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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Joe Fiorito: An open letter to the Occupiers (in the Toronto Star)

"You showed us that an open hand is better than a fist. You illustrated all the ways the rich have made a breakfast of the poor. You pointed an accusing finger at those who have stubbed out their dreams in the ashtrays of their hearts.

...

"Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. – Reinhold Niebuhr (1892- 1971)"

Full article: Toronto News: Fiorito: An open letter to the Occupiers.

Tom Kent: How to revive Canada’s dream of social democracy (in the Toronto Star)

The late social policy pioneer Tom Kent writes, in an article published posthumously, about how to make social programs work in our unwieldy democracy:

How to revive Canada’s dream of social democracy.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Occupy Everywhere: Michael Moore, Naomi Klein on Next Steps for the Movement Against Corporate Power (in Democracy Now!)

Discussion hosted by The Nation magazine and The New School in New York City, features Oscar-winning filmmaker and author Michael Moore; Naomi Klein, best-selling author of the "Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism"; Rinku Sen of the Applied Research Center and publisher of ColorLines; Occupy Wall Street organizer Patrick Bruner; and veteran journalist William Greider, author of "Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country."

Occupy Everywhere: Michael Moore, Naomi Klein on Next Steps for the Movement Against Corporate Power.

Michael Moore:

"So, if you’re at home and you’re watching this and you’re in some out-of-the-way place, you already own it. This is already your country. You—you have been occupied by Wall Street. Your homes have been occupied by Wall Street. Your government has been occupied by Wall Street. Your media has been occupied by Wall Street. And it’s OK for you to say, "Not anymore. Those days are over. End of story.""

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tim Harper: A winter of aboriginal agony must lead to action (in the Toronto Star)

Canada News: Tim Harper: A winter of aboriginal agony must lead to action.

Rick Salutin: Non-violence is back and shaking things up (in the Toronto Star)

Percy Bysshe Shelley - 1819:

"“Let a great assembly be/ Of the fearless, of the free . . . Stand ye calm and resolute,/ Like a forest close and mute,/ With folded arms and looks which are/ Weapons of unvanquished war . . . With folded arms and steady eyes,/ And little fear, and less surprise/ Look upon them as they slay/ Till their rage has died away/ Then they will return with shame/ To the place from which they came . . .”"

Salutin: Non-violence is back and shaking things up.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Weeding out corporate psychopaths (in the Toronto Star)

Weeding out corporate psychopaths.

Silly photo - but food for thought!

Study finds Arctic sea ice drop greatest, longest in 1,400 years (in the Toronto Star)

"“When we look at our reconstruction, we can see that the decline that has occurred in the last 50 years or so seems to be unprecedented for the last 1,450 years,” Christian Zdanowicz of the Geological Survey of Canada said Wednesday.

"“It’s difficult not to come up with the conclusion that greenhouse gases must have something to do with this,” added Zdanowicz, one of the co-authors of the report in Nature.

"“We cannot account for this decline by processes that are ‘natural.’”"

Full article: Canada News: Study finds Arctic sea ice drop greatest, longest in 1,400 years.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Catherine Porter on Occupy Toronto: They can’t evict a conversation (in the Toronto Star)

"I can think of a few old ideas that fit their philosophy of the “commons”: food cooperatives; credit unions; community gardens; community kitchens; cooperative housing. Why not talk in the rests between building something permanent, rather than in between police raids?

"Plus, it’s easier to think with a hammer in your hand."

Full article: Occupy Toronto: They can’t evict a conversation.

Good advice from a caring Toronto columnist.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tim Harper: For Conservatives, contrary positions are treasonous (in the Toronto Star)

"..to hear the noise from the Conservative side of the House of Commons this week, one would think that the Halifax NDP MP and her colleague from Nickel Belt, Claude Gravelle, were treasonous subversives who should be drawn and quartered at dawn.

"Their crime?

"They went to Washington to provide a different point of view on the Keystone XL pipeline project and to tell American legislators that, contrary to the cheerleading of Stephen Harper and his cabinet, not every Canadian was a proponent of Alberta’s tar sands.

