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Politics, Re-Spun: Poor Kids, Poor Families and Shame

“When Centennial’s students found out Seymour couldn’t hold a pyjama day because many students didn’t have pyjamas, they fundraised to buy every Seymour student a pair last Christmas.”

- When the Field Trip’s Too Pricey, Students ‘Self-Exclude’

BC’s disgusting and preventable child poverty crisis. Let’s stop coddling the rich!

When parents receive letters from their kids’ school asking for donations for playground upgrades or library books or technological devices, a certain segment of the population sighs, grows a few more grey hairs and dies a little bit inside.

Parents who are struggling financially cannot afford the luxury of even (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Calling For An Occupy Vancouver General Assembly

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…)

Illuminated By Street Lamps: The Toronto G20 Summit: A State of Exception

By Joe Fantauzzi@jjfantauzziBetween June 26 and 27, 2010, thousands of demonstrators[1] descended on Toronto, Ontario to protest while the leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies[2] met behind a protective fence built of steel and secretive legislative authority. When the tear gas cleared and the G20 Summit ended, 1,105 people had been detained. It has been described as “the largest peacetime mass arrest in Canadian history.”[3] Of those arrested, 779 — 80% — were released without any charges (as of June 2012).[4] Following Giorgio Agamben, I contend that the Province of Ontario employed (Read more…)

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.

Politics, Re-Spun: Honing In On Friday’s #WaveOfAction

We need to think about two things for this Friday’s Occupy Movement reboot in the Worldwide #WaveOfAction:

When thinking about pursuing social, political and economic equality, what is the list of things we need to change, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally? Who do we need to build coalitions with to listen to them, support them, empower them; and who will convene the meetings?

And instead of wondering who’s got your back, figure out whose back you need to protect.

There are two days left. No rush, because Friday is just the start of the 3-month Wave that culminates on (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Is Your Job Bullshit?

Work should be liberating, not enslaving!

It’s Saturday so it’s the weekend so you’re not working.

But that’s just an incorrect hypothesis. Lots of people are working this weekend. In fact, weekends don’t mean much to billions of people. They are a luxury, relatively speaking.

But your job may be bullshit, in the context of how our society could/should be operating. We should have way more leisure time if we managed human economic activity more intelligently.

Instead, “we” [well, the 1%] are busy maximizing shareholder wealth instead. This is why we don’t have a sustainable 15 or 20 hour work (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Random Terrorism From North American Police

Five police beat and kill Luis Rodriguez.

You know you’re living in an increasingly terrorized state when the police kill for no good reason. Sure there are extenuating circumstances, but that should lead to caution, not an impulse to deadly violence.

That impulse marks the increased tendency/willingness of the police to kill for no good reason, and an increasing tone of terror that emanates from those in authority.

Read who the police have unjustifiably killed lately:

In Vancouver, the RCMP killed a distraught man who at times was brandishing a stapler. But mostly he was just distressed. There have been (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Don’t Tolerate Ignorance About the Minimum Wage

Now, stop tolerating ignorance! And smile, TGIF.

Hello.

It’s Friday.

For many people it’s TGIF. But for many people who aren’t even teenagers, the work week isn’t ending today.

We often THINK minimum wage is for the new entries to the job market. Maybe it was one day. Maybe just for one day.

But today? If it isn’t a living wage, it’s exploitative.

And if it is just minimum wage, we are likely not too accurate on who is suffering with these low wages.

Let’s take a peek:

It is not the stereotypical pothead living in their parents’ basement.

(Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Human rights justice blocked for Aboriginal women in Canada

by: Canadian Human Rights Commission | Press Release

OTTAWA, March 4, 2014 – Fear of retaliation is among the top reasons why Aboriginal women in Canada won’t come forward when they experience discrimination, the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) says in its Annual Report, tabled in Parliament today.

The report presents key findings from a series of roundtable discussions the CHRC held with Aboriginal women from across Canada in 2013. During the discussions, the women were invited to share their experiences. Many of their stories cited the complexity of the human rights complaint process, language barriers, lack of awareness, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: If the 1% Has Russell Brand Killed…

If the 1% has Russell Brand killed, we will see it in the corporate media as a drug OD relapse, or a freak accident.

Why?

He is dangerous because he fearlessly tells the truth and challenges pretence.

