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Politics, Re-Spun: End Our Slow Motion Genocide!

Genocide can take place in slow motion, just like weapons of mass destruction.

When I learned that people were calling land mines “weapons of mass destruction, in slow motion,” it became obvious that we can practice social/cultural/human genocide in slow motion too.

Understanding racism and genocide is no simpler than this, from Zianna . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: End Our Slow Motion Genocide!

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Mariana Mazzucato makes the case for a progressive message of shared wealth creation: A progressive economic agenda must have at its heart an understanding of wealth creation as a collective process. Yes, businesses are wealth creators, but they do not create wealth alone. Workers, public institutions and civil . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, following up on my earlier column on racism in Saskatchewan with a look at the lessons we can learn from responses to similar issues in Alberta and the U.S. (And no, “do nothing” still isn’t an acceptable answer.)For further reading…- Jesse and… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Politics and its Discontents: She Asked For It

Kellie Leitch has made her ‘values test’ a central issue in her leadership campaign, and Evan Solomon, now host of CTV’s Question Period, asked a logical question about her politics of division and exclusion. However, as you will see, Leitch clearly la… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: She Asked For It

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Christopher Ingraham points out that while many luxuries are getting cheaper with time, the necessities of life are becoming much more difficult to afford:

Many manufactured goods — like TVs and appliances — come from overseas, where labor costs are cheaper. “International, global competition lowers prices directly from lower-cost imported goods, and indirectly by forcing U.S. manufacturers to behave more competitively, with lower prices, higher quality, better service, et cetera,” Perry said.

On the flip side, things like education and medical care can’t be produced in a factory, so those pressures do not apply. Compounding it, many Americans are insulated from the full costs of these services. Private and public insurance companies pay most medical costs, so there tends to be little incentive for individuals to shop around for cheaper medical care.

In the case of higher education, the nation’s massive student loan industry bears much of the upfront burden of rising prices. To the typical 18-year-old, a $120,000 tuition bill may seem like an abstraction when you don’t have to start paying it off until your mid-20s or later. As a result, the nation’s college students and graduates now collectively owe upward of $1.3 trillion in student loan debt.
“Prices rise when [health care and college] markets are not competitive and not exposed to global competition,” Perry said, “and prices rise when easy credit is available.”

Hence, our current predicament. We can afford the things we don’t need, but we need the things we can’t afford.

– Alex Usher notes how one of the same cost pressures applies in Canada, as universities losing public funding are squeezing students for massive tuition increases. And Lindsay Kines reports that the Clark government’s decision to make life less affordable for people with disabilities in British Columbia has led to 3,500 people giving up their transit passes.

– Natalia Khosla and Sean McElwee discuss the difficulty in addressing racism when many people live in denial of their continued privilege.

– Paul Wells comments on SNC Lavalin’s long track record of illegal corporate donations to the Libs and the Cons.

– Finally, Gerry Caplan points out how Justin Trudeau is dodging key human rights questions. And Mike Blanchfield reports that the Libs’ willingness to undermine a treaty prohibiting the use of cluster bombs represents just another area where they’re leaving the Cons’ most harmful policies untouched. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Politics and its Discontents: Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

Given the viscerally-stimulating ort that Kellie Leitch has lovingly lobbed to a certain core of the Conservative Party’s constituency, it might perhaps be timely to remind the leadership hopeful of the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for.” And despite a new poll that suggests many Canadians favour screening would-be immigrants for ‘anti-Canadian’ values, she would be well-advised to proceed with extreme caution.

As The Mound of Sound suggests, she should start by looking closer to home. Consider, for example, something that recently appeared in Press Progress, which included a clarification of what Leitch means when she advocates screening newcomers:

“Screening potential immigrants for anti-Canadian values that include intolerance towards other religions, cultures and sexual orientations, violent and/or misogynist behaviour and/or a lack of acceptance of our Canadian tradition of personal and economic freedoms is a policy proposal that I feel very strongly about.”

While I encourage you to read the entire article, here are a few of the things Press Progress pointed out about some of the Conservatives within Leitch’s political ambit:

Leitch says personal “freedom” is not only a Canadian value – it’s a proud “Canadian tradition.”

A proud and avid anti-abortionist, Kenney apparently doesn’t hold with some personal freedoms:

Kenney even tried to suppress a women’s group from spreading awareness about abortion rights on campus, claiming that if they allowed women to talk abortion, there would be no stopping the Ku Klux Klan, pedophiles or the Church of Satan from peddling their ideas too.

So much for freedom.

Another worthy addition to what could be a lengthy rogue’s gallery would be fellow-traveller Candice Bergen:

Leitch vows she won’t let anyone in who doesn’t believe in “equality of opportunity.”

