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Things Are Good: Restorative Justice and Neuroscience

In this TED talk, Daniel Reisel examines how neuroscience backs up the (already obvious) reasons that restorative justice works better than punitive justice.

Things Are Good: Help Bring Bad Mining Companies to Court

Q’eqchi’ communities in Guatemala have been resisting the push of Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals into their land. This resistance has been met by dubious practices by the Toronto-based mining corporation and now they are being brought to court. A group supporting the Q’eqchi’ communities is looking to bring attention to this matter as well as gather signatures to present.

Sign the petition now!

Q’eqchi’ communities in the Izabal region of Guatemala have faced an onslaught of these and other abuses over the past five decades at the hands of a series of Canadian mining companies who have owned the (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: What is happening in Venezuela? It’s certainly not what the mainstream media is telling you

“Much of the reporting by the mass media gives the impression that Venezuela faces a national rebellion. The reality, says Miguel Tinker Salas, is that the protests have been restricted to mostly middle and upper middle class neighborhoods, not entire cities.” – Truthout, What is happening in Venezuela?(Many, many thanks, to the honest journalism […]

Things Are Good: A New Zealand School Abandons Rules, Ends Bullying

Having zero tolerance policies in schools is a truly horrible way to treat children. It can blunt curiosity and punish severely for minor infractions, combine such oppressive control with bizarre rules (like no playing schoolyard games) and you’ll bored, agitated and disengaged kids. When children aren’t able to express themselves in more traditional ways (like play), they tend to lash out.

With all of that in mind, a school in Aukland decided to toss out the rules. The results were a decrease in bullying and an increase in attentive learning!

Instead of a playground, children used their imagination to play (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Capitalism: Swing Your Sledgehammer

It’s all about vision and hope, in an effort to envision how economics and markets can exist after the toxicity of capitalism is gone, gone gone. Are you up for it?

Last night, John Holloway, author of Crack Capitalism, was the SFU Institute for the Humanities‘ guest lecturer, skyped in from Mexico. He was full of inspiration and clarity. Enjoy my twitter reflections below.

[View the story "John Holloway on Fixing Capitalism" on Storify]

January 7, 2012 Day Two of Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0) January 7, 2012 Opening Panel from the Tragedy (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Capitalism: Swing Your Sledgehammer

The Political Road Map: Why Sochi 2014 is My Generations 1972 Summit Series

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…) Australians to Canadians: Beware TPP economic fallout

Over 125,000 people – including tens of thousands of Canadians – have now spoken out about the damaging Internet censorship proposals in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). We know from leaked drafts all about how the TPP would make your Internet more expensive, censored, and policed.

Now, our friends in Australia are sounding the alarm about how the TPP could wreak havoc on Canada’s economy. Australians know well the economic damage that unbalanced and extreme Internet censorship rules can cause. Australia was forced to adopt extreme copyright rules as part of the Australia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) – rules which (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Nelson Mandela and What That Giant Meant To Me

When I heard the news that Nelson Mandela had died at first I was sad, like billions of people all over the world. For he was my greatest living hero, and somehow I had hoped that he would live forever. “Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father,” South African President Jacob Zuma said in a sombre speech to the nation just before midnight, broadcast on all major television channels. “He is now resting. He is now at peace. … Although we knew this day would come, nothing will diminish our sense of a profound and enduring (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: New studies show babies have basically decent impulses and are strongly driven by moral imperatives

More research shows once again that compassion, empathy and mutual aid, and an instinct toward cooperation, are innate in human beings, confirming what the great Russian biologist and anarchist philosopher Peter Kropotkin had already amply demonstrated over a hundred years ago, in his monumental work, Mutual Aid. My but our cherished ideological self-deceptions die slowly. […]

Bill Longstaff: Remember who? And for what?

Canada first observed Remembrance Day on November 11th, 1919, to commemorate the armistice that had ended WWI one year earlier and to remember those in the military who had given their lives in the war.

The narrow focus on the military has become less legitimate—the majority of those who died in WWI were soldiers. In WWII, however, the great majority of the dead were civilians. Yet Remembrance

LeDaro: Benjamin Netanyahu has a problem with his genes. :)

He made an off-hand comment that if Iranians were free and had a democratic government then Iranian people will be free to wear jeans and listen to Western music. That remark backfired on Natenyahoo.

