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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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Are Your White Male Entitlements Maiming Your Vote this Month?

I’m not going to argue that using an Intersectionality lens in the municipal election in 2 weeks will make your voting choices perfectly easy.

But I will say that your white male entitlements have likely contributed to worse choices in the past. Including not voting.

When you read this entire article you will see the lie of neutrality and non-partisanship.

Don’t perpetuate your perhaps inadvertent oppression.

As we approach the municipal election on November 15th, potential voters may feel unsure about which party or candidate represents the best interests of their community. One way to begin sifting through the different (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Work, Dignity and Living Wages?

A strong union. Corporations that understand the social contract. Corporations that know a tad smaller profit here contributes to more dignity throughout society. Corporations that recognize the value of unions. The living wage in Vancouver this year is $20.10, almost double the minimum wage. The “precariat” are precarious proletariats. We have too many of them; but fewer in Denmark! Let’s follow their lead!

What Danish fast food workers have that their American counterparts do not is a powerful union, and fast food franchise owners who are willing to make a little less of a profit, though they still (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Join Ricochet: A new take on independent media.

Have you joined yet?

No? So, you’re good with corporate media spinning things for you, against your personal, community, national and ecological interests?

Oh. Ok.

Ricochet is an audacious response to a difficult context. Independent and in the public interest, Ricochet will provide a space dedicated to investigative journalism and high-profile opinion. Published in two distinct editions, English and French, Ricochet will illuminate the cultural and political diversity of this country.

via Ricochet: le journal nouveau genre. A new take on independent media. | Indiegogo.

July 6, 2010 More Bad News for Dreams of Solid Journalism (1) November 15, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: If You Read But One Thing About Universal Childcare This Week

Line them up here. In this one section of universal childcare analysis by one of the smartest people in the country, Michal Rozworski, we see a number of significant policy issues addressed:

affordable childcare. universality. feminism. including mothers in the workforce more effectively. a better shot a living wage for childcare workers. national standards. standardized curricula and best practices. economies of scale [for those obsessed with the business plan]

Ultimately, a winning paragraph in a winning analytical piece

While caring for children is an essential task, it is also an unequally distributed chore according to gender and made difficult by (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Transit Should Be Free; Until Then…

$1/day is a good start to get there.

It’s good for the environment. It reduces commuter stress. It forces governments to increase progressive taxation to cover infrastructure costs. It uses BC’s cheap hydro electricity. It combats rampant zombie consumerism. The post-secondary UPass system has improved commuting incredibly.

So $1/day is a good start to get there:

Mayoral candidate Meena Wong of COPE launched another populist proposal Wednesday, calling for a universal transit program that would cost each of Vancouver’s citizens $1 per day.

– from Universal transit in Vancouver for $1 a day, pitches mayoral candidate July 9, 2014 How (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What I Am Thankful For

This weekend, I am thankful for folks in Seattle who know how to transform the imperialist Columbus Day into Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

May we all learn this for next year!

“We are all citizens in a democracy, we are all here to work with each other, and by making this Indigenous People’s Day, we are adding something, we are not taking something away. We can both recognize our strengths.”

“We are not reveling in the pain of our past, but rejoicing in the celebration of a triumph—the voice of the indigenous people who are saying ‘we are still (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Harper, Militarism and the New Toonie

Harper continues to ignore, demean and disrespect soldiers while once again sending them into one of his neo-conservative “wars,” which is good for a PM heading into an election, needing to solidifying his base that loves him to kill the evildoers.

But his long-term plan to militarize Canadian culture [Winnipeg Jets logo, honouring military at professional sports, etc.] has stepped up to another level with this WWII photo on the newest toonie.

Fascism glorifies war. Soft fascism makes it look like it’s perfectly natural.

Think critically about the steady creep of militarism and what it does to our culture.

(Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Stop Persecuting The Rich, You Stinkers!

Rich folks, corporations and capitalists are feeling persecuted AGAIN!

George Monbiot explains that we [citizens in pseudo-democracies] are attacking them and their right to a free market as well as their right to be free from disloyal politicians pursuing policy goals that serve voting human people instead of businesses.

Here is an excerpt; click the link at the bottom for the rest of it:

The more power you possess, the more insecure you feel. The paranoia of power drives people towards absolutism. But far from curing them of the conviction that they are threatened and beleaguered, it becomes only stronger.

(Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Against Collective Forgetting

Workers must do our part to Stop Harper!

Happy Labour Day!

In Stephen Harper’s Canada, we keep enumerating the things we’re losing: meaningful legislative debate, evidence-based policy, public science, a free and open society, among other things. But what happens if we go too long with a slow erosion of the features that make our society vibrant? What happens if we let the right wing continue to teach us that we shouldn’t expect anything meaningful from government?

What happens if young Canadians grow up without a sense of what used to be the Canadian birthright: Medicare, the CPP, and (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial!

Steve Harper, the greatest threat to Canadian security in the modern era.

Happy August! Happy Day!

I have a few comments about this, the 1,000th editorial at Politics, Re-Spun. But you can read them below, about my sabbatical plan, new visions for this almost 12-year-old website, and other things.

But at the top of this post, I have something slightly more urgent to delve into before I check out for a break.

That great sick freak, Donald Rumsfeld is generally credited with popularizing the concept of unknown unknowns to our modern/post-modern era. Being a sick freak, he spun that bafflement (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Israel: Rogue State

Why It Matters That Norman Finkelstein Just Got Arrested Outside the Israeli Consulate

Israel has the right to defend itself.

Arguably, so does every nation.

Israel, however, gets a free pass for going well beyond defending itself.

I’ll leave the West Bank alone right now.

Gaza:

Is an open-air prison, walled off by Israel. Is under an economic embargo. Is barred from importing and exporting. Recently saw its Gaza Ark bombed. Twice. Has had its children, hospitals, university, homes, beach soccer-playing teen boys, and hundreds of civilians systemically targeted and bombed/murdered. Makes people feel uncomfortable when they see pictures of (Read more…)