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centre of the universe: How to get engaged in Canadian politics: an educational resource

Here is a handy guide that will help you, disenfranchised Canadian, get engaged with and get involved in the upcoming (eventually, at the end of several more weeks of pre-election hell) federal election! The first step, as the number to the left would indicate, is to click every single link you see in social media […]

centre of the universe: Money for Nothing

Copyright is, at its simplest form, the method by which creators are paid for their work. It is a registration of an intellectual property (IP). It says “the creator has the right to charge, or not to charge, money for you to use this”. It’s not a form of censorship (and no court would rightfully […]

Dead Wild Roses: The Book of Bad Argumenets

A lovely reference for myself and my readership. Go peruse the book here.

Filed under: Education Tagged: Helpful Hints, Logical Fallacies, The Book of Bad Arguments

Dead Wild Roses: On The BS that is Much of Post-Modern ‘Discourse’ – Derrick Jenson

This excerpt for the article ‘Liberals and the New McCarthyism‘

” And I blame the groundlessness of postmodernism, with its assertion that meaning is not inherent in anything, that there are no truths, and that each person’s perception of reality is equally valid. As well as destroying class consciousness—which is one reason modern blacklisting is often based on claims of how some speaker will supposedly hurt or trigger the individual, rather than emphasizing harm or gain to society as a whole—postmodernism has led to much of the insanity we’re discussing.

As philosopher Daniel Dennett commented, “Postmodernism, the (Read more…)

The Tory Pirate - Politics & Policy: Pirate Party Platform Spotlight (Part 2): Mincome

Poverty is an ongoing and tragic failure of Canadian governance. It has been an issue for so long that it is suspected themajor parties no longer believe they can truly solve the issue. The Pirate Party of Canada does not embrace such uglydefeatism. But what is the solution? It obviously isn’t the current host of welfare programs since they have done nothingto end poverty and may in fact be contributing to keeping people in poverty. The Pirate Party feels that solving thepoverty issue is both achievable and less expensive than relying on a failed welfare system. (Read more…)

The Tory Pirate - Politics & Policy: Pirate Party Platform Spotlight (Part 1): Intellectual Property Reform

Welcome to the Pirate Party Platform Spotlight where I explain a selected planksfrom the party’s 2015 election platform (since I highly doubt the media will). Ok, letsget this over with.

What’s with the attitude? Well, the Pirate Party of Canada is hopelessly typecast. Ifpeople are aware of the Pirate Party they already know it opposes intellectual propertylaw but absolutely nothing else about it. So covering this aspect of the party’s platformboth potentially feeds the public’s erroneous perception of the party as being ‘singleissue’ and completely necessary if its economic outlook is to be (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Tory Pirate – Politics & Policy: Pirate Party Platform Spotlight (Part 1): Intellectual Property Reform

The Tory Pirate - Politics & Policy: Education Reform In New Brunswick: What Japan Can Teach Us (Part 1)

As a graduate of New Brunswick’s education system I sometimes reflect onthe quality of the schooling I received. I also have a longstanding  interest inJapanese culture. It is natural then that I would eventually get to looking at howJapan does education. What I found was a school system that better instills thevalues of leadership, sense of community, and respect than anything I’ve seen inNew Brunswick. I figured I may as well detail some of the highlights of theirsystem and make the argument that New Brunswick would do well to adopt atleast some of these policies. (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Tory Pirate – Politics & Policy: Education Reform In New Brunswick: What Japan Can Teach Us (Part 1)

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Disservice – The Case for the Religious ‘Pro-Life’ Enslavement of Women

Religion treats people like shit, the further away you are from the white male ideal, the shittier your deal will be. The recent anti-choice propaganda wave in the US caused enough whinging in wordpress blogosphere that I felt compelled to wrestle with the full-blown stupid that is the anti-choice position. . . I went to this saintly dudes page and left my usual inflamatory comments – women are people, they have rights et cetera – the mind-blowing stuff that makes the zealots wail and froth. . . But rather than approve my comment, this dipstick emails a response to me (Read more…)

Scripturient: Strat Plan Part 4: Economic Vitality

What, you may ask, is meant by the term “Economic Vitality” – the third objective in our town’s strategic-plan-in-the-works? Apparently it’s one of those motherhood statements people make on soapboxes and campaign platforms that have little grist in them to mill into actuality. Sure, we all want a town that has a lively, thriving economy. […]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Ignorance Means Power For Conservatives

A cringe-worthy tweet explains the Conservative mindset in running the election campaign early before school gets back. Keep kids in the dark, and disengaged so wise old people can continue to run things for them. Poppa Harper knows best.

