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Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Duncan Cameron discusses how Canada can respond to being stalled economically: In 2011 median earnings in Canada were $30,000. That means one-half of Canadian workers earned less than $30,000. What is more to the point is that earnings in 2011 were $1,800 below the level attained in 1977 (inflation adjusted 2011 dollars)! The pay packet for workers shrunk over that 24 year period.

It’s a big stall — an awful lot of Canadians are not getting ahead.…What has escaped economic stagnation, and gone up in value is what Thomas Piketty called patrimonial (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Means-test the rich, or another argument for eliminating tuition

Here’s an oversimplified choice for how to fund post-secondary education. Imagine you have two options for dealing with how people pay for post-secondary education:

Universal free tuition, means-testing to see if you are rich enough to pay Universal tuition fees, means-testing to see if you are poor enough to not pay

Either of these can be brought into being in many ways. At base, however, these are two roughly symmetrical ways of achieving the same thing. Right now in Canada, we have a version of (2): tuition and a complex system of need-based grants and scholarships, student loans and tax (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Insensitivity To Sample Size – Stats on a Saturday?

Statistics is an area that I’m interested in. I’m not keenly interested enough to take a stats course, but I do like learning about some of the basic concepts. Thanks Youtube.. :>


Filed under: Education Tagged: Sample Size, Statistics

Things Are Good: Germany Now Has Free Tuition

Germany has done something that the rest the developed world should copy: reducing post-secondary tuition fees to zero. Open and accessible education is key to making a richer and more prosperous country – Germany clearly gets this. In these modern times education is more important than ever so it’s really great to see

“We got rid of tuition fees because we do not want higher education which depends on the wealth of the parents,” Gabrielle Heinen-Kjajic, the minister for science and culture in Lower Saxony, said in a statement. Her words were echoed by many in the German government. “Tuition (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Feel Better By Visiting Your Local Library

It turns out that by simply using your local library you can improve your life – no matter what you read. As long as you make use of what the library provides you can find your well-being increased. What are you waiting for?

How do you quantify a public good? Library supporters have struggled with this problem for a long time, as public libraries are often the first institutions up on a budget-slasher’s chopping block. But a recent study from the London School of Economics bolsters the value of libraries in a major way. By translating well-being gained from visits (Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: Jim Prentice’s First Week in Office–Straight out of the Corporate Playbook

“As of this moment, Alberta is under new management.” — Jim Prentice, 16th Premier of Alberta*

Transition. There’s nothing more unsettling; no, strike that, nerve-wracking, for an organization than a change-out of senior leadership, particularly when the old leader is universally regarded as an abject failure (will I be condemned by association?) and the new leader is hailed as the messiah (am I within his orbit of influence?).

Mr Prentice

Mr Prentice knows that the burden of a successful transition, in this case from the tired old PC party to the shiny new PC (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: #bced in my twitterverse

On @globalnews Sandy @Garossino suggested readings of J.Griffin's judgement with findings of bad faith. Start here:

— Norm Farrell (@Norm_Farrell) September 10, 2014

"Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife." #bced #bcpoli

— Norm Farrell (@Norm_Farrell) September 10, 2014

Can`t afford public schools. Can afford billions to provide water & power to freeloading gas frackers. #bcpoli #bced

— Norm Farrell (@Norm_Farrell) September 10, 2014

MLA @AJWVictoriaBC "The government is acting like a schoolyard bully" #bced #bcpoli

— Norm Farrell (@Norm_Farrell) September 11, 2014

And (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: The real news gets ignored – REPLAY

I wrote the following article 3½ years ago. It demonstrates how little has changed.

On the day George Abbott became the first Education Minister to speak at a convention of the teachers’ union since Gordon Campbell’s election in 2001, BC Liberal media focused less on the warm response from educators than on what they say is a coming confrontation.

TC columnist Les Leyne headlines, “a battle is looming.” The Globe and Mail says “strike looms”, Global TV News leads “Strike by school teachers in this province seems unavoidable.” CTV’s Jim Beatty led with “A teachers’ strike is (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Religious Disservice – Planting the Toxic Seed

Religion doesn’t just happen in the 21st century in the West. Religion must be instilled into children, magic and fable must be taught to be revered and most darkly, the fear of eternal punishment must be enshrined in young minds.

Hell for children is a very real fear – it torments their thoughts and causes a great deal of unnecessary anxiety. My question to the religious is simply this:

Why make your children fearful?

Isn’t there enough to worry about life with regards to food, shelter, and security to add another imaginary layer of anxiety to the (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Government serves insiders and elites

It is clear that BC Liberal strategy is to reward insiders and elites. That’s been shown in countless ways, particularly since Christy Clark took office as Premier in 2011. Shortly after her return to Victoria, a handful of senior civil servants departed with millions in severance rewards, paid even if the ex-employees immediately gained equally rewarding work elsewhere, as all did. More millions were paid as severance to senior Liberals following the 2013 election.

However, people outside the Liberal orbit do not get the same generous treatment. Beverley Maxwell had been director of certification for the B.C. College of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- The Broadbent Institute studies wealth inequality in Canada, and finds not only that the vast majority of Canada’s capital resources remain concentrated in very few hands but that the disparity continues to grow: The new Statistics Canada data show a deeply unequal Canada in which wealth is concentrated heavily in the top 10% while the bottom 10% hold more debts than assets.

The majority of Canadians, meanwhile, own almost no financial assets besides their pensions. The top 10% of Canadians accounted for almost half (47.9%) of all wealth in 2012.

In (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: The Best Revenge is Living a Good Life – i believe you, it’s not your fault.

Add i believe you, it’s not your fault to your bookmarks, your blog, your whatever. It is too important not to.


