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Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Stephen Dubner discusses the importance of social trust in supporting a functional economy and society: (S)ocial trust is … HALPERN: Social trust is an extraordinarily interesting variable and it doesn’t get anywhere near the attention it deserves. But the basic idea is trying to understand what is . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Kevin Connor reports that the more Ontario voters are exposed to the realities of public-private partnerships, the more they’re turning against the idea – with a quarter or less of respondents seeing any upside to handing public services over to businesses. Tony Keller writes that Canada’s history of . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Things Are Good: Easily Browse Online Anonymously

In a world where our digital lives are tracked by democratic governments (Canada and the UK amongst them) we need to ensure that we can have private conversations online. Over at Digg they have collected a very easy to follow setup to get your protecting your privacy online in only an hour!

Keep Your . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Easily Browse Online Anonymously

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Karl Nerenberg examines new research from the Canadian Centre for the Study of Living Standards showing how workers have seen hardly any benefit from four decades of productivity gains which have filled corporate coffers: (I)n Canada, the productivity of labour — the amount workers produce per unit of . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Andrew Nikiforuk highlights how Donald Trump’s election is just one more predictable consequence of the end of shared growth – even as it figures to perpetuate that reality. And Andrew Coyne argues that Trump’s win under the U.S.’ warped electoral rules should thoroughly debunk the theory that . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Wolfgang Munchau writes that the rise of right-wing insurrectionism can be traced largely to “centre-left” parties who have focused most of their attention on imposing austerity and catering to the corporate sector while offering little to citizens, while Naomi Klein comments on the role of neoliberal politics . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

– Brent Patterson criticizes the Libs’ short-sighted plans to privatize public services in lieu of any coherent economic policy. And Tom Parkin calls out their bait-and-switch approach to infrastructure.

– Robin McKie reports on Nicholas Stern’s recognition that his much-cited work on the impacts of climate change only . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Evening Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Andrew Jackson writes that the Libs’ fall economic statement represents a massive (and unjustified) shift away from promised infrastructure funding even while planning to privatize both existing operations and future developments. And Joie Warnock highlights why it would represent nothing short of scandalous mismanagement for the Wall . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

The Canadian Progressive: Montreal police spying on journalist Patrick Lagacé condemned by Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders is appalled by recent revelations that Montreal police secretly monitored the mobile phone of La Presse columist Patrick Lagacé. A coalition of Canadian rights groups links the Lagacé case to Canadian police and security services’ growing hunger for new powers and investigative capabilities.

The post Montreal police spying on journalist Patrick Lagacé . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Montreal police spying on journalist Patrick Lagacé condemned by Reporters Without Borders

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– George Monbiot rightly makes the point that a general attitude of kindness is a must for a functioning society – while lamenting that anything of the sort is all too often lacking from public policy choices.

– James Di Fiore discusses Justin Trudeau’s failed attempt at a triangulation . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

– Branko Milanovic highlights the futility of pretending that market mechanisms will produce anything other than profit-oriented outcomes – and the observation represents an obvious reason not to put public services in corporate hands. And David Sloan Wilson (in introducing an interview with Sigrun Aasland) points out how Norway’s . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Afternoon Links

The Canadian Progressive: For-Profit AT&T Spying Program is Worse Than Snowden Revelations

Telecommunications giant AT&T’s spying on Americans for profit on behalf of law enforcement agencies is “more terrifying than the illegal NSA surveillance programs that Edward Snowden exposed,” says rights group Fight for the Future.

The post For-Profit AT&T Spying Program is Worse Than Snowden Revelations appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

. . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: For-Profit AT&T Spying Program is Worse Than Snowden Revelations

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Mainly Macro offers a useful definition of neoliberalism, while highlighting its relationship to austerity. And Ed Finn writes that we shouldn’t be too quick to presume neoliberalism is going to disappear just because it’s proven to be harmful in practice – and that it will take a massive . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– George Monbiot discusses the importance of recognizing our social connections in making our political choices, rather than treating the world as merely a collection of unconnected individuals: It is not hard to see what the evolutionary reasons for social pain might be. Survival among social mammals is greatly . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Jim Stanford writes about the obvious problems with globalization as it’s currently structured – and the need to meaningfully take into account the public interest before anybody other than the investor class can be expected to participate in the process: The reality is that hundreds of millions of . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

The Canadian Progressive: WTF? Yahoo spied on email customers for U.S. government

Yahoo secretly scanned all of its customer’s incoming emails in response to directives from the NSA and FBI. “This is a clear sign that people can trust neither their government nor their service providers to respect their privacy.”

