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Are we hard wired to run a sustainable planet? And are we accountable to the entire world that we live in? For me the Jungle is something made up of so many fascinating elements; a journey of intriguing possibilities. That kind of sounds like "life" on planet-johnson.

Can I travel with a presence that allows my footprint to add value to the world that you live in while "capturing moments" that tell a compelling story? Karma is a belief that all of your actions will have equal reprecussions, affecting you and I. This journey is a search for some balance, a little discovery and hopefully some visual poetry?

This blog will humbly attempt to see my world through the experience of TRAVEL, photos and sincere examination of an experential and visual karma. And I will find a way to incorporate some positive travel experience into that karma with the perspective of a Digital Camera. Photography and writing have become my "love affair" with life on planet-johnson. Hopefully I can share my passions for the best of this crazy world!

Please join in and welcome to the jungle! 

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« Damn the Truth:Hot Air for Sale | Main | The Great Green North? »
Saturday
Mar172007

Homeless in Paradise

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time"  Dalai Lama

The Record, a Waterloo Ontario newspaper, reported on Feb.1 2007 that a prominent downtown property had been sold. It would just be another real estate deal except that this property had been destined to become subsidized housing for the cities homeless. The homeless plan fell through for lack of funding.

This is real confusing coming from a city that in a June 9, 2006 media release celebrated its placement, by The Intelligent Communities Forum (ICF), as one of the top 7 "intelligent communities" in the world. Sure this victory exemplifies development of a prosperous economy based on Broadband and Information Technology but the thing is their "prosperous economy"! As Mayor Herb Epp stated, "There is continuous job creation, and a continuous focus by municipal government and by all of the sectors on moving forward and on continually enhancing this intelligent community.”

Waterloo is a Canadian success story but they can`t find funding for the homeless. They join the party of too many Canadian cities that can`t (won`t?) find funding for poverty programs. And despite our $13 billion dollar federal budget surplus and money growing on trees from Vancouver to Alberta to Saskatchewan to Waterloo, we can`t find funding for basic shelter for the very poor? Maybe this rates attention with an election looming??

I search for a sign from media Canadiana and the "gods of political spin" for some "common sense social justice" agendas in party platforms. I`m such a dreamer but, just a minute, there`s blood pumping in this carcass after all.

 You mean the NDP and smiling Jack Layton? No, I sense he`s losing ground faster than a speeding bullet and that his nightmares are greener than Elizabeth May`s  (Green Party) web page. She seems to be leaving the NDP in her wake on environment but recently she`s talking poverty.

This Green Party is advocating a "Guaranteed Annual Income", a system in which all Canadians are entitled to a certain "floor income". A 20 year old idea that may have found some ground in today's politic. It might seem like more leftie radicalism except that some common sense Conservatives are coming on board. Former Conservative "cabinet minister" and financial guru, Garth Turner, is a believer!  In an interview with the Toronto Star January 17, "Turner said this is an idea that blurs party boundaries," with left-wing advocates arguing for it on fairness and compassion grounds, while right-wing politicians such as Turner see it in terms of efficiency and individual rights. This inspires a google search and I find that long time Conservative inner circle, class act, Senator Hugh Segal has been a recent advocate of "the Guaranteed Annual Income".

Segal says that 2 million people in rural Canada lack adequate shelter and "They don't have enough money for any kind of quality of life and there is no quality of opportunity''. He has since been rewarded for his many years of devotion to Conservatism by his boss George W. Harper. (that's Prime Minister Steve) as reported by the Canadian Press on Feb, 21, 2007. OTTAWA -- The Conservative government has turfed party luminary Hugh Segal from the helm of a high-profile Senate committee, sparking allegations from the Liberals that he was punished for speaking his mind on policy issues.

So, a dangerous notion, full of "karmotion" (its a bit of a theme here) is crossing the political lines in a timely manner. Elizabeth May leads with her heart but Turner and Segal know their numbers before they write any cheques. This is a long overdue plan that along with an investment in affordable housing could easily be accomplished within a balanced budget. Imagine, balanced budgets, environmental conservation incentives, floor incomes and continued prosperity for them that has. Shite. This must be paradise? No its just Canada and it`s real possibilities where nobody should go hungry for my capital gains tax cut or Quebec`s votes!!

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