Today is the first day of our world after the Nelson Mandela era.
We don’t need to canonize him or consider any messiah characteristics, but we should stop today and reflect on what kind of Mandela legacy we want to carry forward.
Here are a few ideas to consider.
Chances are you didn’t wake up every day by meditating on a Mandela quote. Aside from people like Rob Anders, though, most people found Mandela to be an inspiring person.
But one Mandela characteristic we need to hold close to our hearts is that he worked hard. Very hard. So (Read more…)
Greed is a powerful thing. It motivates the greedy to convince workers that they should hate any efforts to make their work better and reduce the level of abuse and oppression they suffer.
If you’d like a list of why they want us to hate our unions, click through to enjoy this brilliant cartoon.
And while you enjoy this light, graphic representation, remember that the list isn’t exclusive. We can also add in this idea that non-union workers are trained to hate unionized workers who make more money than them. The goal, apparently, is that if you’re suffering with pay (Read more…)
The finance minister and his tax evasion buddy.
The latest nonsense of the hyper-rich 1% and their political compradors has reminded us once again, that the rich hide their money from government to avoid paying taxes…because they’re rich and can get their way.
Part of how they do that is by using language against us to spin how we even think of community building, on a local or national level. Here’s how:
Firstly, as the brilliant Trish Hennessy puts it:
Tax havens: wrong term.
It’s tax evasion.
Tax havens make tax evasion sound like a temporary holiday, whereas for many (Read more…)
The Prime Minister’s slow clap.
It could be racism.
It could be concern that over time too many first nations citizens may get too educated and start demanding more in terms of inter-national justice.
It could be just that he thinks keeping government spending down is good for his neoliberal agenda and that first nations will likely just roll over and take it when he sends his dismissive, condescending unilateral funding fiats.
But sometimes I wonder about Harper’s soul. How do you sleep at night knowing that a certain race/culture of people get 1/3 to 1/2 less education funding. (Read more…)
Fairphone is a new phone built in an ethical way using (mostly) ethically sound sources. It’s a reaction to the ongoing problems with electronics manufactures who get minerals from conflict regions (think blood diamonds) and places with no labour protection. Until Fairphone, there was no way to get a phone that didn’t support repressive and violent organizations.
Let’s hope Fairphone catches on! They are already sold out of their first run.
Fairphone, founded by designer Bas van Abel in 2010, is seeking incremental gains. So far the startup has managed to ethically source only tin and tantalum by partnering with (Read more…)
Since roughly the end of the 70s productivity at workplaces has increased yet wages have stagnated (except for the top 1%) meaning that we are relatively worse off than before. All one has to do is look at the graph below to get the basic idea of this global issue.
With this in mind, it’s great to see economists calling for a reduced work week. In North America, a standard full-time week is 40 hours, and the economists are calling for a 30 hour work week.
The benefits of working less are huge for individuals as well as society as (Read more…)
I support the “Restore our Anthem” initiative to replace the words “in all thy sons command” to the gender neutral “in all of us command.”
The reactions early on to this latest initiative in the letters to the editor sections of the National Post and Globe were fairly supportive, sometimes a little silly but definitely not reflective of a major backlash of the variety that was seen in 2010 following the Harper government’s effort to take this step.
The Harper Throne Speech of early 2010 came following Harper’s second prorogation of Parliament, both viewed as illegitimate. The second was (Read more…)
The bizarre practice of over-sexualizing prepubescent girls on stages in front of people has now been banned in France. I’ve never understood the reasoning behind these pageants and it’s nice to see that other people see the problematic behaviour behind them. Hopefully other countries will follow France’s example.
The Senate agreed to adopy tough sanctions to anyone flouting the law.
Under the new law, organizers of pageants under the age of 16 may now face up to two years in prison if they fail to comply with the ban and a fine of up to €30,000 ($40,000).
“Let’s not let (Read more…)
Say what you want about Kevin Rudd (and he’s not exceptionally progressive, from what I hear), but this is:
1. A great way to explain support for equal rights in marriage 2. A great way to answer a public question on the same 3. A very good explanation of how a politician can change their mind on a divisive topic 4. A reminder that changing one’s mind on such topics should not be a political liability, but should rather be considered a strength, provided that you can explain why.
You need to trust the media less.
Almost a year ago, and before the last US presidential election, Gallup determined that there has been a stunning decline in citizens’ mistrust of the media [see below].
It crossed over from mostly trust to not so much trust around 2004-2005. If you recall, the US imperialist invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the accompanying atrocities and war crimes were given a broad pass by the media. Thankfully, trust in media dropped by 10% then. Now there is a 20 point spread with mostly trusting plummeting to just 40%
That number (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: You Aren’t Sufficiently Critical of the #Media
Women throughout the world participated in the 6th International ‘Go Topless Day.’
In downtown Vancouver crowds gathered some gawking, taking pictures, and of course many in support. There is something about women’s bare breasts that creates a wide range of reactions.
Many women see it has pure hypocrisy and are boldly challenging the laws and the customs
Videos and coverage can be seen here.
