Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Sunday, June 28, 2015

China's Stock Market Is Crashing: What You Need To Know

NEW YORK — After a sizzling rally that more than doubled the value of China's main stock market over the past year, investors are now heading for the exit.

China's Shanghai Composite plunged more than 7 per cent Friday, one of its biggest drops in the last 10 years. The index is down 19 per cent since its recent high reached June 12.

Workers at GM plant growing anxious with Camaro production set to end

With the production of Chevrolet Camaros in Canada on its final lap, and the last iconic muscle car set to roll off assembly lines at the end of November, workers at the General Motors plant in Oshawa, Ont., are growing increasingly worried about their future.

GM announced near the end of April that it will cut about 1,000 positions from the factory on Nov. 20, to coincide with the end of the Camaro's seven-year run in Canada.

Gap between Canada's middle class, wealthy 'starting to run away': report

A Canadian think-tank says the gap between the country's richest citizens and the middle class is starting to "run away," with wealthy 20-somethings now estimated to have a "half-a-million dollar head start" over their middle-class peers.

The report was released by the left-leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives earlier this week. It analyzed data from Statistics Canada's Survey of Financial Security, collected from 1999 to 2012.

Key emails in Prime Minister's Office at risk of deletion, report finds

Emails in the Prime Minister's Office are at risk of disappearing forever, and need to be better monitored to prevent staff from improperly deleting them.

That's the conclusion of a 16-month probe by Canada's information commissioner, triggered by the temporary disappearance of emails crucial to the RCMP's criminal investigation of Senator Mike Duffy over inappropriate expenses and housing allowance claims.

Right-wing extremism a greater threat in North America

The Charleston massacre at a historic black church served as a wake-up call in the U.S. to what some have dubbed “the other terror” — the threat posed by white supremacists, right-wing extremists and anti-government zealots.

Translation: the threat not posed by Al Qaeda or Islamic State extremists, which dominate today’s headlines and political agenda.

Washington’s New American Foundation released a study last week showing that nearly twice as many people were killed in the U.S. by non-Muslim perpetrators.

Could the Toronto G20 happen again?

It was the largest collective soul-searching in recent Toronto history.

In the bruised and battered aftermath of the G20 Summit, civil liberties advocates, former judges and watchdogs of all stripes dug into what went wrong during that fateful weekend in June 2010.

The dozens of recommendations contained in the pile of reports they produced strove toward a singular goal: to prevent a similar curtailment of civil liberties from ever happening again.

EU ministers refuse bailout extension for Greece as referendum looms

Europe’s single currency entered the stage of rupture for the first time in its 16-year life on Saturday night when 18 governments told Greece its bailout package would be terminated within days. The country plunged towards financial collapse after its leftwing prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, abandoned negotiations and called a referendum on his lenders’ terms for continuing the lifeline.

An emergency meeting of eurozone finance ministers took place in Brussels on Saturday evening without Greece for the first time since the crisis began in 2010. It turned into a crisis planning session devoted to quarantining Greece and insulating the rest of the eurozone from the impact of anticipated financial mayhem.

Mother Canada Monument Provokes War Of Words

INGONISH, N.S. - Rhadie Murphy has spent her life on the rugged coastline that snakes along Cape Breton's northern flank, its pink granite rocks stretching out near her home in the heart of Ingonish.

The 72-year-old is unreserved in her pride and praise of the small community on the eastern edge of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, calling that piece of the Cabot Trail "the most beautiful place in the world."

So Murphy and her large family were left shaking their heads in bewilderment when their tranquil hometown took centre stage in a fractious debate over Mother Canada, the towering war monument that could adorn their shoreline.

Native Children Are Facing A 'National Emergency.' Now Congress Is Pushing To Address It.

Robert Looks Twice grew up in a trailer with his grandmother, uncle and eight cousins on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Looks Twice, along with two other young Native people from Pine Ridge, was a subject of Diane Sawyer's "Children of the Plains," a special that first aired on ABC in 2011.

