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Politics, Re-Spun: Against Collective Forgetting

Workers must do our part to Stop Harper!

Happy Labour Day!

In Stephen Harper’s Canada, we keep enumerating the things we’re losing: meaningful legislative debate, evidence-based policy, public science, a free and open society, among other things. But what happens if we go too long with a slow erosion of the features that make our society vibrant? What happens if we let the right wing continue to teach us that we shouldn’t expect anything meaningful from government?

What happens if young Canadians grow up without a sense of what used to be the Canadian birthright: Medicare, the CPP, and (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial!

Steve Harper, the greatest threat to Canadian security in the modern era.

Happy August! Happy Day!

I have a few comments about this, the 1,000th editorial at Politics, Re-Spun. But you can read them below, about my sabbatical plan, new visions for this almost 12-year-old website, and other things.

But at the top of this post, I have something slightly more urgent to delve into before I check out for a break.

That great sick freak, Donald Rumsfeld is generally credited with popularizing the concept of unknown unknowns to our modern/post-modern era. Being a sick freak, he spun that bafflement (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Lego Pimps Your Kids’ Brains For Shell Oil

This is just too much.

Lego has teamed up with Shell Oil to pimp your kids’ brains for Shell.

We need to be helping our children understand that our future lies in the post-carbon energy infrastructure and things like solar roadways.

Here’s one way to do that, at Lego Block Shell.

Another is to share this priceless video, so that everything CAN BE awesome!

 

Related articles across the web Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! Stop Listening to the Big Oil Spin! Enbridge: What Now? We Escalate Our Fight Most BCers Want to Get Off (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Lego Pimps Your Kids’ Brains For Shell Oil

Politics, Re-Spun: BC’s Deep Deep Racism, Shhhh!

Shhh, this is uncomfortable. It might make you ashamed.

Hopefully it will anger you to action?

First Nations burial grounds in BC have less protection than settler cemeteries.

Along with desecration at a Musqueam burial site, someone is building their home on top of another burial ground on Grace Islet off Saltspring Island. On stilts [see the horrible details below]. And the person building this home was once fined $150,000 for putting fake safety labels on retail products. Sigh. Morality much? Ever?

The minister responsible said in the legislature that Grace Islet’s “owner” “and the archaeology branch had (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Occupy Movement Has Changed the Narrative, But We’re Not Done

Recently, with the WEF spending the last few years acknowledging global income inequality is a problem, I’ve declared a kind of victory for the Occupy Movement: getting the lexicon on the 1% and inequality on the tongues of the sly gazillionaires who rule the world, and into mass consumption.

Now we see that the CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest cancers of neoliberal capitalism and a prime mover of the 2008 crash, has admitted that income inequality is a problem and a destabilizer. Sadly, though not surprisingly, in this interview he also trotted out typical neoliberal “realities” (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How the Tsilhqot’in Land Title Ruling Can Help Kill Enbridge

Watch Pam Palmater’s response to the SCC ruling. Click above.

Stephen Harper had about a week to enjoy the glory of his remarkably understated whispery notification that the Enbridge climate killing pipeline will proceed.

Yesterday the Supreme Court shut down the prime minister, which they have a tendency to do because he so flagrantly intends to violate it. So they keep slapping his hand.

With the Tsilhqot’in ruling, our hope that first nations are our last line of defense against more climate killing tarsands development, has been greatly augmented.

In the coming weeks we will see how this may be (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Elevate the World from Mediocrity to Greatness? Lululemon? GMAFB

GMAFB

Capitalism dissociates us from each other.

It makes us embrace consumerism and individualism and erodes community and cohesion.

Yet, oddly, Lululemon’s mantra of elevating the world from mediocrity to greatness is about liberating us from those shackles. Oddly, based on Ayn Rand’s whacko philosophy [see below], we need to be liberated from such an environment that is imagined to be government-controlled.

I will pardon you for not laughing at the irony of this. It’s not funny. The hyper anti-government, anti-community, pro-individualism, pro-capitalism Ayn Rand crew fears government will turn us all into mediocre wastelands of human endeavor.

But if (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How to Help Raise Hope, On A Monday Morning!

Beverly Bell just posted an amazing, inspiring interview with Gerardo Cerdas at Raising Hope Across the Borders: Transnational Social Movements and Power

Gerardo Cerdas is coordinator of the Latin American- and Caribbean-wide social movement Grito de los Excluidos, Cry of the Excluded. He is also a sociologist and researcher. A native of Costa Rica, Cerdas lives in Brazil.

I often question the value of raising hope. Are we punishing people with false hopes that end up leading to little improvement in society?

The neoliberals want to beat us into compliant, consumerist submission. So I refuse to give in to that (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy Vancouver Reboots Tonight!

