• activism,  politics

    staying involved in activism while focusing on the homeschooling

    The election is over and I am trying to think again about how I can be involved in making change in the world. I would like to be involved in one of the local organizations but I cannot see that happening right now. I withdrew from the anti-poverty organization I used to be involved with some time ago because it moved in a direction I didn’t like. I am teaching minecraft math on Monday evenings and I don’t want to take more than the one evening a week away from my family. Then the kids are old enough I find I have to shelter them from the political activities because…

  • activism,  politics

    #BarbaricCulturalPractices

    Just when I think this election can’t get more disgusting, it gets more disgusting. Apparently the Conservatives want to take a tip from the Spanish Inquisition, when neighbours court report each other. (Did you know that during the Spanish Inquisition Christians of Muslim descent were required to leave their doors open on Thursday evenings and Friday mornings to prove to their neighbours that they weren’t bathing? Because you know, that was considered a ‪#‎barbaricculturalpractice‬.) This isn’t about domestic violence. If Harper wanted he could announce more funding or domestic violence shelters and for programs for victims of domestic violence. But he’s not. He could be trying to promote education about…

  • activism,  politics

    There are so many election issues that matter.

    One of the reasons that an eleven week election period feels like a drag is the that politicians and the media focus too much on the wrong things. They focus on mud slinging, on scandal and on just a small handful of controversial issues, when there are much more interesting issues at play. Eleven weeks might seem like a long time for talking about the Duffy trial or to hear politicians bashing one another, but if a person is trying to get a handle on what the different political parties are actually doing or speaking of doing, 11 weeks doesn’t seem that long. Let’s talk about housing strategies. Harper has offered his three ideas. One involves…

  • activism,  politics

    dreaming of a good government…

    I am withdrawing from an organization I have been very involved in for about three years. There is some sadness to leaving and some relief. This whole last half a year I’ve been stepping back big by bit. I wrote during the summer about my difficulty trying to care about things while still maintaining the emotional calm necessary for caring for the kids. Worries about the issues – poverty, environment, violence, destruction of democracy, etc – are hard enough. On top of that there is another challenge, that of trying to find efficient, effective methods of creating change. Different people have different ideas on how things should work. I have…

  • This is my daughter's hand reaching out to touch a thistle. It seemed strangely appropriate.
    activism,  parenting,  politics

    How does one homeschool, with all the intensity that involves, and be a compassionate, informed person at the same time?

    Sometimes it is really hard to keep balance. How does one balance parenting with everything else? I don’t want to undervalue my husband’s contribution to our family life – his is amazing – but I suspect I’m the support pole the children lean on and there are times when the burden of having them lean on me feels to tough. I feel all hollow and empty and like I have nothing to give them and then I’m so keenly aware of them pulling on me, talking to me, seeking approval and asking for attention and I don’t know what to do. There are people in the world whose houses are…

  • activism,  politics,  science

    food regulations

    A friend on facebook posted a link to this article: Michigan Officials Destroy $5,000.00 worth of Good Organic Food from Family Farm. Besides leaving me wondering whether the inclusion of the “.00” was meant to make the amount appear larger to the quick casual reader, the headline makes me think about a time when I was a teenager, and a bunch of 4-H beef was seized from a butcher’s shop because his license was as a mobile butcher and he had butchered it all on his property instead of the other farmers. There was a big outcry over that because it was good prime beef raised by kids and bought…

  • activism,  politics

    ya, the revolution really isn’t here. Could we keep working on other things?

    It is weird how life can change as certain people enter or exit one’s life, even tangentially, because of the ideas those people bring. I can look back over the last half a year and see how certain people’s ideas about revolution instead of reform have entered my social circle. I can see their effect not just on myself, but on some of my friends. It’s interesting to look at. Some of the people attempting to boycott the Ontario election have expressed a belief that revolution is going to come soon. I remember hearing the same belief during the Occupy movement. People thought revolution was on the way. For that…

  • activism,  politics

    why I’m not supporting boycott2014

    “I don’t need to spend this morning rethinking my view on violent overthrow of the government, do I?” I teased my husband as he prepared to leave for work. My morning emails included one telling me that: “Unless you unequivocally reject parliamentary politics (as 50% of people already have) you cannot even begin to think seriously about building the kind of mass movement capable of ending colonialism capitalism imperialism, and that will reflect in your organizing.” The context of that comment is my lack of support for a Revolutionary Communist Party inspired boycott of the election campaign. Despite believing that this is an incredibly disappointing election, called for petty reasons…

  • activism,  books,  politics

    A is for Activist

    I found a neat book for children of activists! It is called A is for Activist and it is by Innosanto Nagara. While the book is a baby board book it held more interest for my six year old than my three year old, as he could relate to the abundance of poster-carrying protesters. Each letter is tied in with at least one activist-related word, including those normally hard to use letters: V is for Vox Populi, the voice of the people, X is for Malcolm X and Z is for Zapatistas. There’s lots of room for discussion of concepts that don’t always come up in every day life, like…

  • activism,  politics

    Twitterstorm for an Emergency Homeless Shelter in Sudbury

    The Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty is leading a campaign for a new emergency homeless shelter. This is to fill the gap that was created when the Elgin Street Mission announced they would no longer be open all night during the winters. S-CAP first wrote to the city, then disrupted city council on the 10th of December, then had a meeting with the community service committee on January 20th. On the 28th of January they again interrupted city council – this time with sleeping bags and signs. At first the mayor, Marianne Matichuk, attempted to continue the meeting speaking over the protestors. Then she called a recess and suggested the councilors retire…