Harper Government: 1 Information Commissioner: 0 (for now)
It feels way too early in the morning to get fired up about science, but seriously. Seriously!
On any good day, I’m volatile and too easily get fired up when I’m told I don’t need to know something for my own good. I call bullshit. But when the Harper Government (formerly known as the Government of Canada) decides to muzzle our scientists from speaking about their research? And thereby violating our Access to Information Act?
I call bullshit.
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Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.
- Eleanor Roosevelt speaking on the Universal Declaraton of Human Rights
An Economic Fairy Tale
The NSAScene- Good Will Hunting (1997)
Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt they can’t afford the time to think. Tuition fee increases are a “disciplinary technique,” and, by the time students graduate, they are not only loaded with debt, but have also internalized the “disciplinarian culture.” This makes them efficient components of the consumer economy.
- Noam Chomsky
Courtesy of the Toronto Star:
In southern Cambodia, a coalition of NGOs claim that more than 12,000 people have lost their homes, farmland, community forests or grazing land through the development of industrial sugarcane plantations, 10 of which have been linked to CPP senator-tycoon Ly Yong Phat.
With both state and private security forces having been accused of burning crops and shooting livestock, the Clean Sugar Campaign is calling on the European Union to boycott Cambodian “blood sugar” — an export that benefits from a duty- and quota-free EU trade initiative aimed at “fostering development” in the world’s poorest countries.
At Boeung Kak, protests have been quashed by police with riot shields, motorbike helmets and electric batons. Live ammunition and bulldozers have been used at other disputed sites in the city. Elsewhere in the country, the story is much the same.
Visit the Clean Sugar Campaign for more details.
“A Message for Mankind” [is] a stirring mashup of Charlie Chaplin’s famous speech from The Great Dictator and scenes of humanity’s most tragic and most hopeful moments in recent history, spanning everything from space exploration to the Occupy protests, with an appropriately epic score by Hans Zimmer.
Today…we seem to be living in a zero sum society, where the prevailing wisdom is that the rich are getting richer while the poor or getting poorer; that whatever prosperity might be available is being unequally shared; and for many, opportunity is actually shrinking. In the same way that feelings of well -being can generate good will, feelings of threat spawn envy and recrimination. This not only explains the anger of the Occupy Movement or the students protesting in the streets of Montreal but also the disdain that the middle class has for “pampered” public sector employees or the excessive obsession the rich seem to have about the poor “ripping off the system”.
Once the population starts to segment itself into “us versus them,” anyone with a vested interest in exacerbating the rift can easily till that soil. And that is clearly what is happening in the political process today.
-Allan Gregg in his September 2012 address to Carlton University, “1984 in 2012: The Assault on Reason..
Read the full text here.