Since the crisis in Ukraine made the headlines Russia has been cast as the villain with predictable stereotypes and misconceptions about things Russian showing up on MSM. From a Russian perspective a lot of it must seem clueless, tiresome or outright offensive but such “insights” add to a tabloid narrative that gets very little critical scrutiny. The tendency to caricature Russia isn’t just a tabloid pastime, it shows up in the commentary of politicians in sometimes surprising ways.
Obama and his speech writers could use some remedial assistance when it comes to Russian history.
During a brief stop-over in Estonia (Read more…)
The chickens of western colonialism are coming home to roost.
Excerpt from “The Guns of August” – by Matthew Stevenson via Counterpunch
“Doubts about the sincerity of Americans in Iraq probably began when President Ronald Reagan dispatched his former national security advisor Robert C. “Bud” McFarlane to Tehran in 1986 with a cake and a Bible and proposed swapping arms for American hostages in Lebanon.
Until that moment, in the long war between Iran and Iraq, Saddam was our man, a bulwark against Shiite expansion in the Gulf, a non-fundamental (i.e., someone not adverse to girls (Read more…)
Steve Harper, the greatest threat to Canadian security in the modern era.
Happy August! Happy Day!
I have a few comments about this, the 1,000th editorial at Politics, Re-Spun. But you can read them below, about my sabbatical plan, new visions for this almost 12-year-old website, and other things.
But at the top of this post, I have something slightly more urgent to delve into before I check out for a break.
That great sick freak, Donald Rumsfeld is generally credited with popularizing the concept of unknown unknowns to our modern/post-modern era. Being a sick freak, he spun that bafflement (Read more…)
Why It Matters That Norman Finkelstein Just Got Arrested Outside the Israeli Consulate
Israel has the right to defend itself.
Arguably, so does every nation.
Israel, however, gets a free pass for going well beyond defending itself.
I’ll leave the West Bank alone right now.
Is an open-air prison, walled off by Israel. Is under an economic embargo. Is barred from importing and exporting. Recently saw its Gaza Ark bombed. Twice. Has had its children, hospitals, university, homes, beach soccer-playing teen boys, and hundreds of civilians systemically targeted and bombed/murdered. Makes people feel uncomfortable when they see pictures of (Read more…)
Shhh, this is uncomfortable. It might make you ashamed.
Hopefully it will anger you to action?
First Nations burial grounds in BC have less protection than settler cemeteries.
Along with desecration at a Musqueam burial site, someone is building their home on top of another burial ground on Grace Islet off Saltspring Island. On stilts [see the horrible details below]. And the person building this home was once fined $150,000 for putting fake safety labels on retail products. Sigh. Morality much? Ever?
The minister responsible said in the legislature that Grace Islet’s “owner” “and the archaeology branch had (Read more…)
Recently, with the WEF spending the last few years acknowledging global income inequality is a problem, I’ve declared a kind of victory for the Occupy Movement: getting the lexicon on the 1% and inequality on the tongues of the sly gazillionaires who rule the world, and into mass consumption.
Now we see that the CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest cancers of neoliberal capitalism and a prime mover of the 2008 crash, has admitted that income inequality is a problem and a destabilizer. Sadly, though not surprisingly, in this interview he also trotted out typical neoliberal “realities” (Read more…)
In Davos, the 1% rule the world. Literally. They also have the guns.
The 1% are claiming we have it out for them; that if we don’t tone down the rhetoric and stop calling them names like “the contemptuous rich,” we might end up starting a class war. But they already know there’s a class war, and it’s been going on for generations. Today, the rich are winning because they have more solidarity than we do. The year 2014 is a battleground and the currency is solidarity. If we don’t start organizing together, quickly, and far more effectively, the contemptuous (Read more…)
For years I have been openly mocking our prime minister. He believes he’s the combined reincarnation of General Douglas MacArthur and Winston Churchill, often touting things like the Canadian victory in the War of 1812, even though Canada wouldn’t exist for another 55 years. Pish posh.
In reality, I have criticized Harper for being an international relations buffoon, something more like Ian McKellen’s Richard III.
But despite having criticized war-mongering Harper [who nevertheless abuses and neglects military veterans and their mental health disabilities] for deciding to buy a bunch of F-35 fighter jets, I shouldn’t have.
I criticized the (Read more…)
This note from the Mound of Sound accompanied the post that follows:
Some of the course material I’ve been going through lately got me thinking about the conflicts raging in Syria and Iraq. I got thinking about them in the context of water and food security as well as climate change. Our corporate media really drops the ball in these situations. They look for one convenient villain, give it the pack journalism treatment, and then serve it up for public consumption. I have been writing for some time about growing tensions between Iraq and its upstream neighbours, Turkey and Syria, (Read more…)
Watch Pam Palmater’s response to the SCC ruling. Click above.
Stephen Harper had about a week to enjoy the glory of his remarkably understated whispery notification that the Enbridge climate killing pipeline will proceed.
Yesterday the Supreme Court shut down the prime minister, which they have a tendency to do because he so flagrantly intends to violate it. So they keep slapping his hand.
With the Tsilhqot’in ruling, our hope that first nations are our last line of defense against more climate killing tarsands development, has been greatly augmented.
In the coming weeks we will see how this may be (Read more…)
We don’t see brown shirts and jackboots, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t seeing the de-democratization of our society.