If that’s true, then being a good Canadian mean supporting an affordable national childcare program too, right?

Two big barriers preventing kids from starting off life on an equal footing are skyrocketing child care costs and lack of affordable child care spaces.

Unfortunately, Conservative MP Candice Bergen once said she opposes child care (like the rest of her party) because it is her “core belief” that “big, huge government-run daycares” should not “dictate to families how to address their child care needs” – a set of talking points that perfectly mirrors Republican Tea Party arguments opposing Obamacare.

Now that doesn’t sound very Canadian, does it?

An indisputable Canadian value is acceptance of a wide range range of values and orientations. A test for oppositional values might send someone like Brad Trost fleeing.

This spring, Trost reacted to his party’s decision to drop its opposition to same-sex marriage in favour of a neutral position on the question by publicly announcing “gay marriage is wrong”:

“I will say homosexual marriage, gay marriage is wrong. I’ll be public about it … The language of equality and comparisons, to me that’s socialist language, the way they do it. The same way they talk about equality of income where they want a tax from the rich to bring them down to the level of the poor. So I completely reject the underlying philosophy behind this.”

Personally, I am waiting for a reporter to ask Leitch whether she would apply her screening criteria to those fundamentalist Christians (who incidentally comprise a large cadre of the party’s base support) wishing to come to Canada.

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the Shadow of the Klan

When I saw Donald Trump in a Detroit church, trying to appeal to African-American voters by posing as a religious person.

And swaying awkwardly from side to side to the strains of the song “What a Mighty God We Serve.”

Don’t think @realDonaldTrump is going to win any votes with these dance moves. #TrumpInDetroit pic.twitter.com/2SEOeIquXi

— Matt Wilstein (@TheMattWilstein) September 3, 2016

I must admit that I laughed so long and so loudly I was practically transported myself.

But of course it wasn’t really funny, it was the act of a desperate Con man.
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the Shadow of the Klan

Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the Mexican Nightmare

He launched his campaign like an angry orange Hitler on steroids, by calling Mexicans drug dealers and rapists, vowing to immediately deport 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Build a great wall along the southern border, and make Mexico pay for it.

But when Donald Trump realized he was alienating moderate Republicans and his polls were starting to resemble a rapidly deflating piñata, he decided he should moderate his image.

So off to Mexico he went…
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the Mexican Nightmare

Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the Mexican Nightmare

He launched his campaign like an angry orange Hitler on steroids, by calling Mexicans drug dealers and rapists, vowing to immediately deport 11 million undocumented immigrants.Build a great wall along the southern border, and make Mexico pay for it.Bu… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the Mexican Nightmare

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Erika Hayasaki surveys the developing body of research on how poverty and deprivation affect a child’s long-term brain development:Early results show a troubling trend: Kids who grow up with higher levels of… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Erika Hayasaki surveys the developing body of research on how poverty and deprivation affect a child’s long-term brain development:

Early results show a troubling trend: Kids who grow up with higher levels of violence as a backdrop in their lives, based on MRI scans, have weaker real-time neural connections and interaction in parts of the brain involved in awareness, judgment, and ethical and emotional processing.

…Though it’s still largely based on correlations between brain patterns and particular environments, the research points to a disturbing conclusion: Poverty and the conditions that often accompany it—violence, excessive noise, chaos at home, pollution, malnutrition, abuse and parents without jobs—can affect the interactions, formation and pruning of connections in the young brain.

Two recent influential reports cracked open a public conversation on the matter. In one, researchers found that impoverished children had less gray matter—brain tissue that supports information processing and executive behavior—in their hippocampus (involved in memory), frontal lobe (involved in decision making, problem solving, impulse control, judgment, and social and emotional behavior) and temporal lobe (involved in language, visual and auditory processing and self-awareness). Working together, these brain areas are crucial for following instructions, paying attention and overall learning—some of the keys to academic success.

The second key study, published in Nature Neuroscience , also in 2015 , looked at 1,099 people between ages 3 and 20, and found that children with parents who had lower incomes had reduced brain surface areas in comparison to children from families bringing home $150,000 or more a year.

“We have [long] known about the social class differences in health and learning outcomes,” says Dr. Jack Shonkoff, director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. But neuroscience has now linked the environment, behavior and brain activity—and that could lead to a stunning overhaul of both educational and social policies, like rethinking Head Start–style programs that have traditionally emphasized early literacy. New approaches, he says, could focus on social and emotional development as well, since science now tells us that relationships and interactions with the environment sculpt the areas of the brain that control behavior (like the ability to concentrate), which also can affect academic achievement (like learning to read). 

– Adria Vasil discusses the worldwide trend of water being made available first (and for inexplicably low prices) to for-profit bottlers over citizens who need it. And Martin Regg Cohn examines how the story is playing out in Ontario in particular.

