Checking-In: Listener Response

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It's time for our weekly check in with our listeners. We get an update on Japanese tsunami debris washing up on the west coast, check in with a retired NHL player about the ongoing lockout and how a looming bacon shortage is effecting the competitive eating world.



Checking-In: Listener Response

Liz Hoath joined Anna Maria in studio today. She is one of our producers in Vancouver.

Accidental War: Tensions in the shipping lanes of the Gulf are escalating, with the US posting more ships than ever for manoeuvres in those waters. Monday on The Current, we looked at the threat of an accidental war.

Leon Macintyre of Chesterville, Ontario sent us these thoughts:

The uprisings from Tunisia to Yemen can be seen as a rejection of US control.
After two or three generations of U.S. support for brutal military dictatorships and absolute monarchies who towed the line ... it is time for the world to reject Washington's claim that it is entitled to take charge of shaping the region.

David Crist is a historian for the U.S. government and a colonel in the US Marine Corps. His latest book is The Twilight War. On Monday, he led us through a history lesson of the tensions between the US and Iran.

George Haeh of Turner Valley, Alberta writes:

Iranians do not forget that the Shah's regime was imposed upon them by the CIA. U.S. professions of good will are inevitably dashed by the weight of a long history.

We also discussed the idea of the U.S. establishing a hotline with Iran to prevent naval accidents from becoming all out war. That got our friends at the CBC 's Content Factory wondering just what a phone call between those two nations might sound like. We aired their skit.

Sharing Embassies: And staying on the international front, on Tuesday we weighed the ramifications of Canada teaming up with Britain to share diplomatic space and resources at smaller embassy locations. We got some tweets on that.

Aimée Hudson says: If there is a country best suited for us to share with, it's the Brits.

Robert C Lawson echoed that on Facebook with his comment: Smart move! Make it so! As Her Majesty said so well,"Teamwork works."

But Claude Dusseault posted this tweet: That's like sharing underwear. Do you really want to do that?

Debris from Tsunami Update: Liz Hoath brought us a story last January about debris from Japan's tsunami that was washing up in Tofino, B.C. In the segment, we heard from Perry Schmunk, the Mayor of Tofino about what he found beach combing a few months ago. Liz Hoath, who wanted to follow up on this story and was at the UBCM meeting yesterday. She shared an update,

Nina Simone: Nina Simone was more than a jazz singer - she was also a powerful voice in the American civil rights movement. We aired a snippet of music from a song called Four Women, a song that deals with the issue of colourism - how lighter coloured skin affects how people are treated. And for a new biopic of Nina Simone, the choice of the lead actor raised that same issue.

Ellen Jaffe sent us this from Hamilton:

Nina Simone was a dark-skinned black woman. Everyone who knows and loves her music knows that. So Hollywood is not only promoting the myth and stereotype that "light-skinned" equals "good" ... but also denying the truth of our actual experience and awareness.

But to that, Ian Thurston of Barrie sent this:

Does the actress who plays Nina Simone have to look like her? Nina Simone was a very complex character, and portraying her successfully would depend on acting skills. "Colourism" is all about superficiality, these arguments are exactly that: superficial.

Pork Industry: Last week we spoke to Karl Kynoch -- the chair of Manitoba Pork, an industry association, about the problems pork producers in Canada were facing. But it's not just the Canadian pork industry that's in crisis. Yesterday, The National Pig Association, a British farming organization, predicted a worldwide shortage of bacon and pork in 2013. It's a threat that makes Steve Deighton of Sweetness Bakery in Hamilton, Ontario very nervous. We heard from him.

"A world without bacon is like a world without sunshine!!" It's even being described by some as the coming "A-pork-alypse"!

In light of the looming threat, Major League Eating, the world body that governs all stomach-centric sports, has indefinitely suspended all bacon-eating contests. George Shea is the chair of the Major League Eating and we reached him in New York City.

NHL Lockout: Well the NHL lockout continues. Players and management are at a stalemate and it appears the lockout will last until at least December. But most players will remain financially flush with the help of their signing bonuses and money in their escrow funds.

And while some people may find it hard to sympathize with the players of today, the high rolling salaries weren't always the case. The Current's Gord Westmacott caught up with one retired NHL player, Andy Bathgate for his thoughts.

To add your voice to anything you hear on The Current ... call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or find us on Facebook - just search for The Current: CBC Radio. And you can email us from our website.

Last Word - Penn Jillette on Legalizing Marijuana

We've been talking today about U.S. efforts to legalize and even tax marijuana. The idea doesn't have much support from Washington or either of the presidential candidates. Earlier this year, Barack Obama appeared on the Jimmy Fallon show and laughed about smoking pot in his youth.

Magician Penn Jillette did not get the joke. On his podcast, Jillette went on an epic rant about how the laws the President defends would have completely destroyed Obama's life if he'd been charged.

On today's Last Word, Penn Jillette, really, really losing his cool.


Other segments from today's show:

Northern Gateway Pipeline: B.C. Mayors Panel

Legalizing Pot in parts of the US and Canada

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