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Today In History
On July 8, 1909
1st pro baseball game (minor league) played under lights

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IF YOU’VE GOT QUESTIONS ABOUT SOLAR ENERGY ... Not all that long ago now President Barack Obama "announced that ... grants will be available for those wishing to do research in renewable energy ... such as wind [and] solar." The next day "German industrial conglomerate Siemens AG said ... it will acquire a 28 per cent stake in Archimede Solar Energy S.p.A. to expand its expertise in solar thermal power plants." Meanwhile, for mere mortals who just want to know more the OpenSolar blog in the San Francisco Bay Area has been expanding its resources for letting you "ask questions about solar technology and get personal answers from experienced solar professionals and installation owners." All this remains one big piece in the big new clean-energy future that lies ahead. You can check it out in depth at ABOUT OPEN SOLAR!

Written by Greg Barns  
Tuesday, 02 December 2008  

Prime Minister Stephen Harper likes to think of himself as a northern hemisphere variant of former Australian prime minister, John Howard. Harper plays his politics tough, loves nothing better than burying his opponents, and has adopted from Howard the habit of dividing Canadian society into those who are ‘ordinary’ or ‘mainstream’ and those who are members of ‘the elite.’

Mr. Harper has utilized the services of a number of Howard and Australian Liberal Party advisers in the three election campaigns in which he has led the Conservative Party of Canada. (And note that, just to keep things nicely confused, the Australian Liberal Party has an aggressively conservative wing, which John Howard occupied proudly.) But it would appear that Mr. Harper and his advisers have not taken on board, or if they have, have not quite learned, the salutary lesson of how ideological obsession killed Mr. Howard’s political career in November last year

Last Updated ( Saturday, 16 May 2009 )

NEW WAVE OF SANITY IN GLOBAL VILLAGE .. Turkey’s Constitutional Court does the right thing!  
Written by Citizen X  
Thursday, 31 July 2008  

Just when it seemed that the encouraging, moderate, and essentially rational new Islamic democracy in Turkey might be about to blow apart, wiser heads have prevailed. And there are at least some fresh grounds for hope about the future of the troubled global village today. Headlines from more or less around the world tell the story: From the Globe and Mail in Canada — "Turkey's governing party narrowly avoids ban ... Ruling strikes balance between country's radical secularists and AKP's moderate Islamic constituency" ; from The Australian — "Turkey's ruling party escapes court ban ... Turkey stepped back from the brink of political turmoil yesterday when the ruling party narrowly escaped closure over its alleged Islamist tendencies" ; from the Los Angeles Times — "Turkey court decides against ban on ruling AKP party ... Turkey's highest court Wednesday decided against outlawing the ruling party, which had been accused of attempting to advance an Islamist agenda in officially secular Turkey"; and finally from Hurriyet in Turkey itself: "Turkish court's decision a warning for ruling party, it's now AKP's turn ... Constitutional Court ... verdict is a serious warning that could spark ... problem for the ruling party's image." (And if I can be allowed my own brief editorial comment: I'm happy that the good vibes I thought I felt on the streets of Istanbul and Izmir this past fall were not entirely unreal — three cheers for Turkish civility and common sense.)


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 September 2008 )

AUSTRALIA’S STOLEN GENERATION STILL LOOKS TO CANADA .. even under Stephen Harper and Kevin Rudd ..  
Written by Greg Barns  
Friday, 13 June 2008  

On June 11, 2008 Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered a formal "apology to former students of Indian residential schools." And when you factor the $1.9 billion compensation fund in Canada’s Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement of 2006 into the picture, Mr. Harper’s ostensibly right-wing government has made the ostensibly left-wing Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd look mean-spirited. Back in February this year the newly elected Prime Minister Rudd delivered an apology similar in sentiment to Mr. Harper's this week, to indigenous peoples who were similarly removed from their families and communities last century by governments and churches — known as Australia’s "Stolen Generation." But Mr Rudd ruled out a national monetary compensation scheme. Instead around 100,000 members of Australia ’s Stolen Generation still have to litigate in the courts to gain compensation, or rely on the generosity of state ( in Canadian parlance provincial) governments to accord them justice.


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 24 July 2008 )

A DAY IN ISTANBUL .. when will the real Islamic democracy invade Iraq?
THE NAUGHTY PICTURES OF EDISON CHEN .. Canadian boy makes good, then bad, then good again..
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE RED MOSQUE IN PAKISTAN .. and what does it mean for us?
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