” It’s the Economy, Stupid.” [Or oil, or gas, or energy...]
If you think you know why Syria is happening [and happening NOW], you’re probably missing a number of the elements at play. Don’t expect western governments or the corporate media to enumerate these.
Sure, chemical weapons are horrible, but so are cluster bombs [called weapons of mass destruction in slow motion], which the USA has not abandoned. So we need to pay some mind to that hypocrisy.
Wars aren’t usually wars for better human rights, ideals and democracy. They’re always or almost always about power [even the (Read more…)
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…)
MexAmeriCanada doesn’t have to be our future.
I think I’m guilty of being a bit slow and uncreative. The bogeyman of deep integration, North American Union, the United States-ification of Canada, the United States OF Canada, and Canada becoming states #51-60 plus three more protectorates is just too simplistic.
We just have an inherent Canadian urge to be colonized. Maybe because it’s all we really know.
It’s not about someone stealing our sovereignty, or losing our sovereignty, we just seem to feel more comfortable as a nation, being someone’s colony. Like we can’t grow up and make our own decisions, (Read more…)
If we were harmless, the riot cops would stay home.
It’s Friday. It’s been a long week. Like most weeks. We are taught to fit in and obey.
We are told that individuality and the search for social justice will get us in trouble, either by government surveillance or social ostracism.
We speak out, still. We put on our Guy Fawkes masks, or not. We endure trolls online.
But this one’s for you.
If the Occupy Movement were no threat, there wouldn’t have been a massive, coordinated, international effort among the elites, their media and their governments to squash it (Read more…)
Which tax haven is right for you?
Class war is alive and well.
I have this rose-coloured, nostalgic dream of history. Once upon a time we emerged from feudalism with a democratic revolution. All were equal. Well, most.
But the hope of democracy was to rid the world of the despot rule of aristocracy. But then we got corporations. Many of the aristocratic elite ended up entrenching their power through these fake humans. And we still have the aristocrats today. And for centuries, the rest of the elite have wielded power through corporations.
So this year when data was leaked (Read more…)
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…)
Things are bad under Prime Minister Harper. They’re getting worse, even since the last time I wrote about Harper’s soft fascism. But how do we measure it? It’s so…subjective, unless you have some kind of benchmark for totalitarian political behaviour.
Luckily we do, at least these three:
This powerful graphic comes from Fascism Anyone?, a Laurence W. Britt piece pasted below. You can find the link here, along with some very thoughtful critiques of the piece. The other piece comes from that eternal credit to humanity, Umberto Eco, Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt, (Read more…)
It’s 9am, do you know where your millennial employees are? No? No worries. It’s all good. They’re not factory chickens.
People who study characteristics of different generations have some incredibly important things to say about how different groups work. Organizations, however, are typically run by older people with their own generation-influenced work norms. Those that adapt to include younger generations more effectively will be more successful. And, no surprise, it seems that co-ops are structures that fit the work styles of millennials. Let’s explore the future of work, for organizations that figure it out in time!
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: How Millennials Can Improve Everyone’s Job Satisfaction
The ongoing protests in the parts of the Middle East and North Africa, ostensibly in the wake of a Z-list anti-Islam film produced in the US, have elicited the same tired, hackneyed response on the part significant portions of Western audiences and commentators. “Savages,” the refrain has been, “uncivilized barbarians!” from comment sections from The Blaze to the CBC. The brutal murder of American envoy Chris Stevens should certainly be condemned—yet the broader chauvinistic and racist response to the events in Libya, and in the wider region, speaks to a deep seated misunderstanding and ignorance on the part
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Fair Weather Friends: Western Reaction(s) to the Middle East Protests
What Has Changed Since September 11, 2001?
W2 Media Cafe and Siraat invite you to a public forum on Monday, September 10, 2012, looking at Canada’s racist legacy, as we mark 11 years after the events of September 11, 2001. 7pm at 111 West Hastings Street, Vancouver.
