The Bullet: Can A Country Have A Revolutionary State and A Capitalist Economy?

Socialist Project - 8 hours 19 min ago
At various moments in the interview with Steve Ellner, I welcomed the explanations that he offered in response to my questions. I most identified with the idea of the state as developed by Nicos Poulantzas in which in addition to, and beyond, being an object of a given class, the state is conceived of as a type of mirror that takes in and reflects the nation's social dynamic.
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What's New: Françoise David speaks to anglophone Quebecers on CBC Daybreak

Socialist Project - April 23, 2014 - 5:30pm
Françoise David, co-spokesperson of Québec solidaire, is interviewed by Mike Finnerty on CBC Daybreak. Recorded end of March 2014.
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Tonight is for homeless cats.

Two Row Times - April 23, 2014 - 3:10pm

This statement is full of implications. Missing and murdered indigenous women are an issue that the Harper government continually refuses to address despite huge public outcry. Mrs. Harper was put on the spot and made a choice to respond, finally offering the Canadian population the only, if even unofficial, response to that outcry.

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What's New: An open letter from academics on the Fair Elections Act

Socialist Project - April 23, 2014 - 1:20pm
Last month, more than 160 professors signed an open letter to express grave concerns about the damage to Canadian democracy that the 'Fair Elections Act,' Bill C-23, would cause. Today, we the undersigned, an even larger group of professors who share a deep concern over this legislation, urge the government to withdraw the bill.
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Despite Justice Sotomayor's Passionate Dissent, Right-wing Supreme Court Turns Another Blind Eye to Racism - April 23, 2014 - 1:06pm
Sotomayor tries but fails to ‘educate’ her race-blind colleagues.

On Tuesday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor did not sit idly by as a majority of the men on the court turned yet another blind eye to the ugly realities of how race distorts the lives of Americans as they upheld a Michigan ballot measure banning race-conscious university admissions.

Speaking from the bench and writing the longest dissent of her tenure on the Court, she chided her conservative colleagues for their naivete about race—where they pretend that prejudice will disappear if they say so—and boldly told them, “race matters.”

“Race matters. Race matters in part because of the long history of racial minorities’ being denied access to the political process,” she wrote, citing voting rights. “Race also matters because of persistent racial inequality in society—inequality that cannot be ignored and that has produced stark socioeconomic disparities,” she said, pointing to employment, poverty, health care, housing, consumer transactions and education.

“And race matters for reasons that really are only skin deep, that cannot be discussed any other way, and that cannot be wished away,” she continued. “Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching where he grew up. Race matters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown, and then is pressed, “No, where are you really from?”, regardless of how many generations her family has been in the country. Race matters to a young person addressed by a stranger in a foreign language, which he does not understand because only English was spoken at home. Race matters because of the slights, the snickers, the silent judgments that reinforce that most crippling of thoughts: “I do not belong here.”

In sum, Sotomayor said that the U.S. Constitution “does not guarantee minority groups guaranteed outcomes [or] victory in the political process,” but that “it does guarantee them meaningful and equal access to the process. It guarantees that the majority may not win by stacking the political process against minority groups permanently.”

Tragically, Sotomayor’s fair-minded view of race and participation is not the majority view on the Supreme Court. If anything, when we look at where the Court has decided to expand “access” to supposedly democratic public processes like elections, what we find is a persistent and ongoing institutional bias toward the wealthiest Americans—who overwhelmingly also are white.

Consider the Court’s notion of access in the context of their latest ruling deregulating campaign finance law, McCutcheon v. FEC. There, the right-wing majority threw out a limit on how much money one person could give to a political party. Writing six-figure checks wasn’t corrupting and didn’t guarantee outcomes, they said, such as lawmakers passing, blocking or modifying legislation or regulations. Access to lawmakers, at top-dollar fundraisers or lobbyists making their rounds at the Capitol, was fine, they said.

But not so with university admissions, in this most recent case from Michigan. And not so when it comes to the formula on the 1960s-era Voting Rights Act that allowed the Justice Department to veto state changes to laws if they are racially discriminatory.

Decisions like these are the basis for institutional barriers that keep hard-working, honest people down. You often hear that “good people” run for political office trying to do the best that they can in a corrupt and bad system. The Supreme Court is one of few power centers in the country that can rebalance and address historic injustices. The other is Congress, of course, and the executive branch.

