Apun my word . . .

An opun letter to all and pundry . . .

I have been increasingly concerned by our conservative government’s growing willingness to not only increase trade with the Chinese government, but to sell off bits of our country to them, with agreements heavily weighted in their favour.

I’m not so worried any more, now that I see how fragile China is, how much in need of protection, how vulnerable to those of us who revel in wordplay. I was not aware that the Chinese government is teetering on the brink of a linguistic cliff where any stray and subtle use of language may shove the whole artificial edifice over the brink.

Then I happunned upun Jon Stewart’s Daily show the other night . . .


Learning that China is further into the ‘marijuana era’ than Colorado or Uruguay, I see there is hope for the future; a light at the end of the tunnel that is not a train headed our way . . . and I wonder what the punishment will be for those Bolshie enough to break the new law . . . forced to perform at an ‘opun mike night’? or will that be reserved for the elite among the pundits? Those jokers from Szechuan may be forced to eat only bland foods, with all the pungent spices banned from their kichens . . .

I wonder how businesses will deal with employees arriving at random times, now that punctiliousness is a thing of the past.

This law opuns many doors, doesn’t it?

So, as China enters the ‘Age of the Alpaca’, the rest of the world can relax and begin to plan more trips to the Far East. Me, Alpaca large book of puns . . .

Think I’m being self-indulgent and not that punny? Haven’t heard yet? . . . click here:


or here (and choose from the links):


Perhaps, seeing smiles and hearing chuckles from around the world, the Chinese government will keep an opun mind and allow their entendres to continue to be double.

Well, that’s your homespun humour for the week . . .


Feeling better . . . and now feeling sad

My infection is nearly healed and I’m thankful for all the kind messages. I’m sure the energy that came my way helped speed the healing. There is only a small hot patch left and I’m pretty sure it will be gone in the next couple of days.

  Musician Pete Seeger and wife Toshi Seeger attend the memorial celebration for Odetta at Riverside Church on February 24, 2009 in New York  Pete Seeger Royalty Free Stock Photo

If you are wondering why I’m feeling sad, it’s because I just heard the news that Pete Seeger died yesterday. I’m not sad for him, but for a world that will be dimmer with his passing. He has been a key figure in my universe since I can remember folk music; high school at least (we didn’t usually have a radio earlier than that). His ideas, his passion, his love . . . all made me think and helped form my own beliefs.

Singer, songwriter, activist for a multitude of causes; all that and so much more. He  built his own house and lived there with his wife, who raised their children while he was away standing up for all of us in so many ways. He was a true pioneer. He started the movement to clean up the Hudson River, took part in many protests (and was arrested a couple of times). There is a lot in anyone’s story when they have lived into their nineties. If you don’t already know, and want to know more, there’s a lot of information online. And some in the documentary I’ve linked to below.


Pete’s wife, Toshi, died last July, only 9 days before their 70th wedding anniversary. She had a great influence on him, from what he said and what was written about them. Many said he couldn’t have done the work he did without her support and he acknowledged that.

Pete and Toshi are people I look up to for their willingness to stand up for their beliefs, to live what they preached, to find non-violent ways to effect change, in a way few manage to achieve.

Thanks to YouTube, I’ve been able to view many of his “Rainbow Quest” sessions, featuring a wide variety of musicians. Rainbow Quest was Pete’s folk music show and I would have loved it, but at the time I didn’t have electricity or a tv; besides, I doubt the shows aired in Canada.

Pete learned, played and wrote a book about the five-string banjo; the book is still available.

I think all the radical, bolshie hippies and their ilk will be forever grateful.Here’s a link to 10 quotes (I’m sure there are hundreds!

Here’s links to a few of my favourite songs:

Bring ‘Em Home

Waist Deep in the Big Muddy

(written about the Vietnam War, but applies to most of our current political situations)

What Did You Learn in School Today?

Solidarity Forever

Here’s a collection of his songs.

The Power of Song – documentary from the PBS American Masters series

One of his grandsons is quoted as saying that Pete was out chopping wood just 10 days before he died. Way to go, Pete!

As Woody Guthrie would have said, “So long, it’s been good to know ya” . . .

So you thought we were ‘nice’ in Canada . . .

I just found this and thought all of you small homesteaders should know, even though the articles are over a year old. I am horrified that this would happen anywhere, but also ashamed that it happened here. I thought we were ‘nice’, too . . .


“Farmed and Dangerous”, indeed . . . If this can happen in one country, it can happen in any country. Be prepared!

Another step in the fight against Monsanto – please consider signing this petition.

