Sunday, April 29, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
Rachel Hie, Grade 10, St Mary's Secondary School, winner of the 2nd annual Earth Day Poetry Contest, sponsored by the Cobourg Ecology Garden Committee, reads her poem, The Call, April 22, 2012.
I speak to you from the future,
For it was so long ago.
The land was beautiful, the seas were fresh,
Mountains were topped with snow.
All things lived in harmony,
Except the human race.
They were greedy, and grew lazy,
The planet was bound to break.
This brutal cycle carried on,
Redemption was quickly squandered.
Glaciers melted; everyone felt it,
But they pretended to continue pondering.
The truth was hard to stare in the eyes,
Pride not easily shot down.
Though in the end people paid the price,
Our legacy still remains in ruin.
Don't take this warning as a game,
And elude the words at hand.
Respect the earth and urge a change;
Prevent this barren wasteland.
Kelsey Elchuk, Grade 11, Cobourg District Collegiate Institute, West, winner of the 2nd annual Earth Day Poetry Contest, sponsored by the Cobourg Ecology Garden Committee, has her poem, Heavy Machinery Monsters, read by her grandfather, James Thompson, April 22, 2012.
Heavy Machine Monsters
The monsters they wander
Stealing whatever they please
Cutting my limbs
Matting my hair
Poisoning the air I breathe
Rough with their steps
Permanent footsteps are made
Their treaded machines leave black fog
And peel at my delicate skin with their blade
Impolite, impudent, insatiable barbarians
Respect is not known
They take treasures, and give waste
Trash and filth: my new clothes
I once was beautiful
But now left foul, I slowly rot
Possessing only coins and bills
The monsters will learn a new earth
Can be created not
Rick Beaver, artist, biologist, founder of Black Oak Savannah, and member of the Mississauga-Ojibway Nation in Alderville, Ontario. Mr Beaver speaks at the Cobourg Ecology Garden, Earth Day Sunrise Celebration, April 22, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Burd Report co-moderator, DebO wrote; “…we’ve had an egregious attack made on the Boss by a former commentor who’s still mad that he got banned a few months ago and turned a careless mistake and turned it into a crusade on his own blog, crudely labeling Ben a racist when he was just being thoughtless.”
Reflective of Ben Burd’s thoughtlessness, the same phenom seems to guide DebO when she asserts that I had crudely labeled Ben as a racist. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Publishing a racial slur does not denote the publisher or anyone as a racist. My article referred only to the posting of a racial slur by Ben. No one denies it was a racial slur, but that is all it was. I made no reference to Mr Burd’s character whatsoever, and DebO’s misplaced charge that I had labeled Mr Burd a racist, or that I had even “crudely” done so, is a personal slur. It’s not the first time that DebO has made egregious personal slurs against me or others for that matter.
It would be accurate to say that I pointed out that Mr Burd had published a racial slur, but highly inaccurate to assert that I had crudely labeled Mr Burd as a racist. There is an appreciable difference that DebO seems to ignore. She also described my article as an ``egregious attack`` on Mr Burd.
My article focused on the racial slur Ben had made, not on Ben himself. I made no characterization of him, although DebO characterized Ben as being thoughtless, as an old white guy who sometimes doesn`t stop to think first before publishing. It was just a column pointing out a racial slur that Mr Burd had unwittingly made, but really he should have known better. That is not an attack. It was a tsk tsk.
DebO also asserted that I initiated a “crusade” on my blog. Really? A crusade? I made a single one-off posting that had pointed out that the publisher of The Burd Report had posted a racial slur. I do one posting on this subject and DebO scurrilously asserts that it constitutes a crusade.
DebO wrote, “He’s just an old white guy who sometimes doesn’t stop to think first.”
I have no idea what Mr Burd’s skin colour has to do with any of this, but DebO seems to think skin colour is significant; she often makes reference to white skin in her postings. Totally unnecessary.