For many Americans, "Children of the Plains" was a startling glimpse into the poverty and despair affecting the lives of Native Americans. Five cousins share a single bedroom with a collapsing ceiling. People carry the scars of generations of alcoholism and addiction. They spend their days broken and weeping in the quivering grass of the hills where their ancestors -- Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull -- captured Custer's American flag at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876; where the 7th cavalry massacred the Lakota and poured their bodies into a mass grave at Wounded Knee in 1890. This is what happened to the first peoples of this land. This is the lot left to their children.

What's Missing From the Marriage Decision

Today's Supreme Court decision recognizing the constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry is a milestone in America's journey toward equal citizenship for all, regardless of sexual orientation. And while those of us who support marriage equality are right to rejoice, there remains one thing missing from Justice Anthony Kennedy's opinion: he refused (once again) to say that all laws that discriminate against LGBT people are subject to heightened judicial scrutiny.

Julian Assange: Mainstream Media Rife With Censorship

Seung-yoon Lee, CEO and co-founder of Byline and contributing editor to The WorldPost, recently conducted a rare exclusive three-hour interview with Julian Assange in the Embassy of Ecuador, London. The interview has been serialized into three parts.

In part two of the series, Assange reflects on media -- how it works, whether there is hope in new media models and citizen journalism and whether he prefers Rupert Murdoch or Eric Schmidt. Read the original interview here. Read part one here.

Why A Bailout Deal That Keeps Greece In Europe May Endanger Greek Democracy

An emerging bailout deal between Greece and its creditors likely would continue the status quo of austerity. This ongoing economic pain may embolden Greek authoritarian political forces that have ties to Russia, experts say.

Greece is still negotiating with lenders over how budget-tightening in a bailout deal will be distributed. But the country has already agreed to targets that economists have said will depress Greece’s economy, regardless of who shoulders them. Without a bailout deal or an extension of payment deadlines, Greece will default on installments due in the next few weeks.

Greece's Bailout Money Doesn't Really End Up In Greece

In 2010 and 2012, Greece accepted bailout deals from European creditors totaling hundreds of billions of euros in order to prevent the collapse of the Greek banking system. The funds kept Greece from a potential default that would force it out of the eurozone, but most of the enormous sum of money involved in the bailouts ultimately didn't end up funding public services or directly going to the Greek people.

Ted Cruz Wants To Be Able To Vote Out Supreme Court Justices

After calling the last day "some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation's history," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is now calling for Supreme Court justices to face elections.

In a National Review op-ed published Friday, Cruz chastised the high court for its decisions to reject a major challenge to Obamacare and to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.

China Makes 4th Recent Cut In Interest Rate To Boost Economy

BEIJING (AP) — China's central bank announced Saturday the fourth round of interest cuts in seven months and lower deposit-reserve ratios for some banks to lend to small and rural businesses, as Beijing tries to shore up the country's sluggish economy.

The announcement for the world's second-largest economy also followed a nearly 20 percent drop in China's stock market over the past two weeks.

Harper expresses mixed feelings about rise of political action committees

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he has mixed feelings about the rise of third party, U.S.-style political action committees and the impact they could have on Canada’s political system.

Speaking in an interview with Quebec City radio station FM93, Harper was asked if he was concerned by the appearance of these groups, including HarperPAC, a political action group that includes a number of former Conservative government staffers.

Clarence Thomas’s Disgraceful Definition of Human Dignity

During a break on my reporting trip to Ferguson, Missouri this spring, I visited the museum inside the Old Courthouse, a magnificent, green-domed federal-style building that sits in the shadow of the St. Louis Arch. It houses artifacts and displays relating to theDred Scott case, tried there in 1847; ten years later, in 1857, the United States Supreme Court would hand Scott—an enslaved man suing for freedom for himself and his family—his final judicial defeat. In arguably the worst decision ever handed down by any American court, in words that are displayed today inside that museum in large, bold, white letters, Chief Justice Roger Taney wrote that African Americans were “beings of an inferior order,” so much so that they had “no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”

19 Hysterical Passages From Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Dissenters

More ink was spilled dissenting today’s Supreme Court marriage equality decision than the majority’s opinion required. There were four different dissents, one by Chief Justice John Roberts (joined by Justices Scalia and Thomas), plus separate dissents from Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito.

