Search This Blog/Linked Pages

Friday, November 23, 2012

Why Haiti sees hope in a toilet bowl (in The Toronto Star)

"... in a country where only 17 per cent of people have access to adequate sanitation facilities, [Sasha] Kramer plans on bringing toilets directly into Haitian homes. Partnering with two organizations — Konbit Sante, a public health organization in Haiti, and Re.source, a start-up based at Stanford University — SOIL is spearheading a three-month pilot project that will provide composting toilets to 150 households in Shada, a slum on the country’s north coast with a population of approximately 4,000."

Full article: Why Haiti sees hope in a toilet bowl.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Linda McQuaig: Fight against climate change blocked by Luddites at Big Oil (in The Toronto Star)

"... 19th-century textile workers fiercely resisted being replaced by spinning machines.

"While those workers angrily smashed the machines, the world moved on to a prosperous new era of large-scale factory production, enabling the public to enjoy brightly coloured cotton calicoes and a popular social event known as the calico ball.

"The workers, dubbed Luddites, paid a heavy price for their resistance. They were executed for destroying the machines, and have been ridiculed throughout history.

"By contrast, the Luddites running Big Oil are enjoying the biggest bonanza in history, even as they block the saving of the planet — a more grievous offence, by any reckoning, than denying the world the benefits of the spinning machine or even the calico ball."

Full article: Fight against climate change blocked by Luddites at Big Oil.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

David Suzuki: Will Canada’s war on science plunge us into a new Dark Age? (in The Toronto Star)

David Suzuki is an author, broadcaster, environmentalist and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

"A strong economy is important, but the biosphere is more important. Life isn’t just about making money — and the kind of short-sighted thinking behind the government’s war on science will inevitably impoverish our people, our economy and our country."

Full article: Will Canada’s war on science plunge us into a new Dark Age?.

Thomas Walkom: Jim Flaherty misguided on economy but at least he’s not nuts (in The Toronto Star)

"This new Jim Flaherty at least understands that, to use his word, the global economy is “uncertain.”

"And for that, I suppose, we should be thankful.

"What Flaherty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper fail to understand, though, is that this isn’t a temporary state of affairs. ...

"Harper’s Conservatives are continuing ... with their scaling back of old age security, their antipathy to regulation, their attacks on trade unions, their refusal to expand the Canada Pension Plan and their determination — still undiminished — to get government out of the economy in the long run.

"What they fail to understand is that capitalism on its own doesn’t work. Corporate CEOs may not want the state involved in the economy. They may hate unions. But they need both if they are to profit. That is one of the great contradictions of our era."

Full article: Walkom: Jim Flaherty misguided on economy but at least he’s not nuts.

Or as Michael Parenti says, "Capitalism doesn't work unless supported by socialism".

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rick Salutin: Barack Obama owes Occupy protesters a debt of gratitude (in The Toronto Star)

"... Mr. One Per Cent, Mitt Romney. He likes firing people. He thinks 47 per cent of Americans are irresponsible takers. He parks his money abroad and won’t release his tax returns. All he lacks is a top hat and he surely has one in one of his homes. But the attacks, in turn, wouldn’t have taken, had Occupy not already poured the mould for Romney with its “1 per cent” trope.

"In a deeper irony, most Occupiers deplore Obama. They occupied Wall Street to expose the true power behind Washington, including Obama. They “stormed” his campaign HQ in Chicago in May and occupied Charlotte during his September nominating convention there. Many refused to vote in the “sham” election or backed purer candidates. No matter, they still got Obama there."

Barack Obama owes Occupy protesters a debt of gratitude: Salutin.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Minxin Pei: Restive population spooks China’s Communist rulers (in The Toronto Star)

"...several emerging trends, unobserved or noted only in isolation, have greatly altered the balance of power between the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] and Chinese society, with the former losing credibility and control and the latter gaining strength and confidence."

Restive population spooks China’s Communist rulers.

Minxin Pei is professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and a non-resident senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.