Bill C-36 based on ‘flawed logic’ and ‘incomplete information’ says UVic researcher

rabble news - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 8:10pm
chrisa.mp3

Chris Atchison has been researching the sex buying community and working in a supportive capacity with sex work(er) researchers and outreach/support organizations since 1995. 

Listen to an interview with Chris Atchison, University of Victoria.

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Defeat of Ukraine army brings ceasefire, but underlying political conflicts unresolved

rabble news - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 3:31pm

A ceasefire in the war in eastern Ukraine was announced in Minsk, Belarus on Sept. 5. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko made a simultaneous announcement in Wales where he was a special guest at the summit meeting of the NATO military alliance.

A 12-point agreement was signed in Minsk by representatives of the Kyiv government and the Peoples Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Also signing were former Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma, Russian ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and Heidi Tagliavini of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

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Carleton 'F*ck Safe Space' scandal legacy of conservative student union takeover

rabble news - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 2:58pm

A former colleague used to begin a workshop on membership engagement with the question, "which school has the most apathetic students?" Student representatives from coast-to-coast would be quick to shout out the name of their respective institutions, all convinced that they faced a particular brand of apathy that was a tough nut to break.

"You're all wrong," he'd say, "because there is no such thing as apathy. If students aren't engaged, it's not because they're apathetic, it's because we have not done a good enough job mobilizing, we have failed to find ways to reach them."

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When a 'fiscally conservative' government is $20B in debt, it's time to call Blanche DuBois

rabble news - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 2:34pm

 "Tonight, we begin the work of advancing and protecting sound, conservative fiscal principles."  -- Future Premier Jim Prentice, victory speech, Sept 6, 2014

It hasn't escaped Ms. Soapbox's notice that the party that bills itself as fiscally conservative has us on track for a $20 billion infrastructure debt -- at a time when Alberta's economy is booming. Heaven help us when the economy tanks.

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The importance of protecting Indigenous women's stories

rabble news - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 2:30pm
We need to begin witnessing the stories of Indigenous women, instead of writing their stories for them. Being a witness: The importance of protecting Indigenous women's stories
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Why Canadian youth are participating in the People's Climate March

rabble news - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 9:21am

On September 21, in New York City, tens of thousands will converge to take a stand for our climate and our futures. We will come from diverse backgrounds, from diverse movements, from all walks of life and all generations. On that day, we will stand together.

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Nova Scotia fracking moratorium: Organizing works.

rabble news - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 8:42am

The independent review panel had passed their final report and recommendations on to the Nova Scotia government. Just as we were all getting ready to organize another response, this time directed at Andrew Younger (NS Minister of Energy), we found out at the last minute he was going to make an announcement about fracking.

"The government of N.S. will introduce legislation this fall to prohibit high volume hydraulic fracturing for onshore shale gas..." WOOHOO!!

Colleagues and friends from NOFRAC, the Ecology Action Centre, Sierra Club, the student movement, Divest Dal, NSPIRG, Powershift Atlantic and others were at the media conference too and we hugged and cheered.

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Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad job numbers

rabble news - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 8:35am

Last week Statistics Canada released their first set of job numbers since the "oops" of July 2014. And the news was dismal. The labour market shed 112,000 private sector positions, the largest single-month drop in the private sector since, well, forever. Coming on the heels of a mistake is unfortunate, but you have to think that Statistics Canada was extra vigilant this month and checked everything up, down, backwards, and sideways.

Either way, month-to-month variations are far less meaningful than overall trends, so let's have a look at those, shall we?

Part-time work

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Canada's job numbers: Ontario is driving the trends

rabble news - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 8:25am

Many analysts agree that last week's job numbers from Statistics Canada are dismal. Canada created only 81,000 new jobs between August 2013 and August 2014. That's the smallest August over August change since 1990.

While taking a look at the Canada-wide numbers is important to understanding the economic health of the country, zoning in on the provincial and regional levels can be very informative, showing that different parts of the country are driving different trends.

Ontario, for example, posted a disappointing 14,000-job gain between August 2013 and 2014 -- that's an average of 1,160 jobs per month. For the province with the largest population, and one that used to be considered by many to be the economic engine of Canada, that's something to worry about.

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If Alberta fracks, why can't we? Dispelling the myth of resource development

rabble news - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 8:10am
Monday, September 8, 2014

The Wheeler commission on fracking did its due diligence under difficult circumstances, except for the part where it further warped an already unhinged debate. It did this by toying with scenarios and declaring that even the middling one would provide a billion dollars a year in economic benefits, and royalties in the hundreds of millions a year for decades.

So the hyper-questionable idea will remain afoot, fracking ban or not: we are sitting on a fortune that we are too backward and obtuse to develop.

Over the years I've been watching the argument evolve with increasing disbelief. It's this: Alberta is rich because it "develops its natural resources" and we're poor because we don't.

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Lest we forget: Workers' rights since the First World War

rabble news - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 7:28am
Monday, September 8, 2014

This year marked the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. Though there had been world conflicts between empires in earlier centuries, this one was different both in the extent of the carnage and in the fact that it marked the end of the European empires that participated. It also saw nationalistic impulses trump international worker solidarity. Some workers in the trenches on both sides refused to go along, but their "reward" was to be shot by their own side rather than by the enemy.

If we don't stop the clock from being turned back to the time of the First World War, we will revisit the era of the Dirty '30s described so well by John Steinbeck in "The Grapes of Wrath."

