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Politics, Re-Spun: How @Dicks Sporting Goods Can Advance Feminism, So Easily

Dick’s Sporting Goods, in the all-too testosterone world of sports, released a catalogue with virtually no women in it. Except for cheerleaders and a girl watching men play sports.

A 12-year-old calls them out on this because even 12-year-olds get equality.

Dick’s sent a FOAD brush off letter back [see below].

Here’s what Dick’s ought to do now.

Recognize that there is profound sexism in sports. Recognize that they have been a part of that. Seek out organizations that promote equality in sports. Partner with them to promote equality. Open up their catalogue and advertising process to expanded stakeholder input. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On universal freedoms

I won’t wade too far into the sudden discussion of political advertising raised by the Cons’ plans to change copyright law to favour political advertising, as Michael Geist has largely captured the most important points. But I will raise one quibble with Geist which hints at a more reasonable legal reform. My criticism of the government here is not in seeking to protect political speech by ensuring that the law features sufficient flexibility to allow for appropriate uses without permission. Rather, it stems from the view that there are far better policy approaches available than an awkward self-interested exception.

As (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- CJ Werleman writes that the U.S.’ inequality nightmare is getting worse even as the public gains a greater recognition of the issue. Nick Kristof recognizes that radically different levels of wealth result in a serious lack of opportunity for anybody who doesn’t win the genetic lottery. And Katharine Cukier notes that the type of empathy and generosity all too often lacking south of the border has given her and her family a fair chance at happiness in Canada.

- But Ralph Surette observes that the Cons are going out of their (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Vineeth Sekharan debunks the myth that a job represents a reliable path out of poverty, while reminding us that there’s one policy choice which could eradicate poverty altogether: A job alone does not guarantee freedom from poverty. In fact, in 2012, at least one member of the household was employed in a staggering 44% of all poor households. Even in situations where an individual is employed, there may still be the need for income supplements, as well as educational and employment supports.

This is partially because of the monumental changes that have occurred (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: To dream fondly of the day when ads haunt our dreams

Heather Mallick’s column about the public’s willingness to sell out to the corporate sector for cheap unfortunately meanders off on a few too many tangents before reaching much of a point. But even if she’d connected with a truly incisive take, snark has nothing on Terence Corcoran – who goes to far as to whine that spam e-mails are “essential in a market economy”, and to suggest that any legislation goes too far in regulating the digital equivalent of door-to-door sales.

Which leads to the question: exactly how many people – the marketing industry excepted – actually see the constant (Read more…)

Art Threat: Daniel Higgs at Café Oto: A refuge of cultural integrity

In the mosh pit of global corporate excess that claims so much of London (UK) circa 2014, Café Oto is an oasis of cultural intelligence and inspiration. I popped in last night to check out Daniel Higgs and Michael Zerang, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Daniel Higgs (formerly of Lungfish) is a compelling performer: part troubadour, part sacred chanteur, part angry prophet, all the while plucking and playing a 5-string banjo like a sitar. Michael Zerang accompanied on percussion and was particularly rivoting with his hand drum. In their more electric moments there was something almost shamanic about their stagework (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Newsprint ‘wraps’ – not good for fish and, as it turns out, not much good for newspapers either

The Edmonton Journal’s “wrap” Friday, showing the hidden front page inside. Below: The wrap’s uninspiring front page.

Now that nobody sells fried fish wrapped in yesterday’s edition of the local daily any more, presumably for fear the ink will leak through into your liver, the term “wrap” has come to be faintly respectable in newspaper circles.

The word nowadays is used to describe a four-page advertising feature that wraps around the entire newspaper. They’re one of the few profitable services the declining industry has left to sell in an era when fewer readers want the print product, and when ads (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Robert Reich proposes that the best way to address corporate criminality is to make sure that those responsible go to jail – rather than simply being able to pay a fine out of corporate coffers and pretend nothing ever happened.

- And Shawn Fraser suggests that Regina developers should pick up the tab for the costs they impose on the city – even as the city itself has opportunities to both better shape residential growth, and turn a profit through its own own development corporation.

