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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…)

drive-by planet: Calls by Jewish groups for removal of Translink ‘Disappearing Palestine’ ads is an attack on free speech

Beneath left: Martha Roth of the Palestine Awareness Coalition

An ad appearing on a dozen or more Vancouver buses and in the City Center SkyTrain station has been the target of criticism by some Jewish groups. The four-panel ad shows a map of Israel over the last six decades – from 1946 through to 2012. Each successive panel shows how Palestinian territory has shrunk with the passage of time. 

The chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver called for Translink to remove the ad. Objections have been raised by The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), Friends (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Dean Beeby reports on the utter uselessness of the latest set of publicly-funded Con propaganda. But more importantly, John Ibbitson notes that most of the provinces have little use for the lone new announcement – meaning that it’s for the best if Canadians have indeed tuned out the Cons rather than relying on promises which likely won’t come to pass.

- Meanwhile, Dan Leger writes that we should be just as concerned about the Cons’ list of friends should be of just as much concern as the enemies lists which have received so (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Michael Harris nicely describes what the Cons are actually doing with power while pretending to be innocuous fiscal managers: The PM and his government are not good managers. The nauseating repetition of the claim that the Tories know what they’re doing with the country’s finances will not make it so.

They’ve pissed away more money than Madonna on a shopping spree — a billion on the G 8-20 meetings that put a dent in the world’s Perrier supply and little else.

They just plain lost $3.2 billion and the guy in (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Scott Sinclair discusses how CETA could create extreme and unnecessary risk in Canada’s banking and financial system: The failure of a single company (such as Lehman Brothers in October 2008) or unchecked growth in markets for high-risk financial products (such as sub-prime mortgages) can quickly cascade out of control, threatening the integrity of the entire system. Especially during a crisis, financial regulators need to act decisively, without worrying about expensive lawsuits from disgruntled foreign investors. But that’s precisely the toxic ingredient the CETA negotiations have introduced into the mix.

The EU insists (Read more…)

Art Threat: The Foodies vs. Miracle-Gro: bad advertising only perverted tomato squeezers could love

Advertising can be an annoying, all-intrusive, manipulative way to hock a bunch of crap we don’t need, or it can be an entertaining and necessary cog in the wheel of any business. The most effective ads are the most honest ones (which are also the least greasy). After all, an ad that is lying might get a customer in the door the first time, but when they see a difference between what they were promised and what’s actually being delivered, the brand is tainted and has lost a long-term customer.

The recent commercial for Miracle-Gro LiquaFeed (a product of the (Read more…)

Art Threat: Controversial Coke advert causes stir in Australia

Without a doubt, Coca-Cola is one of the worst companies on the planet. From its murderous human rights violations stamping out unions in Latin America (especially at Colombian bottling plants) to its marketing to youngsters to its environmental record (especially concerning water), it is hands down a terrible corporation getting away with incredible harm on this planet. So it’s refreshing indeed to see Killer Coke get its comeuppance in this amazing Australian Greenpeace TV advert about Coke and plastic pollution. While it’s not surprising that Coke is blocking a new recycling scheme in Australia it is surprising that the advert (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- For all the talk of fraud and cover-ups among the Cons this week, the most important story on that front looks to be the release of Judge Mosley’s decision on Robocon – featuring findings of fact based on the best evidence presented by the Cons (and affected voters) that the 2011 election was marred by electoral fraud facilitated by the Cons’ voter database, and that the first Cons covered it up by destroying the records which would have allowed investigators to determine who was actually responsible, then engaged in questionable tactics to keep (Read more…)

ezra winton: An honest Coca-Cola advert

Without a doubt, Coca-Cola is one of the worst companies on the planet. From its murderous human rights violations stamping out unions in Latin America (especially at Colombian bottling plants) to its marketing to youngsters to its environmental record (especially concerning water), it is hands down a terrible corporation getting away with incredible harm on this planet.

So it’s refreshing indeed to see Killer Coke get its comeuppance in this amazing Australian Greenpeace TV advert about Coke and plastic pollution. While it’s not surprising that Coke is blocking a new recycling scheme in Australia it is surprising that the advert (Read more…)

The Liberal Scarf: What’s another 20 mil of your tax dollars, anyway?

After years of using your tax dollars for partisan self promotion, the Conservatives want $20 million more of your tax dollars to keep the ball rolling. Every time you see a taxpayer funded ad while watching the playoffs, that’s $95,000 of your tax dollars. That same amount could create 32 summer jobs for youth, which would really help the economy.

PS: Here’s what it looks like when a government actually cares more about ensuring youth are an active part of the economy.

The Liberal Scarf: What’s another 20 mil of your tax dollars, anyway?

After years of using your tax dollars for partisan self promotion, the Conservatives want $20 million more of your tax dollars to keep the ball rolling. Every time you see a taxpayer funded ad while watching the playoffs, that’s $95,000 of your tax dollars. That same amount could create 32 summer jobs for youth, which would really help the economy.

PS: Here’s what it looks like when a government actually cares more about ensuring youth are an active part of the economy.