I don’t know how many of you get the emails from Avaaz.org, so am posting about the one I received today. I am ashamed, but not surprised to see that the current government of Canada is in on this deal. But Harper doesn’t care about Canada or Canadians; only about the $$$$$

I don’t know if the links will work, but there is always copy and paste . . . Here’s the body of my email:
Dear friends across Canada,

Canada and 11 other countries are rushing to agree on a trade deal that would let companies sue our government to get rid of laws that protect us, but reduce their profits! But we only have 48 hours to stop this corporate takeover. Sign up now before Monsanto uncorks the champagne:

Monsanto’s about to celebrate their biggest coup ever, but we’ve got until the weekend to stop them.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a huge, ultra-secret deal between Canada and 11 other countries that would give corporations unprecedented power — allowing them to use new global tribunals to sue our governments for passing laws that protect us, but reduce their profits! This could apply to everything from labeling GMO foods to protecting internet freedom. Wikileaks has broken the story and opposition is building fast, but the countries are rushing to seal the deal in 48 hours.

This is insane, but we have a chance to stop it — if we can get Canada to pull out now, the whole deal could crumble. Let’s deluge our Trade Minister Ed Fast with a call to stand strong and stop this corporate takeover before Monsanto uncorks the champagne. Sign up now and share this with everyone:


The leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership drafts read like an extended Christmas wish-list for big business — it would set a global standard of companies imposing their will on our governments through an opaque system of tribunals. These courts could limit access to cheap generic medicines in favour of branded medicines, and even allow US cigarette companies to sue our government over health regulations that they say threaten profits! It’s almost too crazy to be true.

But practically no one has heard of the TPP! The talks are so secretive that not even our elected lawmakers know what’s in it — just the negotiators and 600 corporate lobbyists. Now leaked texts have shocked politicians and citizens worldwide. And they are pushing back on the corporate bullying, and against the US that is hell-bent on getting a deal agreed before there is too much public scrutiny.

The TPP infringes on our rights and undermines our democracy — it infringes on our rights and undermines our democracies just to protect the corporate bottom line. And we only have days to stop it. Join the urgent call and tell everyone:


It can be easy to feel small in the face of big corporate forces driving our governments. But people, not money, are the true source of power. Time and again, our community has proved that when we come together to protect our rights against corporate takeover, we can win. Let’s now stop this unprecedented threat to our democracies.

With hope,

Alice, David, Jooyea, Alex, Aldine, Julien, Ricken, and the Avaaz team


WikiLeaks publishes secret draft chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership (The Guardian)

Full text of the leaked draft text (Wikileaks)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty is the complete opposite of ‘free trade’ (The Guardian)

Fast track risky path for Pacific trade pact (Seattle Times)

For Free Trade’s Sake, Get IP Out of the TPP (Huffington Post)

Philip Morris Leads Plain Packs Battle in Global Trade Arena (Bloomberg)

Boycott Nestle Company and support Sum Of Us as they work to effect change (and more on water rights)

The CEO of Nestles is on camera saying that they don’t believe that water is a human right. Nestles has fought to have water downgraded to a ‘human need’, which means they can bottle and sell water to those most vulnerable.

Sum Of Us is asking for donations of $1, which can be given via PayPal. This is such a crucial issue. Read more about it here:


I was part of the first two Nestles boycotts, started when they were condemned by the World Health Organization for the way in which they promoted baby formula in third world countries. They had their salespeople dress like doctors and nurses, then tell mothers that they should be more ‘civilized’ and follow the ‘advanced’ peoples of the first world. Mothers would believe them, buy the product, overdilute it to save money, often with contaminated water. Their babies no longer received the natural antibodies that breast milk provides and many of them died. Nestles was condemned for these practises in Africa, but my understanding is that they continue to do the same today in Asian countries.

This is a seriously sociopathic company, bordering on psychopathic (in my opinion, never so humble, as you know) and they need to feel our wrath. I do not buy Nestles products and have not since the 60s. Please feel free to either re-blog or to post your own take on this.

If you believe that we all have a right to clean water, you will be interested in this article:


A short excerpt:

This memory of horrific abuse and the theft of wealth across the sea was not lost on the Bolivian soul when, in the 1980s and 1990s, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) decided to make Bolivia a laboratory for their own modern experiments in global economics. Using the contemporary tools of economic power –

holding up loans, aid, and debt relief – the Bank and IMF influenced and outright coerced the Bolivian government into selling or leasing its public enterprises into corporate hands. One by one the Bolivian government sold or leased off the national airline, the railroad, and the electric company, often with disastrous results. The Chilean purchaser of the railroad dismantled it for parts and shut it down.

Don’t know about you (but I can guess!), but I’m done with the unbridled greed and cruelty displayed so often these days. I believe that if we stand together and share knowledge, we can make lasting and effective changes.

Ok, that’s it from the soapbox today . . . thanks for taking the time to read and think about this.

A last word on water:

And something beautiful to take away with you . . .