Showing posts from October 30, 2015

The GOP and the Rise of Anti-Knowledge

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[See also Richard Hofstadter's 1966 Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, Thomas Frank's 2005 What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America and Rick Schenkman's 2008 Just How Stupid Are We?: Facing the Truth About the American Voter. *RON*]
by Mike Lofgren, Moyers & Company, 29 October 2015

This post was first published at Consortium News.

In the realm of physics, the opposite of matter is not nothingness, but antimatter. In the realm of practical epistemology, the opposite of knowledge is not ignorance but anti-knowledge. This seldom recognized fact is one of the prime forces behind the decay of political and civic culture in America.

Some common-sense philosophers have observed this point over the years. “Genuine ignorance is . . . profitable because it is likely to be accompanied by humility, curiosity, and open mindedness; whereas ability to repeat catch-phrases, cant terms, familiar propositions…

Fixing what Harper broke: A to-do list for the incoming government

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[One heck of a good To-Do list! "Rehire Munir Sheik as Chief Statistician of Canada and give him the Order of Canada." :-D *RON*]
By Elizabeth May,, 29 October 2015

We need a stock-taking. A "to-do" list. Some of what the Harper administration broke will be easy to fix; much will be very hard indeed.

What we must do is insist the damage be reversed. There is an equally long list of steps to take moving forward -- but we need to repair immense damage to nearly every aspect of federal law and policy.

Here's a start:

1) Fixing security law:
Repeal Bill C-51. As a compromise, the Liberals could amend part 2 (No Fly lists) while repealing Parts 1 (info sharing), 3 (terrorism in general propaganda), 4 (the most dangerous, unleashing CSIS as covert disruptors) and 5 (allowing evidence obtained by torture).Repeal C-44 -- allowing CSIS agents to operate over-seas.Repeal C-38 -- with a section eliminating the Inspector General …

Want democratic reform? Let's start with newspapers.

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[The Canadian media plutocracy. The mass media are the 1%. *RON*]
By Murray Dobbin,, 30 October 2015

Observing the cathartic effect of the end of the Harper regime reveals just how traumatized millions of Canadians were by nearly 10 years of rule by this paranoid and vindictive prime minister. The analogies and metaphors keep coming: like getting out of jail, like waking up from a nightmare, like the end of an occupation.

This election will provide students, pundits and authors with career-building opportunities to dissect the results. Part of that analysis will, of course, examine the unprecedented assault on democracy carried out by the Conservatives. As it should, because undoing the damage must be the litmus test for the new Liberal government and Parliament.

However, while it is critical to keep track of these efforts, the other democratic institution which needs renewed attention is the media -- and in particular, the newspapers in…