Invited Panellists: Kat Norris, Jasmin Zine, Abdhullah Almalki, Alnoor Gova and Imtiaz Popat
Moderated by Charlie Smith, Editor of the Georgia Straight
Kat Norris: Founder of Indigenous Action Movement. A survivor of the residential schools, she has been organizing against police abuses including the Frank Paul Inquiry.
Jasmin Zine: Associate Professor at
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: What Has Changed Since September 11, 2001?
Less than 12 after being elected to a minority government in Quebec, the PQ has announced it will cancel the socially and economically regressive tuition fee hikes and repeal the flagrantly unconstitutional Bill 78, which trampled on expression and assembly rights.
Quebec, long one of the most progressive socially and economically progressive cultures in our federation, is showing the rest of us once again what a stern devotion to progressive policies looks like.
Every NDP government or government in waiting needs to watch what assertiveness looks like.
And while we will likely see much discussion about language policies from Quebec
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Let’s Watch Where Quebec Leads Us All
“Before my father died, he said the worst thing about growing old was that other men stop seeing you as dangerous….Dangerousness was sacred.”
Last night I watched Act of Valor. I liveblogged it so you don’t have to watch it. You’re welcome.
First there was The Lottery, a dystopic tale of social gruesomeness that I encountered in high school English. It got me thinking.
Then there was The Running Man and now the Hunger Games.
Now we have UFC and reality TV and their bastard child: Act of Valor, designed to both decry a life filled with
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Act of Valor, Redux
We have decided that “GroupThink ReSpun” will be the name of the process whereby various of the Politics, Re-Spun crew collaborate on editorializing about a current event. Enjoy the poetry of the term!
So apparently, the RCMP wants to ease into allowing US agents to operate freely in Canada:
1. Do you want to be American? Discuss.
Amputating one of my limbs with a nail clipper and then sewing it to my forehead sounds more appealing, really. I don’t make a very good American. Clinging to my sacred socialist cows and such. – Tia
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: GroupThink ReSpun: On US Police Forces Operating in Canada
It is truly stunning to see how the elites react when people dare speak out against “austerity” – that is, to squeeze even more profits out of workers, students, and citizens in general. Almost as appalling is the way that the corporate media (and often the CBC) follow the party line.
Consider these two recent attacks on Quebec students.
We begin with Margaret Wente’s screed in Saturday’s Globe & Mail, “Tuition protesters are the Greeks of Canada.” For starters, this ignorant and racist rant is an insult to Greeks, to students, and to all Quebeckers.
She condemns the
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: How Dare You Drones Resist?!
Last week, our favourite sweatervest hoarding Prime Minister made the world’s laziest Nazi/Hitler invocation during Question Period. This is the latest in a string of Hitler references made by sundry politicos in Ottawa during 2012, and we’re not even half way through the year. His gaffe brought jeers and tears of laughter to denizens of the House and online. For your viewing pleasure, witness the exchange between Mulcair the Bearded Sandwich Explainer and Stevie Soulless Eyes HERE.
After I was done laughing and wiping tears of hilarity from my eyes, I went back to the Politics Respun crew, and
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Springtime for Hitler in Ottawa
Closing prisons from the 19th century is surely a good idea, but I have no faith that the Conservative Party cares to replace them with anything progressive based on research from any time since the 19th century.
So here’s a Canadian prison Shock Doctrine perfect storm:
The Conservatives [Reform Party] want to spend billions on new prisons because they believe prisons are good. I expect them to be privately run, for profit. Prisons are over-crowded already so we need more, but ideally more that are effectively designed and operated. Don’t hold your breath. Dickens-era prison philosophy is in vogue among . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Vic Toews’ Prison Shock Doctrine Recipe
Long time social justice and democracy activists fooled their foes on April Fools this year giving the world a double victory with Aung San Suu Kyi and George Galloway winning by-elections to restore voices for reason in the world.
Suu Kyi, a long time political prisoner, won her first election after being freed by the Myanmar military regime. She has fought long and hard for the democracy movement in the former Burma in the tradition of her father General Aung San. The military still controls the country and elected politicians have a token role to play.
