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Politics, Re-Spun: Does BC’s Neglect of Poverty Constitute a Eugenics Plan?

There has been a great deal of talk in recent decades about the cycle of poverty, how it’s a vicious circle that children have difficulty getting out of.

Human chromosomes with telomeres stained fluorescent red. Copyright Nakamura et al.

It makes sense. If parents are short on economic resources, have to work multiple jobs, have little free time to nurture their children, it can impede children’s growth.

What if poverty actually harmed children physiologically, not just impeding socio-economic opportunities? Wouldn’t that then constitute a plan to ensure the poor really, really, really stay poor?

An underclass?

It wouldn’t be a (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: BC’s New Landscape and Ecology Eradication Projects!

Once upon a time, before we knew much about ecology and systems theory, corporations just went around raping and pillaging the countryside, polluting whatever they wanted.

Shhh, there’s a secret new law: it’s open season for corporations to rape and pillage our environment.

This came back to me grotesquely in a Mad Men episode a few years ago when Don Draper takes his family out for a picnic in the countryside. When they finished, they packed up to go back to the car to drive home and left all their garbage on the grass. And the sight of that (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…)

ezra winton: My second interview with the incredible George Littlechild

AAbove is a screen shot from the Art Threat site, which currently features my newest interview with an artist whose work is alive with history, heart and healing. I’ve been honoured and privileged to interview George Littlechild once before, and seized upon the opportunity for a follow-up on the heels of the release of a new book dedicated to this remarkable First Nations artist. Hop on over to Art Threat to read the full interview, and enjoy!

Politics, Re-Spun: Poor Kids, Poor Families and Shame

“When Centennial’s students found out Seymour couldn’t hold a pyjama day because many students didn’t have pyjamas, they fundraised to buy every Seymour student a pair last Christmas.”

- When the Field Trip’s Too Pricey, Students ‘Self-Exclude’

BC’s disgusting and preventable child poverty crisis. Let’s stop coddling the rich!

When parents receive letters from their kids’ school asking for donations for playground upgrades or library books or technological devices, a certain segment of the population sighs, grows a few more grey hairs and dies a little bit inside.

Parents who are struggling financially cannot afford the luxury of even (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Expanding Our 2014 Boycott List: #BoycottLoblaws

First, it started with IKEA, which has been locking out its Richmond, BC workers for 11 months. Then it expanded to a white Richmond farmer who isn’t all that happy with all the non-white farmers changing the complexion of farming in BC.

So we’re are committing to #BoycottIKEA and boycotting W & A Farms products.

Now, it’s Loblaws/ExtraFoods/T&T/RealCanadianSuperstore that needs a hefty, long-term boycott.

A portion of every dollar you spend at any of that chain’s stores goes to fund the anti-social Fraser Institute and its campaigns to destroy the public education system in Canada.

The [Weston] family foundation (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Resistance is Futile: Steveston, Developers, PR flacks, and the Borg

The idyllic town of Steveston, located at the western tip of Richmond, is the site of what appears to be a battle for the ages: the City Council is facing an invasion of the Borg as they debate what to do with a developer’s plans for an historic district along the waterfront.

Yes, the Borg. Those Star Trek baddies who are part-human, mostly-machine who invade, who tell you in a terrifying voice that “Resistance is futile,” who ignore the fact that you just want to get on with your own life, and who assimilate you – forcibly make you be (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…)

Political Eh-conomy: Where’s the tax in BC’s carbon tax?

British Columbia’s carbon tax has been getting some high praise lately. A recent article in the Atlantic called it “the crown jewel of North American climate policy”. Such assessments need some tempering. BC’s carbon tax can tell us important things about the limits of fiscal policy today, which in turn questions the potential it has for fostering significant environmental change.

Tales of the tax’s effectiveness focus on its environmental impacts. Almost six years since its introduction, it is indisputable that the carbon tax has had some impact on resource use and emissions. This is clearly a good thing. There is (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Let’s Not Ban Books, Kamloops

Ban me? Burn me? Fear me?

OK, Kamloops, take a cool soothing breath while I take a short break today to not talk about the rebooting of the Occupy Movement in 8 days.

I know most of you in The Loops are doing just fine and that most of you are OK with literature, including that which challenges our comfort zone. After all, we revere Shakespeare and he was a crude, vulgar dude, when he wasn’t being extraordinarily profound.