The Best Revenge is Living a Good Life. (TW Rape, Child Abuse)

I am the only female child in my family of four children and I am the youngest. When people hear that, they often think of me as the spoiled little princess child. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I was sexually abused by two of my brothers and, eventually, my father as well. My abused started when I was young. Five or six, (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Planned degradation of public education

Principal reports on devastating budget cuts to parent population. Such honesty needed for all of BC. #bced #bcpoli

— Karen Richard (@KarenRichard14) September 10, 2014

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: UBC Professor of Law Joel Bakan speaks

“I see a lot of sense in the BCTF’s insistence on eliminating E80 from the package for consideration in binding arbitration…

“As is true of any negotiation, the respective bargaining positions of each party is determined by the prevailing legal framework concerning their respective rights. One cannot, for example, effectively negotiate a sale of land if the crucial legal issues concerning that land – such as zoning and permitted uses – are uncertain, or pending a court decision. …The same is true of any and every negotiation, including those between BCTF and the government – extant legal rights determine respective (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Dignity not in anti-union Liberal playbook

Recognizing that workers have the right to bargain collectively as part of their freedom to associate reaffirms the values of dignity, personal autonomy, equality and democracy that are inherent in the Charter. – Supreme Court of Canada

One reason government functionaries and media loyalists are now focused on damaging the stature of public school teachers is that rulings of the Supreme Court of Canada indicate ongoing actions of the Teachers’ Federation will be be successful – for teachers.

In 2011, BC Supreme Court determined “that legislation interfering with teachers’ collective bargaining rights was unconstitutional as a breach of s. 2(d) (Read more…)

The Misanthropic Bird: The Road to Employment

Exaggeration has always been part of story telling, particularly of days long past. My father would grumble of ‘kids these days’ not knowing real difficulty if it bit them in the ‘tukus’ in an attempt to teach me a life lesson.

A favorite anecdote of his was him having to walk some ten miles to school through a twenty foot snow drift with no shoes over broken glass – a doubtful scenario, but effective nonetheless. My in-laws once disclosed that when they graduated from university in the 1960s’, they were immediately offered a job in their fields. Both of these (Read more…)

Northern Insight: Qu’ils mangent de la brioche

Yeah, folks. If you’re inconvenienced and frustrated by empty public schools, Premier Photo Op has the solution. She tried it, she likes it.

And if you can’t afford the tuition, do something about it – like Christy did. Befriend a few rich folks and get yourself elected.

Then, you can send your brats to places like this:

Stephen Hui of the Georgia Straight reported annual fees at St. George’s ranged from $16,085 to $48,250, three years ago. So, not accounting for inflation, your 2.5 kids will only cost $40,212 to $120,625 for schooling.

Of course, those fees are not (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jordan Brennan examines the close links between strong organized labour and improved wages for all types of workers: U.S. scholars have found that higher rates of state-level unionization help reduce working poverty in unionized and non-unionized households and that the effects of unionization are larger than macro performance and social policies in those states. Research shows that the decline of U.S. unions between 1973 and 2007 explains one-fifth to one-third of the growth in U.S. wage inequality—a magnitude comparable to the growing stratification of wages by education. A 2010 study (Read more…)

Left Over: SuperCrusty and the Lazy Opposition Don’t Come to Blows

B.C. teachers’ strike: Union rejects premier’s demand to suspend strike Union says government remains entrenched, inflexibile and unwilling to bargain.

CBC News Posted: Sep 03, 2014 10:51 AM PT Last Updated: Sep 04, 2014 7:58 AM PT

All of you 5 cent a comment Liberal trolls can say and think what you like, but here are the facts..and how do I know? Because the gov’t tactics mirror those of almost any organization out there with a union that has had enough…ignore them for months at a time, refuse to set any dates for bargaining until a week before (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Ethan Corey and Jessica Corbett offer five lessons for progressives from Naomi Klein’s forthcoming This Changes Everything.

- Following up on this post, Andrew Jackson fact-checks the Fraser Institute on its hostility toward the CPP. And the Winnipeg Free Press goes further in challenging the motives behind the “study”: Since the authors started out believing that the Canada Pension Plan and its investment arm are a “self-serving bureaucracy,” it was predictable that they would find something objectionable about CPP administration. The surprise in the study is that the authors produced no (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Time Management for Teachers

Need more learning and less stress in the classroom? What you do behind the scenes can make or break your work day. :> Being a fan of organization strategies, this video makes me happy on several levels. Enjoy.

Filed under: Education Tagged: Helpful Hints, Organization, Teaching, The School Year is coming.

Dead Wild Roses: Brace yourself…

Filed under: Education Tagged: Brace yourself, Ned Stark, School

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Labour Day reading.

- Andrew Jackson discusses the future of Canada’s labour movement, while Gil McGowan highlights the fact that unionization can be no less important in Alberta and other booming areas than elsewhere. And Jerry Dias notes that there are some reasons for celebration this year.

- But Edward McClelland points out that far too many labourers who would benefit from organization are instead hostile to the idea of unions. And Timothy Noah finds another gap between labour and U.S. centrist liberals – which is mirrored by the relationship between unions and large-L Liberals (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Paul Buchheit highlights how inequality continues to explode in the U.S. by comparing the relatively small amounts of money spent on even universal federal programs to the massive gifts handed to the wealthy. Christian Weller and Jackie Odum offer a U.S. economic snapshot which shows exactly the same widening gap between the privileged few and everybody else. And Matt Cowgill examines the policies which tend to exacerbate inquality.

- Meanwhile, Thomas Edsall discusses how predatory businesses are turning others’ poverty into further opportunities to extract profits: Sentinel is a part (Read more…)

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 […]