Let’s say that you’re one of the world’s largest producers of synthetic crude and also Canada’s largest single-source producer of crude derived from oil sands.
Imagine that you are also the biggest greenhouse gas emitter in Alberta! (“Psst, we’re working on being the biggest in all of the nation, baby. Don’t count us out yet!”)
Your tailing ponds are a great place for suicidal waterfowl to go to die, and those outstanding environmentalists at Sinopec are one of your major share-holders.
How do you convey your misunderstood love and respect of Mother Earth to the public?
You go (Read more…)
I have heard lots of people blaming the following people for why we didn’t get a positive change in government in BC three weeks ago:
apathetic, nihilistic young people apathetic people who don’t follow politics apathetic people who simply don’t vote bad people who generally don’t care about a better world.
But what really happened in the election? And why are people not voting?
Here’s the what:
NON-VOTING LIB NDP GP CP LBN OTHER Provincial Total 1,313,575 795,946 715,999 146,607 85,783 2,049 56,667 1,803,051 % of Popular Vote 44.14% 39.71% 8.13% 4.76% 0.11% 3.14% (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: What Do We Do About Those Pesky, Apathetic Non-Voters?
Generating enough media spin to rival a jet engine at take off, the management and PR folks at Ikea Canada want you to believe that their poor little corporation is being held hostage by greedy, soulless union workers in Richmond.
Woe. Pity poor Ikea.
It’s tough being a multi-national corporation with a reputation for union busting, still more union busting and sundry human rights violations. It is also expensive to flog the entire planet with particle board, Allen Keys and horsemeat tainted foodstuffs. You can’t expect them to provide “coworkers” with a safe, fair and equitable place (Read more…)
Some years, Earth Day clicks for people in a profound way. I’ve spoken to a few who were distinctly non-plussed with how things didn’t come together for them and their dreams this year.
If you need some optimism for the rest of your week, check out this compendium. Pay attention to the ages of those in photos, and immediately scroll to the bottom to read what our dear Cascadian friends to the south got up to at U-Dub. What would that look like in your community?
Embrace peace, watch your footprint, look up for bald eagles, imagine the future you (Read more…)
There’s a moment of fear that all women come to know. I know it well. I was once the only female member of a music band. One time at practice, a male band member joked that “We should get blowjobs for all the band members.”
What did I do? Everyone else in the room thought this was funny so I tried to laugh along.
People will hate you for calling them out on sexism, and I didn’t want to be disliked for rocking the boat. I wanted to be accepted as a member of the group, but I shouldn’t (Read more…)
Donald Smith was protesting a sign at Glenmore Landing in Calgary’s southwest Sunday that bans political demonstrations. [CBC]
The privately owned parking lot near the prime minister’s constituency office asserts that protesting is prohibited. On the surface, this looks like the prime minister is impeding the constitutional rights of expression and peaceful assembly.
I’m sure he finds this all quite convenient, but a large hidden issue in this is the privatization of public space.
Can I prohibit protest in a space I own? Possibly.
Can I lament at the amount of space deemed to be public [parking lot, shopping mall] (Read more…)
Hugo Chavez died of cancer on March 5, 2013. He represented an ideological pushback against neoliberal globalization. He pursued a progressive hemispheric trade agenda. He raised oil royalties dramatically to improve the social capacity of people in and around Venezuela. He revolutionized and democratized Venezuela’s constitution. He attracted the ire of American imperialists who supported an amateurish, botched coup. And while we never saw the formation of Cubazuela or some kind of socio-economic cooperation that would elevate Haiti out of its status of hemispheric whipping boy, though that may be on its way, his legacy begins this week.
Thanks (Read more…)
The following is a piece written by contributor Kevin Harding and guest contributor Natalie Gan. The piece was written in 2010, but is being published on Politics Respun for the first time.
The issue of controversial corporate donations to public universities is a live one, with the Munk School at the U of T, the Ridell Program in Political Management at Carleton, and others being more and more discussed. Below is a discussion of the Goldcorp donation to Simon Fraser University.
We don’t want your dirty gold!
The pervasiveness of neoliberal capitalism and its continued impacts on every facet of our daily lives are realities that seem to be, all at once, immediately pressing, immense, and impossible to challenge. Recent experiences at Canadian universities and in the arts reinforce the immensity of the challenge, with corporate ‘donations’ being offered to cash-strapped institutions, continuing both the precariousness of public education as . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: We don’t want your dirty gold: corporate donations and the university
Should academic work be locked up like Disney[tm] artifacts?
