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The Canadian Progressive: Canadians take fight against Harper’s Bill C-51 to UN rights committee

Canadian rights activists to challenge Bill C-51, Stephen Harper’s new anti-terror law, before the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva this week.

The post Canadians take fight against Harper’s Bill C-51 to UN rights committee appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: For Canada, a commitment to the environment and jobs is possible

Naomi Klein and environmental activists will call for a “long term sustainable strategy that leads to renewable energy” during the March for Jobs, Justice and the Climate in Toronto on July 5.

The post For Canada, a commitment to the environment and jobs is possible appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- The Star’s editorial board writes that five years after police committed serious human rights violations at Toronto’s G20 summit, nobody seems to have learned any lessons from the abuses. And David Lavallee tells his story of being interrogated for a “precursor to terrorist behaviour” based solely on his having filmed a pipeline for a documentary.

- Ian Gill argues that the impending federal election will may represent a last opportunity to take Canada off of a path toward environmental destruction. And Brian Kahn notes that the rest of the world is predictably shifting (Read more…)

wmtc: some thoughts on the u.s. moving a bit closer to equality (#lovewins)

At last, it has happened. With Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex marriage has been declared legal and constitutional in the United States. Same-sex couples can legally marry, just as opposite-sex couples have always had the right to do. Most importantly, laws prohibiting same-sex marriage are now unconstitutional.*

For some years on this blog, I used to note every country that joined the equal marriage club, but about two years ago, I stopped counting. More than 20 countries now recognize same-sex marriage as a right, and that number continues to climb.

This issue has always been, is, and always should (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Sean Illing writes about the utterly misplaced view of the privileged few that they can or should be treated as immune from the environmental realities facing everybody: I see the decadence of the people in Rancho Santa Fe as a microcosm of America today, particularly corporate America. What these people exhibit, apart from their smugness, is a complete absence of any sense of collective responsibility. They can’t see and aren’t interested in the consequences of their actions. And they can’t muster a modicum of moderation in the face of enormous scarcity. Every resource, (Read more…)

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Laureen: Queen of the Tundra

As an American expat unfamiliar with the pop-cultural aspect of Canadian politics, a lot of the jokes in Laureen: Queen of the Tundra went over my head. However, it is to the performers’ credit that this did not distract from their commentary about the fluidity of gender and culture, against the rigidity of modern politics.

This show had a great sense of pacing punctuated by confessional monologues in between political skits, shedding some light onto the person behind the persona. By raising questions about identity, whether Canadian, queer, or both, the show is inherently political and subversive, while also heartfelt (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Roderick Benns reports on Ryan Meili’s argument for a basic income: Dr. Ryan Meili was in Kingston, Ontario, recently to talk to more than 100 people about the importance of the social determinants of health in an event that was hosted by Basic Income Kingston. The social determinants of health influence health outcomes for people and include many components that work together, including income and income distribution, education, unemployment and job security, among others.

Meili described a basic income guarantee as “an exciting opportunity” and a kind of “social investment to counter inequality,” (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Anonymous Attacks Harper Government Websites In Bill C-51 Protest

Hacktivist collective Anonymous downs several Canadian government websites as part of a protest against Harper’s secret police force legislation, Bill C-51

The post Anonymous Attacks Harper Government Websites In Bill C-51 Protest appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- The World Bank’s latest World Development Report discusses how readily-avoidable scarcity in severely limit individual development. Melissa Kearney and Philip Levine write that poverty and a lack of social mobility tend to create a vicious cycle of despair. And James Ridgeway examines the deliberate interference aimed at preventing many of the U.S.’ poor from ever building secure lives.

- Meanwhile, Mark Thoma reminds us of the role the labour movement needs to play in ensuring greater equality across the income spectrum. And Deirdre Fulton writes that the first tentative steps (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: “Kill Bill C-51″: Conservative Supporters Tell Stephen Harper

Game-changing supporters of the Conservative Party of Canada are warning Stephen Harper Bill C-51 could result in “a Liberal or NDP government”.

The post “Kill Bill C-51″: Conservative Supporters Tell Stephen Harper appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: RCMP officer to Bill C-51 protester: “You could be branded a terrorist” [VIDEO]

During the May 30 protest against Harper’s Bill C-51 in Ottawa, a candid camera caught an RCMP officer saying a Canadian protester “could be branded a terrorist”.

The post RCMP officer to Bill C-51 protester: “You could be branded a terrorist” [VIDEO] appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics, Re-Spun: Why People Hate the Translink Police

Replace “driver” with Translink cop.

I had a hard time reading all the way through this article, the one about Translink cops terrorizing bus passengers on Friday night.

I also had a hard time reading about the two Translink cops found guilty of assault on Friday.

I’m sure it was just a coincidence that they both happened on Friday.

And I find it astonishing that Neil Dubord, the head of the Translink police [or his social media lackeys] would choose to follow my largely apolitical personal Twitter account [unless he also like Pink Floyd and the Baltimore Orioles].

Also (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: Revolution, the Film

I saw and wrote about this movie two years ago, but it’s being released to a wider audience now.

About ten years ago, Rob Stewart was making the film Sharkwater under his questionable conviction that, “If people knew shark populations were decreasing by 90%, they’d do something.”

