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Politics, Re-Spun: It’s Time for a National Housing Strategy

One of the big bads from the 1980s is starting to emerge again in Alberta. Jingle mail — the act of walking away from an underwater mortgage by mailing your keys back to the bank — is a peculiarity of the Alberta residential market and an act of desperation. However, a combination of high debt … Continue reading It’s Time for a National Housing Strategy

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The Cracked Crystal Ball II: A Little More For Alberta’s Bishops To Stew On

Since Alberta’s Roman Catholic Bishops seem to have something up their cassocks about transgender students, I thought it would be quite appropriate to post the following article that appeared in Huffington Post  in its entirety:Two and a half year… . . . → Read More: The Cracked Crystal Ball II: A Little More For Alberta’s Bishops To Stew On

Things Are Good: Teaching ADHD Kids Outside

Students with ADHD have a hard time focusing in a standard classroom which leads to a difficult learning environment. It doesn’t have to be this way though. In Finland outdoor schools are familiar and effective, and now in the States they are experimenting with outdoor schools. Outside Online took a good look a SOAR to […]

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Things Are Good: Working Hard Isn’t All There Is

We are often told that the key to success is all in working hard, but that isn’t the case according to new studies. Hard work may get only so far. So instead of sweating bullets at your work, try to find what your good at and apply yourself there. It turns out that people who […]

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The Canadian Progressive: Abortion Rights Advocates File Legal Challenge Against P.E.I

Abortion right advocates in Prince Edward Island have advised the provincial government of their intention to file a legal challenge to the province’s “discriminatory and unlawful abortion policy.” The post Abortion Rights Advocates File Legal Challe… . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Abortion Rights Advocates File Legal Challenge Against P.E.I

Dead Wild Roses: The Toxic Geopolitics of the Middle East – Richard Falk

Taken from his essay on Counterpunch called Slouching Toward Global Disaster. “Toxic Geopolitics It is impossible to understand and explain such a disastrous failure of military interventionism without considering the effects of two toxic ‘special relationships’ formed by the United States, with Israel and Saudi Arabia. The basic feature of such special relationships is an […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The Toxic Geopolitics of the Middle East – Richard Falk

Dead Wild Roses: All You Need to Know About How Equality Works in Society in 2 .gifs

The notion we have a fair playing field, a balance, whatever you’d like to call it is quite patently false. We have not all just fallen out of some sort of Rawlsian simulator into a just society. Injustice and anti-egalitarian ideals are normative in society, they are the water we swim in, the air we […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: All You Need to Know About How Equality Works in Society in 2 .gifs

Things Are Good: Ontario Slaps SLAPPs

A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that has the goal of shutting down opponents. They tend to be used as a strategy to shut down poor NGOs or poor people who can’t afford to defend themselves in a lengthy legal battle. SLAPPs tie up the courts while shutting down debate – bad for democracy and bad for all of society.

Ontario has joined many other parts of the world in passing legislation to stop SLAPPs.

The new act, which will become law in Ontario upon Royal Assent, contains a number of elements that will (Read more…)

centre of the universe: Baby, tell the truth

I was going to make a post about the upcoming election, but since there are TEN GODDAMNED WEEKS left, I think I have some time. And then I heard something on the radio that made me realize something. We have a long, long, LONG road ahead of us when it comes to owning up to, […]

Politics, Re-Spun: Obama Battles Harper Over Climate Change

Obama spoke the other day about climate change: “we’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change; we’re the last generation that can do something about it.”

Stephen Harper denies the science.

It’s about that simple.

#HeaveSteve

February 19, 2015 Looking for Heroes? (0) August 3, 2015 11 Weeks of Daily Harper Protests (0) December 11, 2013 How Harper is Gutting Canada: THE LIST (0) July 8, 2014 The Occupy Movement Has Changed the Narrative, But We’re Not Done (2)

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Politics, Re-Spun: 11 Weeks of Daily Harper Protests

The Harper Re-election Disaster Bus Totalitarianism: daily, for 11 weeks!

Get used to this.

People hate Harper and his Conservatives. We will see through his weak attempt to wedge oppositions parties by running a long election campaign because he has more money to spend.

Saturation will come fast.

We will remember how much contempt he holds for people and democracy.

We will listen to his 5 non-answers to 5 media questions each day and we will be constantly reminded of how much we can’t stand what he has done to Canada.

And we will see this. Every day:

Harper campaign (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Why People Hate the Translink Police

Replace “driver” with Translink cop.

I had a hard time reading all the way through this article, the one about Translink cops terrorizing bus passengers on Friday night.

I also had a hard time reading about the two Translink cops found guilty of assault on Friday.

I’m sure it was just a coincidence that they both happened on Friday.

And I find it astonishing that Neil Dubord, the head of the Translink police [or his social media lackeys] would choose to follow my largely apolitical personal Twitter account [unless he also like Pink Floyd and the Baltimore Orioles].

Also (Read more…)

Things Are Good: It’s Time to Rethink Capitalism

Capitalism favours the wealthy and what we have seen this entire millennium is that this is more true than ever. Inequality is on the rise pretty much everywhere, and this is a problem. In this TED Talk, Paul Tudor Jones II, examines the current problematic state of capitalism and how we can rethink it.

Paul Tudor Jones II loves capitalism. It’s a system that has done him very well over the last few decades. Nonetheless, the hedge fund manager and philanthropist is concerned that a laser focus on profits is, as he puts it, “threatening the very underpinnings of society. (Read more…)

A. Picazo: Address This Code

This op-ed appeared in The Ottawa Citizen on May 25, 2015. In 2013, Kimberly Hall, Director of Women’s Ministry at All Saints Presbyterian Church, wrote an open letter to teen girls who, in her view, were tempting her sons into “impure thoughts” through social media. “If you are friends with a Hall boy on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, then you … Continue reading →

Things Are Good: We Need to Hold Banks Accountable (again)

The financial sector is like a hydra and we need to get it under control. The bad news is that bankers have been able to get away with some unethical practices for the last decade or so. The good news is that finally American politicians are taking notice of this and are talking about what to do.

