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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Scott Sinclair, Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood and Stuart Trew study the contents of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Sinclair and Trew also highlight why Canadian progressives should oppose the deal, while Howard Mann notes that the same criticisms, including a gross transfer of power to the corporate sector and the absence of any concern for developmental and environmental issues, apply to all of the new generation of corporate rights agreements. But the Council of Canadians notes that not only are the Trudeau Libs pushing ahead with every single trade agreement currently on the table, they’re also trying to lay the groundwork for a similar deal with China – even if it comes with both a blind eye to human rights violations, and an obligation to approve a tar sands pipeline.

– Bill McKibben examines how new climate data shows that we need a nearly immediate transition away from dirty energy in order to meet the Paris conference commitment to rein in global warming. And Seth Klein and Shannon Daub call out the new form of climate denialism – which pays lip service to the science of climate change, but attempts to detach it from any policy steps to improve matters.

– Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson argue that there’s no reason to keep hewing to neoliberal orthodoxy when decades of evidence show how it exacerbates inequality and harms health:

Even before the 2008 global financial crisis, neoliberalism was causing what the University of Durham’s Ted Schrecker and Clare Bambra have called “neoliberal epidemics.” As Schrecker and Bambra and many others have shown, income inequality has profoundly damaging and far-reaching effects on everything from trust and social cohesion to rates of violent crime and imprisonment, educational achievement, and social mobility. Inequality seems to worsen health outcomes, reduce life expectancy, boost rates of mental illness and obesity, and even increase the prevalence of HIV.
Deep income inequality means that society is organized as a wealth-based hierarchy. Such a system confers economic as well as political power to those at the top and contributes to a sense of powerlessness for the rest of the population. Ultimately, this causes problems not only for the poor, but for the affluent as well. 
Careful analysis of statistical data debunked the idea that stressed executives are at a higher risk for heart attacks. Now, it has debunked the 1980s myth that “greed is good,” and has revealed the extensive damage inequality causes. It was one thing to believe these myths decades ago, but when experience and all the available evidence show them to be mistaken, it is time to make a change. 
“Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error,” said the Roman philosopher Cicero. Now that we know how inequality harms the health of societies, individuals, and economies, reducing it should be our top priority. Anyone advocating policies that increase inequality and threaten the wellbeing of our societies is taking us for fools.
– And Ashley Quan points out how a basic income could alleviate many of the harms caused by precarious financial situations.

– Finally, Thomas Walkom rightly notes that a federal crackdown on extra-billing under the Canada Health Act is long overdue. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Alberta Politics: China’s concerns about Canadian canola are legitimate, and we’re going to have to deal with them sooner or later

PHOTOS: A field of canola at its most colourful, photographed in early August near Morinville, Alberta. Below: Farmer Ken Larsen, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and Harper-era agriculture minister Gerry Ritz. According to the Globe and Mail, or at least one of the five apparently like-minded individuals interviewed recently by the […]

The post China’s concerns about Canadian canola are legitimate, and we’re going to have to deal with them sooner or later appeared first on Alberta Politics.

. . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: China’s concerns about Canadian canola are legitimate, and we’re going to have to deal with them sooner or later

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Alan Freeman is duly appalled by Apple’s attempt to throw itself a pity party with the money it’s hoarding rather than paying in fair corporate taxes. And James Mackintosh reports on Jeroen Dijsselbloe… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Stylized Facts of Canada-China Trade

Prime Minister Trudeau leads a big entourage to China this week, in hopes of expanding Canada’s foothold in that huge economy. A couple of interesting media stories today set the stage for the visit: an overview of China’s evolving diplomatic and economic strategies by Andy Blatchford of Canadian Press, and a review of China’s growing […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The Stylized Facts of Canada-China Trade

Mind Bending Politics: China’s Economic Espionage Against Canada Refuses To Be Dealt With By Government

(China’s Artificially Created Housing Bubble In Canada Set To Burst Warnings Suggest) It’s been no surprise that Canada has long been in a housing bubble. Foreign investors from China have been buying up property in Canadian cities for years, and reselling them to Canadians for way more than the property is worth. China seems to […] . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: China’s Economic Espionage Against Canada Refuses To Be Dealt With By Government

