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A Puff of Absurdity: Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century

I feel like I don’t have to read this one with all the press it’s getting. Maybe next summer.  This is the gist I’ve gotten so far:

 Michael Rozworski wrote a piece about it recently. In brief: the basic thesis of the book is that capitalism has a tendency towards the concentration of wealth in few hands.  And there’s a discrimination inherent in the system that ensures whites are better able to make it at least into the middle.

In Canada right now, our distribution looks like this: * the top 10% owns 58.2% of the wealth, up (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Occupy Movement Gets Its Own TV Station

The Occupy movement has partnered with FilmOn Networks to create a free 24/7 Online “TV for the 99″ television outlet for news, evidence, and commentary.

The post Occupy Movement Gets Its Own TV Station appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

A Puff of Absurdity: On Ethos – a 2011 Documentary

“Our ethos is all that we currently hold to be true. It is what we act upon. It governs our manners, our business and our politics.” –  Howard Zinn

Directed by Pete McGrain, and hosted by Woody Harrelson, this 68 minute film explores how we got here and what to do about it as we “fight for a new democracy.”   It’s nothing new, but it’s succinct and watchable, and divided into sections which is handy in a classroom.  My notes are below, after the film in its entirety.

Like in Go Further, which is a (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: On Glorifying Psychopaths

Murray Dobbin wrote a very provocative article relating our TV viewing of psychopaths to our politics.  Owen explored the glorification of psychopaths in a post discussing the article, and I commented there on the difficulty of establishing kindness in our self-absorbed culture.  I wrote years ago about the crux of the problem: that it’s not cool to be kind.  When Fonzie started wearing glasses and caring about things, he lost his status with the viewers, and then he literally jumped the shark.

But the article has sparked a few other thoughts.

First of all, is two shows enough to (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Heavy oil advertising, editorials taint Canadian mag The Walrus

Enbridge is a major Walrus sponsor (Photo: Damien Gillis)

I am afraid I really am a gloomy Gus today. It has just struck me that there is an absence of good guys in the world. Whether it’s big business or government they mostly do it to us and reek of self interest.

We don’t seem to have anybody we can trust anymore. There was a time when, while you couldn’t trust the newspapers, you would be able to find within the paper columnists that weren’t bought and paid for. They consistently gave you points of view that challenged you and (Read more…)

bastard.logic: White Suspects > Black Victims

This makes the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown so powerful. It's sad that some people have taken it to another level. http://t.co/oZnLDRRDhN

— Sammie. ™ (@LordSWVP) August 11, 2014

‘WELP:

WHITE SUSPECT

That’s how the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal chose to present the story of Amy Bishop, a former college professor who eventually pleaded guilty to killing three colleagues and wounding three others at a faculty meeting in 2010.

BLACK VICTIM

And that’s the headline AL.com ran about the shooting death of a 25-year-old black man in Alabama earlier this year.

WHITE SUSPECT

This is how the Staten Island Advance covered the (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: PR tops journalism in U.S.

If Americans often seem uninformed or misinformed about current affairs, it may be because they get more propaganda than news. There are now five times as many public relations experts at work in the U.S. than reporters. Furthermore, the difference is growing. While the number of reporters in the country dropped by almost 9,000 from 2004 to 2013, the number of PR experts increased by over

The Canadian Progressive: Manitoba Grand Chief Nepinak Urges Sun News Media Boycott

Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs accuses Sun News Media carrying a decidedly “pro-Conservative anti-First Nations” bias.

The post Manitoba Grand Chief Nepinak Urges Sun News Media Boycott appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Noam Chomsky on media’s “shameful moment” in Gaza

by: Democracy Now! | Posted Mon. Aug 11, 2014

As a new 72-hour ceasefire takes hold in Gaza, we turn to part two of our interview with world-renowned dissident and linguist,MIT Professor Noam Chomsky. Criticizing U.S. media coverage of the Israeli assault on Gaza, Chomsky says: “It’s a shameful moment for U.S. media when it insists on being subservient to the grotesque propaganda agencies of a violent, aggressive state.” Chomsky also discusses his long-standing view that popular pressure at home is critical to ending the U.S. government’s backing for Israel’s occupation of the (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: “Hidden” Design – 25 Logos

Just ask Mystro about designing logos. A great deal of time and effort is involved in making a clean, presentable logo. The next step, making the *right* logo for the task at hand… it could be the definition of time-sink.

