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Politics, Re-Spun: Vancouver’s Co-Working Co-op Stimulates Worker Empowerment

Tuesday night in the back room of The Tipper bar/bistro/restaurant on Kingsway at Victoria we are holding our Inception Meeting for a new kind of co-working space in Vancouver, one structured as a co-op.

You can read about the project in The Georgia Straight piece last week, and on the project webpage at Incipe, the consulting workers’ co-op that is spawning this co-op. Incipe, in-CHEE-pay, is Latin for “Begin!” And you can register for the [free] meeting here. And if you want to be involved and informed, you can sign up for the e-newsletter here.

We (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What’s Wrong with Canada? We’re Not Denmark-ish

And I don’t mean we need to become Denmark, but we need to have the dialogue about why they can do what they do and we choose not to.

When Canadians are surveyed, a very large majority of us support these public goods. But those desires get subsumed with corporate, neoliberal, right wing government-cut rhetoric.

We need to explore the political sociology of Denmark to understand how they embraced the tax commitment to provide these public goods.

We can be Denmark, but we choose not to.

We need to respin the messages from the tax-hating corporations and make the economy (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How Does a Politician Define Contempt?

If you’ve ever wondered how a really really bad provincial MLA explains how to define contempt for the population, you must watch this.

At least twice!

February 2, 2015 The So-Called Transit Referendum: Don’t Be Duped! (0) February 18, 2011 Endorsing Alnoor Gova for the Burnaby-Douglas Federal NDP (3) November 29, 2014 International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders (0) March 18, 2013 #SpinAlert: Light Rail for the Valley Instead of a UBC Subway (17)

Politics, Re-Spun: Reject the Slow Motion Privatization of K-12 in BC

Privatizing education in BC has been largely subtle and hidden. Absurd conflicts like this below [Restricted Vancouver playground access sparks angry exchange between [PRIVATE!] school principal, parent] help the general public see what’s actually been going on for a long time with private schools. Mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine. Not ours. This is unacceptable!

Note the editor conspicuously omitted the word “private” from the headline’s description of this school principal. Spin alert!

And why have we given a free pass to the premier for sending her child to a private school? That’s not (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Being a Better Ally: #IWD

Click me; it’s good for you!

International Women’s Day is a check-in point for me: I try to take stock of what has improved or worsened since last year. Doing so helps me be a better ally.

Our soul as a nation has suffered this past year. It has suffered from the continuing culture of rape and violence against women. The behaviour of the Dalhousie male dental students is just one more indicator of our continued dismissiveness and our neglect of dignity, though the process of restorative justice they’re now participating in offers some hope.

The worst sign, by far, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Looking for Heroes?

I’ve been watching The Book of Negroes this week. I have no words. I only recognize justice, integrity, brutality, acknowledgement, witnessing, story telling and a myriad of other foggy responses.

It’s easy to also ponder qualities of heroes.

Then I read this from earlier this week, and nodded. Do you get it?

Anishinabe Women Protest Energy East Pipeline on Family Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 16, 2015

‘Protect the Water, For Future Generations’: Message being shared today with local families, starting at Market Square at noon.

Kenora—Dozens of Anishinabe Women, their families, and supporters converge today on Market Square at (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: But Will Harper’s C-51 Save Us From Mad Cow? No!

Harper’s terrorist legislation doesn’t protect us from the REAL menace!

#RejectFear

Stephen Harper’s Anti-Terror Bill C-51 needs to be expanded to give CSIS the authority to thwart the mad cow threat and beef up Farmland Security.

via The Bovine Threat – YouTube.

November 14, 2010 Harper + Aung San Suu Kyi + G20 Protesters = Hypocrisy (2) December 11, 2013 How Harper is Gutting Canada: THE LIST (0) September 21, 2010 The Police State Infects An Apathetic Canada (16) April 24, 2014 Help Conservative Senators Stop Harper’s Banana Republic (0)

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: But Will Harper’s C-51 Save Us From Mad Cow? No!

Politics, Re-Spun: Stephen Harper: Racist AND a Hypocrite!

Just WHO should be covering up?

I recall once that Stephen Harper believed in championing religious freedom. Except for people he doesn’t like.

Now he’s appealing a federal court ruling allowing people to exercise their religious freedom by becoming citizens while not publicly removing their niqab.

But why, you ask?

Because Canada is transparent, open, equal and just. And Stephen Harper is our leader, so he too is transparent, open, equal and just.

Except he’s not. At all. He’s a racist and a hypocrite. Read on!

“I believe, and I think most Canadians believe that it is — it is (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Ever Wonder How the 1% Talks to Each Other? Shhh. Listen!

It’s not a secret language, it’s a style, an effervescence. A whimsicality.

It’s like how people stand when they’re shopping in Tiffany’s. You feel me?

