy. (CBC)
6 ONLY WHINY SISSIES HAVE TEA PARTIES A new American political movement takes their caffeine without crumpets, thanks. (Guardian)
1 THEY’RE BAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK Federal politicians return from their Harper holiday with a big fat 6000 word throne speech. (CBC)
2 NO PANTS RAMPAGE Nude dude invades mayor’s office, Fiacco said to unharmed. (CBC)
3 TORIES PLAY PARTISAN POLITICS WITH RIGHTS AGENCY PICK Story here. The three sitting opposition parties don’t like the guy the Tories appointed to run this very divided and troubled funding agency. (Globe And Mail)
4 GAY MARRIAGE: D.C. JOINS 21ST CENTURY Hooray! (Washington Post)
5 WILD TIGER CUB DISCOVERY END IN DEATH AND CENSORSHIP Blah. Here’s an idea, lets not have six billion people elbowing every wild thing on the planet out of the way. Sheesh. (Guardian)
6 THE STUPIDEST SIGNS IN CANADA. Wow. This baffling bunch of no-parking signs is hi-LAWR-iously awful. It should win international awards for badness. (Canada.com)
Whoops. Was supposed to do a Six in the AM this AM and completely forgot. So, after receiving a chastising e-mail from Whitworth, here I am with my first Four in the Afternoon on the new blog.
1. THE “FEASIBLE” DOME: The consultants announced yesterday that a new covered stadium would be feasible for downtown Regina. And while reps from the city, provincial and federal governments were in attendance, no one would commit any money to the project at this time. In fact, figuring out how to pay for the initial construction has yet to be worked out. Which makes me wonder how they can say it’s “feasible” if they haven’t even worked out if they can pay for it. What did they spend that million bucks working out exactly? Oh yeah, how much it’ll cost. Which, as it turns out is not the $350 million we were all initially told. If we get the non-retractable dome version, the price comes in at $386 million, the retractable dome version is $431 million. And you know what, projects like this never come in under budget. Never. Never. Never. So we’re looking at at least half a billion dollars spent on a sports stadium. And, realistically, much more than that. Do you know how much we could accomplish if the three levels of government and private industry threw that kind of cash into our libraries? Our downtown? Our civic infrastructure? The mind boggles.
Oh, also, some of the ways they’re considering paying for this seems to be using cash from the casinos or from some new lottery. Meanwhile, on CBC this morning, they were talking about how post-secondary students are increasingly suffering from gambling addictions. Great. So we’re going to get a stadium by making students pay for it. Not to mention all the other poor saps who blow their pay cheques in the casinos and on scratch tickets. (Leader Post)
2. “PSST, THEY’RE NEW HERE. DON’T MENTION THE GAYS.” Our Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, pulled any mention of gay rights from the study guide given out to new immigrants to Canada. Now why would he do that, I wonder? Kenney, by the way, fought hard against gay marriage back in the day. But I’m sure his personal feelings had nothing to do with it. (Globe and Mail)
3. POLLEY TAKES NAME OFF FLICK: When she discovered a short-film she’d made for the Heart and Stroke Foundation to promote women’s heart-health would also be used to promote Becel Margarine, Sarah Polley, the activist/actor/director, announced she’d rather not be associated with it. (Globe and Mail)
4. MORE REPUBLIC OF DOYLE: The CBC is announcing that the makers of CBC series, Republic of Doyle, are cheered to learn their series has been renewed. Good for them. Still, on a lark, I watched an episode of this show last night (on my computer). Wow, did that ever take me back. It reminds me of all those 70s and 80s PI shows like Spencer for Hire or Rockford Files. And I’m not sure if I needed or wanted reminding. My wife thought the show had to be a parody because, she reasoned, the writers couldn’t possibly believe that what they’d made was a high quality program. My wife hasn’t watched nearly as much television as I have. (CBC)
Your (week-)daily morning news update and linkapalooza.