In Vancouver this month, armed police with guns drawn, raided a house because they suspected people inside not of being terrorists, but of spray painting “No Pipelines” all over the place.
Read Police raid house in East Vancouver, with guns drawn, on pretext of anti-pipeline graffiti | Warrior Publications.
But in Harper’s Canada, opposing pipelines is deemed by the climate change deniers as an act of economic terrorism, which we will likely see in a far more pronounced fashion if in (Read more…)
Occupy Vancouver reboots tonight to join the worldwide #WaveOfAction that began on April 4 and runs [at least] to July 4, 2014.
We will meet in Grandview Park on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish territories.
615pm is the start time, though honestly, I’ll be there a bit early. With my Occupy Vancouver sign taped to my hockey stick. In some convenient part of the park, since there will be a May Day march arriving there for a rally at the same time.
Things to consider:
Inspiration for this venue came from funkypenzz. Vision [mine anyway]: Seeking equality (Read more…)
It seems to be working in Washington, DC.
And you know what? They’ve got our backs.
When ranchers are farmers and tribal communities realize that the tarsands and their toxic pipelines threaten us all, it’s pretty easy to figure out how working together gets things done.
They’re even occupying the Mall in DC. With teepees. See? Look:
#Sacred Indigenous Activists return to the #RejectAndProtect encampment on #NationalMall @WaveOfAction #WaveofAction pic.twitter.com/FISKVCQjNG
— NYCCamp (@NYCCamp) April 24, 2014
You can watch a simple summary of the Reject and Protect campaign to encourage the White House to stop delaying (Read more…)
It’s now Friday, April 4, 2014.
Greetings, world, the reboot of the Occupy Movement, the Worldwide #WaveOfAction [follow it live in Twitter here], has begun in a variety of places around the world! And it will last for 3 months while it evolves its next phase.
But as it turns out, Vancouver will be fashionably late.
Here’s what’s up:
Crickets, as far as I can tell.
Now, granted, I haven’t beaten down doors checking out ALL the usual suspects involved in mobilizing Occupy Vancouver 2.5 years ago. Though I do know that a few of them are (Read more…)
So Canada is leaving its occupation of Afghanistan.
I never liked the mission. I never liked the context. I never liked the propaganda. I never liked the transformation of some kind of Canada into this occupying Canada.
162 killed and 2,179 wounded? But here’s the very very hard question. Who is the government NOT counting? They are the people the government is actively disowning, to the shame of all of us.
I’ll tell you who some of them are:
They are the human casualties of our new flashy militarism:
they are the veterans whose pensions have been replaced with lump (Read more…)
Today is Friday. Let’s make it “think for ourselves Friday.”
It’ll work: the government/corporations/1% won’t see it coming!
Twitter / occupythemob: http://t.co/doHx1xWO4l.
December 17, 2013 Fried Squirrels (0) December 20, 2013 Enbridge: What Now? We Escalate Our Fight (4) January 7, 2012 Day Two of Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0) January 7, 2012 Opening Panel from the Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0)
More support for changing the name of the NFL team in Washington comes from Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Yesterday, I wrote about how incredibly easy it would be to change the racist name of any kind of team. It’s really not that hard. Imagine the reverse, though. Imagine changing the Vancouver “Canucks” to the Vancouver “Insert racist slur here.” Somewhat inconceivable, so it should be easy to do the reverse, and fix the Washington NFL team name, as well as the other racist team names.
Now, hear how Jesse Ventura puts it:
Just as the N word (Read more…)
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
Photo from CBC
Last year, 14 year old Rachel Parent was in the unenviable situation of being in the same room as Kevin O’Leary (click here for video). Parent did a commendable job speaking on national TV. I cannot pretend that I would have had half her poise and composure in the same situation.
However, I take issue with her anti-GMO arguments. To be fair, I don’t think that these arguments are unique to Parent alone – they are arguments common to the anti-GMO movement in general. But I am picking on Parent because she was going (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…)
Some breaking news occurred yesterday, the Joint Review Panel of the National Energy Board approved the Enbridge pipeline, but with 209 conditions. To quote a teenager from 1994: “Big whoop.” Also, big whoop goes out to the awesome pictures of soon to be decimated pristine wilderness on the report cover.
What do you think of the Enbridge approval and where things will go?
What do I think of the approval? Disappointed and hardly surprised. When Joe Oliver starts talking about something being “science-based,” I remember how his party has people who believe dinosaurs and humans walked the earth (Read more…)
SodaStream boycott informational picket
Saturday, Dec. 21, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
London Drugs, Broadway @ Cambie, Vancouver
Below is a notice of an important event happening on Saturday in Vancouver. If something is labelled as “Made in Israel” but is really made in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank of Palestine, where does it really come from? Nowhere that I would want to buy from. You?
I’m only as free as everyone is free. Don’t tolerate occupation. The boycott alternative information is here.
Nelson Mandela has died, but the memory of his commitment to universal freedom and (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…)
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…)
This is what solidarity looks like; make sure it’s authentic!
Lots of us care about deepening relationships with and social/economic/political justice for first peoples. It’s hard to come in, though, sometimes as a person from an oppressor or settler class. But there is a good checklist to make sure we’re actually contributing effectively.
It’s hard to know how to live humility, sincerity and really really good listening to make sure we are not a hindrance, but this Ally Bill of Responsibilities does a good job of helping us be mindful of humility, and maintaining a sincere focus on assisting those (Read more…)