Monthly Archives: June 2011

Have your say on the future of our CBC

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting

On airAs mentioned last week, the CBC’s radio and TV licences are up for renewal and our voices as citizens that value public broadcasting need to be heard.

For the first time this century, the public has been invited by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to comment on CBC’s plans for the next five years – including Radio One, Radio 2, the CBC Television Network and CBC News Network.

After considering all the evidence, the CRTC will issue licence renewals with a new set of conditions of licence and expectations that CBC will be required to fulfill.

This invitation provides a unique opportunity for you to speak up about why our national public broadcaster is so important for Canada’s cultural sovereignty and a vibrant democracy, and to influence CBC’s future policies and programs.

Take advantage of this opportunity by writing a personal submission to the CRTC now.

FRIENDS has designed an online system to make it easy for you to share your opinions and advice with the CRTC about CBC’s future.

If you have time,  review some background information before writing your comments to the CRTC.

Take into account the following issues which FRIENDS considers to be very important for CBC’s future performance:

  • The Broadcasting Act states that the programming provided by the CBC should “reflect Canada and its regions to national and regional audiences, while serving the special needs of those regions”. We believe the Commission needs to hear from you why this is so important – in your own words.
  • What do you think of CBC’s decision to cut back classical music programming on Radio 2?
  • CBC Television has proposed a condition of licence that it devote 75% of its broadcast day and 80% of prime time (7 to 11 pm) to Canadian programming averaged over a full year. Is this a sufficient minimum commitment to Canadian shows?
  • Half the audience CBC Television attracts each year watches professional sports programs, mostly Hockey Night in Canada. Is this an appropriate balance for the national public broadcaster?
  • How is CBC doing in airing children’s programming?

Submit your comments nowIf you feel you will need more that 45 min to compose your comments, first write them in a word processor, then paste your submission into the Friends of the CBC system.


Posted by on June 30, 2011 in randomness


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Shameless! Self! Promotion!

Another round of shameless self promotion.  That’s fine, it’s for books, and especially the one I wrote.

Direct from…

The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider

By Tim Holtorf

Paperback, 280 page

List Price:


You Save:

$5.00 ( 25% )
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…or, from…

The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider [Paperback]

Tim Holtorf (Author)

Price: $20.00 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. Details

In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider is also available in digital format.

A Tale of Six Gun & Sorcery

Genre/Category: Fantasy
Print Enabled: Yes
Read Aloud: Yes
Format: PDF
File Size: 1.3mb Zipped
Pages: 299
Size: 148 x 210mm

Elven magic meets gunslinger grit. What happens when two elven travellers find themselves in the United States in the middle of the Civil War? The Adventures of Black Mask and Pale Rider tells the story of two elven women who’s curiosity gets the better of them.  The wild ride takes them from the Union to the Confederacy and back again. Along the way they make enemies and friends and learn a little bit about this world, and about themselves. An adventure of six guns and sorcery.

The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider is the first novel by Tim Holtorf and is now available in PDF format, for free download from!  With cover illustrated by Clarrisa R. Hummel.

Black Mask & Pale Rider at

Also, pick up a copy of Canyons of Steel!  Direct from!

Canyons of Steel: A Modern Day Western

By Tim Holtorf

Paperback, 160 pages

Price: $15.00
Ships in 3–5 business days

What happens when an old gun hand makes a decision to turn his life around and set a new course? In Canyons of Steel, Johnathon Tiberius Walker makes the choice of turning his back on the underground military of the Red Hand and try to make right his own sins. All because he wants his daughter to live in a better world than he does.

And for the next week, if anyone drops me a line at or an ask in my tumblr or comments here, give me your email address and I’ll shoot off a free digital copy.  I will promise to keep all email addresses confidential and will not publish them.


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Green Party of Canada: We’re Sorry!


Old Wailuku Post Office taped and closed off d...

