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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 of Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest cancers of neoliberal capitalism and a prime mover of the 2008 crash, has admitted that income inequality is a problem and a destabilizer. Sadly, though not surprisingly, in this interview he also trotted out typical neoliberal “realities” (Read more…)

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 that spam e-mails are “essential in a market economy”, and to suggest that any legislation goes too far in regulating the digital equivalent of door-to-door sales.

Which leads to the question: exactly how many people – the marketing industry excepted – actually see the constant (Read more…)

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 an environment that is imagined to be government-controlled.

I will pardon you for not laughing at the irony of this. It’s not funny. The hyper anti-government, anti-community, pro-individualism, pro-capitalism Ayn Rand crew fears government will turn us all into mediocre wastelands of human endeavor.

But if (Read more…)

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 sign taped to my hockey stick. In some convenient part of the park, since there will be a May Day march arriving there for a rally at the same time.

Things to consider:

Inspiration for this venue came from funkypenzz. Vision [mine anyway]: Seeking equality (Read more…)

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, empower them; and who will convene the meetings?

And instead of wondering who’s got your back, figure out whose back you need to protect.

There are two days left. No rush, because Friday is just the start of the 3-month Wave that culminates on (Read more…)

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 the proportion of single income households seems to have flipped so that it seems to be only about 20%.

So what’s wrong with this graph over there?

There’s a huge increase in the number of families with more than one income source in the last 40 (Read more…)

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.

But today? If it isn’t a living wage, it’s exploitative.

And if it is just minimum wage, we are likely not too accurate on who is suffering with these low wages.

Let’s take a peek:

It is not the stereotypical pothead living in their parents’ basement.

(Read more…)

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 brilliant people I’ve encountered in my life. He is the socio-political heir of George Carlin. He speaks truth to power AND the masses. And frankly, WE’VE FORGOTTEN THAT THE MASSES ARE THE POWER. He is sober, so no one can credit his speedy speaking style on (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Advertising, bondage and consumerism

I turn off the mute on the radio, to check if the nauseating ads are finished and we can get back to the music, and I hear, “New York steak…” – so I mute it again immediately; and I think: Advertising = the intensification and multiplication of human wants and desires = the diminishing of […]

The Disaffected Lib: Coming Soon – 3-Billion More "Big Mouths" to Feed

The world’s middle class is on the verge of a population explosion.   Sorry, Earth.  Of the 7+ billion people on the planet today, about 1.8-billion are considered middle-class or make that consumer class.  By 2030 that sub-2 billion is expected to burgeon to just under 5-billion strong, churning away on their computers to order crap from Amazon.

Middle-class consumers will increase to 4.8 billion by 2030 and 95 per cent of them will be from developing countries, said United Kingdom Foreign Secretary’s special representative on climate change, Prof Sir David King.

He said, currently the (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Are You a Consumer, Taxpayer or Citizen?

“Taxes are the way we pay for the things we decide to do together, and we are stronger together.” – Alex Himelfarb

Citizen. Period.

While we consume and pay taxes, those are activities of our existence. The economy is supposed to serve our social goals as human beings. We are not economic entities that exist to serve the 1% in their effort to maximize shareholder wealth.

So here’s a word to drop this year, and forever:

Taxpayer

Of course, we are all taxpayers, but we are, first and foremost, social citizens who invest in each other and in our (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Because You’re Not As Dumb As They Think You Are!

Today is Friday. Let’s make it “think for ourselves Friday.”

It’ll work: the government/corporations/1% won’t see it coming!

Twitter / occupythemob: http://t.co/doHx1xWO4l.

December 17, 2013 Fried Squirrels (0) December 20, 2013 Enbridge: What Now? We Escalate Our Fight (4) January 7, 2012 Day Two of Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0) January 7, 2012 Opening Panel from the Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Media Corruption Trifecta!

It’s a trifecta of moral corruption!

Rex Murphy shills for Big Oil and Gas. Postmedia consigns its editorial control to the Oil and Gas Lobby[TM]. Postmedia, naturally, fires one of the best energy/environment reporters in the nation.

Film at 11.

Ok, it’s 11. Let’s drill down.

Journalists should declare when they receive money to speak at events. Sooooo many of them don’t. They think it’s OK because, shut up. But it’s a compromise to their credibility and can fuel speculation about conflicts of interest and bias. Many journalists pretend they’re objective. It’s humanly impossible to be objective. We all have (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Two Richmond Boycotts for 2014

Bill Zylmans, that awkward racist guy.

First we have IKEA’s union busting, coming up on one year of locking out their workers because they won’t take major concessions in the face of billions in profits.

Now we have the strawberry and potato farmer who worries about how few Caucasian farmers are left around these parts, don’t ya know.

Here are the boycott details.

Bill Zylmans of W & A Farms is unhappy with so many non-Caucasians getting into farming. Let’s boycott their products.

IKEA has been pulling in billions in profit for years, but finds its union workers in Richmond (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Can We Stop Treating Women Like Meat? Now? Maybe? Please?

Women-as-sex-meat, 2014 edition begins now. The #FacePalm is appropriate.

It’s nothing new, but when can media just stop. Maybe when it’s no longer profitable? We need a revolution in media by boycotting all venues that perpetuate the women-as-sex-meat theme. Here’s what’s new, this time with Eugenie Bouchard and Cate Blanchett.