I’ve been quite inspired by this very good analysis of the context surrounding Aaron Swartz’s suicide.
As news spread last week that digital rights activist Aaron Swartz had killed himself ahead of a federal trial on charges that he illegally downloaded a large database of scholarly articles with the intent to freely disseminate its contents, thousands of academics began posting free copies of their work online, coalescing around the Twitter hashtag #pdftribute.
via How academia betrayed and continues to betray Aaron Swartz « The Berkeley Blog.
The willingness of scholars
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Aaron Swartz, Intellectual Property and the Public Good
Saturday night, I spent almost two hours discussing the Geography of Emotions with Colin Mills. We explored the ubiquitousness of emotions, the male crisis around emotions, how emotions relate with cognition, and the betweeness of emotions.
It was a fascinating conversation about a topic with wide implications for society, culture, human relations, activism, politics as well as relation, local, regional, national and world peace.
In the podcast, Colin refers to a couple folks you can read up on here: Jonathan Heidt, a moral psychologist, and Daniel Kahneman, a behavioural economist.
And I referred to the counselling technique, EMDR.
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The Geography of Emotions, A Conversation with Colin Mills
By Rachel Goodine
The FSAs, or Foundation Skills Assessment tests, administered annually in British Columbia since 2000 to students in grades 4 and 7, are once again under way. They began on January 14 and will continue until February 22, 2013. In the meantime, the debate is on.
For many, it’s simple: How is testing our children and being notified of their progress a bad thing?
Well, that’s the problem. The BC Liberals are hoping the public will buy this overly simplistic defence of the FSAs. The Ministry of Education’s webpage states the tests will give a “snapshot” of student
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Foundation Skills Assessment: Another Dirty Trick
Green Party leader Elizabeth May published a well-thought out and clear article on Wednesday, breaking down the reasons why the ongoing media banter about Attiwapiskat fund mismanagement and Chief Theresa Spence are merely distractions from an ongoing legacy of government failure to protect indigenous people and the environment. Twitter and Facebook have become virtual battlegrounds for both government supporters and those who are involved with the Idle No More uprising. Racism, sexism and classism are rampant, and tension arising from finger pointing and blame displacement are escalating. The crux of it all is that the Canadian government, and the majority
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Attawapiskat Audit is Merely a Distraction
Close your eyes, and conjure up a mental image of the stereotype of the Ugly American.
Willfully ignorant of customs and countries that lie beyond the border of the US -of- A.
Rabidly proselytizing the gospel of liberty, freedom and patriotism bestowed unto their nation via God and gun.
A walking caricature of the values espoused by those who align themselves with political movements like the Tea Party, if you will.
By virtue of social media, internet and television, the world has the increased opportunity to observe Ugly Americans in captivity, under a microscope. One such opportunity arose
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: America the Not-So-Beautiful: God Shat His Grace On Thee
From the people who suggested the modest idea of occupying Wall Street, Adbusters has sent out a new half dozen suggestions to fix the economic cancers of capitalism. Here’s my favourite, and it’s a little policy wonky:
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: What Does Adbusters Ask of You in 2013?
Twitter / suzhawkins: As settlers… #idlenomore ….
York University’s Suzanne Hawkins is my hero today for showing us all this amazing poster that succinctly describes how us non-indigenous settler folk can stand alongside with the world’s indigenous people seeking redress for generations of racism and discrimination.
Solidarity matters! Dialogue matters!
Let’s make 2013 a year of reconciliation!
Welcome to the most-read posts of 2012!
As we move into a fresh, optimistic 2013, let’s look back at what made a difference last year! Thanks for reading over 950k posts last year, on our way to one million this year!
Place Post Author Date 1 Logical Absurdities: Only Anti-Government Sentiments Are Political Stephen Elliott-Buckley Tuesday, November 13th, 2007 2 Dulce et Decorum Est kevin harding Sunday, November 11th, 2012 3 Nestlé’s War on Breastfeeding Mothers Takes Shameful New Turn Tia Everitt Thursday, May 26th, 2011 4 Book Review: Suffled How it Gush: A North American Anarchist in the Balkans . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The Most Read Politics, Re-Spun Posts of 2012, Engage!
Pollution, people and tombstones in Zenica.
Owned by the Indian billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, ArcelorMittal is the world’s largest steel producer—creating some 93 billion USD of revenue as of 2011. Granted, steel is an essential building block of the modern world yet ArcelorMittal’s obscene profit margins do raise the question of “how are you possibly making this much money?”