Occupy Vancouver reboots tonight to join the worldwide #WaveOfAction that began on April 4 and runs [at least] to July 4, 2014.

We will meet in Grandview Park on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish territories.

615pm is the start time, though honestly, I’ll be there a bit early. With my Occupy Vancouver sign taped to my hockey stick. In some convenient part of the park, since there will be a May Day march arriving there for a rally at the same time.

Things to consider:

Inspiration for this venue came from funkypenzz. Vision [mine anyway]: Seeking equality (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy Vancouver Reboots Tomorrow: A Primer

Some thoughts as we countdown to the reboot of Occupy Vancouver at 615pm tomorrow night at Grandview Park. Come join us with your ideas:

Mine are all about seeking equality and justice: economically, socially, politically and environmentally. Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals is an inspiring classic. Some agree with it, some disagree. Some paint it as the template of Obama tactics [hardly, but still, you should also read this bit below written just after Obama's first inauguration] and some paint it as wholly insufficient. You can read some key excerpts from it here. Then you’ll need to ponder what you (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Will Today Be the Day You Die at Work?

 

 

Do you feel lucky, punk? Well… do you?

Every day, four Canadians will die as a result of a workplace accident, injury or industrial disease. If you make it home from work today, you are one of the lucky ones.

Statistically speaking, 1000 Canadian workers die annually as a result of workplace fatalities. This number is unacceptably high, despite Canada having some of the best health and safety laws in the world.

Employers continue to fail to ensure:

That their workers are safe on the job-site, with the right tools for the right job in the right place; (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Help Conservative Senators Stop Harper’s Banana Republic

Emperor Stephen Harper and his double double.

Interesting times indeed.

8 Conservative senators have decided that Emperor Stephen Harper has no clothes. The Emperor has whipped and intimidated his backbench, cabinet and senators for a long time. Senator Hugh Segal stood up to him on bad legislation. Though he left the senate.

Jim Flaherty stood up to him on how bad a public policy that family income splitting would be. I think he quit politics to avoid the idiocy of Harper firing him from his finance ministry to replace him with the lacklustre lapdog Joe Oliver.

Now we have 8 (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy Vancouver Will Meet Again at 6:15pm on May 1

Whatever that looks like!

It’s Earth Day. Let’s honour our ecology by rebooting Occupy Vancouver on May Day!

At first, I put out a call to see who wants to have a meeting to discuss connecting a rebooted Occupy Vancouver with the worldwide #WaveOfAction that started on April 4 and extends [at least] to July 4.

We call these things General Assemblies. There may or may no be jazz hands deployed.

The 1% have had us scattered and disorganized, but even the rulers of the world, the World Economic Forum [WEF], have acknowledged the Occupy agenda is valid and what (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What Yoko Ono Knows About Fracking

Today we are fresh off the tar soaked heels of Enbridge’s lie and spin machine in Kitimat, leading to a vote AGAINST their toxic future.

In Kitimat, in a non-binding plebiscite, the people of Kitimat, but not the first peoples who live outside the town boundary, voted about 60-40 to kick out Enbridge.

They’re liars, don’t you know, making up a fake map of BC’s coast to pretend that oil tanker risks are lower than they are.

But it also turns out that Yoko Ono knows a thing or two about fracking and carbon energy.

And we also know (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy Canada For May Day, With Bananas

A few days ago, I wrote about picking May Day as a good time for Occupy Vancouver to reboot itself and catch up with the Occupy Movement’s worldwide #WaveOfAction.

But I think that idea can be bigger, it can be a day for all of Occupy Canada to reboot.

Here’s how:

May Day is a good focal point. A tent city at the Vancouver Art Gallery seems to be a distracting fixation. Occupy Wall Street was about people occupying the space of the 1%: Wall Street. In Vancouver, that is not the Art Gallery. It is a fantastic rallying point, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Welcome to Stephen Harper’s Banana Republic

#PMSH goes #BananaRepublic: the (un) #FairElectionsAct lets incumbents SUPERVISE their own election! pic.twitter.com/SG3IT8GMAz #cdnpoli

— Politics, Re-Spun (@PoliticsReSpun) April 6, 2014

Just how stupid does Stephen Harper think we are?

He thinks that we’re fine with the idea that incumbent parties should be able to pick the poll supervisors in the next election.

I kid you not.

This kind of contempt for democracy and embrace of corruption is the worst part of this brand new [un]Fair Elections Act.

This is the kind of thing for which Occupy Vancouver and Occupy Canada should be occupying every single Conservative (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What Occupy Vancouver Could Look Like

May Day, on May 1st: do you think we could get Occupy Vancouver up by then?

I know how we can get this to work. I really do.

And I’m not talking about tents or physical 24 hour occupations, in particular, right now.