- Meanwhile, the CP reports on the (Read more…)

The Right-Wing Observer: Harper’s Conservatives already have enough evidence

Harper’s Conservatives don’t need you telling them how incompetent or wasteful they are. They don’t need to know those things and they certainly don’t need anyone telling their faithful – dare I say, blind – voters either.

They already know. They have enough evidence.

Due in part to laws that Harper’s Conservatives passed as part of their ‘new era of transparency and accountibility’, they are required to survey Canadians about the impact of government advertising campaigns and make those results public. And now that they are getting unwelcome answers to their questions, they’ve stopped asking.

The unwelcome responses come on the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Jim Stanford looks into the fine print of the Hudak PCs’ assumptions about corporate tax slashing and finds that even their own numbers show that most of the money gifted to corporations would be thrown away (emphasis added): On second reading there are other interesting aspects to the Conference Board simulation of corporate tax reductions.  The one that jumped out at me was their estimate of increased business capital spending after the tax cut (reported in Table 5, and the main driver of economic benefits in the simulation), reported in the fifth (Read more…)

wmtc: military propaganda at sports events reaches new extremes: continuous recruitment ads at baseball games

I’ve recently returned from a lovely trip to Boston, filled with so many of my favourite things: friends, family, books, and baseball.

I love Fenway Park, and I’m always happy to be there. On this trip, we saw three great games, two of them wins, so I was thrilled. The games were marred by only one thing: nearly constant propaganda for the US military. This is not an exaggeration.

Throughout Fenway Park, as in many sports venues, there are monitors showing a TV feed of the action on the field. Right now, between innings, the Fenway Park monitors show (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- The Star-Phoenix discusses how the Cons are systematically attacking the independent institutions which are necessary to ensure a functioning democratic system: When a handful of Conservative MPs from Saskatchewan attacked the integrity of the province’s electoral boundaries commissioners last year in an attempt to subvert the democratic process, it may have seemed to be a rogue act of an outlier group of politicians concerned with their electoral future.

But when you consider the tactics of the MPs, who accused Justice Ronald Mills and political scientist Prof. John Courtney on the commission of attempting (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Matthew O’Brien is the latest to pick up on the connection between pre-transfer income equality, redistribution and sustainable economic growth: Redistribution overall helps, and at least doesn’t harm, growth spells. That’s because the positive effects of less inequality add to or offset the negligible, or negative, effects of redistribution itself. When redistribution is in the bottom 75 percent, these positive effects are the only ones, and growth lasts longer. And when redistribution is in the top 25 percent, these positive effects make up for the negative ones from taxing-and-transferring so much—it’s a statistically (Read more…)

Art Threat: Michelangelo’s David takes up arms in American gun ad

An American weapons manufacturer is the subject of outrage in Italy — but this international offensive lies strictly within the cultural realm.

ArmaLite, an Illinois-based small arms engineering firm, has bestowed indignity upon Michelangelo’s David by using the classical sculpture as a prop in a rifle advertisement.

The tacky advert has incensed Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini, who made his displeasure public on Twitter yesterday: “The advertisement image of David armed offends and infringes the law.”

The ad itself is nearly a year old, having first been tweeted by ArmaLite itself as part of an promotional campaign last (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Advertising, bondage and consumerism

I turn off the mute on the radio, to check if the nauseating ads are finished and we can get back to the music, and I hear, “New York steak…” – so I mute it again immediately; and I think: Advertising = the intensification and multiplication of human wants and desires = the diminishing of […]

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Robert Reich (via GlenInCA) points out the connection between a strong middle class and curbs on corporate excesses – with may go a long way toward explaining why the business lobby is working so hard to eliminate the concept of a secure livelihood for most workers: Last week’s massive toxic chemical spill into West Virginia Elk River illustrates another benefit to the business class of high unemployment, economic insecurity, and a safety-net shot through with holes. Not only are employees docile, eager to accept whatever crumbs they can get. The public is also (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Michael Katz looks back at how the U.S. abandoned its poor – and how that choice continues to affect people across the income spectrum today. And Michael Valpy discusses how Canada can and should avoid travelling any further down the same path – with his “Big Four” ideas focusing on mandatory voting, proportional representation, a guaranteed basic income and protections for vulnerable workers.