But if you actually go through the process of banning The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the whole world of (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Published elsewhere: Five myths to bust about minimum wage hikes

I wrote a piece on the very recent proposal to increase the minimum wage in British Columbia that was published over the weekend in The Tyee:

The B.C. Federation of Labour has just proposed to increase the minimum wage in British Columbia to $13 per hour. In short, it’s about time. With this proposal, B.C. joins the minimum wage debate that has erupted across North America. The debate is much needed: poverty wages have no place in today’s economy.

In the United States, the lowest-paid, most precarious workers stood up and demanded a higher minimum wage at (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Stop Listening to the Big Oil Spin!

Do the math. Please.

For a great long time, I’ve been talking about how we must dump the oil, gas, fracking, tankers, pipelines, coal…all the carbon-based energy systems because of climate breakdown [aka climate change, aka global warming, aka the greenhouse effect]. We need to transform our society to a post-carbon energy infrastructure.

The lie that there are billions in government revenue and 90 gazillion jobs just waiting for us all (sigh) is so incredibly compelling. But if you look at some data, like…facts, you might find some startling surprises that indicate that you’ve been swallowed whole by the carbon-based (Read more…)

Eclectic Lip: British Columbia hits 1,000 EV’s (and gov’t drops support)

image of Tesla Model S’s at a rally, from Consumer Reports

 

British Columbians have now purchased more than 1,000 plug-in electric vehicles. Add in low-speed neighbourhood electric vehicles and owner conversions, and the number will be a bit higher.

As of Jan 31, 2014 Polk research (now a division of IHS) had tracked 912 plug-in electric vehicle registrations in BC, representing about 1/6 of all PHEV registrations in Canada to date. British Columbia has about 1/8 of Canada’s population, so the numbers are largely in line with what we’d expect from the demographics.

Polk’s data doesn’t include the Toyota (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Selling prosperity in a time of austerity: Budget days in BC and Quebec

Two very different provincial governments tabled their budgets this week. The freshly-elected BC Liberals and the seemingly election-ready Parti Quebecois both delivered what they termed “responsible” budgets. While the two governments identify with opposing ends of the political spectrum and face distinct political climates, these differences did not prevent their budgets from displaying some eerie similarities. Since these budgets tell the same stories, they are laying the ground for a common response.

Although the BC and Quebec economies are often regarded as moving in opposite directions, their economic performance in the five years since the financial crisis has been quite (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: BC Parents Want Evidence-Based Learning Programs and Supports in ALL BC School Districts

There can be hope for children with autism in BC schools     Parents want evidence‐based learning programs and supports established in all B.C. school districts.     February 17 2014, Surrey, BC:  Recent news stories such as the Seclusion and Restraint report and most recently the story of Susan DeBeck, a Vancouver teacher who claims she was fired for standing up for her students with special needs, shows the education system is in a state of crisis when it comes to providing appropriate supports for students with special needs.  A local non‐profit autism support group is reaching (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What is Soft Fascism, Anyway?

I keep writing about soft fascism. Why is that, anyway?

Soft fascism is a process of anti-democratic governing that is not as overtly totalitarian or authoritarian as more historically memorable fascist states. Soft fascist governing has features like:

corrupt electoral processes legislative tactics that undermine democratic engagement warrantless monitoring of citizens limiting the time that legislatures sit silencing of public servants disregarding court rulings against legislative abuses criminalizing dissent

Naomi Wolf’s 2007 book, The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, and her article in the UK’s Guardian newspaper helped begin an analysis of how (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: This Week Will Clobber You, Politically

I apologize in advance, British Columbia.

This will be the week from hell, and it started yesterday while we were all Family Day-ing. Hold your breath:

Yesterday, the Conservative Soft Fascist Party of Canada rammed through the “Fair (sic) Elections Act” that will further protect us from the possibility of fair elections into the future. The next Fair Elections Act will likely give corporations the vote. Because why not, they’re people too! Actually, they’re more human than us in so many ways. And it’s actually called corporatism, not so much the fascism. In recent weeks we heard that the (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Because You’re Not As Dumb As They Think You Are!

Today is Friday. Let’s make it “think for ourselves Friday.”

It’ll work: the government/corporations/1% won’t see it coming!

Twitter / occupythemob: http://t.co/doHx1xWO4l.

