If the 1% has Russell Brand killed, we will see it in the corporate media as a drug OD relapse, or a freak accident.
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…)
“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…)
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…)
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
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…)
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.
Shortly before Black Friday, H&M announced that it also plans to start paying 850,000 workers (Read more…)
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:
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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.
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…)
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 […]
A panel of three Supreme Court Justices has decided that the Supreme Court of Canada will, in fact, hear the case of the SFL et al, in the matter of the constitutionality of the Government of Saskatchewan’s Bills 5 and 6 – so-called “essential services” legislation and amendments to Saskatchewan’s Trade Union Act.
“It is extremely unfortunate that we find ourselves in this position,” said Saskatchewan Federation of Labour President, Larry Hubich. “Obviously, we would rather not be forced into taking our government to court. Unfortunately, however, Bills 5 and 6 represent significant infringements upon the fundamental rights of Saskatchewan (Read more…)
In the USA today, a black youth was jailed for life after a jury trial convicted him of a March 2013 shooting. The time from homicide to related conviction: 5 months and 22 days.
In British Columbia today, prosecutors announced they will seek to appeal the acquittal of Const. Bill Bentley on a charge he gave perjured testimony to an inquiry after he and three other RCMP members killed Robert Dziekanski. Perjury charges against the three others are unlikely to proceed until the Bentley case is finalized. That might take years and taxpayers are paying for both the prosecution and (Read more…)
Banks as predators? Surely, no!
Temporary foreign workers have become a lightning-rod topic in Canadian labour in recent months with the high-profile news of the Royal Bank of Canada replacing staff with TFWs. But the issue is not about RBC, which is merely the latest flashpoint. The temporary foreign worker issue is wrapped up in a number of intersecting topics, including minimum and living wages, the role of the market in setting wages, immigration and job training.
Despite some of the spin we are seeing, the TFW controversy is not an issue of jobs for Canadians versus foreigners, and it (Read more…)
I recently read the Canadian Bar Association report Reaching Equal Justice (I ran out of mysteries) and was surprised at the strength of the language. A sampling of the phrases describing justice in Canada today includes, “abysmal state of access to justice” and “huge discrepancies between the promise of justice and the lived reality.”
Some of the statistics presented don’t flatter this country
I worked for Reuters back in the 80s and 90s, and still get email sometimes about things that happen to Reuters employees. I got one today concerning the murder of Reuters journalists that was exposed by Pfc Manning, the US soldier recently convicted of leaking confidential documents to WikiLeaks. The email contained a press release from Amnesty International calling on President Obama to pardon Manning, and included a link to a YouTube video: Iraq shooting exposed by Manning and WikiLeaks.
The video is difficult to watch. The dispassionate attitude of the military personnel is offset by the incredible force of (Read more…)
In a follow-up to the previous entry I’m posting a Democracy Now interview with Lavabit owner and operator Ladar Levison.
Levison made the difficult decision to shut down the encrypted email service, Lavabit, after an apparent bid by the U.S. government to gain access to customer data. As mentioned in the previous post, it’s been reported that Lavabit was a service used by NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden.
Also check out a Democracy Now interview with Nicholas Merrill, who operated a New York-based internet service. Merrill was the recipient of a “national security letter” that ordered him to hand over (Read more…)
Sweatshops ‘R Us!
Ripping off employees by paying them less than a living wage [the Metro Vancouver 2013 living wage is $19,64], all to pad shareholder profits, is the glory of exploitative capitalism!
Long live capitalism!
Oh wait, what happens when your own employees can’t afford to shop at your own store?
That’s what sweatshops are like.
And that’s what The Bay has become. Sign the petition below and let The Bay and its new American owners that living wages matter!
According to its employment website, Hudson’s Bay wants to hire only sales associates with at least two (Read more…)