@ChristinePenro1 @CBCAlerts election date hasn't changed.regardless, I certainly don't want students learning about elections from teachers

— AJF (@AronJFinn) July 30, 2015

Aron’s autobiography: “Conservative. Pro Oil & Gas. Man made Climate Change is a farce. Anti Trudeau / Wynne and the biased MSM [Mainstream media].”

.@CBCAlerts It would be nice if @GGDavidJohnston would politely tell the PM to (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Enter an Endangered Animal and Learn of Their Plight

Artist Evelyn Roth is using classroom sized animals to spread the word about endangered animals. She has created bright and cheerful looking versions of animals that are endangered to provide a pop-up space for kids to learn all about these animals. Her work is presently travelling the world and educating children.

“The designs interact with the people inside to make a fascinating, enjoyable and engaging intimate atmosphere where people are inspired to listen and learn and are subconsciously imprinted with the stories.’’

Roth returned from Hawaii this week after being commissioned to create a Southern Right Whale and two (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Oil Is Not A Four Letter Word

Coal is a four letter word, however.

Perhaps Wall is a bit touchy about fossil fuels because Saskatchewan produces more greenhouse gases per person than any other Canadian province [link added], and is one of only three provinces whose emissions have risen since 1990. The province contains only 1 per cent of the country’s population, but produces a disproportionate 10 per cent of national emissions.

Saskatchewan recorded the highest deposit-paid bottle return rate in Canada (82 per cent) and largest wildfire detection camera system in North America, said the ministry.

Yet we had the worst wildfire season, perhaps (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: The Opposite of Addiction is Connection

Recently I posted a quote from John Hari on addiction. See it here. I’ve also updated the post to include the video below as well. What is detailed in this TED talk is idea that we should punish and isolate addicts from society. This idea, according to Hari is about 100 years old and also, more importantly completely wrong.

The methodology we base the current “War on Drugs” and how we treat people who are addicted is based on poor experimental design. When we control for environmental factors – addiction mostly disappears.

This TED talk (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Carol Goar rightly criticizes Stephen Harper’s plan to deal with an apparent recession by making Canada’s economy even worse off through yet more cuts. Andrew Jackson writes that denying or ignoring an economic downturn won’t make it go away, while Louis-Philippe Rochon traces its origins to the Cons’ own ill-fated choices. And Michal Rozworski makes the case for stimulus which would both boost our economy in the short term, and better position it for the longer term: (T)here is a space and an opening here in which to push for alternatives. The (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Cultural Marxism – Synonym for “Perceived Threats to White Male Privilege.”

Wow, Cultural Marxism apparently is nightmare fuel to the wingnut, racist right.

Cultural Marxism? As the feminist tag in the wordpress reader becomes more diverse (read filled with dudes and their important ideas) this phrase is popping up all over as of late. I’ve never seen it before, and as a minor logophile my curiosity was peaked. The context of how the term Cultural Marxism (CM) is being used was my first clue that this is yet another sad portmanteau of the right-wingers/dudes to mischaracterize ideas and notions that make them uncomfortable.

It was this putrid nugget (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Myth of STEM Degrees: STEM as the Canary in the Coal Mine

What follow is a guest blog post from Glenn Burley:

If Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and professional fields like medicine, law, and dentistry are the so-called golden ticket to a good job in today’s labour market, what does that say about the current and future health of our economy?

The myth of the ‘skills gap’ in Canada is persistent. Along with increasing levels of student debt and a labour market in which good jobs are increasingly hard to find—especially for young people—this myth leads public discussion on employment to blaming individuals for their education choices. According to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Carol Goar discusses the contrasting messages being sent to Canada’s middle class in the lead up to Canada’s federal election campaign – and notes that the real decision for voters to make is whether they’re happy with marginally higher nominal incomes at the expense of greater inequality and more precarious lives. Mark Goldring makes the case for an economy oriented toward what’s best for people rather than short-term profits: Tackling inequality requires that people, not profit constitute the bottom line. We need everyone who is in a position of influence – business (Read more…)

Left Over: Abuse of power & the Re-Education of Police …..