The Next Tactic in the Right’s Fight Against Gay Marriage? ‘Religious Liberty’

As a jubilant crowd at the Supreme Court celebrated Friday’s 5-4 ruling that same-sex couples have a right to marry, moans of impotent fury emanated from conservatives in and out of the Court. “The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie,” Justice Antonin Scalia fumed in his dissenting opinion. In his own dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas argued that the Court should not worry about human dignity: “Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved,” he wrote. Justice Samuel Alito, also dissenting, fretted that homophobes now “will risk being labeled as bigots.”

International flotilla sets sail with Canadians on board to break Israel's economic siege on Gaza

Today, June 27th 2015 (4 am in Gaza), four boats of the 2015 the Freedom Flotilla III set sail from their final European points of departure. Through nonviolent resistance they will challenge the illegal blockade of the Palestinian Gaza strip, which is running on its 9th year, sailing as always from international waters directly into Palestinian waters.

The Flotilla is due to reach Gaza in just a few days. Participants on board include 48 people, among them human rights activists, journalists, artists, and political figures representing 17 countries. This is the third Freedom Flotilla to sail, in addition to nine single boats that have undertaken to sail to Gaza, beginning in 2008 when several voyages reached Gaza City harbour and returned to Europe from their mission of bringing supplies and solidarity to the people of Gaza.

HarperPAC Is Dead. What Was that About?

Even though one political action committee (PAC) has dirtied its last advertising space, there are still others in Canada scooping up globs of mud to fling at their political targets, and experts say the organizations can be dangerous for democracy.

The HarperPAC, created to help Stephen Harper win re-election, had existed merely a week and said it was established to stick it to unions during the lead up to the October election by countering similar groups established to support left-wing causes.

The Toronto G20 radicalized me

Tommy Taylor had never been to a protest. He had never spoken former Toronto Police chief Bill Blair’s name. In his own words, he was just a 30-year-old “straight white guy from Mississauga” who taught Shakespeare to high school students.

He was decidedly not an activist.

Then, on June 26, 2010, he wandered over to Queen’s Park to watch thousands marching down cop-lined streets during the G20 Summit. Hours later, he became one of hundreds rounded up and detained in a makeshift jail. He was crammed into a tiny cell for nearly 24 hours with 39 others and made to beg for water.

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras calls referendum on bailout terms

In a dramatic move that will put Europe on tenterhooks, the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras told his fellow citizens last night he would call a referendum on the bailout accord that international creditors have proposed to keep the debt-stricken country afloat.

Following an emergency meeting of his cabinet, Tsipras said his leftist-led government had decided a package of austerity measures proposed by the country’s creditors – made in a last-ditch effort to avert default – would be put to popular vote. The referendum will take place on Sunday 5 July.

Democracy on the Retreat in Over 96 of the 193 U.N. Member States, Says New Study

UNITED NATIONS, Jun 22 2015 (IPS) - Democracy is on the retreat and authoritarianism is on the rise in more than 96 of the U.N.’s 193 member states, according to a new report released here.

The two regions of “highest concern” for defenders of civic space are Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa, which between them account for over half of the countries counted.

These violations are increasing not only in countries perceived to be democratic but also in countries with blatantly repressive regimes.

Conservatives overrule speaker, force vote on controversial labour bill

OTTAWA — Conservatives in the Senate have used their majority to overrule their own Speaker and force a final vote on a controversial labour bill.

Claude Carignan, the Conservative leader in the upper chamber, was backed by all but six of his own senators in shooting down a ruling by Speaker Leo Housakos that would have prevented the government from ending debate on Bill C-377.

The 10 Most Wild Lines From Antonin Scalia’s Extreme Dissent Over Gay Marriage

In a 5-4 decision penned by Justice Anthony Kennedy and joined by the court's liberal wing, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the entire country Friday morning.
Unsurprisingly, the other four conservative justices on the court besides Kennedy disagreed, each writing his own dissent. Antonin Scalia's, per usual, is a classic. Legalizing same-sex weddings isn't just a threat to traditional marriage for Scalia. Nay, it is a sign of democracy's downfall. Just "ask a hippie."

Attack, Explosion At Gas Factory In Southeastern France Leaves 1 Decapitated, Several Wounded

SAINT-QUENTIN-FALLAVIER, France (AP) -- A truck driver once under surveillance for radical Islamic ties crashed into an American-owned chemical warehouse in southeastern France on Friday and hung his employer's severed head on a factory gate, along with banners with Arabic inscriptions.