 

Some of the logos hidden designs are not particularly mysterious, but there were a few I didn’t even notice until they were pointed out.

Filed under: Media Tagged: Design, Interesting stuff

Dead Wild Roses: GM – John Oliver – What Media *should* Be Doing.

Corporate ‘responsibility’ is put on display in this fine segment from John Oliver.

 

 

Filed under: Media Tagged: Black Humour, GM, John Oliver, State of the Media

wmtc: the decision "you’ll regret for the rest of your life": the reality gap in fictional abortions

The conversation around the movie “Obvious Child” has prompted me to re-visit a long-standing interest of mine, one I share with many other reproductive rights activists: the portrayal of abortion in the mainstream media.

I haven’t seen “Obvious Child” (I wait for DVD or Netflix, as always), but I’ve heard that it includes a rarity: an honest and positive portrayal of the choice to terminate a pregnancy. Considering how many women do have abortions – and considering that the choice is usually met with relief and happiness – this shouldn’t be exceptional. Yet it is.

On fictional TV (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: John Pilger on Ukraine Situation

The US is doing it again.

“In February, the US mounted one of its “colour” coups against the elected government in Ukraine, exploiting genuine protests against corruption in Kiev. Obama’s national security adviser Victoria Nuland personally selected the leader of an “interim government”. She nicknamed him “Yats”. Vice President Joe Biden came to Kiev, as did CIA Director John Brennan. The shock troops of their putsch were Ukrainian fascists.

For the first time since 1945, a neo-Nazi, openly anti-Semitic party controls key areas of state power in a European capital. No Western European leader has condemned this revival of (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: If you can’t trust Postmedia when it reports on oil and the environment, when can you trust it?

If you can’t trust your Postmedia website, who can you trust? I mean, other than Alberta Diary. Regardless, don’t blame these poor guys. They’re just trying to earn a living. Below: Economist Robyn Allen, Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey.

Industry self-regulation doesn’t work and never will for a simple reason: He who pays the piper calls the tune.

Companies that tell fibs to their customers don’t like being regulated by their own tame “watchdogs” any more than they like being told what to do by the government. The difference is, in the case of in-house regulation, they’re big enough to kick (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Just How Many BC Government Comms Staff Are There?

Below are all the job titles of all the comms staff in the BC Government Communications and Public Engagement bodies as of last week. Count with me!

There are 278 people!

278. That’s more than a few. The records include folks in these two areas:

Government Communications: which tends to the day-to-day communications functions, including strategic communications, media relations and issues management; and Strategic Initiatives Division: which largely consists of technical experts who provide corporate online and data services to government.

But don’t take my word for it; count for yourself. I might be off by a few. (Read more…)

Things Are Good: BBC Drastically Improves Science Coverage and Debate

The BBC is finally doing something that all media organizations should do – don’t let crazy people derail important debates. For this entire millennium mass media organizations have invited reality-denying people to debates on issues like climate change. This causes the issue to not actually be talked about.

No more will climate change deniers and other wackos be welcome on the BBC. Hopefully other media organizations will follow suit.

To illustrate the ridiculousness of having one fringe “expert” come in to undermine a scientific consensus, the report points to the network’s coverage of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate (Read more…)

drive-by planet: CNN infographic puts eastern Ukraine city of Slavyansk in… Crimea: American geo-illiteracy

A CNN infographic (above) that appeared during a news broadcast covering the pull-out of self-defense fighters from Slavyansk and Kramatorsk got it badly wrong. The infographic placed the city of Slavyansk, not in eastern Ukraine where it is located, but in western Crimea… which has since joined the Russian Federation.

Where Slavyansk is actually found on the map:

It wouldn’t be the first time CNN has rewritten the map. Other CNN stories have been accompanied by equally bizarre geo-bloopers… like placing Hong Kong in S. America, shifting London northward to Norfolk and locating Auckland in Australia rather than New (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: CNN infographic puts eastern Ukraine city of Slavyansk in… Crimea: American geo-illiteracy

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Carol Linnitt observes that the Canadian public supports a shift from fossil fuels to cleaner energy by a 76-24% margin – even as they overestimate Canada’s economic returns from oil and gas.

