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Progressive Proselytizing: How much should graduate students be paid?

Being a graduate student is in some sense in the middle of two extremes: being a student primarily benefiting oneself and being a paid worker benefiting society. Before graduate studies, one is an undergraduate where nobody would expect to be paid to be an undergraduate. After graduate studies, one is (hopefully) going to be paid a paid a sum commensurate with the skill the knowledge accrued during graduate studies and be doing work that, by and large, can be said to “benefit society”. During graduate studies, however  it is somewhere in between. Graduate students are both benefiting themselves by increasing their future potential (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Vancouver’s Co-Working Co-op Stimulates Worker Empowerment

Tuesday night in the back room of The Tipper bar/bistro/restaurant on Kingsway at Victoria we are holding our Inception Meeting for a new kind of co-working space in Vancouver, one structured as a co-op.

You can read about the project in The Georgia Straight piece last week, and on the project webpage at Incipe, the consulting workers’ co-op that is spawning this co-op. Incipe, in-CHEE-pay, is Latin for “Begin!” And you can register for the [free] meeting here. And if you want to be involved and informed, you can sign up for the e-newsletter here.

We (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What’s Wrong with Canada? We’re Not Denmark-ish

And I don’t mean we need to become Denmark, but we need to have the dialogue about why they can do what they do and we choose not to.

When Canadians are surveyed, a very large majority of us support these public goods. But those desires get subsumed with corporate, neoliberal, right wing government-cut rhetoric.

We need to explore the political sociology of Denmark to understand how they embraced the tax commitment to provide these public goods.

We can be Denmark, but we choose not to.

We need to respin the messages from the tax-hating corporations and make the economy (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Reject the Slow Motion Privatization of K-12 in BC

Privatizing education in BC has been largely subtle and hidden. Absurd conflicts like this below [Restricted Vancouver playground access sparks angry exchange between [PRIVATE!] school principal, parent] help the general public see what’s actually been going on for a long time with private schools. Mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine. Not ours. This is unacceptable!

Note the editor conspicuously omitted the word “private” from the headline’s description of this school principal. Spin alert!

And why have we given a free pass to the premier for sending her child to a private school? That’s not (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Being a Better Ally: #IWD

Click me; it’s good for you!

International Women’s Day is a check-in point for me: I try to take stock of what has improved or worsened since last year. Doing so helps me be a better ally.

Our soul as a nation has suffered this past year. It has suffered from the continuing culture of rape and violence against women. The behaviour of the Dalhousie male dental students is just one more indicator of our continued dismissiveness and our neglect of dignity, though the process of restorative justice they’re now participating in offers some hope.

The worst sign, by far, (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Free trade to blame for growing income inequality in Canada

A study recently released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that the modern free trade era has exacerbated income inequality in Canada.

The post Free trade to blame for growing income inequality in Canada appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics, Re-Spun: Pink Washing: Does This Pink Shirt Really Say Enough?

By Emily Griffiths

Pink Shirt Day is almost upon us. The annual campaign to raise money and “awareness” on the issue of “bullying” takes place on February 25. As this date approaches, I’m sure you’ve noticed an inundation of bright pink. Even at this very moment, I am sipping my tea from a Blenz paper cup, wrapped in a festive Pink Shirt Day cardboard sleeve. Blenz is one of “a bunch of great businesses [that] are holding fundraisers during the month of February with proceeds going to Pink Shirt Day.” Blenz doesn’t actually give money; they just provide us (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: How the people can stop the tide of police militarization

Norm Stamper, a 34-year veteran police officer and retired Seattle chief of police, suggests 5 ways to stop the burgeoning trend of police militarization.

The post How the people can stop the tide of police militarization appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics, Re-Spun: Ever Wonder How the 1% Talks to Each Other? Shhh. Listen!

It’s not a secret language, it’s a style, an effervescence. A whimsicality.

It’s like how people stand when they’re shopping in Tiffany’s. You feel me?

Read on about a new luxury property on Georgia in downtown Vancouver [emphasis is mine]:

The Penthouse

Upstairs, in the 48th-floor penthouse, it is a different story again. It is a rare true penthouse, taking up the entire top floor and entirely encircling the elevator core. And, aside from one lavishly staged corner, the penthouse is currently a vast, empty, concrete shell, waiting for whoever takes it on to do with it what they will. (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: CRA Guts Dying With Dignity’s Long-Standing Charitable Status

Leading death with dignity lobby group announced Tuesday that it’s losing its charitable status after a recent political-activity audit by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The post CRA Guts Dying With Dignity’s Long-Standing Charitable Status appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Man Implicated Rehtaeh Parsons Sexual Assault Spared Jail

A judge in Nova Scotia has decided that there will be no jail term for one of the four boys implicated in the fatal gang-rape and online shaming of Rehtaeh Parsons.

The post Man Implicated Rehtaeh Parsons Sexual Assault Spared Jail appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics, Re-Spun: Science World Ignores Climate Science

Well, why would you support something called Science World when it participates in a program to brainwash students into supporting the liquid natural gas industry, despite the science indicating how harmful it is to the world.

Climate change deniers deny science.

The BC government pretends to care about climate change but is roaring ahead with oil, gas, coal, pipelines and tankers. Pure hypocrisy. They think we’re stupid.

Science World, by joining in with the BC government pimping LNG to kids, has joined the wrong team.

Why would you go to a Science World that rejects the sociopolitical implications of (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Does YOUR Favorite Corporate Exploit Tragedy for Sales?

It’s not like capitalists deserve your pity when they accidentally offend people while they try to embrace their communities to build spirit. And profit.

