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Politics, Re-Spun: Why I Joined Team Mulcair

After years of concern about what a second Harper majority government would do to eradicate the rest of what I love about Canada, I’ve been able to reject fear and embrace change. But it was a long process that required coming to terms with Tom Mulcair. And I did.

And so should you, which is why you should also be able to let go of any urge to vote for the Liberal Party.

As trade unionists we should be voting not only in our interests, but in the interests of the country. The great thing about being in the working (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Elect Harper = Kill Medicare for Good


THIS is how much the Harper Conservatives resent, hate and want to kill Medicare with a slow, painful death [starting with a $36 billion cut]…leading to for-profit healthcare where the rich are OK, the companies are brutally profitable and the middle class and poor go bankrupt or die from untreated diseases.

Just like before Medicare in Canada, except now with American corporations earning billions in profits.

Want any more time with Harper’s gong show in charge?

No. Heave the Steve!

And here’s a bonus for you:

August 3, 2015 11 Weeks of Daily Harper Protests (0) December 11, 2013 (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Obama Battles Harper Over Climate Change

Obama spoke the other day about climate change: “we’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change; we’re the last generation that can do something about it.”

Stephen Harper denies the science.

It’s about that simple.


February 19, 2015 Looking for Heroes? (0) August 3, 2015 11 Weeks of Daily Harper Protests (0) December 11, 2013 How Harper is Gutting Canada: THE LIST (0) July 8, 2014 The Occupy Movement Has Changed the Narrative, But We’re Not Done (2)

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Obama Battles Harper Over Climate Change

Politics, Re-Spun: Harper’s Campaign Against a Mythical Netflix Tax Backfires, Badly

Check out our savvy PM, getting all hashtaggy on us all!

But to quote Mr. Layton from 2011, it’s become a #Fail, or, “Hashtag-Fail” if you will.

You see, our PM has decided to say that others want to bring in a Netflix Tax. So he opposed it. But he just made that up.

And now social media is punishing him. With the aplomb we’ve come to expect…remember #TellVicEverything?

Try the trending #NoNetflixTax to see what people are doing to our lying PM.

Harper's original #NoNetFlixTax and my improvement. #cdnpoli #elxn42

— Stephen Lautens (@stephenlautens) August (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Stephen Harper Is Such a Bad Economist!

He says he’s awesome, but he’s so bad, that on the economy he’s the worst prime minister since WWII.

And his campaign is “don’t change horses in mid-stream, I’m a great economist, we aren’t in a recession, we have a balanced budget and only I can protect you from the terrorist onslaught that wants to kill us all.”

All lies.

And here’s some data that demonstrates Harper’s delusion that he knows anything useful about economics:

December 11, 2013 How Harper is Gutting Canada: THE LIST (0) August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: 11 Weeks of Daily Harper Protests

The Harper Re-election Disaster Bus Totalitarianism: daily, for 11 weeks!

Get used to this.

People hate Harper and his Conservatives. We will see through his weak attempt to wedge oppositions parties by running a long election campaign because he has more money to spend.

Saturation will come fast.

We will remember how much contempt he holds for people and democracy.

We will listen to his 5 non-answers to 5 media questions each day and we will be constantly reminded of how much we can’t stand what he has done to Canada.

And we will see this. Every day:

Harper campaign (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Is Greece the Front Line in the War Against Neoliberalism?

The EU is a powerful vehicle for neoliberalism. When democracy in Greece pushes back, we see the length the EU will go to punish and control Greece.

Neoliberalism is inherently anti-democratic. Greece deserves our support. And we need to continue to oppose neoliberalism and the soft fascism in Canada [like C-51] that the Conservative and Liberal coalition have been pushing for decades.

Viewed from either side of the political spectrum, the EU looks like a disaster right now:

The conservatives are proven correct about the way the EU takes away national sovereignty: The Greeks voted in a referendum to reject (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: My Canada Includes…The Future!

Inspired by Nora Loreto [again], I am starting to frame my vision for what Canada should be after C-51, the TRC report and the October 19, 2015 federal election.

Here are my initial thoughts:

I’d love it for the very foundation upon which Canada [sic] is built, to crumble! We can start a national dialogue to re-imagine it, but way better than for 1982. This time, let’s go with:

– a distinct Quebec society– First Nations at the table as equals– repeal C-51 and get our Charter back– repeal the Indian Act– no Senate– (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Why People Hate the Translink Police

Replace “driver” with Translink cop.

I had a hard time reading all the way through this article, the one about Translink cops terrorizing bus passengers on Friday night.

I also had a hard time reading about the two Translink cops found guilty of assault on Friday.

I’m sure it was just a coincidence that they both happened on Friday.

And I find it astonishing that Neil Dubord, the head of the Translink police [or his social media lackeys] would choose to follow my largely apolitical personal Twitter account [unless he also like Pink Floyd and the Baltimore Orioles].

Also (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Let’s Give Green Energy $5.3 Trillion This Year

What fraction of a decade would it take to completely get off fossil fuels [oil, gas, coal] and create a post-carbon energy/transportation infrastructure if the clean, green energy sector were publicly subsidized at $10,000,000 per MINUTE, or $5,300,000,000,000 [yes, that’s $5.3 trillion] for 2015?

Please, I dare you to attack me for the numbers. They don’t come from some tree-hugging enviro-hippie think tank. They come from the spinal fluid of neoliberalism: the IMF.

So, when people say it’s not feasible to get off carbon energy, let them know that worldwide, taxpayers are subsidizing them more than everyone in the (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How Do YOU Fight for Workplace Justice?

How do YOU define determination?

One of them gave birth the day before the vote. As soon as her baby was nursing properly and her bloodwork came back okay, she made the trip to the hotel to vote.

via Inside a union drive at The Trump Hotel | Toronto Star.

February 19, 2015 Looking for Heroes? (0) March 14, 2014 Don’t Tolerate Ignorance About the Minimum Wage (0) October 27, 2014 The Election-Eve Racist, Sexist Attack on Olivia Chow (0) December 17, 2013 Fried Squirrels (2)

Politics, Re-Spun: Sadistic Police and Their Entitlements

If you wonder why police are losing respect as a credible element in a peaceful, democratic, civilized society, watch this video [the slightly longer version is here].

Not only does a white shirt pepper spray an unarmed man at almost point blank range, watch what else happens.

The white shirt steps back a few steps after filling his face with pepper spray. Is he afraid of retaliation? From a man filled with pepper spray in his face? Another non-white shirt decides that the injured man, who is taking slow steps backwards, is a sufficient threat that to take (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: An Analogy For Understanding Violent Protest In Baltimore

Let’s say you live in an apartment building, and the only way to buy groceries was to order them and have them delivered to your apartment.

Everyone is told “To place your order, simply call this toll free number, state your name, address, and what you want to purchase.” The cost of the groceries is automatically withdrawn from your bank account, and then the groceries are delivered.

For the people living in apartments ending in the numbers 1-3, this is exactly what happens, almost 100% of the time. On the very rare occasions the groceries don’t arrive, the customer (Read more…)

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


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!


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…)