Old Wailuku Post Office Taped and Closed off due to Asbestos removal. Image via Wikipedia

On Friday, June 24, the Conservative government once again embarrassed our country on the international stage. We alone prevented the United Nations from adding chrysotile asbestos to the global list of hazardous substances.We won’t allow asbestos in our homes and offices. We are spending millions to remove it from our Parliament buildings. Here in Canada, we know asbestos is hazardous. Yet year after year our government refuses to let the world officially recognize it as hazardous, because they want to continue to export it to developing countries without even a warning label.

Our government has behaved shamefully on this issue, and when you behave badly there’s only one thing to do: apologize. Since Stephen Harper clearly won’t, the Green Party is apologizing to the rest of the world for our country’s disgraceful position on asbestos. We invite all Canadians to join us in saying “We’re sorry!”

Post a message of apology on our asbestos Facebook page.

Send your own email of apology to and we’ll forward them to the General Secretary of the United Nations.

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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Opinion, randomness


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Torture comeback? Not on our watch.

Amnesty International

Don’t stay silent, or they win.

Torture proponents are gaining ground.

Over the past month, we’ve watched overzealous torture advocates in the U.S. seize on the killing of Osama bin Laden to justify torture.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney called waterboarders heroes. Former CIA director Michael Hayden wrote in The Wall Street Journal that to deny that waterboarding provided important intelligence information is the equivalent of denying that President Obama was born in the U.S.

Become a member of Amnesty International and give the human rights movement the boost of energy it needs.

Amnesty has exposed the case of Canadian citizen Maher Arar, who was beaten with a shredded electric cable by Syrian interrogators with the full blessing of the US government. He has yet to receive an apology for this outrageous violation of his human rights.

In Europe, Amnesty members are speaking out against governments that turn a blind eye to the illegal sale of gruesome torture tools such as electric shock weapons, chemical sprays and spiked batons. Even though these sickening instruments were banned by the European Union in 2006, torture businesses have found shameful ways to exploit loopholes.

Behind every torture device, there is a story of abuse.

A woman in Zimbabwe – a human rights activist – with massive purple bruises on her back. Police beat her with a truncheon.
A man in Nepal blinded when police hit his face with iron-spiked sticks.
A woman in South Africa sjambokked (whipped) in the street for no reason.

Recently on our blog, Adele Welty and Marianne Stone of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows had this to say about torture:

“We oppose torture because of its illegality, moral repugnance and ineffectiveness as a method of interrogation. In the post 9/11 world, the torture debate has shifted from whether torture is right to whether it is justifiable. Taking a firm stand against torture, even in the most difficult of circumstances, is the right side of the debate and the one that most accurately reflects the values on which this country stands.”

If torture proponents win we ALL lose. We lose our rights, our dignity and our core values. They are counting on our silence and complacency to ensure that torture continues.

I know you won’t let this happen. You’re a part of Amnesty International. For 50 years we have been the world’s human rights defender, speaking out against governments who commit, condone or ignore torture.

Please become a member today to keep torture proponents from launching a comeback and to make sure we are ready for whatever threats to human rights may come.

In Peace,

Zeke Johnson
Director, Security with Human Rights Campaign
Amnesty International USA

Raise the volume against torture.

Torture proponents feed on silence and inaction. When determined people like you speak up and fight back, we can take back the torture debate.


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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in randomness


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Ask me anything

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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Fun, randomness



What TV show character do you relate to the most?

That’s kind of tough. There are so many, yet I don’t even relate to the ones that I find I admire. Most are swashbuckling characters that I remember watching over the noon hour on TV when I’d go home for lunch from elementary school.

The Lone Ranger, The Cisco Kid, Robin Hood. Even the old Rocket Robin Hood cartoon series.

Ask me anything

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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Fun, randomness, Uncategorized



Can I quote you on that?

Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of! ~author unknown

After thirty, a body has a mind of its own. ~Bette Midler

Love cures people – both the ones who receive it and the ones who give it. ~author unknown


Posted by on June 28, 2011 in Fun, randomness



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