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Writings of J. Todd Ring: The Paris Attacks In Contex

Propaganda, hysteria, ultra-violence and imperialism, as usual “A people unaware of its myths is likely to continue living by them.” – Richard Slotkin I have been too horrified by the predictably violent and insane reaction of the Western pow… . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: The Paris Attacks In Contex

Things Are Good: Kickstarter CEO Wants You to Have a New Job

Yancey Strickler is the CEO and cofounder of Kickstarter he sees the future of work and the economy different than most CEOs. Strickler sees a future with people working jobs that actually matter for causes that make the world a better a place. Instead of profit over people, we can have people who all profit.

He suggests many alternatives to the bland, “normal”, work life of 9-5 in a depressing office. You can work for a co-op, a charity, a benefit corporation, or do your own thing!

This is a talk about what happens when a culture is driven by (Read more…)

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…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Lest We Forget: Reflections On Remembrance Day, Veterans Day, and the Current Corporate Assault on Freedom and Democracy Around the World

The 21st century was the most violent and murderous period in human history to date. And with our current direction, the 21st century may well surpass it in violence and war. Have we forgotten the lessons of the past, or have we yet to learn them? Worse yet, not only has war not ended, but […]

Montreal Simon: Remembrance Day 2015: Remembering the Dead and the Living

It's Remembrance Day 2015, and this year it will be for me like no other I have ever known. A day of sadness and celebration.A day to mourn all those who sacrificed their lives for this country.And a day to give thanks that this other tragedy, this other gaping wound of war, is finally going to be recognized.Read more »

Bill Longstaff: Lest we forget—enough already

Lest we forget? How could we possibly? At this time of year we are overwhelmed with noise about not forgetting.

Now the warrior worshipers are demanding that stores not put up their Xmas displays until after November 11th. It is disrespectful, they say. Frankly, I wouldn’t be unhappy if stores didn’t put up their displays until the last week before Xmas, but it seems to me we are overdoing this

Things Are Good: Stephen Harper No Longer Prime Minister of Canada

Finally Canadians have vote out the Conservative party led by Stephen Harper. Their nine year rule saw Canada lose respect from around the world. Canada has earned a reputation of blocking climate change related international agreements and being a country that is swayed by horrible political manoeuvres. The country transformed from a place that supports collective freedoms to a country that won’t help refugees. The federal government, who passed drastic anti-terroist laws, said they won’t even investigate the murders of aboriginal women.

Canada became a shameful place. Regular readers of this blog would note that the only time Harper (or (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Vote on Canada’s Digital Future

On Monday the 19th Canadians will cast their ballots for who they think should run the nation. Open Media has released a report card on where the political parties stand on digital issues impacting Canadians. It’s with no surprise that the conservatives get a failing grade. The good news is that every other party support online freedoms.

Don’t want the Canadian government reading your email and watching what you do online? Vote them out this election.

We have assessed the main parties on the digital policy issues Canadians told us matter most. The grades below are a crowdsourced assessment by (Read more…) PressProgress: Conservative candidate on C-51: Civil liberties? "Folks, that’s not the country we live in"

Civil liberties protect our personal freedoms. They allow us to express ourselves without fear of interference, they preserve our right to speak, to assemble, to organize, to move around freely and protect our identity.  C-51 will limit our civil liberties, and even this Conservative candidate said so. Let’s stop this before it’s too late! Speak out and spread the word to ‪#‎KillC51‬

Article by Press Progress

What country do Canadians live in then?

read more

Things Are Good: A Virtual Companion for a Safe Walk Home

At the schools I teach at they each have a volunteer run service to help people walk home who are worried for their safety. When one graduates from these schools they are on their own. Seeing that this how walk-safe programs work a bunch of students have created an app to help people feel safe on their walks.

The students’ Companion app, which recently came out in a new version, is simple to use. You type in the address you’re headed to, pull down a map, and then pick a friend or two from your list of contacts. They don’t (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Excerpt from “We Do Abortions Here” – Sallie Tisdale

This quote is from the Harper’s Magazine archive. We Do Abortions Here: A Nurse’s Story, is a powerful piece that goes beyond the well worn positions that are still being dragged about today. I recommend a full reading, go to Harper’s Archive to read it.

“Women have abortions because they are too old, and too young, too poor, and too rich, too stupid and too smart. I see women who berate themselves with violent emotions for their first and only abortion, and others who return three times, five times, hauling two or three children, who cannot remember (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Forget Burning Man, Go To Ephemerisle

Ephemerisle is a libertarian Burning Man on the ocean. It’s goal is like Burning Man’s insofar that it exists to explore new ideas while throwing a big party. Ephemerisle is really trying to figure out how people can survive on the ocean for an extended period of time while finding solutions to the logistical aspects of doing so.

Ephemerisle participants need to figure out many things from waste management to how to generate electricity. On top of that, because it’s libertarian, do it all while creating some sort of economy.

