Pam Palmater, getting it done!
“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
For three decades of activism I have been inspired by a great number of wise, engaged women.
Carleen Pickard, for instance. I first met Carleen when she was the B.C./Yukon organizer for the Council of Canadians. En route to becoming the executive director of San Francisco-based Global Exchange, she was part of their human rights campaign in Mexico, and she has testified before the House of Commons (Read more…)
I couldn’t really fault you if you felt that only about 22% of humanity were women.
If we based it all on how frequently they are represented in politics and the media, we wouldn’t know they made up a 51-ish% majority.
This is why Cate Blanchett and Geena Davis have some words for us all.
And god[dess] help us if we try to contradict them:
Blanchett won an Oscar the other night. In her remarks she mentioned a truth that many people still don’t understand, offering gratitude regarding her film
“to the audiences who went to see it and perhaps (Read more…)
Speaking out against rape culture can create some serious backlash, which reflects our culture of rape.
At UBC the dean of the business school muses about firing all the students who took part in the chant that celebrates rape, which was also sung at Saint Mary’s in Halifax. And the students voted to not contribute money towards a sexual assault counselling program.
At the University of Ottawa, student politticians had a Facebook chat about how they would sexually assault another student leader. Then they got a lawyer to try to stop her from distributing the transcript of their chat. Then (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The Pandemic of Rape Culture
The rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer, and the gap between them is growing.
This is the test of whether we can be content in our complacency. Here’s why.
In 2010, a tax filer required an annual income of $201,400 to be in the top 1%. This was 37% higher than the threshold value of $147,500 in 1982, when the data series began. (All dollar figures in this text are expressed in 2010 constant dollars.)
The income gap between the top 1% and the rest of filers has widened over time. In 1982, the median income of the top 1% of filers was $191,600. This was seven (Read more…)
So apparently the rich are an oppressed minority now.
Last month, in what is thought to have become the most widely read letter to the editor ever published by The Wall Street Journal, venture capitalist and former News Corp board member Tom Perkins writes, “I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich.’” He concludes, “Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendant ‘progressive’ radicalism unthinkable now?”
In other words, mild resentment of (Read more…)
We’ve legislated equality. We’re done now right?
Wrong Answer Binky; legislating equality is just the first tiny step, because equality has many parts to it, including justice and fairness. Illustrated below:
We’ll be heading in the right direction when women do not have to deal with garbage like this:
In 2006, researchers from the University of Maryland set up a bunch of fake online accounts and then dispatched them into chat rooms. Accounts with feminine usernames incurred an average of 100 sexually explicit or threatening messages a day. Masculine names received 3.7.
-From the article (Read more…)
I was not around in 1972 to experience the dramatic and intense summit series between Canada and the Soviet Union, however I have read a lot about the event and heard many stories from hockey fanatics who had the pleasure of experiencing it live.
The Summit Series was an immensely important event in both sports history as well as political history, as Canada had it’s chance to shine on the international scene and take the place of defender of freedom from the United States for the first time. Our battle was not won with weapons or mass propaganda, but with (Read more…)
SeaWorld is an entertainment company that has large aquatic mammals in captivity performing tricks for humans. Their entertainment shows look impressive, but what goes on behind the scenes is rather scary. The good news is that in 2013 this aquatic animal abuse got mainstream attention.
In Canada, the Toronto Star ran an exposé on Marineland (similar to SeaWorld). In the USA a documentary on SeaWorld, Blackfish, has impacted attendance at both companies. Now that people know the poor conditions animals are held in, people have stopped supporting these misbehaving companies.
Seeing these animals can be impressive but we shouldn’t (Read more…)
It’s a trick question.
And let’s not forget how many of us are told we are inherently lazy because we are native. Hard to shake that.
via Twitter / apihtawikosisan: And let’s not forget how many ….
And if you want to read one person’s analysis of destructive, racist stereotypes, try this on, from Frank Assu, also known as Tlakwatsi, a member of the We Wai Kai First Nation of Quadra Island.
December 4, 2013 Are We Good Allies to First Nations? (0) July 25, 2013 Why We Must #HonourTheApology to Residential School Survivors [#INM] (1) December 17, 2013 (Read more…)
If we are a caring society. If we acknowledge that there are a myriad of reasons why a community’s homeless population is homeless. If we thought we should invest our tax dollars and take advantage of good research, good experience, good pilot projects and professionals to address homelessness and other problems. If we were interested in treating people as people instead of the poorn or poor bashing of dehumanizing people. If all this…we could fix homlessness and address many or all of the things that lead to homelessness and preventable human suffering. Here’s how.
Give homeless people homes.
There, that (Read more…)
It’s a crisp, foggy November Saturday morning in the south side of the city. Seventeen people sit in the large open area at the back end of an organic fair trade coffee shop run by a workers’ co-op inspired by the Mondragon movement in Spain. Meet-ups like this are quite common in this shop.
The male and female co-facilitators move briskly through the agenda with the help of the nodding volunteer maintaining the speakers list. There are sporadic jazz-hand gestures, common from the Occupy Movement, as well as a strict yet comfortable group norm of only one person speaking at (Read more…)
Have you contributed positively to a young girl’s self esteem yet today?
If not, here is some inspiration and a place to get better resourced!
“As a child, I never heard one woman say to me: ‘I love my body.’ Not my mother, my elder sister, my best friend. Not one woman has ever said: ‘I am so proud of my body.’ So, I make sure I say it to Mia, because a positive physical outlook has to start from a very early age.”
- Kate Winslet
In the first movie, when it was obviously (Read more…)
Values, discrimination, the Swedish way: all these ideas are in the mix as stakeholders of IKEA’s treatment of workers express how they feel about IKEA’s plan to break its union in Richmond, BC.
We’ve been writing about this new front line in Canada’s war against workers for months now. But the members of Teamsters Local 213 have been living it.
This is the Christmas season. If you intend to buy anything IKEA-ish in Richmond, Coquitlam, elsewhere in Canada or around the world, spend some time finding another vendor then tweet or Facebook IKEA letting them know you’re part of the (Read more…)
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