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Politics, Re-Spun: Stop. Obeying. The. Rich. NOW!

Once upon a time, we were taught to envy and respect our “betters,” like the rich.

No more.

They’re taking our money and throwing us under the bus every day. And it’s not even just the super-rich or those in America, it’s the aspirational rich; they’re just as toxic.

This stops now, it’s time to ramp up the Occupy Movement again, and for good this time:

The super-rich of the 21st century no longer think that you and I are needed for their continued success.

And in some ways, they have given up on America, period.

As Paul Buchheit brilliantly (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Prostitution—keeping the state out of our bedrooms

“There’s no place for the state,” a prime minister once said, “in the bedrooms of the nation.” I hope Justice Minister Peter MacKay and his colleagues keep that sage advice in mind as they draft our new prostitution laws. The state’s primary responsibility, indeed one might almost say the purpose of the state, is safeguarding the security of its citizens. However, because prostitution is about

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

Politics, Re-Spun: Eating the Poor

Do you look up to the 1%? How could you?

Come, children, let’s take a look!

Fact:

The world’s 85 richest people hold the same amount of wealth as its 3.5 billion poorest.

Opinion:

“It’s fantastic, and this is a great thing because it inspires everybody, gets them motivation to look up to the one per cent and say, ‘I want to become one of those people, I’m going to fight hard to get up to the top.

via Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary says 3.5 billion people in comparative poverty is ‘fantastic news’ – Americas – World – (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: How the Occupy Movement is Enriching People’s Lives

Imagine an eco-community of micro-homes designed as a first step out of homelessness.

Housing, easy to get into, if people care. Occupy Madison in Wisconsin has come up with an innovative first step of a solution [see below].

These 96 square foot homes are no long term solution, at all. But if you’re struggling to get some stability in your life and you’re homeless, it’s that much harder. Just having a roof over your head can give you warmth and a good night sleep to help you be more capable of doing everything else you need to improve your life.

(Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Ending Homelessness: Easy If You Simply Care

If we are a caring society. If we acknowledge that there are a myriad of reasons why a community’s homeless population is homeless. If we thought we should invest our tax dollars and take advantage of good research, good experience, good pilot projects and professionals to address homelessness and other problems. If we were interested in treating people as people instead of the poorn or poor bashing of dehumanizing people. If all this…we could fix homlessness and address many or all of the things that lead to homelessness and preventable human suffering. Here’s how.

Give homeless people homes.

There, that (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Greed + Government Cuts Erode Society [Bah, Humbug!]

The greedy and selfish among us are NOT on our side.

Happy Christmas Eve!

I hope you’re all giving lots of money to charities because ’tis the season and all that. But what happens if generally, as a society, we can’t or won’t give so much?

Coupled with public sector social service cuts, a decline in charitable giving creates preventable suffering.

But the Fraser Institute is a big fan of the charitable giving solution to public sector cuts. What do they have to say about that this year? It’s not good.

Greedy, selfish, people who love their money and want (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Fixing Cyncial Corporate Media

How to inoculate yourself against cynical corporate media.

Corporate news media is not on our side. It is on the side of stoking fear, cynically eroding possibilities of a better, more robust democracy, and scaring us into obedience to corporations and government through sensational stories that undermine our happiness.

But we can fix this. And it’s not hard.

While crime rates have been dropping, media coverage of crime has increased. This creates buzz and sensationalism and higher ratings which translates into higher advertising revenue for corporate media. I don’t think we can fix this.

Corporate news media is also guilty (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: The Morality of Online Poker

For years, I have engaged in a rather profitable side hobby: online poker. Poker is a fascinating game with layers upon layers of complexity, and I love the challenge, the excitement, and the competition of it. It is also very profitable, even for someone like me who doesn’t intend to move beyond small stakes. Anybody that spends a considerable portion of their life doing something, particularly if they are making money at that something, ought at some point to step back and consider the ramifications of their actions. Am I doing something morally praiseworthy or morally objectionable?

In this post (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: Stop Saying Tax “Haven” and Tax “Burden”

The finance minister and his tax evasion buddy.

The latest nonsense of the hyper-rich 1% and their political compradors has reminded us once again, that the rich hide their money from government to avoid paying taxes…because they’re rich and can get their way.

Part of how they do that is by using language against us to spin how we even think of community building, on a local or national level. Here’s how:

Firstly, as the brilliant Trish Hennessy puts it:

Tax havens: wrong term.

It’s tax evasion.

Tax havens make tax evasion sound like a temporary holiday, whereas for many (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: No more excuses

There is no question: this generation will be held responsible for our actions, and even more, for our inaction. Apathy, complacency and denial are morally unacceptable. In fact, at this time in human history, they are nothing less than complicity in the worst of collective atrocities. We must act now. There are no more excuses. […]

Politics, Re-Spun: BC’s Child Support Clawback Hurts Kids

British Columbia’s Child Support Clawback for Children of Parents on Government Assistance Hurts Kids

When I bring up the issue of the child support clawback in British Columbia affecting single parents on temporary or disability assistance through the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation, most people are completely unaware of this mean-spirited policy. It requires that all single parents receiving assistance report the child support they bring in on a monthly basis so the Ministry can then deduct it, 100%, dollar-for-dollar, off of their next monthly cheque.