December 17, 2013 Fried Squirrels (0) December 20, 2013 Enbridge: What Now? We Escalate Our Fight (4) January 7, 2012 Day Two of Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0) January 7, 2012 Opening Panel from the Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0)

Politics, Re-Spun: What’s With Pipeline-Loving Old Men?

High 5′s to people are aren’t old men! [on average, 19 times out of 20, +/- 3.6% of the time.]

My apologies if you’re a man, or over 55, but those two demographics love the Big Oil, and they’re giving you all a bad name!

Here’s why.

I know lots of men and people over 55 who know that moving to a post-carbon energy infrastructure is the only sustainable future. The problem is convincing their peers that getting rid of their Lexus [it used to be Hummer] is in everyone’s best interest.

Maybe it’s because some of those (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Commentary: Legal safeguards for tenants are meaningless without enforcement

by: Kendra Milne | First published by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Housing is a right. [Photo by Obert Madondo/The Canadian Progressive

Safe and secure housing is a cornerstone of overall health and well-being. The housing affordability crisis in BC is common knowledge, but less well known is the fact that the lack of enforcement of tenancy laws threatens the safety and security of rental housing across the province.

Roughly one third of British Columbians live in rental housing. They depend on BC’s tenancy laws to ensure that their rental housing is safe and reasonably well maintained, that they (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: BC Is Actually “Missing” More Than 94,000 Jobs #SpinAlert

It’s not unusual to see unemployment rates of around 6-8% these days. But if you have always had the feeling that more than one in sixteen people is unemployed, you’re right. The capitalist machine likes to use that low number to avoid the greater reality that almost 30% of British Columbians from 15-64 are not working.

Why is that? Optics. Here’s how it works.

The graphic here is from a CCPA report this month showing that despite an optics-friendly jobs plan in BC, we have also had a jobless recovery since the crash in 2008, and more particularly, since the (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: More Clever Climate Change Awareness Actions!

…Burning oil caused the melting in the first place…

A week ago [was it that long?] two climate change activists pulled a Yes Men on our greatest employee, Mr. Stephen Harper.

But last summer, you may not have seen an equally clever, but more hi-tech, stunt by Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic campaign against Shell in Belgium, also about climate change.

Watch the video here, then join the other 5 million people and click here to join the action:

Shell’s priceless Grand Prix moment BREAKING: Our @Shell Grand Prix ceremony video has been banned from YouTube. So, we put (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Come On, Let’s Really Increase Taxes on the Rich

Well, here’s something you don’t see [ever] in corporate media: a review of tax measures in the USA since the crash in 2008 that have succeeded in increasing taxes on the rich. And it turns out, tax increases that are regressive [sales taxes, etc.] or include the non-rich, seemed to fail quite a bit.

How did these taxes on the 1% succeed?

One way is mixing “traditional lobbying with the direct action of the Occupy movement.”

And here’s some rationale for why the rich should pay more, with tax revenues going to restore and improve public services:

(Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Yesterday’s Climate Justice Protest #SpinAlert

Sean Devlin, of ShitHarperDid.ca, had the temerity to interact with our employee, Mr. Stephen Harper.

Yesterday, we saw a new level of action against climate destruction policy. In the style of co-conspirator Brigette DePape, two protesters crashed Harper’s contemptuous public appearance. Harper holds the media and the general public of the nation of Canada in open contempt: he won’t talk with the press except under extraordinarily tightly controlled circumstances, and he actively avoids any opportunity to mingle with his 35 million employers. He must think we’re stupid or dirty.

Even at the event at Vancouver’s Board of Trade yesterday, (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Yesterday’s Climate Justice Protest #SpinAlert

Politics, Re-Spun: Just How Lazy ARE Indigenous People, Anyway?

It’s a trick question.

And let’s not forget how many of us are told we are inherently lazy because we are native. Hard to shake that.

via Twitter / apihtawikosisan: And let’s not forget how many ….

And if you want to read one person’s analysis of destructive, racist stereotypes, try this on, from Frank Assu, also known as Tlakwatsi, a member of the We Wai Kai First Nation of Quadra Island.

December 4, 2013 Are We Good Allies to First Nations? (0) July 25, 2013 Why We Must #HonourTheApology to Residential School Survivors [#INM] (1) December 17, 2013 (Read more…)