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Simple pleasures and the greatest of treasures

Ok, it’s that time. Time to put down the pen, or in this case, the keyboard; start cooking dinner – very slowly, for maximum flavour – and cut the grass in the golden sun of the late afternoon… And, crank up the rock and roll on the wireless headphones! Whoo-hoo! After a satisfying and truly […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: US government shutdown, and other fairy tales and political theatre

I’m not sure what to make of the hoopla going on in the US right now. I’m inclined to think it’s all just political theatre, as Gerald Celente calls it, designed to distract the people from the real issues – the central one being, who controls the government and the nation? Wall Street, the big […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: The deeper reasons for the “war on drugs”

There is a deeper reason for the war on drugs, which is the central reason for the policy, even outweighing profits from private prisons and seizure of property by law enforcement officers, both of which no doubt are also significant and strong motivations for keeping the “war on drugs” going. Nearly thirty years ago, Chomsky […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: The Key of Keys

Egoless divine pride: the most glorious concept I have ever heard – from Tibetan Buddhism. The Uttara Tantra elaborates: There once was a prince, who lost his memory and forgot who he was. Lost in forgetfulness and confusion, he wandered aimlessly, and became a homeless beggar. Years later, a minister to the king came across […]

Things Are Good: Choose Cage Free

Animal cruelty sadly still exists and we can all make a difference in the suffering of domesticated animals by changing our shopping habits. The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has launched an education campaign to get people aware of the dangers of factory-farming hens while celebrating the benefits of letting the animals roam free.

Cage-free is healthier for the chickens:

There is overwhelming scientific evidence to demonstrate that caged hens have a greater chance of being infected by Salmonella; which is among the most common causes of food-related hospitalization and deaths in the US and Canada. (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Anti-Harper Ad The CBC Doesn’t Dare Run

It may seem hard to believe, but in a country where the government keeps an Enemy List, and rules by fear, the CBC has decided to muzzle itself. Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s Stealth War on Gay Canadians

In just a few hours I'll be following the rainbow, or waving it, at the Toronto Pride parade.Along with about a million gay people and their straight friends and supporters.It's always an awesome spectacle. A chance to celebrate our community, our survival, and in my case at least, send a giant F**K YOU to every bigot in the world.Because that's what the rainbow flag means to me. FREEDOM. Read more »

Ken Chapman: Edward Snowden, Freedom and the Media’s Manufacture of Meaning

There is no doubt there is a need for fear, or at least anxiety, over our government’s secret intrusion into our online personal lives.  Yes the Government of Canada too, not just the United States, is doing this.

Reassurances from those perpetuating this travesty say that the surveillance is only on foreigners, not citizens is hardly reassuring nor very genuine.  Those communications monitorings are ostensibly only on foreigners.  But foreigners connecting with whom?  American citizens is often as not the the answer.  For Homeland security that is what the US spy system is mostly interested, I expect.

This makes the (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Top Priorities of the 21st Century

If I were asked what I felt were the top priorities facing human beings today, in the 21st century, I would have to say there are four that top the list, in my mind. 1. Halt the global corporate coup. Defeat the corporate war on democracy, which is now escalating daily, and take democracy back. […]

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Ezra Levant And All His Friends

From the Twitter “fake follower” check, which tells you how many of your twitter followers are real:

So it looks like someone has been buying Ezra bulk followers.  Anyway, compare this with the report you get for a real journalist–Canada’s sweetest little angel, Kady O’Malley:

Or even Hairface, from Lethbridge:

So the upshot is Ezra’s fans are mostly among the non-existent.  That bodes ill for his “freedom cruise” .  Fake people use fake credit.

The Political Road Map: The Great Academic Rejection of 2008-20??



Do you know what this is?

It is a count of the amount of days since my last job interview. A count that is used to monitor a continued hope that employment in my field or a career of some sort will be attainable under the current economy. As I have mentioned in previous entries, my current dilemma is the result of a University education. Look how I capitalize University, making it seem like this important, distinguished and enlightening experience. Well, the capitalization will now end, university is how it will remain forever.

I do not expect my university (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Terrorist Bill and the October Nightmare

Sometimes I can't help feeling that a lot of Canadians have forgotten the fundamental lesson of the War Measures Act.And that is, it wasn't Pierre Trudeau's finest hour, it was his darkest.It was an October nightmare, that led to the arrests of hundreds of innocent people. It wasn't needed to ensure public safety, or arrest and prosecute the terrorists. And this bill isn't either.Read more »

Montreal Simon: Richie Havens and the Freedom Song

When I lived in the McGill Student Ghetto, I was told that Richie Havens once lived in the building next door.Either shortly before or after Woodstock, when he fell in love with a woman who worked at Eaton's. Or so the legend went.And when I sat on my small rickety wooden balcony, on a hot summer's night, and played my guitar, I would think of him. Because he was amazing.Read more »

Dead Wild Roses: Let’s do Some Gun Control!

If we are all over regulating women’s bodies, I’m thinking guns should not be a frakking problem.


What if gun rights were regulated like abortion rights? Here’s a list of just some of the hoops you’d have to jump through before you could own a gun:

Only one store in the entire state would sell guns. (See: Mississippi, Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming for states with only one abortion provider.) You’d have to fill out an enormous personal background check including intrusive personal information that has nothing to do with your ability to own or use (Read more…)