“You’re getting a lot of fans here,” noted Smith, a former British tennis champ. “A lot of them are male, and they want to know: If you could date anyone in the world of sport, of movies – I’m sorry, they asked me to say this – who would you (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Can We Stop Treating Women Like Meat? Now? Maybe? Please?

Politics, Re-Spun: What Does Post-Corporate Media Look Like?

I know you’re wondering. But it’s hard to imagine. Kind of like a fish imagining life without water. We’ve known corporate media for generations. Since the advent of psychology and marketing, the influence/manipulation of corporate media is ubiquitous. And not in a good way.

But let’s take a few moments to imagine the features of post-corporate media, where increasing the audience [by a variety of questionable, sensationalist means, sometimes] to increase ad revenue isn’t the goal.

Let’s start here with this:

The CBC. Mothercorp. Publicly funded, at arms length from the taxpayer funder. It has access to national radio and (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Cheap T-Shirts Keep Harper in Power

Whenever I read stories about corporations wanting to do the right thing, I never hold my breath. Clothing corporations, the sector where “sweatshops” originates, want us to believe they care. They don’t.

Read what nonsense they are trying to peddle to get us off their back for exploiting people so we can have cheap t-shirts. Then, hold your breath for this, scroll all the way to the bottom to see how it comes all the way back to keeping Stephen Harper in power.

Start here:

Shortly before Black Friday, H&M announced that it also plans to start paying 850,000 workers (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Real Reason We Need to Get Rid of Corporate Media

Goodbye.

While I’m also sad that the Kamloops Daily News is closing, I think Warren Kinsella is over-simplifying a few things [see below] with respect to how the media climate will be affected by the closing of this for-profit business, earning shareholder value by producing mass media content, while sometimes allowing its corporate revenue-generating employees to produce some adequate-to-good journalism.

Let’s explore all this:

“Idiot bloggers, and idiot politicians, will continue to be happy about this sort of thing. The former will say the disappearance of the so-called MSM means more audience for them.” [read the rest of his (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Economic Growth? I Prefer Steady State

Economic growth suggests that infinite growth is possible. Even with a growing earth population and increasing climate breakdown, people still think we can continue growing.

I like using the seasons analogy to describe that human economic activity ought follow the cycle of seasons, with a steadying imperative. This is why I like the Steady State folks.: “ Perpetual economic growth is neither possible nor desirable. Growth, especially in wealthy nations, is already causing more problems than it solves. Recession isn’t sustainable or healthy either. The positive, sustainable alternative is a steady state economy.”

Here’s Kai Nagata’s excellent analogy (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What’s Wrong with America, Billionaires and Corporations?

Riotously popular economist Umair Haque had a few interesting tweets about America, corporations and billionaires this week. [View the story "What's Wrong with America, Corporations and Billionaires?" on Storify]

December 30, 2013 How the Occupy Movement is Enriching People’s Lives (1) April 18, 2011 Embracing BC NDP Corporate Tax Increases (8) March 27, 2013 The Pidgin Picket, the Housing Crisis and the State (0) July 8, 2013 Terrace: Regulating Housing Dignity Is Far Easier Than You’d Think (0)

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: What’s Wrong with America, Billionaires and Corporations?

Politics, Re-Spun: A Key Union Priority for 2014

Naomi Klein urges unions to join climate change fight

Many groups are calling for significant and sufficient action to address climate change, which is fantastic. But unions have not been loud enough. This is significant because they often have more money than many other progressive groups to fight for the social good, particularly when rapacious corporations and rampant consumerism are the core impediments to change.

This whole article is worth your time to read, but here are some key bits that should help you fix your focus for your union for 2014:

There is nothing more important than a healthy (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Diane Coyle offers a preview of Thomas Piketty’s upcoming book on inequality – featuring a prediction that absent some significant public policy intervention, we may see a return to 19th-century levels of concentration of wealth.

- Meanwhile, Murray Dobbin calls for 2014 to be the year of living consciously – including both a concerted effort to donate to fostering change, as well greater efforts to bring about change through our own lives.

- Veronica Bayetti Flores writes about the challenges in building movements which won’t leave people behind: I am so ready to (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Boxing Day Shopping

It’s never enough, is it?

Recommend this Post

Politics, Re-Spun: ACTION: Illegal Israeli Settlement Goods Sold at London Drugs

SodaStream boycott informational picket

Saturday, Dec. 21, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

London Drugs, Broadway @ Cambie, Vancouver

Below is a notice of an important event happening on Saturday in Vancouver. If something is labelled as “Made in Israel” but is really made in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank of Palestine, where does it really come from? Nowhere that I would want to buy from. You?

I’m only as free as everyone is free. Don’t tolerate occupation. The boycott alternative information is here.

Nelson Mandela has died, but the memory of his commitment to universal freedom and (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Fixing Cyncial Corporate Media

How to inoculate yourself against cynical corporate media.

Corporate news media is not on our side. It is on the side of stoking fear, cynically eroding possibilities of a better, more robust democracy, and scaring us into obedience to corporations and government through sensational stories that undermine our happiness.

But we can fix this. And it’s not hard.

While crime rates have been dropping, media coverage of crime has increased. This creates buzz and sensationalism and higher ratings which translates into higher advertising revenue for corporate media. I don’t think we can fix this.

Corporate news media is also guilty (Read more…)