– Mike De Souza reports on how the National Energy Board, rather than acting as a neutral regulator, misled Denis Coderre to try to take free PR for both the NEB itself and fossil fuel development in general. And Carrie Tait points out how the Husky oil spill is raising questions about Saskatchewan’s fully captured regulatory system. 

– Ian MacLeod reports on a sudden and unexplained increase in CSE interception of private communications.

– Finally, Andray Domise discusses what Colten Boushie’s shooting and its aftermath say about the blight of racism in Canada. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here (via PressReader), on how Brad Wall is preaching neglect and delay as a response to violent racism (even as he’s fully prepared to use as much political capital as he can muster pitching the idea of a SaskTel selloff). For further reading…- Wall… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Brad Wall is preaching neglect and delay as a response to violent racism (even as he’s fully prepared to use as much political capital as he can muster pitching the idea of a SaskTel selloff). For further reading…- Wall’s comments which … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- PressProgress points out that a large number of Canadians are justifiably concerned about our economy, with a particular desire to rein in income and wealth inequality. And Guy Caron notes that there’s no reason for … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Branko Milanovic points out how the commodification of our interactions may create an incentive for short-term exploitation:Commodification of what was hitherto a non-commercial resource makes each of us do m… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Quote of the Day – On Slavery – Stephen Jay Gould

“I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops” — Stephen Jay Gould, The Panda’s Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History.Filed under: History Tagged: Gould, History, Racism, Slavery, The DWR Quote […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Quote of the Day – On Slavery – Stephen Jay Gould

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Republican Senator’s speech against McCathyism could have been about Trump

In the eleven years since I started publishing this blog, I have almost entirely focused on Alberta politics. But while my writing focuses on provincial politics here at home, like many Canadians I pay close attention to what is happening… Continue R… . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Republican Senator’s speech against McCathyism could have been about Trump

Dead Wild Roses: Lives and Matters – Systemic Racism – What the hell is it?

The CBC wrote an article about the misunderstanding of people who benefit from systemic racism have when it comes to Black Lives Matter versus All Lives Matter. What Black Lives Matter is: “Frank Leon Roberts, a professor-lecturer specializing in race and social movements at New York University, says Black Lives Matter is an “anti-violence movement […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Lives and Matters – Systemic Racism – What the hell is it?

Politics, Re-Spun: Fixing Systemic White Supremacy

Yeah, I know. Serious heavy lifting. But YES WE CAN DO IT! At least start. Here’s how. Step 1: Find new, intriguing ways of seeing our entitlements; try this: look. if obama had 3 ex-wives and 5 children with different women, 'modern' and 'blended' family wouldn't be the terms being used right now. — Joan … Continue reading Fixing Systemic White Supremacy

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Fixing Systemic White Supremacy

Politics, Re-Spun: On Tuesday, Corporate Media Played You. Did You Catch It?

Which was the most important news story on Tuesday this week? And which news story was overshadowed by corporate media coverage of the other 3? Donald Trump was officially nominated and elected as the Republican candidate for president, despite attempts to derail that surreal event. Donald Trump’s wife plagiarized Michelle Obama in her speech. There … Continue reading On Tuesday, Corporate Media Played You. Did You Catch It?

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: On Tuesday, Corporate Media Played You. Did You Catch It?

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Dani Rodrik comments on the need for a far more clear set of policy prescriptions for left-wing political parties to present as an alternative to laissez-faire corporate domination, while noting there’s no lack… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the Shadow of a Race War

According to some stunning new polls, Donald Trump's chance of winning the support of most African-Americans is practically zero.Because Hillary Clinton just about owns the black vote. So with all the violent racial turmoil in the U.S., I've b… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the Shadow of a Race War

Dead Wild Roses: Gun Violence – Who You Shoot Matters

Some peoples lives are worth more than others. In the context of American society one of the deciding factors of how much your life is worth is determined by the colour of your skin. Here in Canada a similar skin tone gradient applies as being First Nations in Canada gets you the special police […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Gun Violence – Who You Shoot Matters

Montreal Simon: What We Can Learn From the Madness in America

The last thing I wanted to do was write about the violent horror show that is Crazy America.Because I was so traumatized by the Orlando massacre, I've had trouble writing about ANYTHING. But with two more black men being shot dead, for nothing…. . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: What We Can Learn From the Madness in America

Montreal Simon: Rex Murphy and the Brexit Bigots

It's been just over a week since the result of the Brexit referendum shocked the world.And triggered what can only be described as a racist horror show. Police in Britain have recorded a dramatic rise in racist attacks in the wake of Brexit, with… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Rex Murphy and the Brexit Bigots