I’m not into the American libertarian movement but I do (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Iceland Wants to Help Journalists Expose Real Threats

Iceland continues on it’s quest to be the ‘Switzerland of data‘ and is extending its program to do so for journalists. Part of the country’s plan to become a haven for people exposing the immoral and questionable behaviour of powerful people is already in action. Iceland is quickly achieving its goal of not only protecting data but also protecting people who analyze and process that data.

The motivation for Iceland to lead this charge comes out of a first-hand knowledge of how devastating a lack of transparency can be. Iceland’s financial crash of 2008 was catastrophic to the (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Omar Khadr and the Monster Stephen Harper

Of all the Canadians Stephen Harper has muzzled during his reign of terror nobody was muzzled more than Omar Khadr.For years Harper prevented the media from meeting with him, hearing about his ordeal, or even taking his picture. So he could portray Khadr as a monster.And since I have never defended anyone as long and as strongly as I have that child soldier, you can imagine how I feel to see him ride free at last.

And hear him tell his story in his own words. Read more »

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…)

Things Are Good: Band of the Month: The Holy Gasp

Hey! May’s band is The Holy Gasp!

The most musically important band I’ve heard in quite a spell, The Holy Gasp’s party mix of Afro-Cuban surf punk wizardry grabs you quick and hard, and doesn’t let you go. Check out their refreshing approach to getting a message across with body-moving protest songs to sing-and-shake along with.

The Last Generation of Love (LP) by The Holy Gasp

Band of the Month by Greg O’Toole

The post Band of the Month: The Holy Gasp appeared first on Things Are Good.

Montreal Simon: The Freedom of Omar Khadr and the Shame of the Con Regime

I wrote my first post on Omar Khadr eight years ago, and called it The Guantanamo Kid and Canada's Shame.And nothing that has happened since has ever changed my view. For what was done to that child soldier has been one of the most shameful episodes in modern Canadian history, and an absolute travesty of justice.So you can imagine how happy I felt today when I saw that picture of Omar walking free in his own country at last. Or read these words.Read more »

Things Are Good: The 20 Safest Cities in the World

The Economist safe cities list (pdf link) has been released and the results are pretty neat! There are some cities that you’d expect to be there and some surprise too!

The analysts looked at digital, health, and personal security of every city on the list plus the condition of the city’s infrastructure.

Is you city on the list?

3. Osaka

The Japanese city of 2.6 million ranks second in personal safety and sixth in health security. As with Tokyo, Osaka is relatively wealthy, and it ranks second for GDP per capita among upper-middle-income cities. The city ranks lower in (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Will Iceland be the “Switzerland of Data”?

Iceland is the de facto home of Wikileaks and is also a country concerned with privacy issues. The country is now considering leveraging their experience and reputation of being digital-data friendly to the next level. Presently, the country is considering branding itself as the “Switzerland of Data.”

If Iceland does move ahead with this, it means that the country will become one of the most important players in the 21st century similar to how Switzerland was with banks in the 20th.

The International Modern Media Institute (IMMI), a non-profit organisation, has played an instrumental role in designing and promoting (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: If You Watch This Video

… you will realize very quickly that Ursula K. LeGuin is talking about much more than the writing of books:

Recommend this Post

Things Are Good: LHC Data Freely Accessible from CERN

The Large Hadron Collider run by CERN is making huge insights into the fundamental workings of the universe. Already it has found evidence the Higgs-Boson and other groovy particles in physics.

Now CERN is setting all that data that’s been collected free to use! Now you can use research generated by one of the most complex machines humanity has ever created.

“Data from the LHC program are among the most precious assets of the LHC experiments, that today we start sharing openly with the world,” says CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. “We hope these open data will support and inspire (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Remembrance Day 2014: And My Promise to the Dead

It's going to be a very emotional Remembrance Day in Canada, especially at the National War Memorial.For the reasons we all know, for the blood spilled. And at the stroke of eleven I will stop whatever I'm doing, and remember those who gave their lives, and honour our veterans.But for the first time ever, I won't even try to watch the always moving ceremony at the National War Memorial.Because at this point in my life, in this broken country, I could not stand to see Stephen Harper exploit such a sacred occasion.Read more »

Things Are Good: Only Keep Things That Bring You Joy

Are you sick of tidying your place all the time? If you are, just stop.

There’s no need to tidy if you go through all your items and only keep things which bring you joy and improve your life. Marie Kondo has published a book on the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing.

I had spent three years tidying and discarding things, yet my room still felt cluttered. Would someone please tell me why my room isn’t tidy when I work so hard at it? Although I did not say this out loud, in my heart I was (Read more…)

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…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Scotland, Crimea and the Right To Self-Determination

Do the people of Scotland have the right to vote in a referendum to determine their own future? Of course they do. Just as the people of Greece had, and have, the right to vote in a referendum as to whether or not to stay in the EU. And do the people of Crimea have […]