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Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Marc Lee looks in detail at the risks involved in relying on tar sands development as an economic model: The UK outfit Carbon Tracker was the first to point out this means we are seeing a “carbon bubble” in our financial markets – that  fossil fuel companies, whose business model is the extraction of carbon, are over-valued on the stock markets of the world. This analysis was subsequently picked up by Bill McKibben in his now-famous article, “Global Warming’s Terrifying Math,” which launched the fossil fuel divestment movement, plus some local (Read more…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Glenn Greenwald on why government snooping is dangerous and what we can do about it

Journalist and author Glenn Greenwald suggests how we can protect ourselves from government snooping, and defend our civil liberties in the digital age.

The post Glenn Greenwald on why government snooping is dangerous and what we can do about it appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Suzanne Goldenberg discusses the World Bank’s findings that a smart set of policies to combat climate change can actually improve global economic growth. And Duncan Cameron makes clear that the perpetual austerity demanded by the same parties who insist we can’t afford to act on climate change serves only to make sure that growth doesn’t benefit workers: Dating back to the 1980s, CUPE studies by John Calvert and his successor Toby Sanger, have shown how wages have consistently lagged economic growth. Both Andrew Jackson, and now Angela McEwan of the CLC have (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Neera Tanden points out that a wide range of citizens rely on a strong safety net at one time or another – and suggests that it’s long past time to start discussing how important social programs have been in our own lives: I believe we have a historic opportunity to address poverty today, because the interests of low-income people and the middle class are converging. Median wages—the wages of middle-income earners—have been stagnant for twelve years. People recognize there is growing inequality in this country and that something is amiss when companies are (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Emmett Macfarlane and Justin Ling both weigh in on the Cons’ newly-unveiled prostitution legislation – which seems downright calculated to exacerbate the risks to sex workers’ lives and safety that resulted in the previous version being struck down as unconstitutional.

- And on the subject of policy designed entirely out of prejudiced desire to punish and exclude marginalized groups, Christopher Ingraham writes about a study showing that restrictive voter ID laws arise out of discriminatory intent.

- Newsweek takes note of the Harper Cons’ gag order against meteorologists informing the public about (Read more…)

Things Are Good: It’s Time to Reset the Net

One year ago today Edward Snowden revealed to the world evidence that many long suspected – that the American government is actively performing mass surveillance. Innocent people have been targeted and information the likes of which we’ll never fully know has been collected on nearly anyone who’s used the internet.

It’s not just the American NSA that is spying on the public – it’s global. In Canada, CSEC has been collecting mass data on the Canadian populace no matter who it is. In this sort of police state surveillance we need to operate as if everything we do online is (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Why Has the Canadian Gvt Given Up on Protecting Our Privacy?

by: MICHAEL GEIST | June 4, 2014

In recent years, it has become fashionable to argue that Canadians no longer care about their privacy. Supporters of this position note that millions of people voluntarily post personal information and photos about themselves on social media sites, are knowingly tracked by Internet advertising giants and do not opt-out of “targeted” advertising from telecom companies. Yet if the past few months are any indication, it is not Canadians that have given up on privacy. It is the Canadian government.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the public (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- Tavis Smiley discusses the need to speak realistically about the causes and effects of poverty, rather than simply dismissing real human costs as somebody else’s fault and problem. And similarly, Tim Stacey comments on the appalling “empathy gap” – which sees upper-class mouthpieces complaining about the cost of luxuries while claiming that the poor have it easier in trying to scrape together the essentials of life.

- But for the most compelling indication as to the consequences of policies designed to attack rather than assist those in need, CBC reports on a (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Canada’s telecommunication providers and government agencies are each showing next to no regard for the privacy of consumers – and how the Cons want to make matters worse by allowing for far more sharing within the corporate sector.

For further reading…- Again, reporting on the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s investigation can be found here and here, with the response from the telecoms available in PDF here. – Bruce Schneier discusses the U.S.’ plan to privatize the surveillance state here. – Finally, the Cons’ amendments to the federal private-sector privacy legislation is here. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Andrew Jackson reviews Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, while Paul Mason offers a useful summary. And David Atkins applies its most important lesson in response to some typical right-wing spin prioritizing assets over incomes: (I)nstead of doing something about radical inequality, the new neoliberal answer is to give the 44% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck more savings vehicles and incentives to stash away money to pay for those increasingly impossibly high mortgage and tuition costs.

As the inequality problem becomes more and more severe and as Piketty’s arguments gain (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Sarah Ayres discusses the value of the social safety net as a matter of both social and economic policy: A significant body of evidence supports the view that, far from creating a so-called poverty trap, the safety net actually reduces poverty, increases economic mobility, and strengthens our national economy. Moreover, studies have shown that many antipoverty programs, especially those that target children, offer an excellent return on investment to taxpayers.…An analysis by the Council of Economic Advisers shows that when safety net programs are taken into account, the poverty rate actually fell from 26 percent in 1967 (Read more…)

OpenMedia.ca: Protect Our Privacy with our Letter to the Editor tool

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Highlight Link:  https://openmedia.org/privacy/letter

OpenMedia.ca: How Canadian companies can fight surveillance

Canadian Internet Service Providers are eerily silent when it comes to information about whether or not they have assisted ultra-secretive spy agency CSEC with their surveillance of law-abiding Canadians. Jon Penney discusses what Canadian companies can do to help fight surveillance.

