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Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Paul Wells argues that climate change and First Nations reconciliation – two of the issues which the Libs have tried to turn into signature priorities – look set to turn into areas of weakness as Justin Trudeau continues his party’s tradition of dithering. And Martin Lukacs writes that Trudeau’s handling of continuing injustice facing First Nations has involved an awful lot of flash but virtually no action:

The extractivist worldview—bent on treating everything as a commodity—that lay behind Stephen Harper’s resource agenda just as powerfully shapes Trudeau’s. In fact, the Liberals’ attempt to wrap themselves in the UN Declaration without embracing its central right may constitute a new, more subtle form of extraction: the extraction from Indigenous territory of consent itself.

Liberal moves to extract and manufacture consent and support for outdated policies are evident elsewhere: restoring funding to the Assembly of First Nations, a government-dependent organization that has since plumped frequently for them; appointing an Indigenous Justice Minister, even though Indigenous critics argue she has sided with the government agenda throughout her political career; and agreeing to call an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, but with a mandate far short of what impacted families wanted. As the weight of reality presses against Trudeau’s rhetoric, the ability to generate consent is crumbling.

Reconciliation is a powerful hope, an uplifting prospect, a deeply desired new relationship that Trudeau has compellingly invoked. But if reconciliation does not include the restitution of land, the recognition of real self-government, the reigning in of abusive police, the remediation of rivers and forests, it will remain a vacant notion, a cynical ploy to preserve a status quo in need not of tinkering but transformation. It will be Canada’s latest in beads and trinkets, a cheap simulation of justice.

– Guy Caron discusses the CRA’s role in Canada’s two-tier tax system. Stephen Punwasi comments on the connection between Canada’s willingness to facilitate tax avoidance, and the real estate bubbles driving housing prices far beyond what working-class Canadians can afford. And Marc Lee then highlights the connection between soaring urban real estate prices and increased inequality. 

– David Ball notes that many municipalities are retaking control over their own services after learning that the promises of efficiency through privatization are entirely illusory.

– Richard Orange points out Sweden’s intriguing idea of reducing taxes on repair services to discourage people from throwing out consumer goods. But I’d wonder whether that step alone would make a dent if it isn’t paired with a concerted effort at training potential repair workers for a job which the corporate sector would prefer to eliminate.

– Finally, Paul Mason makes the case for economics to be based on real-world observations of human behaviour, rather than insular mathematical models whose assumptions about market efficiency bear no relationship to reality. And Branko Milanovic discusses the need to measure and reduce inequality as part of a global development strategy. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Politics and its Discontents: According To Wood Harrelson, It’s Simple

Unfortunately, thanks to the intractable and self-indulgent nature of far too many ‘ordinary’ people, it isn’t.Recommend this Post . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: According To Wood Harrelson, It’s Simple

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- George Monbiot discusses the inherent conflict between consumption and conservation:We can persuade ourselves that we are living on thin air, floating through a weightless economy, as gullible futurologists pr… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Chris Mooney takes a look at the positive side of social influences on behaviour, as new research shows a correlation between spending time with neighbours and an interest in the environmental issues which affect us all. But Adam Stoneman documents how another form of social interaction – that . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Saturday reading.

– Joseph Heath looks at the spread of the McMansion as an ugly example of competitive consumption which benefits nobody. And Victoria Bateman discusses the need to question the assumptions underlying laissez-faire policymaking: Science and technology are central to rising prosperity, but, as cases such as the internet and . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Dead Wild Roses: John Hari on Addiction – Isolating Addicts is not the Answer

This is taken from the interview titled: Does Capitalism Cause Drug Addiction? The piece that I am going to excerpt is about how we view addiction in society. If we are to believe Hari, it isn’t about a failure in moral rectitude or falling into a drug laden trap of compulsion; but rather it is . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: John Hari on Addiction – Isolating Addicts is not the Answer

cmkl: Bushtukah changes gendered promo copy after complaint from awesome blogger

Okay, I admit it. Irene Jansen is my partner. But I still think it’s pretty cool that she got the normally excellent outdoor gear retailer Bushtukah to change some of the promo copy for its kids bikes so that it’s not so Ken and Barbie.

Politics, Re-Spun: Why TV Keeps Almost Being Good

There was once a show called Revolution. And another called Scorpion.

Each had a great premise: a world after electricity, and what happens when you have a bunch of geniuses trying to work together on cool projects.

Each failed miserably [as art] almost immediately.

Why? Nothing new here. Network TV isn’t about high quality art. . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Why TV Keeps Almost Being Good

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Elizabeth Stoker Bruening discusses the effect of poverty at the family level, particularly when coupled with policies designed to force workers to chase jobs far away from home and family: If you want to see the right-wing denuded of its usual bluster about family values and welfare, . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

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 . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Which BC Corporations Would YOU Like to Euthanize?

