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Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Great books: the academic view

In the mid-1990s, journalist David Denby took on a personal challenge to return to Columbia University for a year to take two courses, both focused on reading the “great books” of the Western canon. The results and his observations – along with an entertaining bit of biography about his journey – is told in Great […]

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- David Leonhardt offers a revealing look at the relative priorities of wealthier and poorer regions of the U.S. And Patricia Cohen discusses the disproportionate effect of inequality and poverty on women: It’s at the lowest income levels that the burden on women stands out. Not only are they more likely than men to be in a minimum-wage job, but women are also much more likely to be raising a family on their own. “Inequality is rising among women as well as men, but at the bottom, women are struggling with some dimensions (Read more…)

Northern Insight: Investment decisions: industry or education?

Education and Economic Growth, by Philip Stevens and Martin Weale, Education and Economic Growth, Philip Stevens and Martin Weale, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, London, England. “There are two very basic reasons for expecting to find some link between education and economic growth. First of all at the most general level it is intuitively plausible that living standards have risen so much over the last millennium and in particular since 1800 because of education.

“Progress of the sort enjoyed in Europe was not observed in the illiterate societies that have gradually merged into the world economy over (Read more…)

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 of this post, I have something slightly more urgent to delve into before I check out for a break.

That great sick freak, Donald Rumsfeld is generally credited with popularizing the concept of unknown unknowns to our modern/post-modern era. Being a sick freak, he spun that bafflement (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: World Wide Use of Contraceptives – Guttmacher Institute

 

A trouble situation for women around the world. No thanks to religion.

 

Filed under: Education, Feminism Tagged: Contraception, Infographics, Women

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Religous Disservice – Superstition

A fine video by QualiaSoup.

Filed under: Education Tagged: Qualia Soup, Superstition, The DWR Sunday Disservice

The Canadian Progressive: Navigating Canada’s complex terrain of student financial assistance

A new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives shows that “student aid systems in Canada are intricate, elaborate, and, in many cases, thoroughly unmanageable.”

The post Navigating Canada’s complex terrain of student financial assistance appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Paul Krugman calls out the U.S.’ deficit scolds for continuing to invent a crisis to distract from the real problems with middling growth and high unemployment. And Bruce Johnstone singles out a few of the Cons’ talking points which have somehow become conventional wisdom without having an iota of truth to them. But in case there was any doubt why the Cons aren’t being exposed to their own patent wrongness, William Watson’s (hardly people-friendly) column explains why – as Jack Mintz manages to qualify as the least corporate-biased member of a (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Edmonton School Board Boots Christian Misogynists and their Abstinence Only Platform

Because Magic, taught as fact, in the curriculum is AWESOME!

Further breaking news: The Edmonton Public School Board will also remove Soylent Green Recipe Book from the Foods curriculum.

How does feculence like this happen in my school system?

“An Edmonton teen and her mother have filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission over a high school sex education class delivered by a religious-based group. Last year, Emily Dawson, 18, took part in a two-day class delivered as part of the Career and Life Management course at McNally High School. The teenager says she was shocked by what she (Read more…)

The Liberal Scarf: CBC article on Ontario budget mentions my youth voter registration policy

Yes, this is shameless self-promotion on my part, but hey, my Mom thought it was cool:

“The Liberals also plan to revamp the Grade 10 Civics curriculum to get students more involved in their communities and introduce voter registration in high schools.”

Dead Wild Roses: USA Pro-life All The… Wait A Minute.

Ah, tell me more, O noble warriors of life.

 

Filed under: Education Tagged: ‘Merka, DWR PSA, Forced Birth Advocate Fail, Pro-Life Hypocrisy

Dead Wild Roses: Distracted Driving – New Drivers

A survey of Ontario high school students reveals more than one-third of all licensed drivers in Grades 10 to 12 admit to having texted while driving.

That percentage increases to 46 per cent of licensed students in Grade 12.

Approximately 108,000 adolescent drivers surveyed said they have texted while driving at least once in the past year, according to the 2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS), a biannual study conducted for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

“We asked about texting while driving because research shows that this is a very hazardous behaviour,” said CAMH senior scientist Dr. Robert Mann. (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: England Loses in World Cup – So Do English Women

 

[Police fear rise in domestic violence during World Cup]

Filed under: Education, Feminism Tagged: DWR PSA, England, Violence against Women, World Cup

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…)

Alberta Diary: Alberta Education Minister Jeff Johnson’s War on Teachers signals division within Tory Party, not conspiracy

The Hancock Conservatives do good-cop-bad-cop? At left, Jeff Johnson as Jim Prentice, at right, tries to get him to straighten up and fly a little less far right. Actual Alberta Progressive Conservatives may not appear exactly as illustrated, especially in this unlikely scenario. Below: My only picture of the real Mr. Johnson; one of many of the real Mr. Prentice.