A question from the audience at a preview changed everything for him: “What’s the point of stopping shark finning if fisheries will collapse by 2048?”

Stewart immersed himself in the larger issues with the ocean, until he got to the point of recognizing that, “The only thing we can do (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: On Sublime Madness

“You don’t fight fascism because you’re going to win. You fight fascism because it is fascist.”      - Jean-Paul Sartre, The Age of Reason

I previously intended to write about Hedges’ new book, Wages of Rebellion, but I got thoroughly overcome by a rant that’s been building.  So here’s the gist of his writing without repeating ideas from previous posts of late (lots about the prison system that I already mentioned).

The Courage to Know, and to Join Together:

The greatest existential crisis we face is to at once accept what lies before us – for (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: The Moral Imperative of Revolt

I prefer Hedges’ subtitle to his title, Wages of Rebellion, but this post isn’t about him per se.  Morally, we have to revolt against this corrupt system – like when the workers in Rome all walked out in a series of secessions (it doesn’t always take the first time), or when the Barons and peasants turned on the King in the middle ages, or when workers in Winnipeg went on strike, and through all the rebellions against tyrannical rule in between and later.

The problem: unbridled power; the common people being subjected to the whims of the state; (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: #StopC51: Ottawa to host massive protest against Harper’s Bill C-51

On Saturday, May 30, Ottawa will host what’s likely to be a game-changing protest against Bill C-51, PM Stephen Harper’s “secret police” legislation.

The post #StopC51: Ottawa to host massive protest against Harper’s Bill C-51 appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

A Puff of Absurdity: On Privilege

I saw Chris Hedges speak again at the Tommy Douglas Institute / Community Worker Program followed by smaller discussion groups.  I was so pleased that he doesn’t have a set speech for each book launch and that I was treated to an entirely different set of stories than the week previous.

Here’s just a bit on the smaller discussion group that followed his speech.

I spent a 30-minute break deliberating which topic to choose out of eight possible offerings.  One was on Aboriginal Perspectives, and I’m teaching Native Studies next year, so I was leaning that way, but then I (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Michael Schwartz and Kevin Young make the case for a greater focus on influencing corporations and other institutions first and foremost – with the expectation that more fair public policy will be possible if a dominant business sector doesn’t stand in the way. David Wessel points out that many states’ tax systems are set up to exacerbate inequality. And Matthew Yglesias notes that a typical set of slap-on-the-wrist fines against banks for massive market manipulations call into question whether the U.S.’ current regulatory structure is anywhere close to sufficient to protect (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s the muzzling of Canada’s federal scientists assailed

This week, Canada’s three major public sector unions protested the Harper government’s continuing muzzling of the country’s federal scientists.

The post Harper’s the muzzling of Canada’s federal scientists assailed appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Toby Sanger takes a look at Canada’s balance sheets and finds that both households and governments are piling up debt while the corporate sector hoards cash: (A)ll the recent handwringing over rising household and debt levels ignores one critical point: any one person’s financial liability is someone else’s financial asset. Across all the sectors in the economy (households, corporations, governments and non-residents) in the national balance sheet, net borrowing and lending all balance out to zero.

The rising income share of the top one percent has been startling (and also echoed in increasing (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Let’s Give Green Energy $5.3 Trillion This Year

What fraction of a decade would it take to completely get off fossil fuels [oil, gas, coal] and create a post-carbon energy/transportation infrastructure if the clean, green energy sector were publicly subsidized at $10,000,000 per MINUTE, or $5,300,000,000,000 [yes, that’s $5.3 trillion] for 2015?

Please, I dare you to attack me for the numbers. They don’t come from some tree-hugging enviro-hippie think tank. They come from the spinal fluid of neoliberalism: the IMF.

So, when people say it’s not feasible to get off carbon energy, let them know that worldwide, taxpayers are subsidizing them more than everyone in the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Matthew Yglesias points out that a particular income level may have radically different implications depending on an individual’s place in life, and that we can only address inequality by formulating policy accordingly: The median household income in the United States is about $52,000. So go ahead and picture a median-income household. What did you picture?

Did you picture a 25-year-old with a decent job who’s maybe worried about student loans but is basically doing okay? Or did you picture a married pair of 45-year-olds who are both full-time workers stuck in kinda crappy (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: If I May But Touch His Garment

I went to see Chris Hedges speak last night.  His words brought forth a mix of devastation and elation, with some in the congregation compelled to applaud after every few sentences.  He’s a brilliant storyteller, and I could have listened to him all night.  It went far too quickly.

I had a chance to speak with him in the time it took him to sign my well-annotated copy of Empire of Illusion and my brand spankin’ Wages of Rebellion, and I regret not buying all of his offering in order to extend our conversation.  My voice actually shook a (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s effort to criminalize legitimate Canadian criticism of Israel is diabolical

Canadians have a moral obligation to revolt against Stephen Harper’s efforts to criminalize both legitimate criticism of Israel and support for Palestinians.

The post Harper’s effort to criminalize legitimate Canadian criticism of Israel is diabolical appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Digging science: Citizens amplify knowledge about the natural world

David Suzuki on how affordable technologies are facilitating the growth of citizen science, environmental activism and “meaningful scientific pursuits”.

The post Digging science: Citizens amplify knowledge about the natural world appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.