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Showing posts from July, 2017

Democracy in Chains

In a recent post (Missing Links) by George Monbiot we learn of how American democracy has been crippled by corporate funded economic theories. 

Papers found by Nancy MacLean at Virginia University after the death of James McGill Buchanan are the subject of her latest book Democracy in Chains: the deep history of the radical right’s stealth plan for America.

Buchanan's theories influenced by the neoliberalism of Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises,  argued that freedom is the absolute right to use your property however you wish without interference from society, human rights, social justice, and labour laws which are seen as exploiting "men of property on behalf of the undeserving masses." 

Monbiot's post is worth reading for how it reveals the progression from Western democracy and the threat of totalitarian capitalism.

Restless is the Heart of an Exile

From Ascent Aspirations Friday's Poem 

This little town holds
a contained and fragile charm
where my elsewhere-birthed spirit
learns to survive.
My sustaining friends candle it into home
though shadows shimmer in curtained corners.
The land of ancestors buried in hard-won sacred soil
calls out to my waiting bones...
I am forbidden to answer,
grieve for my moment to come
when alien soil covers restless remains
and spirit hovers between
the world that barely embraces me
and the pulsing claim of blood and ligament,
heart, spirit and tribal ties
that scream for my absorption
back into fiery particles that stoked my entity.
Wine cannot placate, bread of other fields seldom satisfies,
a communion I must re-learn.

Katherine L. Gordon
for Trump exiles from America.

Torturing Youth is Okay with us?

“More than two-thirds of Canadians feel Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the wrong choice in awarding a $10.5 million settlement to Omar Khadr, according to a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute.” CBC News
But we don’t see the survey questions in this article. How was the poll actually worded? Reading one article might make us believe we are well informed, but how does a single poll actually tell us how people feel?  
“And while the survey shows that a majority of Liberals and New Democrats are opposed to the government's decision, how the numbers compare to previous polling suggests that views on Khadr have hardened over the last decade — and that he remains a divisive figure.”
How can a single poll tell whether Khadr is a divisive figure or not? What information do respondents have to make such a claim? 
The article then switches to a former US special force soldier who was blinded in one eye during the 2002 firefight in Afghanistan involving Khadr.  Of course he would be critica…

Social Currencies

The business of keeping people alive, supporting one another, emergency and  crisis response, food banks, community libraries, child-raising, education, language development, storytelling in all its forms, transport, food production, water, electricity, communication, safe shelter - these are just a few of the capacities that have enabled our species to survive and thrive.  We take these things for granted in first world countries, until they are no longer there.

The people of Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and some Eastern European nations have lost their support systems. Refugees don't give their money away to pirates for a shaky sail in dinghies by choice. When societies are destroyed people become homeless.

No matter how established, cultured, intelligent or wealthy we are today, we are all refugees when the meaning of our life is translated into a single obsession - money.  Salaries, real estate, stocks, markets, jobs, economics, screeching media and weapons of mass destruction.

&quo…

Units of Power and Other Social Currencies

"Power does not necessarily imply the wish to destroy... (t)he question is why some people use power to destroy." Richard Koenigsberg

The question for me - is why I see everything in the political/economic world as a contest for more and more power?  Who can argue that our obsession with money is not about power?  If you have money you can hire people to do your work for you. You have banks eager to gain more business from you. You can pressure politicians with your lobbies. You can change the mandates of higher learning. You can bring other wealthy people together for global conferences. You can influence the UN and the EU, and since November 2016, you can even destroy America.

So I wish to defend my obsession with how power is destroying our civil societies. I come from a place where family ruled my world. They interpreted reality for me. They measured my worth with their judgemental comments. They told me what my intentions were, what I was thinking, and what I hoped to …

The Best Way to Celebrate Canada Day - Broadbent Institute

by Ed Broadbent from the Broadbent Institute

As Canada Day gifts go, Parliament’s adoption earlier this month of a bill prohibiting discrimination against transgender Canadians and affording them protection against hate crimes stands out. The steady expansion of rights for Canada’s LGBTQ community, which has accelerated since we became the first country outside of Europe to grant equal legal treatment of same sex marriage in 2005, is cause for celebration — for their own sake, but also for what they illustrate. Such changes don’t simply happen of their own accord. They are the outcome of substantial community mobilization and the commitment of talented activists who won’t take “No” for an answer. So much of what makes us proud about Canada is the product of such dedication; and the product, whether explicit or not, of a social democratic engagement to put equality and the good of all first. A quick look at our history makes the point. The decades-long struggle by women finally resulted …