The attack, which triggered an explosion that wounded two people, came on a day of violence that spanned three continents.

Here are the new requirements for Canadian citizenship

The new requirements for Canadian Citizenship have been in force since June 11, 2015.
One of the most important changes is the requirement that an individual must now be physically in Canada for 4 years over a 6-year period. The old rule was physical presence in Canada for 3 years out of a 4-year period.
To quote the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander, "We are eliminating long backlogs, and streamlining our own processes. At the same time, we are ensuring Canadian citizenship is highly valued and stays that way. Promise made, promise kept when it comes to strengthening the value of Canadian citizenship."

What happens to a fear merchant when people stop buying?

You can tell a lot about people by what they believe in. Money. Art. Jesus. Bingo. All roadmaps to the soul.

Stephen Harper has built his government and his career on information control and marketing. The nerd nobody liked is getting even; he now edits reality full-time.

As we begin the bumpy descent towards the October election (assuming it will be called), there is only one question to be answered: can Harper (assuming he runs) market his way to victory in the most important election in the country’s history?

Here are 17 more Conservative friends of Stephen Harper now in trouble with the law

So, ex-Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro is headed to jail.

A Peterborough judge sentenced the Prime Minister's former Parliamentary Secretary to one month in jail and four months of house arrest after being convicted of charges relating to election law violations and submitting falsified documents to the court.

'Is It Going to Help My Immigration?'

Bob Wang is selling his Japanese restaurant in Victoria. He started posting ads over a year ago and has been getting multiple offers almost every week since.

But Wang has refused them all.

"They don't even ask much about the business," said Wang. "The people don't even have the experience in food."

There is only one question prospective buyers are keen for Wang to answer: "Is it going to help my immigration?"

Can You Trust Justin Trudeau?

Here we go again -- the Red Book 3.0. Yet another build-up of Liberal election promises just like the ones we've seen before (though I admit the one about changing the voting system might be hard to dodge).

The most infamous, of course, was Jean Chretien's, which he held high and waved at every opportunity in the 1993 election. Co-authored by Paul Martin, it promised the world as we would like it: strong communities, enhanced Medicare, equality, increased funding for education, an end to child poverty. You could almost hear the violins playing. But what turned out to be the most remarkable thing about the book of promises was the record number that were ultimately broken: all of them.

Other third parties should follow HarperPAC’s lead, close up shop, says Kingsley

OTTAWA - Canada's former chief electoral officer applauded the abrupt end of a controversial Conservative political action committee Friday and called on similar third-party groups to shut their doors as well.

Jean-Pierre Kingsley said he was "very happy" to learn the group known as HarperPAC had shut down, and said he believes others — including the left-leaning Engage Canada — ought to follow suit.

The website for HarperPAC, the brainchild of several longtime Conservative supporters, disappeared late Thursday after a party spokesman publicly criticized the group — particularly its choice of name.

Conservative officials angered by creation of ‘HarperPAC’

OTTAWA—Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not give permission to HarperPAC — a third-party group advertising for political support — to use his name, a senior Conservative spokesman says.

The Conservative party’s top officials are furious about the newcomer to the pre-election campaign, said Kory Teneycke, a former executive with Sun News and past aide to Harper, who is handling much of the party’s advertising and campaign messaging. He said they are looking at possible “legal remedies” to ensure there is no confusion between the two.

Stephen Harper could have avoided Mike Duffy woes by obeying the law

Poor Stephen Harper. If the prime minister had only followed the law, his life would be so much simpler.

The law in question is the Constitution Act of 1867. Specifically, it is that portion of the act that requires a senator to be “resident in the province for which he is appointed.”

If Harper had bothered to follow the law in 2009, he never would have appointed Mike Duffy to represent Prince Edward Island in the Senate — for the simple reason that the television journalist didn’t, under any stretch of the imagination, live in that province.

Shoal Lake Residents Weep As Feds Refuse To Commit Money For Construction

SHOAL LAKE, Man. - Residents of a First Nation under one of Canada's longest boil-water advisories wept Thursday after the federal government refused to commit to help fund the construction of a road connecting the community with the outside world.