- Meanwhile, Alison takes a look at the spread of (primarily oil-funded) advertorials in Canadian media.

- Kate Heartfield writes that even if the Cons’ cuts to refugee health hadn’t crossed the line into unconstitutionality, we should still consider them to be unconscionable from a policy-making perspective: Even if you come away unconvinced of the soundness of the court’s conclusion, it (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: All You Need to Know About Dr.OZ

One video, sixteen minutes equals deep insight into how American society runs. (Hint: Most likely not for your benefit.)

 

I grow tired of hearing arch-conservatives rail on about the evils of regulation and how it stifles industry. People die because of deregulation and lax standards – but somehow the profit motive trumps all that human welfare shit, almost every time.

 

Filed under: Media, Quackery Tagged: Alternative Medicine, Depressing PSA, Deregulation, Dr.OZ, Humour, Quackery

Alberta Diary: With floodwaters rising again, will Sun News Network renew its hysterical ‘gun grab’ attacks on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police?

Sun News Network columnist Lorne Gunter is presented an award by National Firearms Association President Sheldon Clare for his commentary on the so-called “High River Gun Grab.” (Grabbed from the NFA’s website.) Below: Floodwaters roar through High River last year. (CBC Photo)

Rain is falling and floodwaters are rising again in Southern Alberta.

A year less a day since catastrophic floods hit the nearby town of High River, population 13,000, local states of emergency were declared yesterday on the Blood Reserve, around the towns of Claresholm and Cardston, and in the areas of the cities of Lethbridge and (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Pope, a Kardashian and Arianna Huffington Walk into a Bar

The pope, a Kardashian and Arianna Huffington walk into a bar.

The Pope says, “Inequality is the root of social evil” as he’s trashing the global economic disorder, but since it was reported on Arianna Huffington’s website, we couldn’t help but be lured to a link photo of a Kardashian mom posting a picture of her in a bikini in Mexico because her daughter did. [I'm still not sure why this matters.]

The Pope continues, “We discard a whole generation to maintain an economic system that no longer endures, a system that to survive has to make war, (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: All By Myself – In An Airport

Here’s a very clever music video made by a Dion fan, in Vegas airport. There is some smart use of the moving sidewalk, and escalator, along with some nice video editing.

Take a pair of Canadians, mix with @Vegas and @LASairport and magic ensues. Keep 'em coming south, @WestJet. vimeo.com/97634383— McCarran Airport (@LASairport) June 11, 2014

Looks like the most fun you can have in an airport, without drawing unwanted attention from overzealous security.

WATCH: globalnews.ca/news/1387300/w… > @celinedion responds to Moncton man's airport lip-synch of 'All By Myself' http://t.co/zpCNXr4Fkn— Amanda Kelly (@AKellyGlobal) June 12, 2014

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Hide The Numbers, They Suck! #cdnpoli

Conservative Minister: “Why is that the only question that interests you?” Journalist: “Because you wont answer it, that’s why it’s interesting!” “You want the one question that I won’t answer because it changes every day. “We’ve been asking this for a year now,” Off says exasperatedly. … “click”.

That's a first: a Canadian government Minister just hung-up on Carol. Interview airs tonight.— As It Happens (@cbcasithappens) June 11, 2014

Conservative Transparency. Can’t provide a number during a year of questioning, because it always changes, or is more probably embarrassing for exposing a lie.

So mystery solved? "@ (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: I’m on the radio today at 5pm 101.9FM-Tune in

I will be on the radio with other Ricochet Media editors Jahanzeb Hussain and Derrick O’Keefe today- 5pm, CiTR radio 101.9FM (You can also stream this online here) We will […]

Alberta Diary: Newsprint ‘wraps’ – not good for fish and, as it turns out, not much good for newspapers either

The Edmonton Journal’s “wrap” Friday, showing the hidden front page inside. Below: The wrap’s uninspiring front page.

Now that nobody sells fried fish wrapped in yesterday’s edition of the local daily any more, presumably for fear the ink will leak through into your liver, the term “wrap” has come to be faintly respectable in newspaper circles.

The word nowadays is used to describe a four-page advertising feature that wraps around the entire newspaper. They’re one of the few profitable services the declining industry has left to sell in an era when fewer readers want the print product, and when ads (Read more…)