I am however talking about 2 things:

What Occupy Vancouver could look like, organizationally. When we could get ourselves flowing in order to catch up with the worldwide Wave of Action: May Day.

Here’s the skinny:

Some time ago I wrote a piece about a movement that operates as I imagine Occupy Canada could work. It (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Calling For An Occupy Vancouver General Assembly

It’s now Friday, April 4, 2014.

Greetings, world, the reboot of the Occupy Movement, the Worldwide #WaveOfAction [follow it live in Twitter here], has begun in a variety of places around the world! And it will last for 3 months while it evolves its next phase.

But as it turns out, Vancouver will be fashionably late.

Here’s what’s up:

Crickets, as far as I can tell.

Now, granted, I haven’t beaten down doors checking out ALL the usual suspects involved in mobilizing Occupy Vancouver 2.5 years ago. Though I do know that a few of them are (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy IKEA’s #HouseRules

IKEA’s #HouseRules = union busting!

Oh, IKEA, you’d think you’d learn from all the past corporate attempts to create a Twitter hashtag to promote your brand, attempts that have been subverted by culture jammers.

Maybe IKEA will get away with this one, #HouseRules, but in the spirit of the Occupy Movement rebooting on Friday with the #WaveOfAction, we should try to Occupy IKEA and their hashtag because they’re trying to break their union in Richmond, BC.

Let’s see how:

It happened to Emperor Stephen Harper when he wanted us to tweet science-y questions for him to ask Chris Hadfield (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: We Won’t Let Police Brutality Quell Occupy’s Wave of Action

In the good old days, we used to be able to bring babies in strollers to protests/rallies/occupations opposing wars based on lies [Iraq] or psychotic arms races.

In the good old days, you didn’t have to worry about being assaulted or beaten to death by the police, or having your children apprehended while you are put under arrest for assembling in public, following our constitutional rights.

Our slide into soft fascism includes the chill effect. Even though YOU may have not yet been arbitrarily arrested or beaten by the police doesn’t mean that increasing arbitrary police brutality doesn’t reduce people’s (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Canada’s Seeks the OECD Record for Income Inequality

America: Where the rich get richer faster than in so many other places!

Yesterday I wrote about the rebooting of the Occupy Movement in 10 days. I’m very excited.

And to help you understand why this is such a big deal, especially in Canada, it’s important to see how Canada is increasingly becoming the poster child for income inequality. We are not nice and neighbourly and friendly. We are increasingly unequal society. Unless we step up and say that we’re mad as hell and we aren’t going to take it any more, the rich in Canada will continue to pad (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy Wall Street Returns. Friday!

Occupy Returns! This Friday!

Ladies and gentlemen, citizens of the world, the 99%: Occupy Wall St. returns on Friday.

And not for one day. But we’re starting with 3 months. Let’s call it a trial marriage.

After all, if it fails, the despotic corporate totalitarians who run the world will continue to steal our money and make everyone all too intimately familiar with the word “precariat.”

Here are 8 reasons why you should be thrilled with this, as I am:

The exciting details of Occupy, version 2, are here.

And here are my 8 reasons:

I’ve been hoping (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Stop. Obeying. The. Rich. NOW!

Once upon a time, we were taught to envy and respect our “betters,” like the rich.

No more.

They’re taking our money and throwing us under the bus every day. And it’s not even just the super-rich or those in America, it’s the aspirational rich; they’re just as toxic.

This stops now, it’s time to ramp up the Occupy Movement again, and for good this time:

The super-rich of the 21st century no longer think that you and I are needed for their continued success.

And in some ways, they have given up on America, period.

As Paul Buchheit brilliantly (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Yes, Your Parents’ Standard of Living Was Better

Ugh. We’re so much poorer than our parents!

Yes, your parents’ standard of living was better, so what are you going to do about it?

When I was growing up in the 1970s, most [maybe 80%?] of my friends had a mom who stayed home and didn’t work.

Over the last 40 years the proportion of single income households seems to have flipped so that it seems to be only about 20%.

So what’s wrong with this graph over there?

There’s a huge increase in the number of families with more than one income source in the last 40 (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Don’t Tolerate Ignorance About the Minimum Wage

Now, stop tolerating ignorance! And smile, TGIF.

Hello.

It’s Friday.

For many people it’s TGIF. But for many people who aren’t even teenagers, the work week isn’t ending today.

We often THINK minimum wage is for the new entries to the job market. Maybe it was one day. Maybe just for one day.

But today? If it isn’t a living wage, it’s exploitative.

And if it is just minimum wage, we are likely not too accurate on who is suffering with these low wages.

Let’s take a peek:

It is not the stereotypical pothead living in their parents’ basement.

(Read more…)