Alberta Politics: News Satire: U.S. will not tolerate foreigners acting like Americans, officials say

ILLUSTRATIONS: A map showing some of the countries in which the United States has interfered in the political process (grabbed from Geology.com). Below: U.S. CIA Director John O. Brennan, Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candid… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: News Satire: U.S. will not tolerate foreigners acting like Americans, officials say

Things Are Good: China Aims to Decrease Meat Consumption by 50%

Consuming meat as part of your diet increases your carbon footprint by a large factor. It take a lot more energy to produce meat than it does to produce plants. Indeed, many institutions have called for people around the world to consume less meat while increasing their fruits and veggies intake. China has issued new […]

The post China Aims to Decrease Meat Consumption by 50% appeared first on Things Are Good.

. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: China Aims to Decrease Meat Consumption by 50%

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Skip The Wishes

The Trans Pacific Partnership is a trade agreement intended to remove red tape for international trade, so if someone overseas can provide a product at a better price than a local producer, the market decides instead of national or regional pride, or even Health Canada regulations. Congrats, your milk could soon have banned hormones in […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Skip The Wishes

Mind Bending Politics: China Defends Its Woody Which Could Kick Off WW3

It takes 3 continents at war to declare another global war, and with recent developments over the past week it looks as though we may be heading in that direction. Europe is fighting a proxy war in Ukraine against Russia, NATO is fighting in the middle east, and now China is flexing its military might in the Asia Pacific Region installing surface-to-air missile systems in and around a disputed island in the South China Sea called Woody Island. . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: China Defends Its Woody Which Could Kick Off WW3

Kersplebedeb | Kersplebedeb: The Maoist Enemy: China’s Challenge in 1960s East Germany

This article examines the challenge of Chinese communism in East Germany in the1960s. It shows how the Sino–Soviet Split and the Chinese Cultural Revolution endangered the public transcripts of East German state socialism by undermining its organizing metaphors and principles. Chinese cadres used their East Berlin embassy as a stage, showcase and megaphone for their dissenting vision of communism throughout the decade, winning some support from elderly communists, young anti-authoritarians and students from the Global South. Studying the East German campaign against what was known as ‘Mao Zedong Thought’ sheds light on the transnational traffic of actors and ideas within ………..READ MORE

. . . → Read More: Kersplebedeb | Kersplebedeb: The Maoist Enemy: China’s Challenge in 1960s East Germany

Michal Rozworski: Why #COP21 won’t deliver the deal we need: Interview with Oscar Reyes

Last week, I interviewed Oscar Reyes on the background to and likely outcomes of the climate talks in Paris just wrapping up. His answers were prescient as the talks look set to deliver a decidedly insufficient agreement, one that locks in more warming shrouded in lofty rhetoric. This interview gives context to the talks and the […] . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski: Why #COP21 won’t deliver the deal we need: Interview with Oscar Reyes

Michal Rozworski: Podcast: COP21, climate inaction and corporate power

  This week marks the beginning of the COP21 climate talks in Paris, the latest episode in a UN framework that has been trying, and failing, to reduce global carbon emission for over two decades now. For my first interview, I caught up with Oscar Reyes, Barcelona-based climate policy researcher, to get an overview of what […] . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski: Podcast: COP21, climate inaction and corporate power

Scripturient: Mao: The Unknown Dictator

Although I have read many biographies of the European dictators, and many histories of Europe and the Americas in the first half of the 20th century, I hadn’t read much about modern China until recently. Mao: The Unknown Story (by Jung Chang and … . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Mao: The Unknown Dictator

Things Are Good: China Cancelling Debt of Developing World

China has announced that it will provide debt relief to the developing world. President Xi Jinping made the announcement at the UN and anticipates the fund to help the developing world will eventually reach $15 billion. presently the fund is set at $2 billion and will have a positive effect on the poorer nations.

