Friday, August 24, 2007

Lobbying for Library Use

The public library continues to rock my world.

A friendly co-worker and I ended up having a good chat yesterday — much of which centred around books, movies and the public library. Having had bad experiences with large overdue fines as a youth, they had not acquired a library card for many years.

These days, it is a lot easier to avoid problems like that. The online account management the Calgary Public Library offers are quite useful. You can check on what books you have out, when they are due, whether there are holds on the book (which determines whether you’ll be able to renew) and how many times you’ve renewed (limit of 2 times per item). You can also renew right online (including at 11:59pm if you remembered at the last minute that you have a book due the next day).

Mac OS X users can also take advantage of the great tool “Library Books”. It makes accessing your library account very easy (along with great visual reminders that help you avoid forgetting when a book is due). It works with many library internet systems around the world. Highly recommended.

In conclusion: Get thee to a library!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More SPP protest news: Provocateurs try to create violence

This video shows provocateurs, disguised as members of the Black Bloc, trying to instigate violence at the SPP protests in Montebello, Quebec. The video highlights CEP President, Dave Coles, confronting the men and stopping the effort to give the police an excuse to attack the real protesters.



Sadly, this is an all-too-familiar tactic of police and government forces. I remember seeing amazing footage of police in Genoa, during the 2001 G8 Summit, dressed as Black Bloc, starting violence and then pulling back while the uniformed police then used the excuse to violently attacked the real protesters. A diligent independent journalist managed to track the provocateurs and took pictures of them later casually milling about with uniformed police — making clear their true affiliation.

Update:

The mainstream media and others are picking up on the story:
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Monday, August 20, 2007

Anti-SPP protest in Calgary

Photo: “No North American Union!!” The anti-SPP protest held in Calgary on Sunday went very well. We had somewhere around 50 people in attendance (maybe more — I only did one spot count). That’s a great turnout by Calgary standards — particularly for the middle of August when so many people are out of town.

The energy was really good. The speakers didn’t go on too long. The weather was excellent.

For more background:I’ve posted a bunch of photos from the protest.

Here’s a video Nathan has posted with footage from the rally and commercial media coverage:


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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Shifting the blame to cities, a distraction from the real issues of military poverty

The headline on today’s Calgary Herald reads: “Calgary lags behind in providing support for military reservists and their families”. My question is this: Why should cities be expected to pick up the slack when it is the federal government that is being viciously negligent in properly supporting the working people who make up the armed forces?

Why are we blaming the cities when it is the federal government which is not providing adequate benefits to soldiers and their families? Why should cities have to foot the bill when our federal government decides to send our soldiers overseas to kill and be killed?

I am extremely opposed to war, and generally pretty-darn anti-military. But, it is also my belief that if we are going to have a military, we had better pay them a living wage and give them decent benefits. It is a criminal choice on the part of our federal government to have soldiers and their families living in poverty.

Let’s put the blame squarely where it belongs: With the Conservative Party-led federal government that is happy to risk the lives of Canadians, but leaves those same Canadians in poverty.

Shame.

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