I agree with DebO that Mr Burd was thoughtless and didn’t stop to think first and had made a careless mistake. I believe he will never again utter that racial slur, which is a good result of my pointing it out. My blog article about the racial slur included the following notion that “Every now and then, something seems evident to me, and I am reminded that it is not evident to everyone around me.” My article was educational insofar as it brought to the attention of our multicultural Northumberland community that the term “gypped” is regarded as a racial slur.
That is all. Mr Burd published a racial slur. The racial slur was in the front window of the Burd Report for 24hours, and not a single progressive, socialist, compassionate, sensitive individual who hangs out on The Burd Report posted a thing about the racial slur. This confirms the contention that such a racial slur “is not evident to everyone” That’s all.
Should they (the Burdies crowd) have noticed the racial slur? Absolutely. After all, DebO was one of those scolding Gordon Gilchrist for his immigrant slurs. She did not cut any slack for Mr Gilchrist. Mr Burd has been involved in local politics and should know better than to make such a racial slur in the public domain.
No where was I “crudely labeling Ben a racist.” That is DebO’s crude presumption, or as they say in streetspeak, ‘bullshit’. But then again, she has used the Burd Report to broadcast her personal slurs against me, proclaiming that I hate women and that I am prone to violence against women in back alleys.
The only comment I received on my blog in response to the Ben Burd’s Racial Slur article, was a message received only minutes before the racial slur was deleted from the Burd Report: “fuck off wally”. It was posted by “anonymous”, a well-known progressive coward in the community, also a disbeliever in transparency.
“fuck off wally”
That is the kind of comment that anyone in Northumberland can expect if they step up and point out that a racial slur is being bandied about in the public domain. Such a comment addresses nothing other than expressing hatred and contempt from its author. It is a typical redneck response.
“fuck off wally”
So what do we have here? We have a local blogger who had posted a racial slur and does not acknowledge that he made such a racial slur:
“I just prefer to think that somebody wrote a sloppy proposal and someone at City hall jailed to pick up on it. But if I am the poor slob that got gypped on my stat holiday pay and decide to complain my lawyer will be writing the prime contractor up for it. Surely councillors should at least ask the bloody question”
Instead, he covers up his egregious racial slur by removing it from his blog and replacing it with this message:
“This comment has been removed as a result of an alleged legal problem”
Really? An alleged legal problem? Oh I get it. It wasn’t removed because of the racial slur, but because of an alleged legal problem. Hmmm.
The Canadian and/or Ontario Human Rights Commissions might find some interest in the issue. They are, after all, the Big Brother enforcers of hate speech regulations. However, this Orwellian Ministry of Truth cannot act until they receive a complaint. Ironically, the co-moderator of the Burd Report, DebO, has called for the strengthening of Human Rights Commissions, to stamp out once and for all, the use of racist hate speech in our multicultural society.
Doubleplus-ironically, Mr Burd, DebO, and several progressive readers were all strongly supportive of the hate speech laws that are enforced by these draconian Human Rights tribunals. Racist speech and racial slurs are serious social taboos in our multicultural community.
It would have been honorable of Mr Burd if he had just acknowledged, oops, I made a social gaff, sorry for the blunder, and everyone moves on a little bit more educated.
Instead, we have a local publisher posting a racial slur, and me pointing it out. What happens? (1) the local publisher removes the racial slur & replaces it with a message about alleged legal problems; (2) anonymous posts “fuck off wally”; (3) DebO runs interference, rides shotgun, charges me with making an egregious attack and conducting a crusade.
What an interesting phenom! A progressive publisher posts a racial slur and all of a sudden that publisher is portrayed as the victim, and the whistleblower of the racial slur is the villain. So much denial and coverup for an innocuous racial slur – it is entertaining to see local progressives behaving like tories; reject transparency, cover up, ignore issues, etc.
No doubt they will take all this personally. Pity.
