Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

PostArctica: Katie Rentzke

Excellent street photographer who works for social change.

Urban Voice Youth Photographic Project is a program that gives an artistic voice to underprivileged youth by teaching them basic photography skills. The project goals are to use the camera to motivate youth’s discovery of the world around them, show youth that they have a voice in that world and give them a positive outlet to express that voice. The project not only teaches youth the creative skill of photography but also uses educational mechanisms to assist with improving social studies knowledge, literacy and speech comprehension. This project has been implemented amongst (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Payment of $45,000 travel bill by Alberta Premier raises as many questions as it answers

There will be no more scenes like this aboard Government of Alberta aircraft, thank you very much! Actual Alberta cabinet ministers and cabin crew may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: a screenshot of Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s news conference yesterday.

Fresh from her public relations triumph in Edmonton’s Churchill LRT station Tuesday, Alberta Premier Alison Redford announced yesterday she has personally paid back the $45,000 cost of her trip to South Africa in December, and that of the young aide who went along with her.

“My hope is that we can now get back to the work Albertans asked (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Will MLA Steve Young survive the PC caucus?

TweetWhen former cop Steve Young was elected as the MLA for Edmonton-Riverview, it was considered to be a huge coup for the Progressive Conservatives. With Mr. Young as their candidate, the Tories succeeded in scooping the traditionally Liberal voting constituency previously represented by popular MLA Kevin Taft. All indications suggest that Mr. Young has worked […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Fresh meat and Alberta politics

TweetFresh meat Last week, he was publicly criticizing Premier Alison Redford for her over-priced $45,000 trip to South Africa (see below) and faced a threat of expulsion from the Progressive Conservative caucus. This week, coincidentally, Edmonton-Riverview PC MLA Steve Young faces a new set of revelations dating back to his time as a Sergeant with the Edmonton […]

Alberta Diary: Upstairs, downstairs in Alberta explained by Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk: ‘We’re dealing with different job descriptions’

Furious Alberta civil service “oranges” protest high-handed Tory “apples” during their illegal st**ke of 1980. Below: Provincial Treasurer Lou Hyndman in 1976; Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, no longer missing in action.

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose!

After a spell during which he appeared to be missing in action, Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk resurfaced in the news columns Thursday to offer the opinion humongous salaries paid to well-connected Tory retainers in the nosebleed seats of the civil service are a meaningless distraction from the serious business of ensuring we all live within our means.

Given what he (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Irony of Raul Castro – Obama handshake: Cuba helped defeat S.A. apartheid in battle whereas U.S. sent Stingers to UNITA

Raúl Castro at Mandela memorial service / Nelson Mandela with Fidel in Cuba

At the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, the media seized on the handshake between Barack Obama and the president of Cuba, Raúl Castro, as possible evidence of something more significant afoot in the relations between the two countries. The handshake has taken on symbolic overtones and given rise to far-fetched speculation. There have been predictable denunciations. U.S. Republican rep lleana Ros-Lehtinen criticized Obama for shaking the hand of “a ruthless dictator.” Yet another case of an American politician failing to look in the mirror (Read more…)

Trashy's World: Well, it’s plausible, I guess…

Harper’s staff have clipped this story for future use… Date – April 11, 2014. “Mr. Speaker, when I stood in this House last year, denying any knowledge of what transpired between Mr. Wright and Senator Duffy, I was hallucinating. The hallucinations began while I was speaking and that I tried not to panic because there […]

The Canadian Progressive: Under Canadian terrorism laws, Mandela would be considered a terrorist

by: Obert Madondo Its ironic, isn’t it? Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition, four provincial premiers, three former prime minister, two former governors general, MPs, a senator, and the head of the Assembly of First Nations, are in South Africa to convey of our collective last respects to the late Nelson Mandela, who… Read More

The post Under Canadian terrorism laws, Mandela would be considered a terrorist appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics, Re-Spun: Day One, Post-Mandela

Today is the first day of our world after the Nelson Mandela era.

We don’t need to canonize him or consider any messiah characteristics, but we should stop today and reflect on what kind of Mandela legacy we want to carry forward.

