Once upon a time, before we knew much about ecology and systems theory, corporations just went around raping and pillaging the countryside, polluting whatever they wanted.
Shhh, there’s a secret new law: it’s open season for corporations to rape and pillage our environment.
This came back to me grotesquely in a Mad Men episode a few years ago when Don Draper takes his family out for a picnic in the countryside. When they finished, they packed up to go back to the car to drive home and left all their garbage on the grass. And the sight of that (Read more…)
From OpenDemocracy.net, yesterday.
Jasmin Mujanović 14 April 2014
The terrifying spectre in these countries is not of ravenous foreign capital, though there is plenty of experience with this too, but of the persistent suffering of being an oft bloodied geopolitical borderland.
Blockade and occupation of Taiwan’s legislature enters day seven. Demotix/Craig Ferguson. All rights reserved.
In the past two months, massive protests have gripped three far-removed states—Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), Ukraine and Taiwan. In every case, the foreign press has struggled to offer its readers more than banal geopolitical musings.While the positions of Washington, Moscow and Beijing are not irrelevant (Read more…)
Homelessness isn’t a policy thing regarding random people. It’s a thing for actual people. It’s not abstract, it’s in our face, yet we live in denial.
Clearly, I’m no brain surgeon. But if there are homeless people, a civilized culture would find a way to use a progressive tax system to house them. Simple.
Homelessness, however, is a magnet for reprobate poor bashers who are too greedy to part with their wealth [massive or otherwise] to solve a problem.
But guess what. Research shows it’s actually cheaper to simply house the homeless. Unless you secretly hate them, or are a (Read more…)
A few days ago, I wrote about picking May Day as a good time for Occupy Vancouver to reboot itself and catch up with the Occupy Movement’s worldwide #WaveOfAction.
But I think that idea can be bigger, it can be a day for all of Occupy Canada to reboot.
May Day is a good focal point. A tent city at the Vancouver Art Gallery seems to be a distracting fixation. Occupy Wall Street was about people occupying the space of the 1%: Wall Street. In Vancouver, that is not the Art Gallery. It is a fantastic rallying point, (Read more…)
#PMSH goes #BananaRepublic: the (un) #FairElectionsAct lets incumbents SUPERVISE their own election! pic.twitter.com/SG3IT8GMAz #cdnpoli
— Politics, Re-Spun (@PoliticsReSpun) April 6, 2014
Just how stupid does Stephen Harper think we are?
He thinks that we’re fine with the idea that incumbent parties should be able to pick the poll supervisors in the next election.
I kid you not.
This kind of contempt for democracy and embrace of corruption is the worst part of this brand new [un]Fair Elections Act.
This is the kind of thing for which Occupy Vancouver and Occupy Canada should be occupying every single Conservative (Read more…)
When we think of Adam Smith, the great Scottish philosopher and economist, and his seminal book The Wealth of Nations, we are inclined to think of free markets, individual self-interest, and the invisible hand. However, reading another good book recently, How Markets Fail by John Cassidy, I was reminded there was a lot more to Smith and The Wealth of Nations than the elements of laissez faire
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…)
If you want to know what the Occupy Movement wants, it’s equality: economic, political and social. That shows up in many necessary changes to society, politics and the economy.
As the movement reboots for the 3-month Wave of Action starting on Friday, Occupiers around the world are planning to re-assemble at the former Occupy sites to roll up their sleeves.
And in the lead up to the Wave, corporate media and mothercorp aren’t reporting on it. The Wave doesn’t appear to be sending out press releases, but at the same time, journalists aren’t up to speed. Or, with corporate media (Read more…)
America: Where the rich get richer faster than in so many other places!
Yesterday I wrote about the rebooting of the Occupy Movement in 10 days. I’m very excited.
And to help you understand why this is such a big deal, especially in Canada, it’s important to see how Canada is increasingly becoming the poster child for income inequality. We are not nice and neighbourly and friendly. We are increasingly unequal society. Unless we step up and say that we’re mad as hell and we aren’t going to take it any more, the rich in Canada will continue to pad (Read more…)
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…)
Once upon a time, we were taught to envy and respect our “betters,” like the rich.
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…)
Ugh. We’re so much poorer than our parents!
Yes, your parents’ standard of living was better, so what are you going to do about it?
When I was growing up in the 1970s, most [maybe 80%?] of my friends had a mom who stayed home and didn’t work.
Over the last 40 years the proportion of single income households seems to have flipped so that it seems to be only about 20%.
So what’s wrong with this graph over there?
There’s a huge increase in the number of families with more than one income source in the last 40 (Read more…)
by: Obert Madondo
A student member of the University of Ottawa’s board of governors says the university’s response to recent report sexual violence against women is not enough.
