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Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Joseph Stiglitz discusses how Greece has been turned into a sacrificial lamb at the altar of austerian economics: Austerity is largely to blame for Greece’s current depression — a decline of gross domestic product of 25 percent since 2008, an unemployment rate of 25 percent and a youth unemployment rate twice that. But this new program ratchets the pressure up still further: a target of 3.5 percent primary budget surplus by 2018 (up from around 1 percent this year). Now, if the targets are not met, as they almost surely won’t (Read more…) Your Daily Digital Digest for Monday, June 29, 2015

Your news links for today:

Latest Conservative ad could violate government’s own anti-terror law – CTV News Video: Conservative campaign spokesman Kory Teneycke defends use of ISIS video in recent attack ad – Global News Conservative’s ISIS ad violates Geneva Convention, opposition says – ThinkPol Police face little accountability, five years after the Toronto G20 – Toronto Star Gormley: The false choice between security and privacy – Ottawa Citizen CBC Seeks Takedown of Conservative Ad, Claims “No One” Can Re-Use Its News Clips Without Permission – Michael Geist ‘Blind agreement’ and closed-door deals: Report slams TPP negotiations – CNET Trans-Pacific (Read more…)

Queer-liberal: Yet another Harper appointee accused of wrongdoing…

Disgraced senator Don Meredith…….and the guy who appointed him

Don Meredith, the holier-than-thou religious dude who won such admiration from Harper for his work with youth that he not only appointed him as a Conservative candidate in Toronto Centre in 2008 (where he was quickly trounced in a byelection) but also appointed him to the Senate in 2010, now stands accused of a very inappropriate relationship with a minor.   This is on top of sexual harassment in the workplace allegations. 

Yes, the toxic mix of fundamentalist religion with conservative political power has seemingly produced more gross behaviour. (Read more…)

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: Four Ways to Reduce Your Business Travel Carbon Footprint

What is your carbon footprint? Each Canadian causes 15 tons of CO2 emission per year, American 18 tons, Australian 17 tons, Dutch 11 tons, German 9 tons, British 8 tons, Chinese 6 tons, Indian 2 tons. How much of these emissions are caused by business travels? What can you do to reduce your business travel footprint? Let’s find out.

Go Digital

According to a report from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), videoconferencing can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2,271 tons over five years — equivalent to the emissions from 400 passenger cars. The study, (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: IMF study: Fossil fuel industry gets $5.3 TRILLION in public subsidies a year

A tar sands operation in Fort McMurray, Alberta (photo: Chris Krüg)

Read this shocking May 19 story from the EU Observer on a new study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which pegs subsidies to the fossil fuel sector at a whopping $5.3 Trillion USD per year.

Around 1.6 million premature deaths would be prevented annually if the world’s governments stopped subsidising fossil fuels, a study by four researchers from the International Monetary Fund found.

The most relative gains could be made in eastern Europe and Turkey, where 60 percent of the people who die as a result (Read more…)

Blunt Objects Blog: The Rise of Anti-Choice Canadians

The news today is about yet another graphic flyer being distributed by the anti-choice #No2Trudeau campaign, run by group of Canadians (mostly) who are concerned with this country’s rather lax abortion laws, some of the least restrictive in the world. This flyer in particular has been focused on attacking federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau for his correctly perceived support for abortion access in this country. Big surprise, right?

In a way, it kind of is. The current campaign, being run jointly by the Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) and the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform (CCRB, and I suspect they (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Michael Kraus, Shai Davidai and A. David Nussbaum discuss the myth of social mobility in the U.S. And Nicholas Kristof writes that inequality is a choice rather than an inevitability: Yet while we broadly lament inequality, we treat it as some natural disaster imposed upon us. That’s absurd. The roots of inequality are complex and, to some extent, reflect global forces, but they also reflect our policy choices. In his new book, “The Great Divide,” Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, includes two chapters whose titles sum it up: “Inequality (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Another Badly Overdue Conversation We’re Not Brave Enough to Have.

It was around the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union.  The British magazine, The Economist, published a provocative opinion piece focusing on whether Europe should erect defences to cut itself off from the barbarians beyond the EU borders or take down the walls entirely.

The article foresaw what we’re witnessing today – the onset of a mass migration out of the Middle East and Africa by people desperate enough to risk nearly anything, including their own lives, to find sanctuary in the European Union.

In this week in which we have seen hundreds drown, trapped in the (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: How Equal Do We Want the World? – Dan Ariely

More than you’d think really. Human beings seem to intrinsically value fairness and equality and yet, as of today have constructed societies based on moving as far away as possible from any sort of equitable norm.