Well, a new school year is about to begin, so it’s time to analyze just how much destruction the 1% will visit upon public education this year. Defunding, corporatization of curriculum, standardization of curriculum and experience, high-stakes testing, homogenization of experience…you know, the same old nonsense that drove me from teaching high school about a decade ago.
And it’s getting worse.
But who is is this vague 1%? Neoliberal governments and their “apostles,” which includes the BC NDP of the 1990s with some of their “reforms” as well as the usual suspects of the global power elite.
If the right-wing (Read more…)
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
- Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream, 1963
What has been most disappointing since I first heard this speech decades ago, is how often I see people in leadership positions, failing miserably when their character is what they ought to be conveying into public service.
What thrills me the most since I first heard this speech is the scores of young (Read more…)
Workplace justice: a pipe dream, or something to build solidarity to fight for?
I had the distinct, and creepy, pleasure of sitting in front of a group of fellows yesterday in, ironically, the cheap seats at the Seattle Mariners game. They were discussing business.
One fellow, who of course may have been speaking out of his butt, detailed a list of business exploits, while the other fellows basked in his glow:
Helping a fellow buy a company from someone later to do time for sideways business practices. That company making a tidy sum through that company from the US Treasury, (Read more…)
Every attempt we made to start a serious debate was met with responses such as “feminism and rape are both ridiculously tiring”.
via What happened when I started a feminist society at school | Education | theguardian.com.
For all the sons and daughters that you know and love, read this story.
Not understanding what 21st century feminist backlash looks like is dangerous.
Which tax haven is right for you?
Class war is alive and well.
I have this rose-coloured, nostalgic dream of history. Once upon a time we emerged from feudalism with a democratic revolution. All were equal. Well, most.
But the hope of democracy was to rid the world of the despot rule of aristocracy. But then we got corporations. Many of the aristocratic elite ended up entrenching their power through these fake humans. And we still have the aristocrats today. And for centuries, the rest of the elite have wielded power through corporations.
So this year when data was leaked (Read more…)
I don’t know why we still have to do this kind of thing, but here goes. The federal government “apologized” to survivors of residential schools 5 years ago. It is clearly quite empty, considering how much neglect, abuse, victimization and racism has spewed forth from Stephen Harper’s government since then.
So. We actually need to insist that the grown ups who run our country, with less and less democracy every day, need to treat their apology with some sincerity. Honestly, it’s not like we’re talking to a 4 year old who is just learning why apologies happen.
So, here’s (Read more…)
Things are bad under Prime Minister Harper. They’re getting worse, even since the last time I wrote about Harper’s soft fascism. But how do we measure it? It’s so…subjective, unless you have some kind of benchmark for totalitarian political behaviour.
Luckily we do, at least these three:
This powerful graphic comes from Fascism Anyone?, a Laurence W. Britt piece pasted below. You can find the link here, along with some very thoughtful critiques of the piece. The other piece comes from that eternal credit to humanity, Umberto Eco, Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt, (Read more…)
Solidarity means an attack on one is an offense to all!
So if you have sent your letter to IKEA explaining why you are boycotting them for locking out their Richmond workers for 10 weeks, you may have received this precious reply from the corporation, below. I will re-spin it down there, but first I need to talk about words.
For IKEA, “strike” is Swedish for “lockout.”
It thinks it’s being clever disputing the word, but it has locked out its employees for 10 weeks now. It started as a one-hour lockout after which the workers were invited back, (Read more…)
Marriage equality became law in England and Wales after Queen Elizabeth granted Royal Assent to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill last Wednesday.
The post Marriage equality becomes law in England and Wales appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Enrich your understanding at the Squamish Nation Powwow this weekend.
In the quest for a better Canada, one that is more democratic, inclusive, consultative and less rejecting of science and climate change realities, it is important to reach out.
Sovereignty Summer is part of that movement, coming out of Idle No More, embracing a notion that a better Canada is one where we are all talking to each other more. A Canada where we proactively seek to fix the myths and prejudices that keep us apart.
Once we can clear away the fog of distraction, spin and outright lies, it (Read more…)
How many Canadian feminist blogs do you know about?
Politics, Re-Spun didn’t make it into the Spring 2012 landscape of Canadian feminist blogs. But that’s understandable, considering the scope of the research project: it was bound to miss a bunch. Granted we deal with lots of different topics that do and don’t intersect with feminist issues, as well as explicitly feminist issues.
Our writers also self-identify as feminist, which is great [and pretty much a requirement, I think]. But I think we’re easily a feminist blog. But are we feminist enough? I don’t think so.
I think there is (Read more…)
Indonesia Muslim Rally
It’s been almost 20 years since the Rwandan genocide. We were too stupid, callous, or indifferent to stop it, and Senator Dallaire has more than a few words on the topic.
Granted, the WWW was just getting going in the early 1990s, so we didn’t have the kind of viral campaigns we see now, like Avaaz’s campaign to stop the imminent genocide of the Rohingya in Burma [see below]. It started on Canada/Settler Day and accumulated over 300,000 signatures in less than two days. They’re going for 1,000,000.
Genocide is perhaps the surest sign that humanity is (Read more…)