- Jeffrey Simpson describes the Cons’ narrow focus on about 10 per cent of the Canadian electorate in the lead up to the next federal election, while Andrew Jackson (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- David Simon laments the division of the U.S. into the few who are rewarded by market forces and the many who are constantly under siege – while also pointing out that concentration of wealth may prevent democratic forces from offering a counterweight: The idea that the market will solve such things as environmental concerns, as our racial divides, as our class distinctions, our problems with educating and incorporating one generation of workers into the economy after the other when that economy is changing; the idea that the market is going to heed (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Alison chronicles how the definition of “accountability” has changed since the Cons’ own actions started to come under the microscope, while Paul Wells writes about the three different interests at play in the Cons’ scandal. And Tonda MacCharles explores how the Senate bribery scandal developed – though her willingness to take Con talking points at face value seems questionable given how consistently they’ve crumbled when compared to actual evidence, particularly when the likes of Chantal Hebert and Don Martin are eviscerating the Cons’ ever-more-farcical spin.

- Meanwhile, Don Lenihan discusses why gratuitous secrecy (Read more…)

Art Threat: Tanishq ad for second wedding strikes a chord

 

Across the pond and over the hills to India, a new ad by jeweller Tanishq is the talk of the town for pushing boundaries.

Created by one of India’s largest communication groups, LOWE Lintas, Tanishq’s latest ad features a gorgeous dusky bride on her wedding day. After having her jewellery put on by friends and family, a young girl comes in. Is she a neice? A family friend? As the ad progresses, we discover that the little girl is the woman’s daughter. No taboo-busting here in North America (hell, I was part of both my mom’s and my (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Gordon Hoekstra reports on a study by British Columbia determining that Canada lacks any hope of containing the types of oil spills which will become inevitable if the Cons’ pipe-and-ship plans come to fruition. But once again, the Cons’ response is to make clear that they consider an ounce of self-delusion and denial to be worth a pound of cure.

- Meanwhile, the Star-Phoenix’ editorial board recognizes the desperate need for resource-rich provinces to handle their wealth responsibility: (P)rovinces such as Saskatchewan and Alberta are dipping ever deeper into their one-time resource revenue (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- The National Post offers an excerpt from Susan Delacourt’s Shopping for Votes discussing the role branding played in the election of John Diefenbaker. And Jeffrey Simpson discusses the continued drift toward consumer politics.- But in commenting on the Nova Scotia provincial election, Ralph Surette reminds us what’s lost when voting decisions are made based solely on snap impressions rather than any effort to determine who’s capable of managing a government: There have been several televised debates. To anyone watching them from the point of view of substance rather than mere performance, Liberal (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Jordon Cooper writes about the need to understand poverty in order to discuss and address it as a matter of public policy.

- John Greenwood reports on Cameco’s tax evasion which is being rightly challenged by the CRA – though it’s worth emphasizing that the corporate income tax at stake would figure to include hundreds of millions of dollars at the provincial level. And CBC does an undercover investigation of the types of tax evasion schemes available for a price.

- Speaking of shady practices, a witness before the Charbonneau commission has (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jordan Brennan and Jim Stanford put to rest any attempt to minimize the growth of inequality in Canada: (I)ncome inequality has reached a historic extreme. Inequality was high during the 1920s and 1930s (the “gilded age”), but fell sharply during the Second World War (as Canadians got back to work and taxes were raised to pay for the war effort). The three decades after the Second World War — a “golden age” of controlled capitalism — saw further decline in inequality. The economy was booming and powerful institutions (like progressive taxation and surging (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on Brad Wall’s choice to bring the Southern Strategy north with a dog-whistle appeal to prejudice against First Nations.

For further reading…- Rick Perlstein puts the Southern Strategy (and Lee Atwater’s description of it) in context here.  – The Saskatchewan Party ad in question is here.- The NDP’s 2011 platform costing is here (PDF), featuring significant investments in housing, health care, child care, full-day kindergarten, tuition relief and other social causes. For those keeping score: total mentions of the beneficiaries of those proposed policies in the Sask Party’s 30-second attack ad, zero; total mentions of (Read more…)