Anti-teacher sentiment runs deep nowadays in Alberta conservative circles.

Education Minister Jeff Johnson’s war with the Alberta Teachers Association over how its members ought to be disciplined on those rare occasions when they misbehave is only the latest manifestation of (Read more…)

Northern Insight: Megan Metcalfe speaks

From a Facebook post. You can read the entire item HERE. “I sent a letter to Christie Clark’s office, Peter Fassbender’s office, and my MLA about two weeks ago. I got a response just today. It was addressed from the Premier’s office, but it was not signed and there was no name connected to it. It was the most bland, uninformative “yes, thanks for your input, we’re doing our best, yada, yada, yada” kind of letter. So I sent this back: “Hm. I would address this to an individual, but no one signed the form letter that was sent to (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: A question for Premier Dave Hancock: Who will rid Alberta’s Tories of their turbulent Education Minister?

Education Minister Jeff Johnson flips burgers at Alison Redford’s K-Days Breakfast, last year. A sign of things to come for Mr. Johnson? Below: Premier Dave Hancock, who knows what he needs to do, former premier Redford, who knew exactly what she wanted, and Alberta Information Commissioner Jill Clayton, who knows the law.

Now that we know Education Minister Jeff Johnson or someone in his office broke Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to send an email to more than 34,000 teachers back in 2013, is it time for Dave Hancock to start acting like he really is (Read more…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Public Education: School to Prison Pipeline (VIDEO)

To end the violence in Baltimore there must be radical reform of public education and the criminal justice system – a panel moderated by radio talk show host Marc Steiner

The post Public Education: School to Prison Pipeline (VIDEO) appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Harper’s War On The Middle Class

Continues apace.

A shortage of skilled workers is the biggest challenge many Canadian businesses face today, Employment Minister Jason Kenney told a skills summit Wednesday, warning it could also jeopardize Canada’s economic development in the future. 

The problem would continue to grow as the population ages, Kenney told the one-day conference, which brought together stakeholders to discuss the labour market, employee training and those under-represented in the labour force. 

Currently 30 per cent of the skilled trade workers in Canada are baby boomers, Kenney said, adding that they will soon retire. 

“They are going to take with (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Death of Handwriting?

I almost cried in pleasure when I watched this video; the handwriting is so beautiful. Apparently some viewers have, as Jesus Diaz writes. On Gizmodo he says that it’s: …a video that caused many to discover autonomous sensory meridian response, a perceptual phenomenon that gives a pleasing tingling sensation. Some said they got it watching people […]

Northern Insight: Fairness, fairly applied

Christy Clark claimed teachers are greedy and that BC cannot afford to pay more for public education. Liberal social media retainers continue echoing the claims. We know that labour relations in BC schools have long been contentious but that will only change when both sides decide to act with restraint and respect.

Describing teachers as avaricious was careless. It is scurrilous if untrue.

Because teacher pay scales are less than simple and depend on various factors, I decided to choose a single large category of educators and compare how that sample changed over time to the changes experienced by other (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Rick Salutin discusses how corruption has become endemic in the global economy as an inevitable consequence of me-first values: You wouldn’t have those CEO pig-outs absent neo-liberalism’s moral model: get rich not just quick but hugely. As Kevin O’Leary loves saying, and CBC plasters on its promos: God put us here to get rich. Note it’s a public broadcaster where he barks that and no one contests it. (I consider Amanda Lang’s ripostes pro forma.)

Since there’s no counter model (excluding, maybe, the pope) it becomes almost embarrassing not to grab for (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Alberta P3 News #skpoli

Here’s some news hot out of Alberta. Only one of them is satirical.

The other satirical bit is that Saskatchewan’s Sask Party recently announced they’d be saving taxpayers millions of dollars by starting a P3 Bike Share like Stettler had. No wait, they said they were going to build P3 schools, after the Alberta model, to build schools faster.

Song of the Watermelon: Vancouver Sun Letter

If anyone would like my two cents on the controversy surrounding Trinity Western University, its proposed law school, and its homophobic “Community Covenant,” please see the letters section of today’s Vancouver Sun. My letter appears at the very bottom, under the heading “Trinity’s gay policy anti-Christian.”

Filed under: Education, Gay Rights, Letters to the Editor Tagged: Christianity, Community Covenant, Trinity Western University, Vancouver Sun

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Following up on this morning’s post, George Monbiot discusses the need for a progressive movement which goes beyond pointing out dangers to offer the promise of better things to come: Twenty years of research, comprehensively ignored by these parties, reveals that shifts such as privatisation and cutting essential public services strongly promote people’s extrinsic values (an attraction to power, prestige, image and status) while suppressing intrinsic values (intimacy, kindness, self-acceptance, independent thought and action). As extrinsic values are powerfully linked to conservative politics, pursuing policies that reinforce them is blatantly self-destructive.

(Read more…)