Read on about a new luxury property on Georgia in downtown Vancouver [emphasis is mine]:

The Penthouse

Upstairs, in the 48th-floor penthouse, it is a different story again. It is a rare true penthouse, taking up the entire top floor and entirely encircling the elevator core. And, aside from one lavishly staged corner, the penthouse is currently a vast, empty, concrete shell, waiting for whoever takes it on to do with it what they will. (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The So-Called Transit Referendum: Don’t Be Duped!

By Emily Griffiths

The Transit referendum “Yes” campaign has been asserting itself all over Facebook, Twitter, neighbourhood news boxes, and I can’t help but ask myself, Since when is increasing a flat tax a leftist thing to do?

Oh! The word “transit” has been attached to the newest proposed consumer flat tax increase, therefore rendering it “left” and “sustainable”. Have we forgotten that the poorest members of our community are already shelling out $91-$170/ month just to be able to ride a crowded bus to work and back without risk of being detained by over zealous transit police (the only (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The So-Called Transit Referendum: Don’t Be Duped!

Politics, Re-Spun: You Deserve Better Wages and Benefits

Right wingers want to pay no tax. It’s hard to bleat about that in public without sounding like the greedy, selfish people they are.

Instead, they say that public sector workers are paid too much, and that we should privatize everything. THAT way, governments get to starve themselves to the point where they collect virtually no taxes.

Instead of letting rapacious corporations dictate what market wages should be, we should explore living wages, then dream up a world not so different from ours when private sector workers make the stable wages and benefits of public sector workers.

Dream with me, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Yet Another Logistical Solution to Homelessness

So, Utah has been eradicating homelessness by giving people homes. The bonus is that it’s easier and cheaper to provide social services to people when their housing needs are met.

From Amsterdam, we see yet another logistical solution for emergency housing while we have a national dialogue on a national housing plan.

A rich country like Canada should have no difficulty developing a national housing strategy that solves homelessness and unaffordable housing.

The houses will rent for 700 euros a month, or about $900. It’s a little less than someone might pay for a cramped single room in the city, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How to Excuse Your Child from the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA)

Well, it’s that time again: Foundation Skills Assessment in BC.

There are so many things wrong with the FSA tests. I won’t go into them here, but you can read about many of them in these places:

Foundation Skills Assessment: Another Dirty Trick The BCTF on the FSAs.

And so you know, the BC Ministry of Education has an information FAQ for parents and a brochure. Neither tells parents that/how they can exempt their students from this silly test. No surprise. While the government “says” it doesn’t support the use of test results for school ranking, the BC (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Who Cares About Fixing Poverty in BC?

Well, it’s the Poverty Reduction Coalition!

One of their many activities is to send recommendations to the government when the government deigns to ask people for their ideas. The Finance Committee is an all-party committee of the legislature, so the government usually ignores their recommendations.

As citizens, we need to make the government respond to our demands, particularly when legislative committees provide pretty good recommendations!

Here’s what’s going on this year, from the Poverty Reduction Coalition.

Read it, below Then email, phone [250.387.1715], tweet or Facebook the premier and tell her to listen to the Finance Committee (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Which BC Corporations Would YOU Like to Euthanize?

Oh, what a list it would be!

Enbridge?

Kinder Morgan [the zombie child of Enron]?

Imperial Metals [fanciful producers of the Mount Polley Mine disaster]?

Other companies that treat workers badly like IKEA or Rocky Mountain Railtours?

Capitalism is all about worshiping Frankencorporations that are immortal, legally a human being, limit the liability of owners if the company screws up, taxed much lower than real humans, and are designed to maximize shareholder wealth while minimizing risk to capitalists and maximizing consequences for others. Raping and pillaging is just an added bonus.

But what if a company, in its cancerous (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Why the Police Don’t Know Why People Don’t Trust Them

Laval police delete controversial photo from social media | Montreal Gazette.

This is why the police don’t know why people don’t trust them. That, and killing First Nations youth, people of colour, immigrants and the mentally ill.

Laval police delete controversial photo from social media | Montreal Gazette.

Now, contrast that with this fellow, Pittsburgh’s police chief, who is getting vilified for suggesting that there is racism within his force:

And let’s end with this. Is this picture from 1962 or today?