This discourse is needed now while the banks are stable to try to ensure that the their crazy actions don’t lead to yet another financial boondoggle.

Yes, the banks are back. As the New York Times’s Neil Irwin reported, employment has returned (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How to Hate Women

So, it turns out that if you and some of your single girl friends lament the lack of quality men in Vancouver, you may get attacked by anonymous men and women in the comments section of the Georgia Straight.

Go figure.

Whether that is “true” or not, people sure like to tee off on people. It feels a bit like the entitled imperviousness idiotic men feel when they shout sexually graphic obscenities at a female tv reporter on a live remote segment.

You can read the initial lament here and don’t miss the comments below it. Here are but (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How Do YOU Fight for Workplace Justice?

How do YOU define determination?

One of them gave birth the day before the vote. As soon as her baby was nursing properly and her bloodwork came back okay, she made the trip to the hotel to vote.

via Inside a union drive at The Trump Hotel | Toronto Star.

February 19, 2015 Looking for Heroes? (0) March 14, 2014 Don’t Tolerate Ignorance About the Minimum Wage (0) October 27, 2014 The Election-Eve Racist, Sexist Attack on Olivia Chow (0) December 17, 2013 Fried Squirrels (2)

Politics, Re-Spun: Sadistic Police and Their Entitlements

If you wonder why police are losing respect as a credible element in a peaceful, democratic, civilized society, watch this video [the slightly longer version is here].

Not only does a white shirt pepper spray an unarmed man at almost point blank range, watch what else happens.

The white shirt steps back a few steps after filling his face with pepper spray. Is he afraid of retaliation? From a man filled with pepper spray in his face? Another non-white shirt decides that the injured man, who is taking slow steps backwards, is a sufficient threat that to take (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: How Equal Do We Want the World? – Dan Ariely

More than you’d think really. Human beings seem to intrinsically value fairness and equality and yet, as of today have constructed societies based on moving as far away as possible from any sort of equitable norm.

Take note of the piece on John Rawls and how using the Veil of Ignorance idea as a cognitive filter for making decisions. I think it is a great idea adding to the list of processes one should go through in making tough decisions in the personal, moral and political sphere.

Filed under: Culture, Education, Ethics Tagged: Dan Ariely, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Lawrence Ezrow writes that the disconnect between the public and policymaking that’s done so much harm to the U.S. isn’t quite as severe in more equal countries. And the Equality Trust is looking to ensure that the UK’s political parties make the reduction of inequality into a core policy objective.

- Jordon Cooper comments on Saskatchewan’s desperate need for a seniors’ care plan – rather than the current practice of matching photo ops with selloffs and failing services. And Robert McMurtry reminds us of the dire need for a strong federal (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Vancouver’s Co-Working Co-op Stimulates Worker Empowerment

Tuesday night in the back room of The Tipper bar/bistro/restaurant on Kingsway at Victoria we are holding our Inception Meeting for a new kind of co-working space in Vancouver, one structured as a co-op.

You can read about the project in The Georgia Straight piece last week, and on the project webpage at Incipe, the consulting workers’ co-op that is spawning this co-op. Incipe, in-CHEE-pay, is Latin for “Begin!” And you can register for the [free] meeting here. And if you want to be involved and informed, you can sign up for the e-newsletter here.

We (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What’s Wrong with Canada? We’re Not Denmark-ish

And I don’t mean we need to become Denmark, but we need to have the dialogue about why they can do what they do and we choose not to.

When Canadians are surveyed, a very large majority of us support these public goods. But those desires get subsumed with corporate, neoliberal, right wing government-cut rhetoric.

We need to explore the political sociology of Denmark to understand how they embraced the tax commitment to provide these public goods.

We can be Denmark, but we choose not to.

We need to respin the messages from the tax-hating corporations and make the economy (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How You May Be Able to Be a Better Feminist

I don’t need to add anything here. If you like/hate what you read, click the link and get up to speed on the rest of it!

White feminists: this is a call for you to get your shit together. The point of equality isn’t to claw your way to the top so that you can treat other people just as badly as white dudes have treated you — we need to elevate each other, amplify each other’s voices, and maybe let someone else tell us if we’re allowed to be on their team. Because, as per Flavia Dzodan, if your (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Reject the Slow Motion Privatization of K-12 in BC

Privatizing education in BC has been largely subtle and hidden. Absurd conflicts like this below [Restricted Vancouver playground access sparks angry exchange between [PRIVATE!] school principal, parent] help the general public see what’s actually been going on for a long time with private schools. Mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine. Not ours. This is unacceptable!

Note the editor conspicuously omitted the word “private” from the headline’s description of this school principal. Spin alert!

And why have we given a free pass to the premier for sending her child to a private school? That’s not (Read more…)

Larry Hubich's Blog: Right to Strike puts conservatives on notice

“Saskatchewan’s Labour Movement: the folks who brought you the constitutional right to strike!” said Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) president, Larry Hubich, as the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) sided with working families on January 30, 2015. The SCC ruled, in no uncertain terms, that the SFL was right – the Saskatchewan Party government’s Public Services Essential Services Act (Bill 5) was heavy-handed, unworkable, and violated a Charter-protected right to strike. “The decision by the Supreme Court to grant every worker in Canada a constitutional right to strike is a profound victory for our movement,” said Hubich, “the Court (Read more…)