It is partly because corporations are pretend human beings, with no emotions, no social conscience [beyond PR gains] and no capacity for human empathy, which is a fundamental part of human society.

Corporations must maximize shareholder wealth, while exploiting people and the environment. So no surprise that when they try to improve market share by corporatizing 9/11 and Boston Strong some people get offended.

And why not! Try this one on: “Remember 9/11; Soooo, Make Sure (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: The "Meh" Society

There’s really no better way to understand another society that to live there.  I have never known the United States better than during the years I spent studying there back in the Vietnam war era.  This is why I was drawn to the observations of Volker Stanzel, former undersecretary of political affairs at the German foreign office.  Stanzel has just wrapped up a period of teaching at an American university on the west coast.  His impressions of the country, its people and their problems is insightful and should resonate with Canadians also.

Stanzel sees Americans as a people who (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Who Cares About Fixing Poverty in BC?

Well, it’s the Poverty Reduction Coalition!

One of their many activities is to send recommendations to the government when the government deigns to ask people for their ideas. The Finance Committee is an all-party committee of the legislature, so the government usually ignores their recommendations.

As citizens, we need to make the government respond to our demands, particularly when legislative committees provide pretty good recommendations!

Here’s what’s going on this year, from the Poverty Reduction Coalition.

Read it, below Then email, phone [250.387.1715], tweet or Facebook the premier and tell her to listen to the Finance Committee (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Which BC Corporations Would YOU Like to Euthanize?

Oh, what a list it would be!

Enbridge?

Kinder Morgan [the zombie child of Enron]?

Imperial Metals [fanciful producers of the Mount Polley Mine disaster]?

Other companies that treat workers badly like IKEA or Rocky Mountain Railtours?

Capitalism is all about worshiping Frankencorporations that are immortal, legally a human being, limit the liability of owners if the company screws up, taxed much lower than real humans, and are designed to maximize shareholder wealth while minimizing risk to capitalists and maximizing consequences for others. Raping and pillaging is just an added bonus.

But what if a company, in its cancerous (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Compassion creates happiness, freedom and better relationships

Kozo Hattori, a writer and counselor, explains how compassion creates happiness, freedom from gender stereotypes, and better relationships with others.

The post Compassion creates happiness, freedom and better relationships appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Chris Hedges: Predatory capitalism’s perversion of Christmas charity

Chris Hedges and Detroit’s Rev. David Bullock discuss predatory capitalism’s perversion of Christmas charity, justice and revolution on The Real News Network.

The post Chris Hedges: Predatory capitalism’s perversion of Christmas charity appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics, Re-Spun: Does Cuba Get an MLB Team Now?

So, there have been 181 Major League Baseball players from Cuba [population 11 million], 230 from Puerto Rico [population 3.5 million] [which is kind of like America, despite its second class political status], and 557 from the Dominican Republic [population 9.5 million].

My friend, who cares not about baseball, asked me last week what normalized American relations with Cuba would mean for the MLB.

And my skin tingled.

Some facts to ponder:

The MLB has been in Canada. Still is. So foreign countries aren’t a problem. Washington, DC has a team, and it’s not even a state. Cuba (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Conservative MP’s Stay Home Comments Insult Women, New Immigrants

Conservative MP Bob Dechert insulted Canadian women, immigrant women and new Canadians’ cultures when he said “moms can stay at home, which they’re used to.”

The post Conservative MP’s Stay Home Comments Insult Women, New Immigrants appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics, Re-Spun: International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders

This is an international day of action, so check the event page to see what’s up in your town, for TOMORROW!

And if there’s nothing at your home, be the change!

Let’s consolidate our recent victories and continue moving public opinion to transitioning to the post-carbon energy infrastructure: wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, rail, transit, energy retrofits, solar roadways, ET3 hyperloop system.

via International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders.

August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) June 16, 2014 Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! (1) July (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders

Politics, Re-Spun: Ferguson?

If there’s anything you can learn from Ferguson this morning, it’s that we need to check our race- and class-based social, political and economic entitlements.

It’s the least we can do this morning.

"If racism is something you're sick of hearing about, imagine how exhausting it must be living it every day." Jon Stewart

— Kendra Coulter (@DrKendraCoulter) November 25, 2014

Deaths from police shootings US 461 (*updated, likely undercount) Germany 8 Britain 0 Japan 0 #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/WqBnHNIdaA

— Conrad Hackett (@conradhackett) November 25, 2014

August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) July 15, 2013 Fearing Kate (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: 5 people who used extreme empathy to change the world

English economist and social reformer Beatrice Webb is one of the five “empathy heroes” who changed the world by taking compassion to the extreme.

The post 5 people who used extreme empathy to change the world appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics, Re-Spun: Canada: The Eternal Rebuilding Project

Personal relationships enrich us, work makes us feel useful, and goals give us purpose

via Lecture 1 – Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship | Ideas with Paul Kennedy | CBC Radio.

Adrienne Clarkson speaks in this Massey Lecture about belonging.

The first peoples were here first. They established a sense of this land.

Europeans came to conquer and exploit and seek whatever noble goals orbited their economy. They helped remake and redefine the land and its people. For better or worse.

Since then, new people have come and contribute to this eternal project of ever-rebuilding Canada.

Harper isn’t interested in (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Yes Means Yes: A Reading to Start Your Week

If you read anything about Yes Means Yes, this week, read this paragraph, then click the link to read it all.

We all need to be talking about this around the water cooler this week.

We’ve come a long way in our acceptance of all manner of sexual relationships and habits, but the one I think is still in the closet, is the desire not to have sex. Abstinence-only education has become such a joke, that the choice to abstain has become denigrated right along with it. If we put up ads to suggest it’s okay, it comes across as (Read more…)