Balloons are a threat to civil order. The police must protect themselves from you with riot gear. You are a bad person.
You. You enemy of the state. You radical environmentalist. Or worker rights advocate. Or whatever cause you are promoting.
You. You are a threat to order. When you gather, you are a threat to civil order. You may escalate your activities to the criminality you harbour in your mind.
You. You are a threat to unquestioned profitability for the 1%.
Why? Because you think Walmart is a bad employer. And maybe even bad for the planet.
So this (Read more…)
Today is the first day of our world after the Nelson Mandela era.
We don’t need to canonize him or consider any messiah characteristics, but we should stop today and reflect on what kind of Mandela legacy we want to carry forward.
Here are a few ideas to consider.
Chances are you didn’t wake up every day by meditating on a Mandela quote. Aside from people like Rob Anders, though, most people found Mandela to be an inspiring person.
But one Mandela characteristic we need to hold close to our hearts is that he worked hard. Very hard. So (Read more…)
Greed is a powerful thing. It motivates the greedy to convince workers that they should hate any efforts to make their work better and reduce the level of abuse and oppression they suffer.
If you’d like a list of why they want us to hate our unions, click through to enjoy this brilliant cartoon.
And while you enjoy this light, graphic representation, remember that the list isn’t exclusive. We can also add in this idea that non-union workers are trained to hate unionized workers who make more money than them. The goal, apparently, is that if you’re suffering with pay (Read more…)
From an article at Counterpunch, I suggest you go there and read the whole interview with Noam Chomsky:
“Well, there’s always a class war going on. The United States, to an unusual extent, is a business-run society, more so than others. The business classes are very class-conscious—they’re constantly fighting a bitter class war to improve their power and diminish opposition. Occasionally this is recognized.
We don’t use the term “working class” here because it’s a taboo term. You’re supposed to say “middle class,” because it helps diminish the understanding that there’s a class war going on.
It’s true that there (Read more…)
The finance minister and his tax evasion buddy.
The latest nonsense of the hyper-rich 1% and their political compradors has reminded us once again, that the rich hide their money from government to avoid paying taxes…because they’re rich and can get their way.
Part of how they do that is by using language against us to spin how we even think of community building, on a local or national level. Here’s how:
Firstly, as the brilliant Trish Hennessy puts it:
Tax havens: wrong term.
It’s tax evasion.
Tax havens make tax evasion sound like a temporary holiday, whereas for many (Read more…)
The Prime Minister’s slow clap.
It could be racism.
It could be concern that over time too many first nations citizens may get too educated and start demanding more in terms of inter-national justice.
It could be just that he thinks keeping government spending down is good for his neoliberal agenda and that first nations will likely just roll over and take it when he sends his dismissive, condescending unilateral funding fiats.
But sometimes I wonder about Harper’s soul. How do you sleep at night knowing that a certain race/culture of people get 1/3 to 1/2 less education funding. (Read more…)
From Plutarch’s Moralia:
When the Megarians had expelled Theagenes their tyrant, for a short time they were sober and sensible in their government (politeia). But later when the popular leaders (demagogoi) poured out untempered freedom for them, as Plato says, they were completely corrupted, and, among their shocking acts of misconduct toward the wealthy the poor would enter their homes and insist upon being entertained and banqueted sumptuously. But if they did not receive what they demanded, they would treat all the household with violence and insult (hubris). Finally, they enacted a decree (Read more…)
Chris Hedges: Let’s Get This Class War Started – Chris Hedges – Truthdig.
By Chris Hedges
“The rich are different from us,” F. Scott Fitzgerald is said to have remarked to Ernest Hemingway, to which Hemingway allegedly replied, “Yes, they have more money.”
The exchange, although it never actually took place, sums up a wisdom Fitzgerald had that eluded Hemingway. The rich are different. The cocoon of wealth and privilege permits the rich to turn those around them into compliant workers, hangers-on, servants, flatterers and sycophants. Wealth breeds, as Fitzgerald illustrated in “The Great Gatsby” and his short story (Read more…)
British Columbia’s Child Support Clawback for Children of Parents on Government Assistance Hurts Kids
When I bring up the issue of the child support clawback in British Columbia affecting single parents on temporary or disability assistance through the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation, most people are completely unaware of this mean-spirited policy. It requires that all single parents receiving assistance report the child support they bring in on a monthly basis so the Ministry can then deduct it, 100%, dollar-for-dollar, off of their next monthly cheque.
This is problematic for so many reasons. The most obvious is (Read more…)
September 12, 2013
PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is thankfully becoming less stigmatized due to increased awareness, but like most mental health issues, there stigma that prevents open discussion about mental health is profound. But I recall 2-3 decades ago it was far worse.
There are a few PTSD events that have come up recently that are related to Canada’s shameful neglect and mistreatment of Canadian Forces personnel and veterans suffering from PTSD.
Kate MacEachern went on a long walk last year to raise awareness and funds for PTSD treatment. Wanting to do it again this year, it became incredibly (Read more…)
Banks as predators? Surely, no!
Temporary foreign workers have become a lightning-rod topic in Canadian labour in recent months with the high-profile news of the Royal Bank of Canada replacing staff with TFWs. But the issue is not about RBC, which is merely the latest flashpoint. The temporary foreign worker issue is wrapped up in a number of intersecting topics, including minimum and living wages, the role of the market in setting wages, immigration and job training.