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Cabinet-making in a shallow talent pool: What's Alberta's Jim Prentice going to do?

rabble news - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 2:17am

Never mind the transition team. What about the cabinet?

It's not just a question of who will be in Alberta Premier Select Jim Prentice's minimalist new pre-general-election Progressive Conservative cabinet -- Ken Hughes, c'mon down! -- but who won't be.

It's also a question of who gets stiffed, regionally speaking: Calgary, Edmonton, or the countryside -- which has already gone over to the Wildrose insurgency?

Cabinet-making before the high-profile candidates Prentice has promised can step up to the plate is a serious political problem for the new Tory leader, made no easier by his promise to keep the size of his cabinet small.

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How 9/11 changed the lives of Muslim women

rabble news - Sun, 09/07/2014 - 7:24pm
how_9_11_changed_the_lives_of_muslim_women.mp3

Nicole Deagan rebroadcasts an interview originally aired last September by Ellie Gordon-Moershel; it was created as part of Pacifica Radio's 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York. Ellie speaks with Farrah Khan of AQSAzine about the way the North American public looks at Islam and in particular Muslim women. Also includes a segment from a presentation by bell hooks at New College of Florida from March 8, 2011.

The F Word seeks to facilitate feminist dialogue and use media as a foundation for positive social change. For more information on The F Word, please visit our website at www.feminisms.org or email feminisms@gmail.com

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Can the NDP challenge Harper on the economy?

rabble news - Sun, 09/07/2014 - 6:49pm
Monday, September 8, 2014

The NDP's announcement that it will push for a national minimum wage if elected is good news and suggests that the party may finally be overcoming its decades-long aversion to engaging its Liberal and Conservative adversaries on the question of the economy. It's too early to tell if they will follow up with other policy commitments and weather the expected attacks. The social bottom-feeders at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, ever eager to promote policies that harm their members' interests, have already attacked. The NDP's announcement that it will push for a national minimum wage if elected suggests that the party may finally be overcoming its aversion to engaging its federal adversaries on the economy.

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Alberta politics: How many PC memberships were given away?

rabble news - Sun, 09/07/2014 - 5:02pm

So, c'mon guys, how many of those 23,386 Progressive Conservative Party memberships were actually purchased by someone, and how many were given away?

Will the PC Party under Mr. Prentice, committed to transparency and integrity as its new leader says it is, want to make this information public as soon as possible as a gesture of good citizenship and a mature approach to governing?

Since neither candidate Ric McIver nor Tomas Lukaszuk had a policy of giving away memberships to their supporters, the number of freebie memberships should be an easy figure to come up with. Mr. Prentice's campaign knows how many they gave away. All they have to do is tell us and we'll have a number pretty close to the bottom line.

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Q&A from the Vancouver Queer Film Festival: Kate Bornstein

rabble news - Sun, 09/07/2014 - 3:47pm
kate_bornstein.mp3

This episode of the F Word features a Q&A from the Vancouver Queer Film Festival that followed a screening of the portrait film: Kate Bornstein is a Queer and Pleasant Danger. The Q&A after the film was hosted by Festival Executive Director Drew Dennis and included Kate Bornstein and filmmaker Sam Feder.

The F Word seeks to facilitate feminist dialogue and use media as a foundation for positive social change. For more information on The F Word, please visit our website at: www.feminisms.org or email: feminisms@gmail.com

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Ukraine: The left turn right through the looking glass

rabble news - Sun, 09/07/2014 - 10:55am

Since the night of November 21, 2013 an extraordinary sequence of events has unfolded propelling a relatively little-known eastern European country to the center of the world stage. On that night the Euromaidan Movement began in Kyiv's Maidan Nezelezhnosti Square. Since then Ukraine has become the focus of what is arguably the most significant post- Cold-War crisis.

Seduced by disinformation: Leftists turning right

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Prentice in a walk -- but the low Alberta PC voter turnout tells the real story

rabble news - Sat, 09/06/2014 - 10:58pm

VICTORIA, B.C.

Well! That's it then. Jim Prentice in a walk, the first time the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party has actually chosen the frontrunner in the past three leadership races, maybe four if you count Ralph Klein.

My phone chirped the results to me from the floor of the EXPO Centre in Edmonton at 6:54 p.m. Alas, I'm in exile in a disturbingly sunny and warm Victoria, B.C., so if you want coverage from the floor, you're going to have to visit Daveberta.ca.

The numbers were a wipeout for Mr. Prentice in one key regard -- 17,963 votes compared with 2,742 for Ric McIver and 2,681 for Thomas Lukaszuk, and I'll bet you Mr. Lukaszuk wished he'd managed to rustle up a 65 or so more!

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That Portrait of a Certain Lady: A bargain at $12,000? Or not?

rabble news - Sat, 09/06/2014 - 2:29am

VICTORIA, B.C.

"Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing." -- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

While we all wait for tomorrow night to see if fund-raising prowess or something else motivates Alberta Progressive Conservative Party members, let's engage in a little creative thought about public support for the arts where the oil hits the canvas, at the nexus of politics and paint.

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The issues facing women workers in Malaysia

rabble news - Sat, 09/06/2014 - 12:31am
apc_060914_rabble.mp3

Labour news from Cambodia, China, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Iran and Palestine. Interview with Irene Xavier, co-ordinator of Sahabat Wanita, a regional women's organization in Malaysia. Asia Pacific Currents is a program of Australia Asia Worker Links. Asia Pacific Currents is produced at 3CR Radio in Melbourne, Australia.

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