Both Manitoba and the city of Winnipeg announced a commitment Thursday to fund part of the cost of a permanent, all-weather road for Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, which straddles the Ontario-Manitoba boundary.

"An Age of the Statistically Unlikely": An Interview With Presidential Candidate Jill Stein

Green Party candidate Jill Stein officially announced she is running in the 2016 presidential race on June 22, during an interview on Democracy Now!. She held a campaign kickoff event the following day at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, where antiwar activist Medea Benjamin and racial justice activist Marsha Coleman-Adebayo introduced and endorsed her campaign.

The main planks of Stein's presidential platform include a "Green New Deal," ending mass incarceration and police brutality, a $15 per hour federal minimum wage, a single-payer health-care system, universal public education and the abolition of student debt, breaking up big banks and nationalizing the Federal Reserve, initiating a global treaty to reverse climate change and ending extreme forms of extraction.

Here Are The Best (Worst) Lines From Antonin Scalia's Raging SCOTUScare Dissent

WASHINGTON -- Backers of the Affordable Care Act were treated to twin delights on Thursday: First, the law was upheld, so nobody will be kicked off their insurance by the Supreme Court. And second, the dissent was written by Justice Antonin Scalia who, when angry (which is always), has a penchant for literary drama.

"Words no longer have meaning," Scalia wrote in the dissent he read from the bench.

They might not, but that didn't stop Scalia from piling them on top of each other in an angry heap. Here are some of the choicest of his meaningless words. (The attempt by opponents of Obamacare to argue that the law didn't say what it very plainly did say was silly to begin with; that it was rejected means that words do, in fact, have meaning. But this isn't a place to argue with Scalia. Let's just let him rip.)

Clarence Thomas: Racial Imbalances Aren't Always A Bad Thing, Just Look At The Mostly Black NBA

In a sharply divided 5-4 ruling on Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld the use of disparate impact claims under the 1968 Fair Housing Act, finding that policies and practices with discriminatory effects can be challenged under the law, even when there was no intent to discriminate. Fair housing advocates said the decision will enable them to continue rooting out racial discrimination at a time when overt bias has largely been replaced by more unconscious or implicit forms of prejudice. But Justice Clarence Thomas argued that racial disparities often appear without the help of discrimination -- and sometimes to the benefit of the minority group -- citing the racial makeup of the NBA as proof.

Bernie Sanders Surges In New Hampshire Polls

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), once considered a long shot for president, has been gaining in recent polls in New Hampshire, a key primary state, and may present a serious challenge to Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

A CNN/WMUR poll released Thursday shows that Sanders is just 8 percentage points behind Clinton. Among Democratic primary voters surveyed, 45 percent said that Sanders "cares the most about people like you," while 24 percent said the same about Clinton. When asked which Democratic candidate "best represents the values of Democrats like yourself," 41 percent said Sanders, and 30 percent said Clinton.

The Myth of Harper's Economic Competence

The Harper government has managed to convince many Canadians that it is a "steady hand" when it comes to the economy. This, of course, is a falsehood.

The Conservatives have deployed a well-oiled communications plan using catch phrases like "we're focused on jobs, growth and long term prosperity" or branding the federal budget as the "Economic Action Plan."

The Conservatives spend tens of millions of dollars of your money each year on partisan advertising -- selling Canadians a very tall tale.

Leaks reveal how Ottawa cultivated ties before $15-billion Saudi arms deal

The Canadian government carefully courted Saudi Arabia in the years leading up to an unprecedented $15-billion arms sale to Riyadh brokered by Ottawa that remains shrouded in secrecy, documents show.

Secret Saudi government documents made public last week by Wikileaks offer a glimpse of how the Harper Conservatives sought closer relations with the Saudis – an effort that paid off in 2014 with a massive deal to sell made-in-Canada armoured fighting vehicles to the Arab state.

Oldest active federal access-to-information requests stretch back to 2009

OTTAWA - It's been said the wheels of justice turn slowly, and a new look at Canada's creaky access-to-information system appears to bear that out.

According to data collected as part of a Liberal question in the House of Commons, Justice Canada is the federal department with the longest running, active access-to-information request — an unfulfilled inquiry that dates back more than six years.