The post WTF? Yahoo spied on email customers for U.S. government appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

. . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: WTF? Yahoo spied on email customers for U.S. government

Things Are Good: Complaints About Police Drop 93% Thanks to Body Cameras

Policing has become a hot issue in recent years thanks to the efforts of groups like Black Lives Matter bringing discriminatory actions by the police to light. In many jurisdictions police forces are already using (or considering) body cameras that record what officers are seeing and doing. It turns out that using them can . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Complaints About Police Drop 93% Thanks to Body Cameras

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Lawrence Summers discusses the economic damage being done by a top-heavy income spectrum – as the effect of major stimulus programs may have been wholly outweighed by the decline in middle-class incomes.

– Meanwhile, Canadians for Tax Fairness points out the impending tax court case which will . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

The Canadian Progressive: NDP MP Randall Garrison introduces bill to repeal Bill C-51

Randall Garrison’s Bill C-303 seeks to repeal the Harper-era “secret police” legislation, Bill C-51 or Anti-terrorism Act, 2015. Experts and rights groups say C-51 violates the Canadians Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The post NDP MP Randall Garrison introduces bill to repeal Bill C-51 appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

. . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: NDP MP Randall Garrison introduces bill to repeal Bill C-51

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Owen Jones offers his take on how the UK’s Labour Party should proceed following Jeremy Corbyn’s most recent leadership victory – and while the exact circumstances may not apply to the NDP’s upcoming leadersh… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Branko Milanovic examines whether the U.S.’ tax system is actually progressive all the way to the top of the income spectrum – and finds that there’s not enough data about the treatment of the extremely wealthy to be sure. And Robert Cribb and Marco Chown Oved discuss the latest Panama Papers revelations showing the large-scale stashing of Canadian assets in the Bahamas.

– Laura Wright reports that Canada’s federal government has approved secret surveillance technology which leaves the public in the dark as to which of its communications are subject to eavesdropping.

– Meanwhile, the federal government is rather less interested in the public safety concerns involved in documenting the fires on the First Nations reserves within its jurisdiction – having abandoned that task in 2010.

– Ross Belot writes that there’s no point in approving and building new pipelines at the moment other than political posturing. And the CP reports on the connection between air pollution from tar sands developments and the health of residents of the area.

– Finally, Adnan Al-Daini is encouraged by Sweden’s move toward a repair-not-replace mindset, and suggests the idea should spread further:

If more countries followed the Swedish example, think of the impact that would have globally on our CO2 emissions. Manufacturing goods is energy intensive. The website “Fix it-Don’t replace it” gives the example of the iphone6 where 85% of its lifecycle’s carbon footprint is from manufacturing it, not using it and another 3% from shipping it.

Climate change is with us already and such measures are needed as a matter of urgency. Such a proposal should not be a party political issue. Good quality jobs would be created in the country where the appliance is used. It would save the consumer money, and it is good for the environment.

Could we do something similar in Britain?  Does this have to be a political issue and parties have to have it in their manifestos before it could happen?  I don’t see where disagreement between parties could arise.

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning 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… . . . → 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, on the forces competing to determine the scope and shape of Canada’s security state – and why we shouldn’t think it’s good enough to settle for a status quo which includes needless intrusions into our civil liberties. For further reading…- Jim … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your long weekend reading.- Marc Jarsulic, Ethan Gurwitz, Kate Bahn and Andy Green comment on how corporate monopoly power and rent-seeking produce disastrous public consequences:Income inequality is rising, middle-class incomes ar… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links