"I got your civil rights right here" Clarksdale Mississippi 1962 by Danny Lyon #ows #BlackLivesMatter pic. (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Shhh, The Bold Revolution Has Started

We live in tumultuous times:

Ferguson and other non-indictments of white police who murdered people of colour ISIL and other extremism Stephen Harper’s continued assault on democracy and embrace of soft fascism [has he had CRA audit YOUR favourite progressive group yet?] Accusations against Jian Ghomeshi Accusations against Bill Cosby The epidemic of campus rape, and necessary reflection about why it has taken this long to take this seriously Victoria’s Times-Colonist newspaper’s racist editorial cartoons, and necessary reflection about why it has taken this long to take this seriously Pipelines, fracking, dirty energy, tankers The destructive Site-C dam (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Imagine, Re-Imagine the Strawberries

i’m imagining it again tonight

the mosaic tiles in strawberry fields in my ether in the intersection of idealist moonbeams and #BlackLivesMatter marchers swirling under the Manhatten hum [or is it a pulse?] feeling the tranquility of the mosaic despite being just steps from the Dakota.

i didn’t know then but they wrote strawberry fields in the weeks leading up to my birth.

even though it isn’t all about Me it’s about relationships in orphanages in England among people around the Imagine among the million marchers for… what they imagine they want in our world.

i couldn’t see strawberry (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Even Capitalists Are Starting to See the Zombies in the Tarsands!

What kind of oil investments become zombies with cheap oil?

[Shhh, it’s the Solstice today, but don’t tell the carbon energy sector!]

Extracting and burning oil, gas and coal [the carbon criminals destroying our climate] is a bad move.

Capitalists, zombies themselves seeking to maximize shareholder wealth at the expense of everything [or, brainz!], are now starting to do the math and realize that too.

Stranded assets are investments in sectors that evaporate. Factories that make 8-track tapes. The asbestos industry [just kidding, it’s still running, but it should be a zombie]. But what happens to all (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Alberta Government Begins to Sunset Oil Production

Edmonton’s Eastgate: What are those cylinders in the background?

This week, as an early Christmas present to the province, the world and future generations, the Alberta government has begun the process of completely ending oil, coal and gas production in the province within a generation.

Citing its historic mismanagement of oil royalties compared to Norway’s nearly trillion dollar endowment, the Finance Minister spent much of his speech to the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce defining the government’s new energy posture.

He apologized on behalf of former governments, saying we will now “get off the oil train” [see below], (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Confusing People with a Die-In in a Mall?

Shoppers didn’t quite know what to make of the whole thing.

via Protesters Bring West London To Standstill In Solidarity With Eric Garner And Michael Brown – BuzzFeed News.

I can see their faces, up on that top floor. Looking down. Confused. Concerned. Or…moved to silence?

Were they unsure of why the die-in was happening? Or was it just a lazy line to toss in there.

If the former, THAT’s why we need die-ins. If the latter, sigh.

I think it’s sigh, though. Thinking that a non-brutal mall is an odd thing misses several points, including that people of colour (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Entitlements? What About Understanding UNentitlements?

Punishing irony.

OK, I’m fine admitting it. I focus on entitlements a lot. I’m often trying to encourage people to examine our unexamined entitlements: race, age, economic class, gender, sexuality, etc.

But one way to understand entitlements is to understand how unentitlements work.

I’m guilty of overlooking this. Until today.

Read this, below, then read the rest of it. See if you don’t weep.

And ask yourself if BC Liberal MLAs can read this and understand what they don’t know about unentitlements.

This same boy, earlier in the year when the weather was just getting cold, was wearing flip flops (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Ferguson?

If there’s anything you can learn from Ferguson this morning, it’s that we need to check our race- and class-based social, political and economic entitlements.

It’s the least we can do this morning.

"If racism is something you're sick of hearing about, imagine how exhausting it must be living it every day." Jon Stewart

— Kendra Coulter (@DrKendraCoulter) November 25, 2014

Deaths from police shootings US 461 (*updated, likely undercount) Germany 8 Britain 0 Japan 0 #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/WqBnHNIdaA

— Conrad Hackett (@conradhackett) November 25, 2014

August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) July 15, 2013 Fearing Kate (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Tens of Billions Wasted

How much will we keep spending to develop more fossil fuels when we know we have to stop to avert climate breakdown?

$88b/year?

More?

How about zero. It’s time to redirect that money to wind, solar, geothermal, and hydro so we can stop exacerbating our climate crisis.

Redirect NOW!

Let us end this silent accord to let the carbon energy interests destroy us.

And let’s leave coal and nuclear behind too.

Deal? Good.

Now go let our corrupt politicians know we won’t stand for this nonsense anymore.

June 16, 2014 Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Fire Your Boss?!

If you are interested in:

social and economic justice equality and less income inequality workplace democracy and autonomy work-life balance improving the world because you are young and you have the most to lose with a rapidly decaying planet,

Then, read this paragraph. It comes from a document you should ponder endorsing.

If the paragraph is intriguing to you, click the link, read the rest and consider endorsing it!

Then, join or help form a co-op!

COOPERATE TO TRANSFORM SOCIETY

We, young cooperative leaders and members, believe in the co-operative principles and cooperative values. We believe that the co-operative movement (Read more…)