Michael Wood, ex-Baltimore officer, tweets about alleged police brutality Retired Baltimore officer Michael A. Wood tweets about disturbing things he allegedly witnessed on the force

By Lauren O’Neil, CBC News Posted: Jun 26, 2015 8:22 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 27, 2015 10:52 AM ET

This article might be a bit too late in the “sky is falling’ sector regarding the abuse of persons of colour, or police corruption, which, like gun violence, just go on and on and on, the most interesting part of Wood’s tweets, to me, was the fact that he praised higher education as giving him the (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Shared Knowledge Conference – Regina

These videos are from the second day of the Shared Knowledge Conference at the Core Ritchie Centre, the second weekend of June.

Jim Elliott with many interesting (and terrifying) facts about Regina’s watershed system.

We are on the Plaza @MarketRegina today. Find us beside @TrogiFoods #honey #salsa pic.twitter.com/wGd2bYiBVB

— Zee-Bee Honey® (@_zeebeehoney_) June 24, 2015

James and Brooke of Sound Solar Systems:

Next, I presented on Bitcoin and alternate currencies being used to build alternate economies apart from the monetary systems provided by governments.

Dan B. of Tradebank Regina

Lindsay H. wraps up with what’s in store for (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Shared Knowledge Conference – Regina

Dead Wild Roses: Morse Code for Visual Learners – A Helpful Guide.

Makes more sense to me put in this format, go go go magic of the internet.

Filed under: Education Tagged: Helpful Hints, Morse Code, Visual media

Paul S. Graham: Video: Manitoba government urged to recognize the genocide and help heal the trauma

Winnipeg, June, 5, 2015: At the Manitoba Legislative Building, Maeengan Linklater answers journalists’ questions about his proposed Manitoba Indian Residential Schools Genocide and Reconciliation Memorial Day Act. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Now that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has completed its work, and the major federal political parties have have adopted predictable positions, what can ordinary folk do to make sure Justice Sinclair’s message isn’t lost between now and the election this fall?

I’m rather taken with a draft Act that was made public yesterday on the steps of the Manitoba Legislature that would set aside one day a (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Paul S. Graham: Video: Manitoba government urged to recognize the genocide and help heal the trauma

Trashy's World: Volunteerism – get involved, damn it!

I have written before about volunteerism and what is means to me. From volunteering at one’s school to participating in our civic processes, volunteering is a way to “give back” (I’m not particularly fond of that term) to the community and to gain a certain measure of self-satisfaction in the process. I have given up a lot of […]

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Genevieve LeBaron, Johanna Montgomerie, and Daniela Tepe-Belfrage write that inequality is getting worse in the UK based on class, gender and all kinds of other grounds, while a supposed “recovery” isn’t benefiting anybody except the people who least need it: (E)conomic policies associated with ‘recovery’ in the UK have deepened inequality and exclusion along the overlapping lines of class, gender, race, ability, age and sexuality. Sweeping welfare reforms, for instance, are disproportionately targeting women and low-income couples with children, with particularly dire consequences for single mothers. The newly imposed ‘bedroom (Read more…)

Left Over: The Fundamental(ist) Reasons for It All…..

Rise of the ‘precariat,’ the global scourge of precarious jobs Barely one in four of the global workforce has a stable job, UN reports

By Brian Stewart, CBC News Posted: Jun 01, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 01, 2015 8:36 AM ET

Back in the 7-‘s, when i was a young thing just learning about Zero Population Growth, I decided it was probably not a great idea to have children..I was single and determined to stay that way, had little income to spare, and I sincerely believed that things were going to get much worse due to overpopulation (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the Saskatchewan Party’s devaluation of the music teacher (among other cultural and community-building parts of our schools).

For further reading…- CBC reported on the Prairie Spirit School Division’s decision to eliminate school bands here, and Janet French did likewise here.- The Star-Phoenix’ editorial board weighed in here. And now, even the Saskatchewan Party is pretending to oppose what its policy choices have wrought.- And for those looking to support the students trying to save their band program, Shawna Langer’s petition is here.