...

"... Harper’s complaints ring a tad hollow considering he used the Fox News pulpit in 2003 to accuse then-Prime Minister Jean Chr├ętien of hypocrisy for keeping Canada out of the George W. Bush-led invasion of Iraq.

"Then the opposition leader, he told Americans he backed the war and was speaking for “the silent majority” of Canadians."

Full article: Canada News: Tim Harper: For Conservatives, contrary positions are treasonous.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thomas Walkom: Evictions offer honourable way out for Occupy protesters (in the Toronto Star)

"[The occupiers] ... now have a chance to strengthen their fragile alliances with other organizations, such as labour unions, that are dissatisfied with inequality in Canadian life.

"More important, they can now redirect their energies toward the specific elements of Canadian political economy that encourage such inequalities — from the tax code to municipal outsourcing to the provincial welfare system to the federal government’s war on labour."

Full article: Canada News: Walkom: Evictions offer honourable way out for Occupy protesters.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Idealism in a ‘deeply cynical age’ (in the Toronto Star)

The Star's Jennifer Wells interviews Jeffrey Sachs, the author of the End of Poverty, hailed to be one of the hundred most influential people, turns a critical eye to his home country, the U.S. Jeffrey Sachs calls for a return to civic virtue, compassion for others and the creation of a mindful society. He spoke with the Star by phone..

Full interview: Idealism in a ‘deeply cynical age’.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tyler Hamilton: Time to reboot Ontario’s approach to energy conservation (in the Toronto Star)

"...the only way to help Ontario ratepayers cope with rising electricity rates over the long term is to push for deep energy conservation in households across the provinces.

"And here’s the thing: it could, if done properly, barely cost anything for the province and municipalities to make such a serious conservation push."

Tyler Hamilton describes how this could happen, using an approach that is attracting interest in 26 states and Nova Scotia, but to have it happen, "[you] have to have the province, the financial institutions and the City of Toronto all sitting in the same room talking about this issue," says Tim Stoate, an associate director and investment expert at the Toronto Atmospheric Fund.

Full article: Hamilton: Time to reboot Ontario’s approach to energy conservation.

Canadian’s lucky iron fish saves lives in Cambodia (in the Toronto Star)

"“You can have the best treatment in the world, but if people won’t use it, it won’t matter.”"

Full article: Canadian’s lucky iron fish saves lives in Cambodia.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Naomi Klein on Environmental Victory: Obama Delays Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Decision Until 2013 (in Democracy Now!)

"'We believe that this delay will kill the pipeline,' says the Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein. 'If it doesn't, if this pipeline re-emerges after the election, people have signed pledges saying they will put their bodies on the line to stop it.'"

Full article: Naomi Klein on Environmental Victory: Obama Delays Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Decision Until 2013.

David Olive: Occupy Toronto is not the real threat to civil society (in the Toronto Star)

"Certainly this is the hour of our discontent. That discontent is income inequality. The spectacular disparity between the super-affluent and the rest of us is a leading, if not root, cause of widespread ill health, stunted education opportunity, and intolerably high rates of crime and racial discrimination in our communities."

Full article: Occupy Toronto is not the real threat to civil society.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

EEGs give voice to brain-injured patients, researchers find (in the Toronto Star)

"...scientists are now finding that some patients in a vegetative state are conscious — and can actually communicate.

"On Wednesday, a Canadian-led group of researchers revealed a relatively simple and cost-effective way to assess the consciousness of patients at their bedside."

Full article: Toronto News: EEGs give voice to brain-injured patients, researchers find.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Olivia Ward: Pollution a threat to progress of poorest countries, says report (in the Toronto Star)

"A report released Wednesday by the UN’s development program warns that unless there’s a serious global change of direction, living standards will plunge in the poorest countries by 2050, reversing decades of gradual gains.

"RELATED: The UNDP report."

World News: Pollution a threat to progress of poorest countries, says report.