Friday, April 15, 2005

Bill Hicks R.I.P.

"That this house notes with sadness the 10th anniversary of the death of Bill Hicks,
on February 26th 1994, at the age of 33; recalls his assertion that his words would be a
bullet in the heart of consumerism, capitalism and the American Dream; and mourns the
passing of one of the few people who may be mentioned as being worthy of inclusion with
Lenny Bruce in any list of unflinching and painfully honest political philosophers."
- Stephen Pound MP; Parliamentary House of Commons

I read an interesting article about Bill Hicks in Common Ground today....

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A Place For Public Relations - Stopping the Spread of Disease

PR Campaign Targets Virus Outbreak in Angola

Health workers began a public-relations campaign to help Angolans stop the spread of the Marburg virus, which has killed 203 people in western Angola. According to local custom, people with the highly contagious virus shouldn't be cared for or buried. As a result, health workers have been treated with suspicion and mistrust.

Here is an example of positive public relations at work - similar PR campaigns are going on with condom awareness in Africa and anti-smoking campaigns in Canada.

P.R. like all forms of communication, is also a double-edged sword.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Seventh Generation

If you are concerned about the chemicals in the products you use, the food you eat and the world around you, then Seventh Generation's innovative Non Toxic Times e-newsletter is a good place to start (

Monday, April 11, 2005

Canadian Pension Plan - CPP- Investing in War

Our CPP invests in 3 of the world's largest tobacco companies and many weapon manufacturers

The CPP Investment Board manages all of these investments. It was created, and is governed, by the CPPIB Act of 1997. It dictates that the CPPIB must base its investment decisions solely on profit. In the CPPIB's policy statement on "social investing," it states clearly that it will not consider any ethical issues when deciding how to invest our pension funds.

The CPP portfolio includes the world's three largest tobacco manufacturers, and so Physicians for a Smoke-free Canada has launched a campaign against these investments. Other activists fighting for labour, the environment, health and social justice would also do well to look into CPP investments and to expose the corporations that they most ardently oppose. There is no shortage of activist campaign fodder within the list of CPP investments. Included there are corporations that own sweat shops and profit from child labour, industries and mines despoiling the world with toxins and companies making billions by rebuilding "post-war" Iraq.
And then there are the weapons makers. Last year, the CPP invested in 15 of the world's top 20 weapons manufacturers:
1. Lockheed Martin, USA
2. Boeing, USA
3. Raytheon, USA
4. BAE Systems, UK
5. Northrop Grumman, USA
6. General Dynamics, USA
7. Thales, France
8. EADS, Netherlands
10. Honeywell, USA
11. United Techologies, USA
14. Mitsubishi Heavy Ind, Japan
15. General Electric, USA
17. Rolls Royce, UK
18. GKN, UK
19. Computer Sciences, USA
As of September 30, 2003, the CPP had just over $2.6 billion invested in military contractors. Of that, almost $1 billion was invested in 65 U.S. military corporations. Over $600 million of those investments went to 29 of the Pentagon's top, prime contractors. Between 1996 and 2002, those corporations landed contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense worth about USD $340 billion.