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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Matthew Yglesias points out that a particular income level may have radically different implications depending on an individual’s place in life, and that we can only address inequality by formulating policy accordingly: The median household income in the United States is about $52,000. So go ahead and picture a median-income household. What did you picture?

Did you picture a 25-year-old with a decent job who’s maybe worried about student loans but is basically doing okay? Or did you picture a married pair of 45-year-olds who are both full-time workers stuck in kinda crappy (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: How to Subtract by Adding – Minute Physics

Damn, and you think that Math would be straightforward. I’m contemplating throwing this at students when I get to sub in for a Math teacher – I can’t wait.

Filed under: Education, Science Tagged: Adding by Subtracting, Minute Physics

Dead Wild Roses: Behold! The Power of Penguin Poo.

I’m so pumped, I can barely handle the excrement over this topic…

Filed under: Education, Humour Tagged: Humour, Penguin Poo

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Black Press proves its news instincts once again

A spy in the Prince Rupert region provided information that would probably surprise the unscholarly urban dwellers at the Koch brothers’ favourite Canadian policy institution: Fraser institute identifies Conrad Elementary as one of the fastest improving schools in the province, based in part on improvements at the grade 7 level. What they fail to notice is that Conrad hasn’t had any grade 7′s in four years, since we went to a K-5, middle school configuration. The devil is in the details, yes?

Indeed, Conrad Street Elementary is unique, not at all one of the cookie cutter schools filled with children (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Ontario’s Sex Education

As Frank Zappa sang in his 1968 song, What’s The Ugliest Part Of Your Body?: What’s the ugliest Part of your body? What’s the ugliest Part of your body? Some say your nose Some say your toes I think it’s your mind, your mind, I think it’s YOUR MIND, woo woo I’m not a fan […]

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: BC schools and school children at risk

After the event that killed thousands, injured tens of thousands and affected millions of Nepalese, a Berkeley seismologist spoke about preparations needed in regions with high seismic activity. Dr. Peggy Hellweg said: Probably the most important factor in building collapses is the construction of the building, the structure. In general all buildings constructed in an old style, which is stone on stone; or stone, mortar and stone; are very, very susceptible to earthquakes.

Ten years ago, the BC’s provincial budget made this unequivocal commitment: “Funding is also provided to seismically upgrade all at-risk schools within 15 years.”

(Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Budweiser Stops Pandering to Rapists?

Budweiser, the perfect beer for rapists:

Being up for whatever happens [even with its own hashtag: #UpForWhatever]

+

an evening environment that doesn’t include no in its vocabulary

+

all within our still vibrant rape culture

=

a recipe for Budweiser to demonstrate how pathetic they are at understanding how communication works.

And they end up being complicit in continuing to promote rape culture and a world where explicit consent for sex is either ignore, downplayed or rejected.

They still haven’t apologized, but they have said that they regret missing the mark. Continue to not expect integrity from corporations:

(Read more…)

Things Are Good: Rethinking Environmental Education Under Neoliberalism

Neoliberalism is the current way of thinking about the economic state of the world. It’s the thinking that has led to the financialization of nearly everything in the world – think about how we justify our thinking in economic terms and not other terms.

The critiques of the mind-numbing neoliberal approach to thinking are growing and the most recent issue Environmental Education Research examines how neoliberalism is changing how we teach. This is good because we need to move our way of thinking beyond an economics-only framework, the more we critique neoliberalism the better the world we can create.

“Environmental (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Trish Hennessy writes that the Cons’ budget is based purely on wishful thinking and deliberate denial rather than any rational plan. PressProgress identifies just a few of the problems which can’t be put off for two generations, no matter how determined Joe Oliver is to push any responsible government past his own lifetime. Adam Radwanski spots what may be a ready-made mechanism for the Cons to announce pork barrel projects without counting them in the federal budget. And Stephen Tapp writes that it shouldn’t be hard for opposition parties to find fiscal (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Three Cheers for the Calgary Expo – Angry Man Babies Explode in Rage!

All of the following has been cribbed from David Futrelle’s We Hunted the Mammoth – Thank you David for doing the heavy lifting on this one.

“The Honey Badgers — a mostly female A Voice for Men spinoff group known for its unlistenable internet “radio” shows — was sent packing after conventioneers complained about their connections to #GamerGate — a nine-month-long orgy of harassment targeting outspoken women in gaming and their supporters — and their alleged disruption of a panel devoted to women in comics.

According to Calgary Expo officials, the group was kicked out for “actively disregarding” the Expo’s efforts (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: How Equal Do We Want the World? – Dan Ariely

More than you’d think really. Human beings seem to intrinsically value fairness and equality and yet, as of today have constructed societies based on moving as far away as possible from any sort of equitable norm.

Take note of the piece on John Rawls and how using the Veil of Ignorance idea as a cognitive filter for making decisions. I think it is a great idea adding to the list of processes one should go through in making tough decisions in the personal, moral and political sphere.

Filed under: Culture, Education, Ethics Tagged: Dan Ariely, (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Where Abstinence Sex-Ed Goes Wrong

She's being completely condescending. "You can look up anything on the internet" Then refers him to site on abstinence education!

— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015

"You'll find a good girl. If you find one that says 'no,' that's the one you want." HE ACTUALLY JUST SAID THAT.

— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015

This hilariously depressing account of an American sex-ed classroom is a sight to behold.

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- PressProgress documents how the Cons are driving Canada’s economy into the ditch. And Michael Babad reports that economists with a better grounding in reality than Stephen Harper are begging the provinces not to impose the austerity demanded by the Cons.

- Kara Santokie writes that if the Cons’ balanced-budget legislation has any effect at all, it will be to attack Canada’s social programs when they’re needed most. And Louis-Philippe Rochon sees the false balance bill as standing out even among the Cons’ bad ideas.

- Dylan Matthews questions whether workers present and (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Theramin Trees – The Why Behind the Channel

I’m a fan of TT’s channel and the work that he does. Adding a patreon option to his toolkit may allow him to produce more thoughtful videos.

https://www.patreon.com/theramintrees

Filed under: Education Tagged: Signal Boost, theramin trees

Susan on the Soapbox: Jim Prentice’s Budget: The Not-So-Subtle Language of Money

“There is no fortress so strong that money cannot take it.” — Cicero

On Mar 24, 2015 Jim Prentice sent Albertans a message of such heartless cynicism that only the most naïve amongst us would fail to understand.

Money talks.

Here’s what Jim Prentice’s Budget 2015* told Albertans.

Corporations matter, you don’t

When asked why the government did not raise corporate taxes, Finance Minister Robin Campbell replied “The corporate sector is going to do their part, but we have to do our part also.”**

This is utter nonsense.

Mr Campbell looking somber

The corporate sector did its part (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Kevin Carson discusses David Graeber’s insight into how privatization and deregulation in their present form represent the ultimate use of state power to serve special interests at the expense of the public: What mainstream American political discourse calls “deregulation” is nothing of the sort. There is no major constituency for deregulation in the American political system — just competing (and in fact considerably overlapping) agendas on what regulatory mix to put in place. There is not, and could not, be such a thing as an “unregulated” bank, Graeber argues, because banks “are (Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: The Interview We Wish We Had With Premier Prentice on Budget 2015

“I believe we show who we are, and how much we care, by what we do.”—Stephen Harper, Canada’s prime minister

In his March 24 “State of the Province Address” Mr Prentice urged Albertans to receive his new budget in a spirit of openness. He said if we all act responsibly we can dig the government out of the $7 billion financial hole it created for itself.

Budget 2015 is Fiscal Fairyland. So its promoter, Mr Prentice, should have no problem giving Ms Soapbox an imaginary interview to discuss its imaginary benefits.

Mr Premier you say the current fiscal structure (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: How much should graduate students be paid?

Being a graduate student is in some sense in the middle of two extremes: being a student primarily benefiting oneself and being a paid worker benefiting society. Before graduate studies, one is an undergraduate where nobody would expect to be paid to be an undergraduate. After graduate studies, one is (hopefully) going to be paid a paid a sum commensurate with the skill the knowledge accrued during graduate studies and be doing work that, by and large, can be said to “benefit society”. During graduate studies, however  it is somewhere in between. Graduate students are both benefiting themselves by increasing their future potential (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Quebec police unleash violence on anti-austerity protesters [VIDEO]

Protesters hit the streets to protest the Quebec provincial government’s austerity policies. The police unleashed tear gas, sound bombs and rubber bullets, hitting some of the protesters in the face.

The post Quebec police unleash violence on anti-austerity protesters [VIDEO] appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Enough said…

This comic conveys my disgust at people who diss teachers and try to shortchange education. What is wrong with you? pic.twitter.com/P5lQDTuCgP

— Doug Coupland (@DougCoupland) June 18, 2014

Please, take time to scroll through my writings on education.

Canadian Dimension: The Public Value of Public Sector Strikes

Photo from Public Domain

The essence of an unjust society is to continually demand and take from those with the least the little that they have to support their lives and life-goals and add it to the money-value hoards of those who have the power to restructure public life to serve their limitless appetites. So we see a recurrent pattern of struggle across history: those with the least power are forced to fight the hardest just to maintain what little they have.

These two political and historical principles need to be kept in mind when thinking about the ongoing strikes (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)

The Adventures of Diva Rachel: La langue de bois d’ébène: anatomie du mot ‘nègre’ en français

Le maire de Saguenay, Jean Tremblay, s’est livré à des propos navrants une fois de plus cette semaine. Mis à part sa lutte « contre Greenpeace et les intellectuels », le maire Tremblay a parlé des travailleurs de sa région:

« Il y a des gens qui travaillent comme des nègres.

Parce qu’un Noir, ça travaille fort, on le sait. Ils ont pas des gros salaires, pis ils travaillent fort ces gens-là. C’est dans ce sens-là que je veux le dire. Pis ces gens-là, ça fait pitié. Ils donnent leur vie au salaire minimum. Ils ont de la misère (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Media bias in covering the University of Toronto TA strike

At a bare minimum, when the media covers a major conflict between two sides – a union striking, say – it should include the briefest of quotes from people representing both sides of the conflict. This is not exactly a high bar to meet requiring the cheapest and simplest method in journalism: asking the leadership of both sides to provide a quote. We could well wish for higher standard, but this is a bare minimum.  Unfortunately, coverage of the University of Toronto strike by the union representing Teaching Assistants and Course Instructors (of which I am a member), fails (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: Media bias in covering the University of Toronto TA strike