Here are a few ideas to consider.

Chances are you didn’t wake up every day by meditating on a Mandela quote. Aside from people like Rob Anders, though, most people found Mandela to be an inspiring person.

But one Mandela characteristic we need to hold close to our hearts is that he worked hard. Very hard. So (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Nelson Mandela: ‘An international emblem of dignity and forbearance’

Nelson Mandela, in about 1964.

Nelson Mandela is the father of modern South Africa, but he belongs to all humanity now, and all of humanity seems ready to embrace him at last.

The New York Times accurately observed that Mr. Mandela, who died today at the great age of 95, had become “an international emblem of dignity and forbearance.”

But we need to remember that Mr. Mandela is a towering figure in humanity’s memory not simply because of what he achieved, but because he achieved it despite the bitter opposition of people who hated who he was and what (Read more…)

drive-by planet: NSA leaks: abuse of power: John Pilger on the rise of a new fascism

Ed Snowden’s leaks that reveal the NSA’s borderless metadata trawling and massive invasion of Americans’ privacy is further evidence that something is rotten in the heart of empire. Equally disturbing is the shrug and compliance of the Fourth Estate. No matter how far their idol Obama strays from the principles some of us once believed he stood for, there are any number of pundits ready and willing to defend his betrayals and secretive abuse of power.

Violations of executive power that cast Cheney as a villain play differently with Obama who on the heels of recent revelations was quick to (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Why Mandela Is So Important

Although I have only made reference to him three other times in this blog, Nelson Mandela is a person who I revere like no other. And of course, I am hardly alone in that sentiment, attested to by the fact that millions of people, not only in South Africa but around the world, are in a state of anxiety over his latest hospitalization.

But in frail health at the age of 94, hospitalized yet again with a stubborn lung affection many attribute to his 27 years of incarceration, most of it on Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, (Read more…)

kirbycairo: Guatemalan Dictators, and Brutes of our Own. . . .

Yesterday the former dictator of Guatemala, Efrain Montt, was convicted of 80 years in prison for Genocide. The sentence is, in a sense symbolic considering that Mr. Montt is now 86 years old and very unlikely to survive any significant time in prison. But the sentence is interesting at least because it is one of the very few examples in which a nation is actually trying to come to grips with its fascist past. The sad fact is that Guatemala has seen a string of dictators and brutal militarists (the current president was an military officer under the Montt regime). Central America (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Chief Theresa Spence’s Heroism Already Eclipses Nelson Mandela’s

by Obert Madondo | Huffington Post Blog: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/obert-madondo/chief-theresa-spences-her_b_2408049.html Hunger-striking Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence is the reincarnation of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. She is becoming the greatest moral and political leader of our time. In fact, Chief Theresa Spence’s courage and sacrifice already eclipses that of South Africa’s globally-celebrated anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela. READ MORE

drive-by planet: South Africa’s ANC makes support for BDS part of official policy: ‘Roadmap to Apartheid’ released

At its 53rd National Conference, South Africa’s ruling ANC affirmed support for the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. It is now part of official ANC policy.

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of BDS South Africa welcomed the ANC move:

“This reaffirmation by the ANC’s National Conference, its highest decision making body, is by far the most authoritative endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign. The ANC has now taken its international conference resolutions, and officially made it the policy of the ANC. We look forward to working with the ANC and

. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: South Africa’s ANC makes support for BDS part of official policy: ‘Roadmap to Apartheid’ released

Drive-by Planet: ‘Roadmap to Apartheid’: Israeli and South African parallels

 Clips from “Roadmap” that draw Israel/ S. African parallels

A feature-length documentary Roadmap to Apartheid is the first time close parallels between the apartheid of the old South African regime and Israeli-style apartheid have been explored in a documentary film in significant depth.

The parallels between the two systems have been all too evident to those on the receiving end of Israel’s colonial-style apartheid and to the activists on the front lines. Roadmap brings the message to a larger audience including those who may be learning about the parallels for the first time.