Turns out, profitability margins are greatly aided by the economic pillaging and environmental destruction of a still-recovering-from-war southeastern European locale: Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The central-Bosnian city of Zenica has for decades been one of the industrial centers of the region. The steel mills in the area, prior to the outbreak of the 1992-1995 war, employed some 25,000 people—a shining beacon of the Yugoslav state’s productive capacities. Today, owned by ArcelorMittal, that number is just over 3000—with the company actually looking to downsize even further, according to local union organizers.
Yet the story . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Why does ArcelorMittal hate Bosnia?
There are insufficient facts today to accurately tell what has happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut today.
Even worse, there are no words to describe what has happened.
Someone has taken a gun into an elementary school and shot people inside.
There are no words.
The shooter has killed six adults in the school, and twenty small children.
There are no words.
No matter the value that you place on “liberties” or “freedoms,” you cannot justify the right to own machines that have been solely designed with killing things with what happened today.
No person’s “freedom”
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: There are no words.
[Here is what some of us have been wanting to say about Taylor Swift, but didn't because A. Lynn did it first, and perhaps best, reposted her with her kind permission. Thanks to Jarrah Hodge for pointing us to this piece of brilliance! Enjoy! - seb] I’ve been mentally composing this blog for forever and [...] . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: No, Taylor Swift. No.
If you live in the Vancouver area and enjoy arts of all flavours, and contributing to amazing causes, you will absolutely want to check out Ou(x)po, Art for Impact’s ninth show, upcoming on December 8. Here are some details: Join Art for Impact at Ou(x)po What: Art for Impact’s ninth event – Ou(x)po ! (oo-EX-poh) Where: Russian Hall [...] . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Art for Impact presents: Ou(x)po, Dec 8
Early political engagement is a hot button topic for a number of us here at Politics ReSpun. As parents and/or political animals, we spend a lot of time contemplating methods of public engagement that would draw youth into political culture, and foster both interest and comprehension of sociopolitical events. Apathy and disinterest are rampant in our culture, and the prevailing trend of co-mingling pop culture and celebrity in corporate controlled news media is daunting.
Is political engagement and activism a product of nature or nurture?
Are those of us who prefer to spend our afternoons yelling at CPAC or
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Encouraging Early Political Engagement: I Have the Right to Be a Child
The ongoing protests in the parts of the Middle East and North Africa, ostensibly in the wake of a Z-list anti-Islam film produced in the US, have elicited the same tired, hackneyed response on the part significant portions of Western audiences and commentators. “Savages,” the refrain has been, “uncivilized barbarians!” from comment sections from The Blaze to the CBC. The brutal murder of American envoy Chris Stevens should certainly be condemned—yet the broader chauvinistic and racist response to the events in Libya, and in the wider region, speaks to a deep seated misunderstanding and ignorance on the part
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Fair Weather Friends: Western Reaction(s) to the Middle East Protests
Less than 12 after being elected to a minority government in Quebec, the PQ has announced it will cancel the socially and economically regressive tuition fee hikes and repeal the flagrantly unconstitutional Bill 78, which trampled on expression and assembly rights.
Quebec, long one of the most progressive socially and economically progressive cultures in our federation, is showing the rest of us once again what a stern devotion to progressive policies looks like.
Every NDP government or government in waiting needs to watch what assertiveness looks like.
And while we will likely see much discussion about language policies from Quebec
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Let’s Watch Where Quebec Leads Us All
*My apologies to the good hard-working people of the global cottage and cottage cheese industries and the good people of the Balkans for once again being sullied by Western analyst-cum-charlatans.
Followers of the Politics, Re-Spun Facebook page may have been keeping up with my recent debate(s) with one Charles Crawford, who “served at the British Embassy in Belgrade from 1981-84 and later as HM Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)” on the subject of constitutional reforms in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH). The debate was launched in response to a two-piece article I wrote on the
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Historical Revisionism: A Balkan Cottage Industry?*
“Before my father died, he said the worst thing about growing old was that other men stop seeing you as dangerous….Dangerousness was sacred.”
Last night I watched Act of Valor. I liveblogged it so you don’t have to watch it. You’re welcome.
First there was The Lottery, a dystopic tale of social gruesomeness that I encountered in high school English. It got me thinking.
Then there was The Running Man and now the Hunger Games.
Now we have UFC and reality TV and their bastard child: Act of Valor, designed to both decry a life filled with
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Act of Valor, Redux