This is problematic for so many reasons. The most obvious is (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Religious Morality?

Anti-Citizen X lays waste to the idea that morality is divinely inspired. Shorter video – God is unnecessary for moral behaviour.

Filed under: Housekeeping Tagged: Anti-Citizen X, Morality, Religion, The Immorality of Christianity

Politics, Re-Spun: PTSD Service Dogs: Not Widely Known, But Critical

Lots of stores, places, etc. have “no pets” signs up. That’s fine, but there are usually exceptions for service dogs. Preventing a visually-impaired person from entering a restaurant except without their service dog would be mean and generally intolerable.

A long time ago, however, it was quite common to deem these animals to be pets, and unwelcome. Society reflected, and decided that the rights of a person with a service pet are more important than the owner of establishment’s desire to keep animals out.

It’s not like service dogs are rabid, coked-up bulls in a china shop. By far.

So (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: PTSD: No Room for Denial

What if NO ONE knows your name?

Belonging? It’s pretty important. We don’t always have to go where EVERYone knows our name, but we do need to have people. People who know, understand and affirm us.

People with mental health issues, however, are often made to feel not so normal, which is a feeling that can get in the way of being known and understood.

Normalizing something that has been stigmatized and downplayed is hard.

I remember in the 1980s when Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope. Lots of people had little exposure to people with prosthetics. That changed (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Kate, Robin and Stewart’s Challenge To Us All About PTSD

I will be doing regular updates on two events to increase awareness about PTSD, particularly as the Canadian Forces spends too little on treatment of its members and PTSD. Regardless of all the ways we could improve our military or the Canadian government’s often imperialistic foreign policy, the real human beings who signed up are being mistreated. We cannot stand for this.

Kate MacEachern is walking from Cape Breton to Ottawa and Robin and Stewart are running in the Victoria Marathon, all to raise awareness and funds for PTSD

You can donate to either or both campaigns by following the (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Untangling the Temporary Foreign Worker Knot

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Men: Never 100% Responsible for Rape?

I have no words, at least I thought I didn’t.

It’s bad enough that men rape women, then modern culture shames women for wearing anything but a burlap sack.

I do not condone rape or sexual assault, but I think the male teens often so accused are not wholly to blame.

via Exhibitionist modern culture breeds excess | The Chronicle Herald. by Mary Bowen [whose 15 minutes I hope are now up]

Bring back the burka, Mary Bowen? Turns out you’re uninformed about this too. If only no one wearing a burka ever got raped. What a simple little universe (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: New Prime Minister Tells Canadians- No War With Syria

What should military service actually be for?

Wouldn’t it be amazing if Canada were Canada again?

Wouldn’t it be even better if Canada would step up and be a better Canada than we had ever been in the past?

Wouldn’t it be just spectacular if we could step up and be a world moral leader instead of an economically rapacious war-mongering imperialist?

Here’s a bit about how that could happen: choosing peace, diplomacy and negotiation over death and destruction. First we need to imagine what that would look like:

From Jillian Skeet

Date Tue 5:35 pm

(hypothetical press release) September (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Occupy Movement Vs. Maquiladoras

Workplace justice: a pipe dream, or something to build solidarity to fight for?

I had the distinct, and creepy, pleasure of sitting in front of a group of fellows yesterday in, ironically, the cheap seats at the Seattle Mariners game. They were discussing business.

One fellow, who of course may have been speaking out of his butt, detailed a list of business exploits, while the other fellows basked in his glow:

Helping a fellow buy a company from someone later to do time for sideways business practices. That company making a tidy sum through that company from the US Treasury, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Why We Must #HonourTheApology to Residential School Survivors [#INM]

I don’t know why we still have to do this kind of thing, but here goes. The federal government “apologized” to survivors of residential schools 5 years ago. It is clearly quite empty, considering how much neglect, abuse, victimization and racism has spewed forth from Stephen Harper’s government since then.

So. We actually need to insist that the grown ups who run our country, with less and less democracy every day, need to treat their apology with some sincerity. Honestly, it’s not like we’re talking to a 4 year old who is just learning why apologies happen.

So, here’s (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: It’s 12 O’Clock, Have You Boycotted IKEA Yet Today?

$3.85 billion in profit is just not enough. Union busting and global greed now!

Gratitude, then and now. It used to include a t-shirt and more, for all employees around the world. Now, union busting.

The best part of the Teamster Local 213 rally in Richmond on Saturday was the humanity: the stage was largely filled with Teamsters telling their stories, showing everyone how this 10 week lockout is affecting them as people, and the “humanity” that IKEA markets itself with around the world.

IKEA made $3.85 billion in profits in 2011. Its founder is worth $52 billion. (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Stephen Harper Visits Lac Megantic

Mourning the senseless tragedy.

Today I was very impressed when Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, broke with his almost long-held position of not visiting Lac Megantic.

While he and his wife took the opportunity to participate in staged political photo ops helping out with the Calgary floods, he has avoided Quebec.

Perhaps it was because his party does poorly there.

Perhaps it was because he didn’t want to talk about his addiction to carbon energy production, or how much he has deregulated oil transportation in Canada, or how much oil transport by rail has increased since he’s become prime (Read more…)