The film is a joint project

. . . → Read More: Drive-by Planet: ‘Roadmap to Apartheid’: Israeli and South African parallels

Drive-by Planet: South Africa: interracial poster generates heat

Even with apartheid gone racial sensitivities still run deep in South Africa. There is nothing like a provocative photo to trigger a reaction.

A political poster put out by the student wing of the Democratic Alliance – the main opposition party – is guaranteed to push a lot of buttons. It shows a studly white dude who looks as though he’s fresh out of the shower in a loving embrace with a stripped down black woman. The accompanying tagline reads: “In OUR future, you wouldn’t look twice.”

So what’s the big deal? A snapshot in time – sweet and

. . . → Read More: Drive-by Planet: South Africa: interracial poster generates heat

DeSmogBlog: Climate Denier Marc Morano Praises "George W. Obama" at COP17

marc-morano.jpg

If the jury was still out on President Barack Obama's climate policy accolades (a huge "if"), consider the verdict now in, and from a surprising character at that: Marc Morano.

Morano jubilantly referred to the President as "George W. Obama" in an interview with Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman at COP17, stating: 

They [the Obama administration] have kept the exact same principles and negotiating stance as President George Bush did for eight years. Obama has carried on Bush’s legacy. So as skeptics, we tip our hat to President Obama in helping to crush and continuing to defeat

. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Climate Denier Marc Morano Praises "George W. Obama" at COP17

350 or bust: Durban: Youth Turn Their Backs In Response To Canadian Government’s Disregard For Their Future

Here’s another post from Ani, part of the Canadian Youth Delegation in Durban, South Africa where the 10 days of U.N. climate negotiations have less than 48 hours to go, and no agreement is in sight. Here is her account of the recent action by some of the other members of the Youth Delegation; and [...]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Open Government

A government so open, that it lost its marbles.

If we had journalists who uniformly understood that letting politicians get away with flaming lies would lead us into a mess, we’d not be in a mess.

We’d also not have to satirize ourselves so much.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Hope As A Gas

What if we could frack for natural gas without polluting the drinking water tables? I don’t think it’s as easy as this article suggests. Your only concern cannot be the material used to cause the fracturing, it has to be the fracturing itself. There are plenty of materials in our ground at different strata that we don’t want mingling with our drinking water tables. Johannesburg, South Africa is facing a catastrophe where mines that are flooding, may make the city uninhabitable.

“Up until now, there’s only been crisis management,” said Mariette Liefferink, a South African environmental researcher who has become

. . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Hope As A Gas

Bill Longstaff: South Africa on slippery slope?

Normally, I’m wary of slippery slope arguments but when an African government acts to limit freedom of speech, I suspect such an argument may be valid. Unfortunately, South Africa has done just that. A law, ostensibly to protect state secrets, has been approved by the South African National Assembly. The law makes it a crime to leak, possess or publish information judged as classified by the

Matthew McAskill Chisholm: People Hugging: UNFCCC Forest Policy Needs A Climate Justice Framework

The importance of the world’s forests and the role that environmental activism surrounding forests have helped to shape a public perception that being an environmentalist means that you’re a “tree hugger.” While my “first word” as a child was in … Continue reading →

DeSmogBlog: In Throes of Keystone XL Controversy, Obama Admin OKs Alaska Offshore Drilling

Offshore in Alaska.jpg With all eyes on the ongoing battle over whether or not the Obama Administration and the State Department will approve the disastrous Keystone XL pipeline, it was easy to l… . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: In Throes of Keystone XL Controversy, Obama Admin OKs Alaska Offshore Drilling

DeSmogBlog - Clearing the PR Pollution that Clouds Climate Science: Frack Attack Music Video Warns of Gas Drilling Dangers in South Africa

Screen shot 2011-07-28 at 11.39.42 AM.png The anti-frack movement just got a bit cooler thanks to Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG). Today, the citizen-led environmental organization release… . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog – Clearing the PR Pollution that Clouds Climate Science: Frack Attack Music Video Warns of Gas Drilling Dangers in South Africa