Alice Klein

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Alice Klein is the co-founder, editor and CEO of Toronto's longest-running free alternative newsweekly, NOW Magazine and NOW Communications Inc. Her regular rabble column appears courtesy of NOW Magazine.
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Why I'm voting for George Smitherman

I'm voting for George Smitherman on Monday, and I hope you do, too. Especially you, my beloved left-wing friends, and of course those of you who may be wondering if you will even bother to vote.

The alarm bells are ringing loud and clear. When you're at the edge of a disaster, it's time to pull together instead of pulling apart.

For traditional lefties, choosing to lend your X to Joe Pantalone is a comfortable and righteous symbolic gesture. I get it. We are talking about a legacy political strategy with a lot of history and tradition behind it.

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Peering into the human condition with psychic Collette Baron-Reid

Has watching Rod Ford got you down? If you ask me, the right-wing surge is getting way too close for comfort. What the hell is going on in the psyches of this once-considered intelligent species?

I ask myself questions like this regularly which may be part of the problem (note to Klein-haters -- that is a joke).

Nevertheless, when I heard that home-grown psychic heavy-hitter Collette Baron-Reid was coming to town to give a show tonight (Friday, October 15) with medium John Holland at the Isabel Bader theatre (7 p.m., see listing), I decided ask her for her thoughts.

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Learning from nature's design

Admit it, it's been quite a summer. Epic rains flooding swaths of Pakistan and China, fires ravaging Russia, while on this continent the plague of viscous black death has seeped into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's barely capped Deepwater Horizon, its true toll unlikely ever to be fully tallied.

Tragedy poses the basic questions: What is life really all about? Is nature trying to tell us something?

Funny you should ask.

The young discipline of biomimicry is coming into being based on a deep biological read of exactly these two questions. The good news is that this approach opens the door to radically hopeful new solutions to profound human problems.

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G20: Case for the Financial Transfer Tax deepens

Okay, tax is not the sexiest subject ever. But I learned some pretty worrisome stuff at the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) press conference at the G20 media centre.

With 31 member countries, the OECD is the main group charged by the G20 with working towards "a fairer world where there will be no more safe havens for tax evaders." And they report that the political push to their cause that came from Pittsburgh last fall, has amped up the drive toward transparency.

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G8's failure dashes hope for climate and development

As evening falls on this "G" of a day, all the action has been on the streets. Among the leaders it has all been photo-ops and handshakes. Right now, the first plenary of the G20 is only just beginning with the official opening reception featuring leaders and wives.

Columnists

Harper's maternal money-throw

Harper has just announced his G8 centrepiece and the number he is offering up for maternal and children's health is impressive.

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Paul Martin's G20 wish list

Guess who gave his blessings to the Financial Transaction Tax (that would take a bitsy percentage of trading bets and make billions to address global problems) and firmly supports pricing carbon? The answer is Canada's most internationally acclaimed budget balancer, Paul Martin.

I got a chance to ask Martin some one-on-one questions at a Munk Centre event on global governance yesterday and was amazed to hear him sign on to two of NOW's key G20 wish list items for world leaders (see my story here).

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Hey, world leaders. The time to act is now!

Hey, world leaders, I don't need to tell you about the sorry state of the world right now.

Your own communiqués -- a paper trail leading from last year's summit to this one -- outline a lot of the problems pretty clearly.

And they point to a number of potentially powerful solutions that, if actually implemented, could do wonders for our messed-up planet. So it's time to get off your butts and get moving.

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Big fish will have to share profits if leaders back Robin Hood Tax

I hear a helicopter flying outside my window as I write this. It's a reminder of how annoying it is to live under the upcoming G20's semi-militarized thumb.

But much as the G20 is a blight on Toronto-land, it is also our best global hope on the immediate horizon. I know that's a stretch. But while we gird for the typically depressing news when world leaders gather, there are bigger forces in play that just may deliver some unexpected small steps in the right direction.

For example, one supremely smart idea the expensively gathered could move toward endorsing would address the government debt crisis, the climate crisis and the outrageous blight of poverty in the developing world.

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Merger off the table, so let's talk about the Libs and NDP working together

Talking Coalition on the Current this morning was fun and frustrating.

It is really pretty amazing and cool that the debate about coalition politics has reached the level of public discussion that it has. But of course, I am filled with the inner dialogue of what I coulda, woulda, shoulda said in my little minute or two.

But hey, I can get a little of that out now as I sit at 9:28 am with Anna Maria Tremonti's bright early morning face across from me over the CBC mikes still hyperfresh in my mind!

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