George Galloway was also
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Social Justice and Democracy Activists Fool their Foes on April Fools
Nathan Cullen has my vote.
Let me begin by saying that we are at an historical moment in Canadian history. We are being besieged by an increasingly draconian corporatist, neo-conservative and neoliberal Conservative Party government which is far worse than Mulroney’s free trade corporatist “Progressive” Conservatives from a generation ago. This government is an ecological criminal in foreign affairs, obsessed with domestic surveillance and mongers war.
We are at a time of heightened awareness of the illegitimacy of the first-past-the-post electoral system that has allowed such extremist doctrine to have a majority of power in the country with less than
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Why I’m Voting for Nathan Cullen
The Harper government is paying consultant Deloitte Inc. almost $90,000 a day for advice on how to manage the cuts.
via Harper personally approved $22,000 tab for visiting bureaucrats – The Globe and Mail.
I am flabbergasted to read this entire article about money Harper personally signed off on to wine and dine the global elite/1% in OECD contempt-fests.
But I am more stunned by the sentence quoted above, which appeared at the very end of the piece. Despite the tens of thousands of dollars spent on single events, why in the name of all that is not-so-contemptuous and oh-so-righteous,
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Harper Spends $90k of Our Money/Day to Spin Us on His Cuts
Tonight at 6pm [East Vancouver time], Politics, Re-Spun teams up with The Rational on COOP Radio with an analog radio show at 102.7fm in Vancouver, which will be streaming live at COOPRadio.org and interactively in a multimedia liveblog here below.
Here is what we’ve got tonight:
1. Tia Everitt interviewing Glen Thompson about saving spotted owls in the Chilliwack River Valley 2. Alnoor Gova interviewing Andrew Frank, on who really are enemies of the people of Canada 3. Alnoor Gova interviewing Boonaa Muhammad
2012.02.13 Politics, Re-Spun on Coop Radio
August 9, 2010 — Capitalists:
I have a great deal of respect for Canadian Forces personnel. I have generally disagreed with virtually every one of their foreign deployments in my lifetime, but that is a criticism I make of our political leaders who order our forces to go here and there.
I support our troops by encouraging the government not to continue slashing their pensions and healthcare, and to actually treat soldiers with respect and dignity by providing the kind of care they need: vocationally, psychologically, emotionally, etc.
I do not, however, like the militarization of Canadian culture because it is priming us for a
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: My Canada Does Not Include Militarizing Canada Day
Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons January 6-8, 2012 Vancouver/Burnaby
All panelist biographies are here. Below are some lessons learned and observations from the sessions.
The opening panel is recorded in the Twitter storify here.
My notes are here.
Radical Squares: Reflections on the Global Indignant Moment
Nefertiti Altán, George Caffentzis
Crisis in the economy:
Greed leads to assaults on living wages, off-shoring, migrant workers, slashing pensions. US unemployment is 9.7% or 14.9 million people, 16% for African-Americans and 42% for African American youth. The number is higher when . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Day Three of Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons
Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons January 6-8, 2012 Vancouver/Burnaby
All panelist biographies are here: Below are some lessons learned and observations from the sessions.
The opening panel is recorded in the Twitter storify here.
Opening Panel A Global Tradition: History of the Commons
Rebuilding our Commons will allow us to live in a free and self-determined way. When we talk about the Commons, we are not talking about small-scale experiments like communes, but whole social formations. The Commons involves sharing our resources because nature is not for sale. The principle of common . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Day Two of Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons
This weekend I attended Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons community gathering in Vancouver and Burnaby, sponsored by these groups and people.
The basic premise is not so much that capitalism is broken, and we just need to fix it, but that neoliberal market fundamentalism is inherently broken when we’re thinking about sustainability, equity and building a healthy future, largely because capitalism is diametrically opposed to the commons and rich community.
All panelist biographies are here.
Below is a storified collection of tweets from the opening night.
[View the story “Tragedy of the Market: Opening” on Storify