dewline: (astonishment)
Why am I not comforted by this news?

Not a great way to start my morning. Or anyone else's, I suspect.
dewline: (edutainment)
You might be interested in this, depending on your mental health needs.

News report courtesy of CBC News Sudbury...
dewline: (Default)
Some articles that you might want to look at.

First, the redoubt-building going on here in Canada (buried in a long profile on Murdoch's sons...and why would any sane Canadian government want this family setting up a doomsday retreat here?

Then two items from NPR that speak to motive:
dewline: (Default)
What I originally had here was a facetious, detail-obsessed comment on the title of this article. Because I live in Canada, though not in Cape Breton...

What I want to say now that I've read it in full? That's something else.

I have friends who want to stand and fight, friends who feel a need to get ready to flee, friends who are uncertain of what to do next, and I know a few people who think the new management in Washington is Just Fine with them, too.

My government at present views the new management as a complication they have to try to cope with in order to get to better days for everyone on both sides of the border. At least that how it looks to me right now. I don't know that they understand what they're dealing with yet. They were ready to work with just about anyone else *but* the people now in the White House...
dewline: (Default)
I'm afraid I closed that community blog down a couple of weeks ago, per discusssions with the current executive of Can-Con. Between Facebook and Twitter, the organizers seem to be getting everything done via Social Media that they need to right now.
dewline: (Default)

..and I'm still alive. I'm still in Ottawa-Gatineau, which still exists in a still-independent Canada. For now.

I can make no guarantees about the future of myself, my cities and my country, of course. Not at the moment. But if there's a way for me to contribute to the survival of all three, I hope to be able to act on knowing it. If that reads as needlessly apocalyptic, I apologize in hope to everyone reading these words past at least 2018.

I note with some continuing interest in labour issues an interview with Unifor President Jerry Dias in yesterday's Toronto Star. Interest, and some hope, as I think we're not done with the issues Dias refers to just yet, in Canada or elsewhere. There are improvements that can be made to increase the satisfaction of workers and shareholders alike.

Also from the same newspaper, an article on the state of books and bookstores, in Canada and elsewhere that leaves me with some hope for the future of that business. I would be somewhat content to find myself as a staff person in a bookstore in the near future. I doubt that I'd like everything the work involves, but that's a peril of any line work. I could still console myself easily with being a productive person by helping others learn and be entertained. And if anyone wants to make the attempt in Ottawa east of the Greenbelt, let me know? The bus connections within this part of the city aren't perfect, but the price of bus passes is getting better for me.

Today's plans involve laundry, listening to The Sunday Edition and Cross-Country Checkup on CBC Radio One, and maybe some other chores as well. More as it develops, I'm sure.

dewline: (Sketching)

The last I remembered visiting Smiths Falls, my father was still alive and working if memory serves, and I was on a gig doing courtroom art for CBC News' Ottawa bureau. The space for the courtroom was rented by the provincial government and located on the second floor of a local shopping complex. If you didn't have it pointed out to you, you might never know it was there.

And, of course, Hersheys had their main Canadian plant in that town.


There's been a lot of consequences following from that infamous shutdown in 2007, some better than others with still more as yet unsure of their nature, and this report filed by Stu Mills with CBC Ottawa tells a few more of them.

Hopefully, for Prim Singh and his son Dean and their staff and their families and neighbours, there will be many more good consequences to follow.

dewline: (education)
A confession: I own Samsung products.

My two most-recently purchased cellphones - both second-hand - as well as a monitor currently attached to my MacBook Pro, were all made for Samsung to put their brand name on.

So there's a direct personal connection to this Toronto Star article on worker safety at their plants in South Korea.

First off, I object to the idea that trade secrets - real or alleged by the company involved - are worth employees' lives in this sort of context.

Second, there's a sense of blood on my hands as a customer and user of their products. Because of the secrecy practiced as described in the article, because of my lack of effort to research workers' conditions (for any reason/excuse), because of my lack of ability to afford anything more ethically made...

...and I've recently learned that there's cell-phones more ethically made to be had. Or so I hope. Further investigation would be helpful in order to reassure a lot of potential customers, I suspect. Fairphone looks like it has promise. If I do manage to get one, though, it too will likely have to be second-hand, at least for now.

And if Fairphone's success is achieved and well-earned, maybe the competition will get the right hint from that.

Meantime, I have to live with and use what I've bought as it was made. And if anyone suggests that I should just shut up (and stay complicit) or walk away from technology altogether, they can just stuff themselves.
dewline: (education)

We now have a clearer sense of how OC Transpo plans to act over the next two years or so as they bring the Confederation Line of the O-Train network online. Some of which makes sense, and some of which strikes me as problematic.

Renumbering of routes, fine. There'll be some weeks of confusion over that, no matter the amount of publicity ahead of time. It can be reduced but won't be completely eliminated. We can cope with this.

Fare reductions for monthly bus passes strike this chronically underemployed citizen as an outright boon. Even though I wonder about the consequences of ending Express routes, it's a financial improvement.

Here's a thing that disturbs me, though, and I ask CBC News to forgive me the direct quotation:

The arrival of light rail in 2018 will save the transit service $14 to $15 million per year in operational costs, Manconi said, because each train will do the job of eight articulated buses, requiring fewer operators.

"There will be a reduction of the workforce. We're just finalizing those numbers now," said Manconi. "We're going to work collaboratively with the union and respect how we do that with our employees and look at various options."

I don't think they fully understand the consequences that many of us are hoping for. Specifically, I'd like to see more trip frequency for local routes within the various neighbourhoods across the city. Also, better connections between neighbourhoods that won't be as well served by usage of the LRT "spinal" routes that we will have starting in 2018. Say, if you want to get from Stittsville to Manotick, or from Orléans to Alta Vista but not by taking the O-Train.

So I can't see a reduction in the work force - drivers, mechanics, etc. - as really being a tolerable option. Logistically or politically. Admittedly, this is an instinctive response on my part, so I expect to see additional information that might answer such concerns.

dewline: (Sketching)
Well, that was an interesting day news-wise. Senator Mike Duffy getting not only a not-guilty verdict but a full-throated exoneration...and then having that upstaged by news of Prince's death.


dewline: (Default)
On the DEWLine 2.0: Dwight Williams

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