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Showing posts from June, 2014

The Importance of Being Albert

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Albert Einstein


"Our failure of imagination regarding the ever-increasing production and use of fossil fuels will, over time, kill billions of us and irreversibly change all life on the planet. It is a failure of imagination not at a policy level but at the level of civilization. It’s not a lack of knowledge – we have a staggering amount of information and analysis, a frightening compendium of what we are doing to ourselves and every other species on the planet. We keep piling it on, study after study, dire warning after dire warning, irrefutable science, actual evidence of melting ice-caps, the virtually unprecedented level of agreement on the part of science about where we are headed. Additional information is already hitting up against the principle of diminishing re…

First Nations hold final 'healing walk' in oilsands

"For the fifth year straight, we will smell the crude oil and toxic plumes, especially if the wind 

pushes back south. Some walkers, as in past years, will be forced to stop walking due to 

breathing difficulties or bloody noses.  We will walk at ground zero of the oilands, surrounded 

by vast oil sands mines."


By Eriel Deranger, Melina Laboucan-Massimo, for CBC NewsPosted: Jun 27, 2014 10:41 

AM ET


Read the full article here

Acronyms

CETA: Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement
TTIP: Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
NGO: Non-governmental Organization
ISDS: Investor State Dispute Settlement
EC: European Commission
EU: European Union
NAFTA: North American Free Trade Agreement
CCPA: Canadian Council for Policy Alternatives
TTP: Transpacific Trade Partnership


Thanks to the Canadian Council for Policy Alternatives I am creating a list of acronyms as a quick resource to help me understand policy and political blogs.

Racism

In this progressive and diverse community there have recently been incidents of public racism and homophobia. Mostly these incidents were met with jaw dropping shock because, well, we know better don’t we? But those who were targeted were attacked on a very deep level.
What can we do? We can’t muzzle homophobic white supremacists when they drive their trucks on to the ferry and speed around the island. Neither can we expurgate the minds of  our neighbours before they decide to spray the commons with their racist slurs. But there is something we can do, even if we are too shocked to respond at the time. We can examine the source of the phenomenon. 
Racism is not about the colour of one’s skin; anti-Semitism is not about where you pray;  and homophobia is not about who you love.  All of these are about our fundamental homelessness in a world that measures our worth by the things we own.
If we are valued by our degrees, positions, homes and cars – the blood running through our veins, …

Misogyny

But, said Tahir, militarism and its impact on women is “not specific to Pakistan.” Even the U.S. Pentagon’s own report found that violent sex crimes committed by active U.S. Army soldiers have increased by 50 percent, reflecting a rate that is far higher than in the general population. “When Pakistani men commit such crimes,” said Tahir, “it’s called ‘honor killings,’ and we condemn entire cultures for it.” But “when it’s Western men who commit such crimes we tend to look for psychological explanations.” So, the Isla Vista killer, Elliot Rodger, was described as a “troubled kid with high-functioning Asperger’s syndrome,” and U.S. soldiers committing sex crimes are seen through the lens of post-traumatic stress disorder from the battlefield.  

Sonali Kolhatkar, Truthdig

Plutonomics

"Ajay Kapur, global strategist at Citigroup, and his research team came up with the term “Plutonomy” in 2005 to describe a country that is defined by massive income and wealth inequality. According to their definition, the U.S. is a Plutonomy, along with the U.K., Canada and Australia." Robert Franks. 

Read more here.
Read Edward Fullbrook here
Or rational wiki here.

In France, the U.K., and the U.S., the share of total income currently appropriated by capital is thirty per cent. The top 0.1 per cent of income earners own twenty per cent of wealth. The top one per cent own 40 per cent. The top ten per cent own 80 to 90 per cent. The bottom 50 per cent own a mere five per cent of wealth.

Al Engler - Capitalism actually widens economic disparity, rabb.ca.