Take note of the piece on John Rawls and how using the Veil of Ignorance idea as a cognitive filter for making decisions. I think it is a great idea adding to the list of processes one should go through in making tough decisions in the personal, moral and political sphere.

Filed under: Culture, Education, Ethics Tagged: Dan Ariely, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Henry Mintzberg rightly challenges the myth of a “level playing field” when it comes to our economic opportunities: Let’s level with each other. What we call a “level playing field” for economic development is played with Western rules on Southern turf, so that the New York Giants can take on some high school team from Timbuktu. The International Monetary Fund prepares the terrain and the World Trade Organization referees the game. Guess who wins.

The rules of this game have been written by people educated in the economic canon of the already (Read more…)

Northern Reflections: He’s A Doodle!


Stephen Harper displays two of humanity’s ugliest traits — slander and stupidity. In the past, he made an effort to disguise those traits. But now, with an election on the horizon, he’s taken them out of the closet and allowed them to parade around nakedly. Most recently, he has slandered women who choose to wear niqabs, — most significantly, Zunera Ishag. Gerald Caplan writes:

What he has done – this great (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Leave It In The Ground

The world has much more coal, oil and gas in the ground than it can safely burn. That much is physics.

Watch this compelling, factual argument about how to solve the climate crisis. I first became aware of this straightforward idea after watching Do The Math by run by Bill McKibben. It is MAD lunacy to spend billions of taxpayer dollars exploring for more fossil fuels when the existing known reserves would destroy our climate should it all be burned!

if we and our children are to have a reasonable chance of living stable and secure lives (Read more…)

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: The New Sustainability Advantage: Book Review

Proactively incorporating sustainability into a business’ core strategy can increase profits by 51 to 81%, according to corporate sustainability expert and author Bob Willard. His book The New Sustainability Advantage and the companion online tools lay out seven strategies and estimate potential returns.

Both sustainability professionals and corporate executives can use this book to help develop their business strategy. Whether you are in a manufacturing business with large factories and complex logistical operation or a consulting firm, each business can get different values from the book. It would be useful for the reader to have an organization and business setting (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Jimbo Prentice Pokes Albertans in the Eye With a Sharp Stick.

Well, this is certain something.  Alberta’s unelected premier, Jim Prentice, better learn to bite his tongue.

Prentice has sparked a bit of a furor by blaming his constituents for the mess the province now finds itself in.

Premier Jim Prentice is facing a social media backlash after telling Albertans to “look in the mirror” to find who is responsible for the province’s current financial woes.

Speaking on CBC’s Alberta@Noon Wednesday, Premier Jim Prentice told host Donna McElligott that “in terms of who is responsible, we need only look in the mirror. Basically, all of us have had the best of (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Podcast: First Nations and the political economy of land


This episode looks at the political economy of land in Canada and the Canadian state’s relationship with First Nations as mediated by land. I’m happy to bring together two guests who deal extensively with these issues and pose challenges to rethink the way land is governed.

My first guest is Hayden King, Anishinaabe from Beausoleil First Nation in Ontario and director of the Centre for Indigenous Governance at Toronto’s Ryerson University. He joined me to discuss his recent piece in the Globe and Mail on land and the institutions that govern it.

My second guest (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: 19 Year Old Non Verbal Autistic Man Evicted From Miramichi Special Care Home Because He Is An Adult

Huge gaps remain n New Brunswick’s adult autism residential care and treatment system. An autism specific residential care and treatment centre and autism specific group home system is needed to bridge those gaps. 

HON. CATHY ROGERS Minister of Social Development HON. VICTOR BOUDREAU Minister of Health HON. BILL FRASER  MLA Miramichi  HON. STEPHEN HORSMAN MLA Fredericton North As an autism advocate for over 15 years in New Brunswick (and father of a 19 year old severely autistic son) I was saddened, though not at all surprised, to read the report by Samantha Magee of the  Miramichi Leader of (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: 19 Year Old Non Verbal Autistic Man Evicted From Miramichi Special Care Home Because He Is An Adult

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: A cunning plan it ain’t #nlpoli

The whole “Paul-Davis-Decisive-Leader” thing doesn’t seem to be working for the provincial Conservatives.

The latest NTV/MQO poll puts the Liberals at 42, the Conservatives at 20 and the NDP at seven,  with 30% undecided.

In October 2014,  it was Liberals 37,  Conservatives 16,  NDP six, and undecided at 40.

In October 2013,  the Liberals were at 35, the Conservatives at 20, the NDP at 12, and the undecided at 32.

You can see the trend there of Liberal growth – up seven points -  while the Conservatives hover around 20.  The undecided is down.  Most of them won’t vote anyway.  And the New Democrats have dropped from 12 to seven.

(Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Gregory Beatty reports on Saskatchewan’s options now that it can’t count on high oil prices to prop up the provincial budget. And Dennis Howlett writes about the need for a far more progressive tax system both as a matter of fairness, and as a matter of resource management: Just a few years ago, the question of tax fairness was relegated to the world of activists and progressive economists. But you know something has shifted when a U.S. president goes on national television and talks about the urgent need to eliminate tax loopholes (Read more…)

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: WWF Offer Free Tools for Corporate Sustainability Initiatives

Need some help driving your office’s green initiatives? WWF Canada offers free downloadable tools including getting-started guides, spreadsheets, benchmarks, campaign poster templates for green initiatives on energy reduction, paper reduction, waste reduction, travel, procurement, and green team building. I find some of the tools very useful.

As mentioned in an earlier article Employee Engagement Drives Sustainability Strategy, World Wide Fund for Nature’s Living Planet @ Work program aims to make it easier for businesses to make greener choices. The program helps businesses large and small with strategic guidance on green business ideas and best practices and offers tools to (Read more…)

Queer-liberal: Stephen Harper’s taxpayer-funded campaign of lies against marijuana backfiring…

Stephen Harper is being taken to task a lot lately for spending $600 million of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars on ‘Government of Canada’ advertising that does little more than promote his own partisan interests.

The latest and most blatant example, chock full of lies, paranoia and doubtful science, is the offensive anti-marijuana ad campaign from “Health Canada” released this fall.  You’ll recall how many health care professionals refused to participate in it or lend it credence, rightfully aware the campaign was little more than a political attack on Harper’s main opponent, Justin Trudeau.  I won’t post a link to (Read more…)

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: From Ground to Store: We Look at Carbon Neutral Wines

When you see a product that says carbon neutral, what does it mean? I recently enjoyed a bottle of Italy’s number one selling wine in Canada, Santa Margherita’s Pinot Grigio. Each bottle has a green label that says “Carbon neutral from ground to store. Measured and offset with Carbonzero”. It is produced in Italy, imported into Canada by Lifford Wine, and certified by Carbonzero as carbon neutral. I investigate its Italian supply chain and production, shipping to Canada, and sales and consumption in Canada to learn what it means to be carbon neutral.

Carbon neutrality, or having a (Read more…)

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: Four Green Initiatives Employees Are Sure to Embrace

Who wouldn’t want to work in an engaging office environment? An engaged workforce makes a happier workplace and promotes a culture of collaboration and creativity, as numerous studies show. Corporate green initiatives are some of the best ways to engage employees. Here are four ideas that are simple to run and cost little to implement.

Donate Old Cell Phones

A great way to encourage your employees to be more eco-friendly is through a cell phone donation program. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Amnesty International are just two of the many organizations with programs that allow people to easily (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Is America About to be Stabbed in the Back by Its Own Defence Contractors?

It’s one thing when an outfit like RubberMaid gets bought out, packed up and moved overseas.  It’s another thing when what have been considered “strategic industries” go the same route.

Imagine if Lockheed or Raytheon decided to open start-up, mirror operations in, say, China to build and supply high-tech wizardry to the Chinese military. Sound preposterous?  It shouldn’t.  It’s happened before.  During WWII, certain US companies maintained their involvement with German companies producing key products for the Nazi war effort.

Aviation Week reports that momentum for something similar is building today.

U.S. companies are trying to replicate themselves in (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Is America About to be Stabbed in the Back by Its Own Defence Contractors?

Susan on the Soapbox: Mouseland (why do people vote against their self-interest?)

“All the laws were good laws. For cats.”—Tommy Douglas

The other day I called Telus to cancel my campaign phones and internet service. Groan. After listening to canned music for 17 minutes I was transferred to a customer service rep. He took my information, argued with me when I wouldn’t give him my email address, and finally transferred me to the cancellation department…where I was put on hold. Groan. After listening to canned music for 6 minutes the cancellation rep came on the line.

She was a lovely woman who follows politics closely. We had (Read more…)

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: The Greenest Companies Consistently Outperform Markets

Apple, BMW, LG, HP, Coca-Cola, and Walmart are among the 187 companies cited by non-profit Carbon Disclosure Project for doing the most to combat climate change. These green warriors also outperform the Bloomberg World Index. Five Canadian companies made this elite group. I find out how their stock prices compare to the S&P/TSX Index.

The recently released CDP 2014 report is covered by media around the world but, sadly, passed by all major Canadian publications. I find informative coverage by Bloomberg, Forbes, and CNBC. A few key quotes:

Bloomberg: “If acting on climate change hurts the economy, (Read more…)