Let’s examine this in some detail here [with video]:

His brain works twice as fast as most brilliant people I’ve encountered in my life. He is the socio-political heir of George Carlin. He speaks truth to power AND the masses. And frankly, WE’VE FORGOTTEN THAT THE MASSES ARE THE POWER. He is sober, so no one can credit his speedy speaking style on (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: You Have NOT Grown Numb to Crisis

“The goal was to touch upon the fear of becoming numb to crises that don’t affect you directly.”

With a myriad of crises in the world, we fear becoming numb to their severity and how they can make us so depressed.

I think on a large scale, political, environmental and other crises can be overwhelming. But if we frame crises as struggles of individuals in situations, it’s easier to relate to our human need to help others, and seek justice.

This Norwegian experiment proves we have what it takes as a species: plus, 7.4 million views IN JUST (Read more…)

Yappa Ding Ding: Child abuse

Imagine if you will a 7 year old girl who said that the male adult in her home had molested her; the police were called and said that while they found substance to the allegation, they thought the girl was too fragile to be a witness in a prosecution, and so declined to prosecute. Now imagine that 22 years later she repeated her allegations. Take away the celebrity parents. How would you want our society to react?

I hope that you would want them to support the girl. But nobody in the press seems to want to support Dylan Previn (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

Dead Wild Roses: Equality without Justice is Bunk.

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Cheap T-Shirts Keep Harper in Power

Whenever I read stories about corporations wanting to do the right thing, I never hold my breath. Clothing corporations, the sector where “sweatshops” originates, want us to believe they care. They don’t.

Read what nonsense they are trying to peddle to get us off their back for exploiting people so we can have cheap t-shirts. Then, hold your breath for this, scroll all the way to the bottom to see how it comes all the way back to keeping Stephen Harper in power.

Start here:

Shortly before Black Friday, H&M announced that it also plans to start paying 850,000 workers (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Come On, Let’s Really Increase Taxes on the Rich

Well, here’s something you don’t see [ever] in corporate media: a review of tax measures in the USA since the crash in 2008 that have succeeded in increasing taxes on the rich. And it turns out, tax increases that are regressive [sales taxes, etc.] or include the non-rich, seemed to fail quite a bit.

How did these taxes on the 1% succeed?

One way is mixing “traditional lobbying with the direct action of the Occupy movement.”

And here’s some rationale for why the rich should pay more, with tax revenues going to restore and improve public services:

(Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: A Key Union Priority for 2014

Naomi Klein urges unions to join climate change fight

Many groups are calling for significant and sufficient action to address climate change, which is fantastic. But unions have not been loud enough. This is significant because they often have more money than many other progressive groups to fight for the social good, particularly when rapacious corporations and rampant consumerism are the core impediments to change.

This whole article is worth your time to read, but here are some key bits that should help you fix your focus for your union for 2014:

There is nothing more important than a healthy (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Fried Squirrels

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Day One, Post-Mandela

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…)

Alberta Diary: Nelson Mandela: ‘An international emblem of dignity and forbearance’

Nelson Mandela, in about 1964.

Nelson Mandela is the father of modern South Africa, but he belongs to all humanity now, and all of humanity seems ready to embrace him at last.

The New York Times accurately observed that Mr. Mandela, who died today at the great age of 95, had become “an international emblem of dignity and forbearance.”

But we need to remember that Mr. Mandela is a towering figure in humanity’s memory not simply because of what he achieved, but because he achieved it despite the bitter opposition of people who hated who he was and what (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Why the Rich Want You to Hate Your Union

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Are We Good Allies to First Nations?

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Does Racism Motivate Harper’s Aboriginal Education Funding Stance?

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.

Or…

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…)

Blevkog: The Ultimate Responsibility

I am not a parent. It’s not that I didn’t want to be, I love children, and they seem to tolerate me well enough; events in my life have thus far prevented me from being a father. Which, of course, does not preclude it from happening in the future, and as time marches on, I […]

Blevkog: The Ford Follies

As most people in the free world are by now aware, the Mayor of our beloved T’ranna, Rob (Are You Gonna Finish That?) Ford has been bullying his way through scandal after potential scandal on pure bluster and the careful construction of a facade of fiscal responsibility. While I will admit he has had some […]