Showing posts from June 27, 2014

Anti-Homeless Spikes? Heartless. Cementing Over Them? Ingenious.

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[Londoners made their feelings clear about a corporate "solution" to the problem of homelessness—and the company listened. *RON*]

by Molly Rusk, YES! Magazine, Jun 26, 2014

Early in the morning on June 12, a few members of a group known as the London Black Revolutionaries showed up in front of a Tesco shopping center on Regent Street in London and covered the store's "anti-homeless spikes" with home-made cement.
If the issue of spikes outside of Tesco hit a nerve, it could be because rates of homelessness in England have been rising.

A few days before the stunt, the spikes generated a firestorm of public criticism of the retail giant. The criticism largely took place online and centered around a series of photosof the spikes taken in October 2013 by photojournalist Joshua Preston.

The spikes were intended to deter "antisocial behavior," Tesco told The Guardian in response to the criticism. But Londoners were hav…

Inequality Begins at Birth

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["America has the second highest child poverty rate out of the thirty-five nations measured by the United Nation Children’s Fund (only Romania is worse)." This piece provides a clear logic in one area for why austerity programs, which raise unemployment rates and increase poverty, must end: "our political leaders and legislators have until now largely overlooked the connection between poverty, poor educational attainment, and even neural malfunctions—and the extent to which effective poverty reduction itself can correct the problem." *RON*]
Jeff Madrick, New York Review of Books, June 26, 2014

Over the past year, the lack of universal pre-kindergarten for American four-year-olds has become a national issue. In 2013, President Obama proposed to fund an ambitious new nationwide pre-kindergarten program through a new cigarette tax. That plan failed to gain support, but Bill de Blasio gave new urgency to the issue when he swept in…

Health Canada keeps flu plant inspection report secret

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[Welcome to Harperland - where we value Freedom From Information and Corporate Rights. “Health Canada seems to be prioritizing what the companies claim is confidential business information over patient safety and that really isn’t acceptable.” Health Canada is refusing to release a report from the 2012 inspection of GlaxoSmithKline’s Quebec flu vaccine plant, which produced 5 million doses of vaccine for Canadians in 2013. The U.S. FDA found problems stretching back to 2011 with quality control in the plant. *RON*]
By: Tim Alamenciak, The Star, Jun 27 2014
Health Canada is refusing to provide a copy of its July 2012 inspection of GlaxoSmithKline’s Quebec plant, where about 5 million doses of flu vaccine were manufactured and supplied to the Canadian public in 2013 alone. The move comes in the wake of a warning letter from the U.S. FDA that documented concerns with the plant’s manufacturing process dating back to 2011.

Health Canada is keeping the…

The Harper government is expanding their Surveillance Policy to treat every Protester as a potential threat

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[This is like Bush's doctrine of pre-emptive war, but turned against our own citizens. “It’s a fundamental disrespect for basic rights of freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, to say that they should monitor all the time in case somebody in the future breaks the law. It’s shocking,” NDP public safety critic Randall Garrison. “I don’t think pieces by themselves are as disturbing as the pattern. We see it with online data, we see it with the provisions they are trying to put into Bill C-13… to this order that all government departments spy on protestors. We see it in so many areas, and it’s that pattern that’s of most concern to me.” *RON*]

By Remi L. Roy,, Jun 26, 2014
In a push that sees Canada move one step closer to a state where being constantly watched, catalogued, and data mined is the norm, the Conservative government recently decided to expand its public surveillance policy to include all protests and demonstrations. The Gov…

Stephen Harper Failing To Protect Charter Rights, Lawyers Claim

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[If former Justice Department lawyer Edgar "Schmidt's allegations are correct, what it means is that the executive has decided to take as many freedoms away from us as possible, rather than as few as possible," says Simon Potter, a past president of the Canadian Bar Association. *RON*]

By Mike Blanchfield, CP / Huffington Post, 06/26/2014

OTTAWA - The Harper government is falling short in its duty as a guardian of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Bar Association will be told Friday in a major speech.

Simon Potter, a past president of the association, is to deliver that scathing message in the keynote address to the day-long conference on the state of constitutional law in Canada.

The annual constitutional symposium by Canada's top legalists on the Charter unfolds this year against a backdrop of unprecedented acrimony between the Harper government and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's of…

S**t Harper Did Punks Tories With Action Plan Parody Website

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[I'm pleasantly surprised that Huffington Post would post this in the first place! *RON*]

The Huffington Post Canada, 06/26/2014

If you're not a fan of the Conservative government or its Economic Action Plan then you'll probably love this clever bit of viral mischief.

Shit Harper Did (SHD), the activist group famous for its subversive anti-Tory ads, noticed that the government never bought the url, opting instead. So the group purchased the first domain and transformed it into a biting attack on the government's controversial Economic Action Plan ads.

In a series of satirical videos, SHD make mockery of the government commercial, which have so far cost more than $100 million to produce.