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– George Monbiot opines that curbing corporate power is the most fundamental political issue we need to address in order to make progress possible on any other front: Does this sometimes feel like a country under enemy occupation? Do you wonder why the demands of so much of the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

– Reviewing Darrell West’s Billionaires, Michael Lewis discusses how extreme wealth doesn’t make anybody better off – including the people fighting for position at the top of the wealth spectrum: A team of researchers at the New York State Psychiatric Institute surveyed 43,000 Americans and found that, by . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Politics, Re-Spun: How Selfish Are Old People?

It’s not so cut and arid. It’s not like old people didn’t create EarthShip.

But this graphic, that’s not the only study that shows how younger people aren’t so yuppie, so individualist, so consumerist, so selfish.

If you don’t have enough under-40s in your life, work on it.

The fall of the Communist regimes of . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: How Selfish Are Old People?

In This Corner: The least wonderful time of the year.

Welcome, shoppers, to the most frenzied time of the year, when most of what used to be called ‘spare time’ is taken up by shopping, planning your shopping list, scanning online for bargains, or simply driving around the mall parking lot looking for a spot.

Christmas (or, if you prefer, the ‘holiday’ day) is a . . . → Read More: In This Corner: The least wonderful time of the year.

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– The Star points out what the Cons have destroyed – including public assets and program spending – in order to chip away at the federal deficit caused in the first place by their reckless tax slashing. And Thomas Walkom discusses how their latest “job” scheme does nothing but . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Linda McQuaig discusses who stands to lose out from a CETA designed to limit its benefits to the corporate elite. And PressProgress points out that Canada’s pay gap between CEOs and workers is higher than that of any other OECD country other than the U.S.

– Meanwhile, . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

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 . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial!

Politics, Re-Spun: The Occupy Movement Has Changed the Narrative, But We’re Not Done

Recently, with the WEF spending the last few years acknowledging global income inequality is a problem, I’ve declared a kind of victory for the Occupy Movement: getting the lexicon on the 1% and inequality on the tongues of the sly gazillionaires who rule the world, and into mass consumption.

Now we see that the CEO . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The Occupy Movement Has Changed the Narrative, But We’re Not Done

Accidental Deliberations: To dream fondly of the day when ads haunt our dreams

Heather Mallick’s column about the public’s willingness to sell out to the corporate sector for cheap unfortunately meanders off on a few too many tangents before reaching much of a point. But even if she’d connected with a truly incisive take, snark has nothing on Terence Corcoran – who goes to far as to whine . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: To dream fondly of the day when ads haunt our dreams

Politics, Re-Spun: Elevate the World from Mediocrity to Greatness? Lululemon? GMAFB

GMAFB

Capitalism dissociates us from each other.

It makes us embrace consumerism and individualism and erodes community and cohesion.

Yet, oddly, Lululemon’s mantra of elevating the world from mediocrity to greatness is about liberating us from those shackles. Oddly, based on Ayn Rand’s whacko philosophy [see below], we need to be liberated from such . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Elevate the World from Mediocrity to Greatness? Lululemon? GMAFB

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy Vancouver Reboots Tonight!

Occupy Vancouver reboots tonight to join the worldwide #WaveOfAction that began on April 4 and runs [at least] to July 4, 2014.

We will meet in Grandview Park on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish territories.

615pm is the start time, though honestly, I’ll be there a bit early. With my Occupy Vancouver . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy Vancouver Reboots Tonight!

Politics, Re-Spun: Honing In On Friday’s #WaveOfAction

We need to think about two things for this Friday’s Occupy Movement reboot in the Worldwide #WaveOfAction:

When thinking about pursuing social, political and economic equality, what is the list of things we need to change, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally? Who do we need to build coalitions with to listen to them, support them, . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Honing In On Friday’s #WaveOfAction

Politics, Re-Spun: Yes, Your Parents’ Standard of Living Was Better

Ugh. We’re so much poorer than our parents!

Yes, your parents’ standard of living was better, so what are you going to do about it?

When I was growing up in the 1970s, most [maybe 80%?] of my friends had a mom who stayed home and didn’t work.

Over the last 40 years . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Yes, Your Parents’ Standard of Living Was Better

Politics, Re-Spun: Don’t Tolerate Ignorance About the Minimum Wage

Now, stop tolerating ignorance! And smile, TGIF.

Hello.

It’s Friday.

For many people it’s TGIF. But for many people who aren’t even teenagers, the work week isn’t ending today.

We often THINK minimum wage is for the new entries to the job market. Maybe it was one day. Maybe just for one day.

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Don’t Tolerate Ignorance About the Minimum Wage

Politics, Re-Spun: If the 1% Has Russell Brand Killed…

If the 1% has Russell Brand killed, we will see it in the corporate media as a drug OD relapse, or a freak accident.

Why?

He is dangerous because he fearlessly tells the truth and challenges pretence.

Let’s examine this in some detail here [with video]:

His brain works twice as fast as most . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: If the 1% Has Russell Brand Killed…