Canadian woman faces 33 years in U.S. prison for protecting kids from abusive father

When Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced he was leaving politics to spend more time with his top priority -- a family he began with his spouse, Nazanin Afshin-Jam, who advocates for an end to violence against women and children -- he missed the opportunity to protect a Canadian family of four who are all survivors of brutal violence inflicted by a U.S.-based father and ex-husband.
Now, that family -- all Canadian citizens -- lives in daily fear of being torn apart as a result of Canada's woefully unfair Extradition Act, under which the U.S. is seeking the mother for an alleged violation of a highly problematic custody order. She faces up to 33 years behind bars because she and her children had had enough of the violence they experienced while living stateside and chose, instead, to live, by coming to Canada.

Canada's foreign aid commitment to contraception low despite great need

There are many things Margaret Simon lacks in her job as a health professional. First, there's no running water at the hospital where she works in Tanzania. She could also use a proper light in the exam room, so minor procedures could be done there rather than having to squeeze into the operating theatre between surgeries.

But she also needs a more reliable supply of contraceptives. Specifically, Depo Provera, which she says her patients prefer because they can take it even if their husbands don't approve of birth control.

A Foot in the Door: For Aging Renters, Housing Costs Far from Fixed

Maxine Shearer "can't believe" it's been 25 years since she moved into her one-bedroom apartment in a "nice area of the West End."

"It's not one of the renovated ones" in her 19-story building, Shearer told me. "But it's not a bad apartment at all."

The British native -- who also has trouble believing she's 66 -- came to Canada at 18 and lived in Toronto before moving to Vancouver in 1974. She'd never considered moving until a developer bought her building in 2013, and the city tripled height restrictions in her area.

Neoliberalism steamrolling public education in B.C.

Public education in British Columbia is struggling against a thickening neoliberal framework.
The deterioration of public education is not unique to the region, but to use it as a model paints a rather bleak picture.
In 2014, the British Columbia Teacher's Federation clashed with the B.C. Liberals who had twice appealed a Supreme Court ruling on class size regulation, and would not provisionally fund education while their second appeal was being completed. The school year began three weeks late.

CPC accused of banning conservative C-51 protesters from social media

The Harper government has seen intense backlash in the polls and on the streets from Canadians protesting C-51, its anti-terrorism legislation, from expected political, legal and civil society sources in the security vs. civil liberties debate.

The backlash from the conservative grassroots, on the other hand, has been a little unexpected.

Free Dominion co-founder Connie Fournier recently wrote a column on iPolitics, calling her conservative cohorts to arms over C-51, which she and many others regard as a perversion of the conservative approach to security and, as she put it, “the worst piece of legislation I’ve ever seen”.

Investors Who Made Cash Off U.S. Housing Collapse Now Betting Against Canada: Reports

  • Crash could come in autumn, when U.S. expected to raise rates
  • Vancouver expected to be epicentre
  • Similar bets against Canada made in 2013, no collapse followed
When it comes to Canada’s housing markets, there’s a big difference between how Canadians perceive things and how the rest of the world does.

Green Jill Stein Is Fighting for Open Debates and Real Democracy

Dr. Jill Stein has some great ideas about how to create “deep system change, moving from the greed and exploitation of corporate capitalism to a human-centered economy that puts people, planet and peace over profit.”

If the 2012 Green Party presidential nominee and contender for the party’s 2016 nod gets a hearing, those ideas will expand and improve the national debate. They could also strike a chord with the millions of Americans who are ready for a plan to “end unemployment and poverty; avert climate catastrophe; build a sustainable, just economy; and recognize the dignity and human rights of everyone in our society and our world.”

Privatizing Primer

Every once in a while I try to take the many complicated and twisty threads, back up, and tie them into a bigger picture. Think of this as the kind of post you can share with people who don't read blogs about education every single day (no kidding -- there are such people, and they're too busy doing the work to spend time reading about doing the work).

There are many threads to the reformy movement in education, but perhaps the most predominant one is the push for privatization. Many folks look at education and they just see a gigantic pile of money that has previously gone untouched. To them, education is a multi-billion dollar industry that nobody is making real profit from.