Despite some of the spin we are seeing, the TFW controversy is not an issue of jobs for Canadians versus foreigners, and it (Read more…)
” It’s the Economy, Stupid.” [Or oil, or gas, or energy...]
If you think you know why Syria is happening [and happening NOW], you’re probably missing a number of the elements at play. Don’t expect western governments or the corporate media to enumerate these.
Sure, chemical weapons are horrible, but so are cluster bombs [called weapons of mass destruction in slow motion], which the USA has not abandoned. So we need to pay some mind to that hypocrisy.
Wars aren’t usually wars for better human rights, ideals and democracy. They’re always or almost always about power [even the (Read more…)
The 1% and their media apologists and think tank lackeys would have us all believe that minimum wage is for kids. It’s for unskilled labour in entry level jobs.And it’s ok. We shouldn’t worry. They’re just kids after all: no families or mortgages. They don’t have much training or life experience and honestly, they should be lucky to have work so they could buy CDs and go to movies.That mythology is alive and well, regardless of the fact that the demographics demonstrate that it’s not just shiftless youth who deserve this minimum wage punishment.
As the OECD world (Read more…)
What should military service actually be for?
Wouldn’t it be amazing if Canada were Canada again?
Wouldn’t it be even better if Canada would step up and be a better Canada than we had ever been in the past?
Wouldn’t it be just spectacular if we could step up and be a world moral leader instead of an economically rapacious war-mongering imperialist?
Here’s a bit about how that could happen: choosing peace, diplomacy and negotiation over death and destruction. First we need to imagine what that would look like:
From Jillian Skeet
Date Tue 5:35 pm
(hypothetical press release) September (Read more…)
You need to trust the media less.
Almost a year ago, and before the last US presidential election, Gallup determined that there has been a stunning decline in citizens’ mistrust of the media [see below].
It crossed over from mostly trust to not so much trust around 2004-2005. If you recall, the US imperialist invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the accompanying atrocities and war crimes were given a broad pass by the media. Thankfully, trust in media dropped by 10% then. Now there is a 20 point spread with mostly trusting plummeting to just 40%
That number (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: You Aren’t Sufficiently Critical of the #Media
Workers in Canada and around the world have been under assault for decades, but most of our recent tactics to stop the bleeding have been ineffective. Are we lazy, complacent, overworked, obedient, compliant, subdued, afraid, docile, or fully tamed and intimidated by the one per cent?
If we don’t get a lot more of our boots on the pavement, and soon, our union density will continue to decline to an impotent level. Just look at the United States. Union density does not have to be zero for workers there to consistently lose against employers and anti-worker legislators. Density just has (Read more…)
Sweatshops ‘R Us!
Ripping off employees by paying them less than a living wage [the Metro Vancouver 2013 living wage is $19,64], all to pad shareholder profits, is the glory of exploitative capitalism!
Long live capitalism!
Oh wait, what happens when your own employees can’t afford to shop at your own store?
That’s what sweatshops are like.
And that’s what The Bay has become. Sign the petition below and let The Bay and its new American owners that living wages matter!
According to its employment website, Hudson’s Bay wants to hire only sales associates with at least two (Read more…)
Well, a new school year is about to begin, so it’s time to analyze just how much destruction the 1% will visit upon public education this year. Defunding, corporatization of curriculum, standardization of curriculum and experience, high-stakes testing, homogenization of experience…you know, the same old nonsense that drove me from teaching high school about a decade ago.
And it’s getting worse.
But who is is this vague 1%? Neoliberal governments and their “apostles,” which includes the BC NDP of the 1990s with some of their “reforms” as well as the usual suspects of the global power elite.
If the right-wing (Read more…)
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
- Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream, 1963
What has been most disappointing since I first heard this speech decades ago, is how often I see people in leadership positions, failing miserably when their character is what they ought to be conveying into public service.
What thrills me the most since I first heard this speech is the scores of young (Read more…)
Workplace justice: a pipe dream, or something to build solidarity to fight for?
I had the distinct, and creepy, pleasure of sitting in front of a group of fellows yesterday in, ironically, the cheap seats at the Seattle Mariners game. They were discussing business.
One fellow, who of course may have been speaking out of his butt, detailed a list of business exploits, while the other fellows basked in his glow:
Helping a fellow buy a company from someone later to do time for sideways business practices. That company making a tidy sum through that company from the US Treasury, (Read more…)
You aren’t middle class if you own a cottage. Remember that.
If I need to single-handedly reboot the Occupy Movement for this one, I’ll do it, I tell ya [emphasis is mine]:
A month ago, I had a conversation with Deb Hutton, wife of PC leader Tim Hudak, who said the chances of the Conservatives picking up any of the five seats up for grabs on byelection night were pretty remote.
“They’re all Liberal seats,” she said. “It’s summer time when our most loyal supporters are away at the cottage. We’re obviously going to give it our best, but….” (Read more…)
Welcome to the United States of MexAmeriCanada. Represent!
I was just thinking a few days ago how I haven’t used the MexAmeriCanada tag for a while. Did I cause this to happen, in some cosmic kind of way?
In the old days it was Canadian Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin negotiating the post-911 deep integration of Fortress North America with President George W. Bush.
Now we have “opposite” governing bodies in the two nations, though they’re barely different. North America is still strolling towards a 1984/Brave New World/V For Vendetta kind of soft fascist near-future of corporate “human” rights inside (Read more…)