Article by Jon Penney for The Citizen Lab

The Communications Security Establishment’s surveillance practices raise significant privacy concerns but full answers, transparency, or substantive reforms ensuring democratic oversight from either CSEC, or the Canadian Government, are not likely forthcoming. Canadians should also care about what to do in the meantime. Professor Michael Geist has recently posted about what average (Read more…)

OpenMedia.ca: Digital Journal: What will it take for CSEC spying to spark more outrage?

In this hard-hitting op-ed, George Arthur asks what it will take for Canadians to get answers about out-of-control spy agency CSEC.

Article by George Arthur for the Digital Journal

This is the question I am left with as I consider what it will take for Canadians to demand answers about the true operations of the spy agency that is set to move into the most expensive governmental building in the nation’s history.

According to the careers page for Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), “2014 promises to be an exciting year.” The organization is scheduled to move into “a newly (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Murray Dobbin points to the oil sector’s utter domination of Canada’s federal political scene. And Dr. Dawg sums up the problem: Briefly, the Harperium has now taken to grossly misusing the state apparatus to spy upon and intimidate citizens who dare to disagree with the Prime Minister. The RCMP and CSIS have been improperly deployed against perfectly non-violent folks who happen to oppose the development of the filthy, polluting Alberta Tar Sands—including a story-telling seniors’ group.

The cop-and-spook brigade have, as it turns out, been meeting in cabal with oil company execs, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Nora Loreto offers an important reminder as to why we contribute taxes to social well-being: (T)axes still pay for things we need. Everyone benefits from a universal system of healthcare. Everyone is touched by the birth of someone and nearly everyone will rely on the system in the moments that precede their death. These moments are expensive.…User fees exchanged for public services limits access; those who can pay are separated from those who cannot. The introduction of every new user fee will result in fewer people able to afford to access (Read more…)

OpenMedia.ca: The Day We Fight Back

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Highlight Link:  https://openmedia.ca/stand

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Zoe Williams interviews George Lakoff about the need for progressive activists and parties to work on changing minds rather than merely pursuing an elusive (and illusory) middle ground: (T)he left, he argues, is losing the political argument – every year, it cedes more ground to the right, under the mistaken impression that this will bring everything closer to the centre. In fact, there is no centre: the more progressives capitulate, the more boldly the conservatives express their vision, and the further to the right the mainstream moves. The reason is that conservatives speak from (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Ian Welsh discusses the nature of prosperity – and the illusion that it means nothing more than increased economic activity: All other things being equal more productive capacity is better. The more stuff we can make, in theory, the better off we’ll be. But in practice, it doesn’t always work that way.

Part of the problem is due to hierarchies and inequality. Inequality is undeniably bad for us. The more unequal your society is, the lower the median lifespan. The more unequal the society, the sicker, in general. More heart attacks, much more (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Lana Payne calls out Stephen Harper’s hypocrisy in paying lip service to the problems with the use of disposable temporary foreign labour while expanding exactly that policy throughout his stay in power: The program was supposed to be a last resort for employers dealing with skills shortages and used in a truly temporary fashion to fill high skill gaps until Canadians could be trained for those jobs.

That has not been the case under the current federal Conservative government. Not only has the program been used as a source of cheap labour, it (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Pierre Brochu and David Green study the effect of minimum wage rates, and find a connection between a higher minimum wage and greater employment stability. But if there’s a choice between stable, well-paying work and precarious employment where job churn and wage reductions are seen as the norm, far too many policy-makers are choosing the latter – as Annie Lowrey notes that U.S. states are actively slashing benefits for unemployed workers to force them to grab desperately at whatever is available.

- Meanwhile, Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato and Owen Zidar offer (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- George Monbiot criticizes the UK Cons’ latest effort to outlaw any form of individual action or expression which might intrude upon the corporate bubble: The existing rules are bad enough. Introduced by the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act, antisocial behaviour orders (asbos) have criminalised an apparently endless range of activities, subjecting thousands – mostly young and poor – to bespoke laws. They have been used to enforce a kind of caste prohibition: personalised rules which prevent the untouchables from intruding into the lives of others.

You get an asbo for behaving (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s “letter to the Brazilian people”

“At the NSA, I witnessed with growing alarm the surveillance of whole populations without any suspicion of wrongdoing, and it threatens to become the greatest human rights challenge of our time,” says whistleblower Edward Snowden in this “open letter to the Brazilian people”, published by the Folha de S Paulo newspaper:

The post NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s “letter to the Brazilian people” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Michael Katz looks back at how the U.S. abandoned its poor – and how that choice continues to affect people across the income spectrum today. And Michael Valpy discusses how Canada can and should avoid travelling any further down the same path – with his “Big Four” ideas focusing on mandatory voting, proportional representation, a guaranteed basic income and protections for vulnerable workers.

- Jeffrey Simpson describes the Cons’ narrow focus on about 10 per cent of the Canadian electorate in the lead up to the next federal election, while Andrew Jackson (Read more…)

OpenMedia.ca: The Ryan and Amy Show tackles surveillance issues with a catchy music video

Check out this great video by The Ryan and Amy Show. Do you always feel like somebody’s watching you too? You can learn more about Canada’s largest pro-privacy coalition at https://OurPrivacy.ca

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