For many people, their first awareness of a social media phenomenon called “QAnon” came with news coverage of a failed autogolpe in the US, on January 6th of this year. On that date, an organised mob invaded the US Capitol building in an attempt to derail the election process and prevent the inauguration of newly-elected President Joe Biden. Their mission was to keep the defeated incumbent Donald Trump in power.
Among the banners and signage carried by the insurgents, onlookers saw many variants on the letter Q and slogans like “Where We Go One We Go All,” “The Great Awakening,” “Trust the Plan,” “Save the Children,” etc. For those who had been observing the QAnon phenomenon during the years leading up to the insurrection, all these slogans and symbols were familiar indicators of a deeply troubling development in both US history and social media culture.
Among those worried observers were Darshan Stevens and Alex Hornby of Cortes island. When we discovered our mutual interest in the topic (cults in general and QAnon in particular), I suggested an interview for Currents. The result became a four-part special feature, airing the week of May 10th 2021.
Continue reading QAnon, Cults, & Conspirituality
In March 2021 I had the opportunity to interview Tanya Henck and James Foster about the work they are both doing in support of women on Cortes Island. This article presents some highlights from that interview. (For a more complete story, listen to the radio version.)
Tanya is the founder and coordinator of the Cortes Island Women’s Resource Centre; readers/listeners may remember her from a previous interview in April of 2020. At that time, official acknowledgement of the Covid-19 pandemic was just ramping up. Almost a year later — and what a year! — I asked Tanya how her work had been affected by the pandemic. Did the Centre have to shut down?
Continue reading Women’s Resource Centre Update
[OPINION/EDITORIAL/RESEARCH, the audio of which will be broadcast over Cortes Radio as the first part of a special of Fish Farms – Sat, Feb 13, and repeated on Wed, Feb 17, 2021, Click here to access the other part of this special]
The “fish farm” issue simmering for decades on the BC Coast has boiled over again, in the controversy over DFO’s recent decision to close down open-net Atlantic salmon “farms” in the Discovery Islands and Broughton Archipelago areas. Locally, the issue is mostly being discussed in terms of First Nations sovereignty vs employment, though debate continues over the scale and impact of externalities like sea lice infestations, chemical and biohazard effluent, etc.
I’d like to back up a bit and try to put this local conflict into a larger perspective. “Fish farming” is a global issue, with a long history. Canada is only one minor player in the international Great Game of Atlantic salmon feedlots. This is such a big subject that it can’t be fully covered in a readable article; I’ve compiled a brief bibliography (of links) by topic, at the end. There are also many links and footnotes throughout the text, so readers can dig deeper.
Continue reading The Helicopter View: Fish Farms Around the World
It’s pretty common knowledge that we have a housing crisis on Cortes. In fact, there’s a “housing crisis” in many — perhaps most — popular or attractive places in North America and Europe right now. One of the factors often mentioned is AirBnB. This phenomenon (AirBnB now has global impact and qualifies as a Phenomenon!) vividly illustrates the predicament of “good for one is not necessarily good for all” — also sometimes known as “smart for one, dumb for all”.
Continue reading When the Invisible Hand Fumbles: The AIRBnB Phenomenon
[Editorial by Bill Dougan, reprinted with permission and some editing; this article first appeared in Tideline on Jan 15, 2021]
As long as I have resided on Cortes Island, housing has been an issue. In my earlier days many folks had housing most of the year, but would move out to allow the owners to enjoy their property during the summer months. This was not an ideal situation but it now appears, in hindsight, the Good Ol’ Days.
This year we have 18 families residing on the Gorge Harbour Marina Resort property; most of these people are here because they cannot find a place to live. Some of these people have lived on Cortes Island for years, built a life here, have friends and children here… but now find themselves with no place to stay on a permanent basis .
Continue reading Who WIll Be Left? Cortes Island Housing crisis