Anaïs Elboujdaini, a political science student who spearheads the Independent Initiative Against Rape Culture, proposes eight measures against rape culture on campus and in society.
The measures include “Immediate up-to-implement mandatory training, in the form of credit courses for all members of the university community regarding discrimination and sexual harassment (including a section on rape culture) as prescribed under the Ontario Act” and “The organization of a day of public debate and (Read more…)
by: Obert Madondo
March 8, 2014
International Women’s Day
We stand with Anne-Marie Roy. We’ve been there too.
As women who have held elected positions at our college or university students’ union, we write in solidarity with Anne-Marie Roy, the President of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO). Anne-Marie was recently the target of sexually violent comments made by several men who held elected positions at the University of Ottawa. Several of these men initially threatened to sue Anne-Marie if she was not quiet about the disgusting comments.
Anne-Marie has bravely chosen to not (Read more…)
A sublime meditation on validation. Bravo!
…in which a young woman shares her adolescent anxieties and blossoms into a role model for us all.
Happy International Women’s Day!
Enjoy the whole clip here:
July 15, 2013 Fearing Kate MacEachern: The Latest Canadian Military Blunder (40) November 22, 2010 A Paradigm Shift is Happening! (0) October 15, 2013 BC’s Child Support Clawback Hurts Kids (2) December 26, 2013 Ending Homelessness: Easy If You Simply Care (0)
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…)
Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes dropped earlier this month.
My esteem for Langston Hughes, his insight and vision, and the too-often ignored human/cultural catalyst that was the Harlem Renaissance came back again last night for me when I found Leyla McCalla on the internet.
Merging Haiti, Hughes and the cello, she pulls the Harlem Renaissance forward a century in Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes.
Fitting, she lives in New Orleans, a world struggling to rebirth itself. Appropriately, her Kickstarter campaign garnered 4x her target.
Now you need to watch this, feel your soul massaged, then tweet (Read more…)
“Taxes are the way we pay for the things we decide to do together, and we are stronger together.” – Alex Himelfarb
While we consume and pay taxes, those are activities of our existence. The economy is supposed to serve our social goals as human beings. We are not economic entities that exist to serve the 1% in their effort to maximize shareholder wealth.
So here’s a word to drop this year, and forever:
Of course, we are all taxpayers, but we are, first and foremost, social citizens who invest in each other and in our (Read more…)
I keep writing about soft fascism. Why is that, anyway?
Soft fascism is a process of anti-democratic governing that is not as overtly totalitarian or authoritarian as more historically memorable fascist states. Soft fascist governing has features like:
corrupt electoral processes legislative tactics that undermine democratic engagement warrantless monitoring of citizens limiting the time that legislatures sit silencing of public servants disregarding court rulings against legislative abuses criminalizing dissent
Naomi Wolf’s 2007 book, The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, and her article in the UK’s Guardian newspaper helped begin an analysis of how (Read more…)
Call your nearest Conservative MP right now, until 330pm today, west coast time. Let them know that their Orwellian-named “Fair” Elections Act is clearly designed to further erode democracy and we see through it. See below for where you can contact such MPs.
We can’t let them ram this through, or else we’ll become even more of a banana republic.
Hold the phone
Without warning, the Harper government is ramming through legislation that will seriously undermine democracy in Canada. It was just introduced a few days ago, but could be adopted by the House of Commons as early as Monday (Read more…)
Today is Friday. Let’s make it “think for ourselves Friday.”
It’ll work: the government/corporations/1% won’t see it coming!
Twitter / occupythemob: http://t.co/doHx1xWO4l.
December 17, 2013 Fried Squirrels (0) December 20, 2013 Enbridge: What Now? We Escalate Our Fight (4) January 7, 2012 Day Two of Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0) January 7, 2012 Opening Panel from the Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0)
More support for changing the name of the NFL team in Washington comes from Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Yesterday, I wrote about how incredibly easy it would be to change the racist name of any kind of team. It’s really not that hard. Imagine the reverse, though. Imagine changing the Vancouver “Canucks” to the Vancouver “Insert racist slur here.” Somewhat inconceivable, so it should be easy to do the reverse, and fix the Washington NFL team name, as well as the other racist team names.
Now, hear how Jesse Ventura puts it:
Just as the N word (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
Bell didn’t actually start any conversation about mental health, despite their PR.
So now that Bell has enjoyed PR-pimping mental health as a self-aggrandizing excuse to give money to Canadian mental health programs, I didn’t actually expect to see #MentalHealth trending in Twitter like #BellLetsTalk did yesterday, and to a lesser extent today. However, there are huge problems with this kind of charitable activity:
If Bell had simply donated $5.4 million to mental health programs, quietly, even with the tax advantages, they could stand firmly in the face of criticism that this is in part a PR stunt designed (Read more…)