1 CANADA SETS MEDAL RECORD I know eh?
2 CHILE HIT BY THREE AFTERSHOCKS The country is in shambles after an Armageddon-class 8.8 magnitude earthquake smote it on Saturday. Sounds like there’s been a wise decision to recognize the difference between looters and quake victims just trying to find urgently-needed provisions, so that’s good. Our thoughts go to the nation’s people. Read more by clicking on this link. (New York Times)
3 ROGUE OVER The Olympics are done and parliament is back Wednesday for the throne speech. There’s a lot to talk about. One really ominous quote in that Toronto Star article is from Ralph Goodale. who says the Conservatives “”want to cripple the fiscal framework. That is a deliberate strategy.” Well, he’s a politician playing politics but he’s also 100 per cent right. Taxes have been cut to a level that doesn’t support spending. It’s called a structural deficit–and the nice thing about structural deficits for government-hating politicians is they give you an excuse to trash spending. bad bad bad stuff. One thing that’s different from a few months ago: it’s not likely we’ll have an election anytime soon. (Toronto Star)
4 SASK GOVERNMENT REACHES TENTATIVE DEAL WITH GOVERNMENT WORKER’S UNION Well, good! (Leader-Post)
5 EBERT SPEAKS?!? Apparently some software wizards have built a program that will let Roger Ebert “talk”using a “voice” rebuilt from samples of his own, pre-cancer surgery voice. I love this! This is news from a world I actually want to live in. (Associated Press/CBC)
6 MEANWHILE IN U.S. HEALTH CARE Wondering where that’s all at? Here’s a ginormous article you can read. I got three graphs in myself, I’ll have to come back to it later. Dudes! I’m busy here! (TPM)
FOOTNOTE: This Six In The Morning was written while I was blowing out my ears with the New Pornographers. The superstar mostly-Canadian band (prominent players are Carl Newman, Dan Bejar and honourary Canadian Neko Case) has a new disc coming out this spring, too. Yeehaw!
Your daily Dog Blog a.m. news round up. Today’s episode is brought to you by the letters J, X and the number seven.
1 WE WERE JUST SAYING, YOU GUYS After 55 EA contracts were not renewed, there were reports that Saskatchewan’s government was planning massive cuts to educational assistant jobs–from over 3,000 to around 800. Nope, says Minister Ken Krawetz. Just the regular government doing its job and exploring options thing. (CBC)
2 THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OUR TEAM AND THEIR TEAM When UN climate experts make mistakes there’s an independent review. When climate liars get facts wrong and take money from oil-funded think tanks, uhhh, wait. Does anything happen to them? (Guardian)
3 MEANWHILE IN CANADA Maxime Bernier, who you may remember as the the guy who leaves secret documents at his biker-moll girlfriend’s house, says climate change worries are over-rated (Globe And Mail). A (translated) quote from the letter Bernier sent to La Presse newspaper: “It would certainly be irresponsible to spend billions of dollars and impose exaggeratedly severe regulations to solve a problem whose gravity we’re still far from discerning.” This is of course factually wrong (Guardian) and I can’t see how he’s not either 1.) an idiot and a dangerous fool or 2.) a sleazy, lying energy industry stooge. But anyway. He’s way off message here. But the Tory bloggers apparently love him for saying this. And that means trouble for Stephen Harper. (Globe And Mail)
4 MEANWHILE IN REALITY An iceberg the size of Luxemborg broke off a south pole glacier today. Could disrupt ocean currents apparently. But we don’t need currents. That’s all socialist elitist science-talk. (Reuters)
5 IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Some recent news that didn’t get blogged: another beauty queen contestant is against gay marriage because God said the gays are abominations who will die (Salon), the state of Utah is about to criminalize miscarriages (Jezebel.com) and a Christian politician introduced a bill to ban abortions in Florida (Tallahassee.com).
6 NO BRIDGET, MY SISTER IS NOT CRAZY She really did see a big, weird, green light swooshing through the early morning Winnpeg sky yesterday. (Winnipeg Free Press)