Monday, April 9, 2012
I supposed I shouldn’t be surprised when I read so-called progressive blogger, Ben Burd; “But if I am the poor slob that got gypped on my stat holiday pay …”
Mr Burd is highly sensitive about offending ‘the other.’ Here is an example of his sensitivity;
“When UN workers are slaughtered by Muslems offended by a video that shows a redneck preacher in the USA burning a Koran who do we blame? The preacher – Terry Jones – has said the deaths are not his fault, blithely skimming over the fact that if he hadn't burnt the book nobody would have died, has not even faced the suggestion that he committed a crime – inciting murder."
I presume that Mr Burd, a man of progressive sensitivity, would have the social justice consciousness not to make a comment such as, “… if I am the poor slob that got jewed on my stat holiday pay …” Most of us would recognize that as a racial slur, stereotyping a people with a malevolent characteristic, suggesting that Jews are money cheats. It’s a common slur found in the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion and other anti-semitic writings.
So what would possess Mr Burd to make a similar racial slur against the Romany, Sinti, Kale, Cigany, Gitan or as they are called derogatorily, “gypsies”. Gypped. The About.com/Race Relations explains it well enough:
“If you’re still debating whether or not to use the verb “gypped,” consider that Philip Durkin, principal etymologist at the Oxford English Dictionary told the Telegraph that there’s “scholarly consensus” that the word originated as a “racial slur.”
During the late 80’s I worked with several Romani leaders in Canada and Eastern Europe. They consider ‘gypsy’ to be pejorative in most instances. I’d like to introduce Mr Burd, to an acquaintance of mine, Ronald Lee, co-founder of Toronto’s Roma Community Centre and former lecturer on Roma studies at the University of Toronto. I’d love to see Mr Burd explain his use of “gypped” to members of this community.
Of course Mr Burd can get away with it, because he operates his blog in the boonies, where small town insularity can breed ignorance. Meanwhile, outside the Lido Motel in Scarboro, a group of neo-nazi racists and skinheads tormented the ‘gyp’ refugees that were temporarily residing there. These were the same ‘gyps’ that had been fleeing Eastern Europe because of the ongoing violence by neo-nazi skinheads and the apartheid conditions in which they live.
In North America, our culture has romanticized the culture of Gypsies, as a fancy-free group of people known for their violin playing, fortune telling, and their anti-establishment life-style, eschewing the Abbott Blvd picket fence snoburbia, for the open road. Hippies were the leading proselytizers of this romanticism.
Hippies were savvy enough to know that it was a slur against a people to suggest that they had been jewed down in a deal, or got jewed, i.e. ripped-off. Their naivety failed to sniff out the racial slur when getting ‘gypped’ was an acceptable method instead of saying the word ‘cheating’. Mr Burd should have clearly stated it thus; “… but if I am the poor slob that got cheated on my stat holiday pay …” THAT would be progressive, rather than the regressive racial slur that Mr Burd seems to be at ease flinging around in a multicultural society.
I waited a day out of curiosity to see if any of regular ‘progressives’ of the Burd Report picked up on the racial slur in Mr Burd’s comment. None. And this is the same group of progressives who rail against the perceived racism implicit in the whitebread folks who decry the spoilage of Victoria Park by The Visitors.
This is the same group of progressives who swarmed Gordon Gilchrist three years back because of his perceived racist remarks. The same group of people renown for admonishing others for the slightest manifestation of racism or racial slurs, have a blind eye against racial slurs that perpetuate the perceived criminality of the Romany as a racial characteristic.
Mr Burd is a publisher of a blog and is extremely sensitive about the words used by others on his blog. He has exercised censorship many times. The bitter irony is that he declines to censor his own racial slurs. If Mr Burd does not want to accept my admonishment, he should read this wonderful essay which sensitively addresses the specific issue of jewed down or gypped as racial slurs:
“Every now and then, something seems evident to me, and I am reminded that it is not evident to everyone around me. Case in point; two slang terms commonly used to refer to being cheated in a transaction. Whether you’re being ‘gypped’ or ‘Jewed,’ both terms are racist, and they are astonishingly widespread. Really, people, it’s not that hard to just say ‘cheated,’ if that’s what you are going for.”