“Looking . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: China Cancelling Debt of Developing World

The Disaffected Lib: Living in a Real Life Dystopian State

Chinese leaders may think their biggest enemy is the United States but what’s most likely to bring China down is home grown.

Ten years ago it cost him his job but that didn’t stop then Deputy Minister of the Environment, Pen Yue, from speaking to Der Spiegel about China’s environmental apocalypse.

Many factors are . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Living in a Real Life Dystopian State

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Stephen Marche discusses the Cons’ ongoing efforts to make Canada a more closed and ignorant country: Mr. Harper’s campaign for re-election has so far been utterly consistent with the personality trait that has defined his tenure as prime minister: his peculiar hatred for sharing information.

Americans have traditionally . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

The Disaffected Lib: The Madness of Mandarins

Yeah! Beijing has won the 2022 Winter Olympics.  Yeah. The Olympic committee awarded the games to a city of 22-million with a water supply capable of supporting 12-million.  Yeah.  By the time the games open (if they can find/make snow), Beijing should be transformed into a new supercity of 130-million renamed as Jing-Jin-Ji.

The Jing . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: The Madness of Mandarins

The Disaffected Lib: China’s "Century of Humiliation" And Why It Matters.

I’m regularly astonished at the reaction I receive when I mention the militant nationalism flourishing within China’s military establishment, stoked by the perceived need to avenge what they call China’s “century of humiliation.”

Few in the West have the slightest idea of how Britain and her allies suppressed the Chinese and laid low their . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: China’s "Century of Humiliation" And Why It Matters.

The Disaffected Lib: About that "One Child" Rule?

China seems poised to breed itself out of a looming demographic problem.  The most populous nation on Earth may scrap its old “one child” rule in favour of a “two child” limit for new families.

Thirty-five years after enacting draconian birth control rules blamed for millions of forced abortions and the creation of a demographic . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: About that "One Child" Rule?

The Disaffected Lib: A Seismic Jolt That Most Won’t Even Notice

Just consider it the 21st century version of the “Great Game,”  the superpower struggle to wrest control of South Asia.  While it used to be a contest between Russia and Britain, today the players are Washington and Beijing.  The latest round goes to China and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which seems to be evolving . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: A Seismic Jolt That Most Won’t Even Notice

Dead Wild Roses: China or Russia? Who is Boogyman Number One for the US

The concluding paragraphs from Michael Klare’s Essay on the Coming Cold War 2.0.

“For those of us residing outside Washington, this choice may appear to have few immediate consequences. The defense budget will rise in either case; troops will, as now, be shuttled desperately around the hot spots of the planet, and so on. . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: China or Russia? Who is Boogyman Number One for the US

Accidental Deliberations: Juxtaposition

Sure, it might be tempting to say there’s no difference at all between this… The federal government touted a number of initiatives Wednesday for improving First Nations’ well-being but could not explain why a new report showed the prosperity gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people was widening in some cases.

The report, released by the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Juxtaposition

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Four Books

For many centuries, the core of Chinese education was focused on four classical works from the Confucian school: The Analects, The Great Learning, The Mencius, and Maintaining Perfect Balance. This didn’t really change until the arrival of the West and the industrial era was forced onto China in the 19th century. These were sacred books . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Four Books

Sketchy Thoughts: Gender and Capitalism in China Today, a Discussion in Montreal

On May 7th, join us for a discussion of the role gender plays in workers’ exploitation and resistance in contemporary China, looking specifically at changes in the appearance of the oppression of female workers between the socialist period and the capitalist restoration, as well as issues facing migrant female workers under the triple oppression of Patriarchy, . . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: Gender and Capitalism in China Today, a Discussion in Montreal

The Disaffected Lib: The Generals are Talking – That’s Rarely a Good Thing.

The top brass is getting restive and they’re looking for a bit of mass mayhem.

This might be news to you but Russia has an Academy of Geopolitical Problems. The president of the academy, Konstantin Sivkov, wears a uniform with the insignia of a three star general.

Comrade Sivkov thinks he has an answer . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: The Generals are Talking – That’s Rarely a Good Thing.