November 22, 1963. Death of a president. Birth of an industry.
There have been an estimated 40,000 books (seriously — this is an actual New York Times estimate) written about John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 2,000 of which deal with the assassination 50 years ago today. And in those 2,000 books, there are about half that many conspiracy theories.
I’m a bit of a low-level follower of the Kennedy assassination. I say low-level, because compared to people who have spent five decades obsessing over the event, I’m a minor leaguer. But I think I have a better-than-average knowledge of the assassination, and (Read more…)
….everything you thought you knew about our democracy was an illusion? The following video, made before the last U.S. election and directed toward an American audience, will doubtlessly resonate with Canadians who despair of our current state:
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Assorted content to end your week.
- Armine Yalnizyan points out that Canada has followed the global pattern in which income growth has disproportionately been directed toward the few people with the most to begin with: Canada’s story pales in comparison – and so does our access to comprehensive and timely public data about the top 1 per cent. But the data we do have reveal the same troubling trends. In each phase of economic expansion since the 1980s, the top 1 per cent of Canadian tax-filers took a bigger share of income growth, and less of the hit in (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- There was never much doubt that the Cons’ demolition of Canada’s long-form census was intended to ensure that we lack data needed to develop evidence-based policies – and that the effects would be most significant among the most marginalized (or exclusive) groups. And Toby Sanger, pogge and the Globe and Mail editorial board all lament the result, while Sara Mayo observes the suspicion that the data trashed by the National Household Survey includes information about the ultra-wealthy.
- Meanwhile, Frances Russell highlights how the Cons are creating an expectation of falling standards (Read more…)
While I plan to do more with this topic tomorrow, the following video, via The Raw Story, offers some interesting insights on the minimum wage in the United States. All of the points made, moreover, are equally applicable to Canada.
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Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- The Globe and Mail weighs in on the Lac-Mégantic tragedy by pointing out that we should be far more concerned about public safety than technical defences and excuses. Saskboy notes that as soon as a corporation’s business choices lead to a massive public disaster, the result is a claim that it can’t be responsible for anything. Julian Sher looks at the history of cost-cutting by railroads including MMA, while Heather Mallick focuses on the issue of single-engineer trains.
- Stuart Trew catches Jean Charest and the Fraser Institute actively encouraging increased Canadian prescription (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Joseph Stiglitz makes the case for free trade talks to be based on the public interest rather than the further entrenchment of corporate power and siphoning of wealth to the top. But there’s little reason to expect a meeting of corporate and government figures to produce that result – particularly when (as the New York Times editorial board points out) the main area of agreement between the U.S.’ main political parties involves a mutual willingness to make public services and regulatory bodies subservient to the immediate interests of the business (Read more…)
This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Kathleen Geier makes the case for greater progressive activism at lower levels of government – and the point applies with equal force in Canada:
(T)hose of us who want to build a more progressive America would be well-advised to pay relatively less attention to presidential races and more attention to politics at the state and local level. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Because state and local races tend to have lower turnout, you get more bang for your activist buck. A relatively small but well-organized and committed group of activists (Read more…)
* It was no easy feat trying to keep my cool while racing in my high heels between Congressional and Senate offices in the scorching D.C. heat last Tuesday. More than once I wondered about the wisdom of leaving behind the comfortable Red Lake summer to join nearly four hundred other citizen lobbyists from […]
Is the Keystone XL pipeline really what President Obama wants to leave as his legacy, for future generations to remember him by – and curse him for? * Meanwhile climate destabilization continues as unabated as our carbon dioxide emissions: Czech PM Declares Emergency As Floods Threaten Prague: Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas declared a state of […]
With each story that I read about her, my respect for Elizabeth Warren grows. Would that Canada had someone similar to inspire us. Recommend this Post
The indomitable American spirit personified above. Whatever became of it? Below: Bogie as Philip Marlowe, with gun; the leader of another English-speaking country refusing to knuckle under to the Luftwaffe, also with gun.
We have learned, courtesy the news media, that membership in the National Rifle Association has surged past five million souls since the Sandy Hook Massacre of little children in Connecticut last December.
It would seem that a significant minority of our American cousins will let nothing stand in the way of their right to massive firepower, which they insist is protected by the Second Amendment of the (Read more…)
From Citizens Climate Lobby Canada: MAY 1, 2013 – “For the first time in 3 million years , the average daily concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, is about to exceed 400 parts per million (PPM), a strong indication that the Canada and other nations [...]
It’s always enjoyable (and all too rare!) to share good news, and I’m pleased that there’s some to share on this, the last Friday in April: The Ontario government under newly elected premier Kathleen Wynne announced on Wednesday that it will be partnering with the government of Manitoba and the International Institute for Sustainable Development [...]
* No matter how hard the fossil fools try to stuff the renewable energy genie back into the bottle (click here to read more about Kansas’s latest back-the-past bill), the green energy economy is growing. For example, in March 2013 the number of Australian homes with solar power systems passed the one million mark, according [...]
Lest anybody see the high-profile Atlanta example of standardized testing fraud as an isolated incident, Valerie Strauss writes about how Sask Party-style mandatory testing has produced similar problems across the U.S.: In the past four academic years, test cheating has been confirmed in 37 states and Washington D.C. (You can see details here, and, here, a list of more than 50 ways that schools can manipulate test scores.) The true extent of these scandals remain unknown, and, as Michael Winerip of The New York Times shows here in this excellent article, it is very hard
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On impending failures
Ever wonder what would happen to the reactionary conservative sense of identity if it ever ran out of things to be outraged about? Happily for its psyche, that is not likely to happen anytime soon. Recommend this Post
I’m on a (low-carbon) holiday for the next while, with little access to a computer, so please accept my apologies for delayed responses or posting of comments. All should be back to normal the last week of March. In the meantime, I scoured my files for some photos and graphics to post while I’m away [...]
It’s TED Talk Tuesday on 350orbust. Simran Sethi talks about engaging with people who seem to be our polar opposites.
This and that for your weekend reading.
- Plenty more commentators are taking a turn duly mocking the Cons’ Senate shenanigans. Here’s Tabatha Southey: In fact, Mr. Duffy lives and votes in Kanata, a suburb of Ottawa, in a home he purchased five years before he was appointed to the Senate in 2008. He has a modest, seasonal cottage in Cavendish, PEI, which is reportedly seldom used.
There are signs there may be a number of these houses across the country – dark, lifeless, spooky places children rush by after sundown because some people say those houses have senators.
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links
I was lucky enough to hear TEDx Vancouver when it was livestreamed in October. I knew then that I wanted to post Dr. John Izzo’s talk as soon as it was available on the internet; so here it is, The Defining Moment For A Generation-in-Waiting: A provocative and passionate public speaker and thought leader, Dr. [...]
Here, on Brad Wall’s off-key lobbying against action on climate change – and why we should see the bright side of having the Obama administration push us toward more sound environmental policy when far too many Canadian leaders have failed in their responsibilities.
For further reading…- Wall’s simultaneous lobbying for automatic pipeline approval and against any further Canadian action on climate change can be found here (see in particular the video clip to the right) and here.- Jeffrey Simpson and Tzeporah Berman have made similar points about the value of the U.S.’ message linking Canadian
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day
Brad Wall’s contrived outrage over foreign interference in domestic policy might be a bit less laughable if he didn’t make so much of a show of trying to dictate the U.S.’ own decisions.
[Edit: fixed wording.]
The times, they are a-changin’! Not only did President Obama speak clearly about the need to act on climate change in his State of the Union address earlier this week, yesterday on CBC Radio’s flagship supper-hour news show, As It Happens, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Jacobsen was interviewed about Canada’s lack of action [...]