Finding that balance and protecting minority opinion against mob rule is what the courts and judges are supposed to do—it’s the heart of the law. It’s the basis for a constitutional system of checks and balances. And it’s nowhere to be found in the Chief Justice John Roberts-led rightwing majority on today’s Supreme Court.  







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Dying Man Rejected By WSIB

Operation Maple YouTube - April 23, 2014 - 11:18am
Dying Man Rejected By WSIB
Brian Giles has been given a few years to live, after contracting asbestosis at work. Workers' Comp has turned a blind eye. SUBSCRIBE and check out our other videos! From: OperationMaple Views: 39 7 ratings Time: 06:17 More in People & Blogs
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WATCH: Martin Sheen Stars in Powerful New PSA Calling for Drug Sentencing Reform - April 23, 2014 - 10:38am
The actor and his 'West Wing' alter ego have a clear message for Congress and President Obama. On Tuesday, Brave New Films released a new PSA calling on Congress to pass the Smarter Sentencing Act. The proposed sentencing-reform legislation aims to reduce prison populations and costs by creating less severe minimum terms for nonviolent drug offenders. (On Monday,Yahoo News reported that President Obama could grant clemency to "hundreds, perhaps thousands" of nonviolent drug offenders by the end of his second term.) The video was produced in partnership with the ACLU and Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), and stars actor Martin Sheen. It's titled "President Bartlet has a message for Congress," in reference to Sheen's role on Aaron Sorkin's political drama The West Wing.Watch it here:     "When BNF joined with FAMM and the ACLU to rally support for the Smart Sentencing Act, we couldn't think of a better spokesperson than Martin Sheen," Brave New Films president Robert Greenwald said. "When he portrayed President Bartlett on The West Wing, his character commuted the sentences of nonviolent drug offenders. In the real world, Martin Sheen has been an advocate for sentencing reform and alternatives to the harsh, long prison sentences we give to nonviolent drug offenders."Sheen isn't the only one in Hollywood trying to raise awareness about this. Last year, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson starred in the drama Snitch, a film about a father who reunites with his estranged son after the kid is thrown in prison due to draconian mandatory minimum sentencing laws. The film is based on a 1999 episode of PBS' Frontline titled, "Snitch: How Informants Have Become a Key Part of Prosecutorial Strategy in the Drug War." (FAMM teamed up with Participant Media, the production company behind the film, to createawareness about the issues of mandatory-minimum drug sentencing.) Now here's a clip of Sheen as Bartlet on the West Wing, talking about the failing War on Drugs and the American preison population:   

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Slow down for social change: join the Tolpuddle Pilgrimage

New Internationalist - April 23, 2014 - 9:55am
Support community initiatives by walking from Devon to Dorset, says Jonny Gordon-Farleigh.
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VIDEO: Jon Stewart Rips Media's Sexism Over Clinton 'Grandma' News - April 23, 2014 - 9:39am
'The news media has set the 2016 speculatron.'

Jon Stewart tore into the searingly obvious media and Republican sexism surrounding the announcement that Hillary Clinton will become a grandmother later this year. After showing a barrage of clips of talking heads asking what effect Cllinton's new status wil have on her likely campaign or possible presidency, Stewart asked, rhetorically, "Do you think the question might be sexist?" Then he answered his own question: "No, no, even though it's never been posed to a male candidate."

A quick review of recent history makes the point that in 2012, a grandfather to a "litter of grandchildren," Mitt Romney, lost to someone who has never been a grandfather. "Somehow, the grandchild factor never came up," Stewart said. This despite the fact that Romney has a virtual "grandchild petting zoo."

While Hillary is the latest example of media and political double standards, Stewart also mentioned Sen. Dianne Feinstein being called "emotional" for wanting the CIA torture reports released, and Chris Christie's fired aide Bridget Kelly being described as having "boyfriend problems" in a Bridgegate report.

Stewart's conclusion: In politics, "It's okay to be a p*ssy as long as you have a d*ck."


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Following the vision and journey of Taylor David

Two Row Times - April 23, 2014 - 6:30am

On March 28 Taylor David began his journey from Victoria, British Columbia that will end on June 21 in Ottawa. David states that “this walk is done to honor our grandmothers, grandfathers, brothers, sisters, and anyone affected by the residential school

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Lobby group calls on Ontario to not raise taxes on Tobacco

Two Row Times - April 23, 2014 - 6:20am

The Ontario Convenience Store Association has delivered 20,000 postcards signed by voters to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne urging her not increase taxes on tobacco. An increased tax on cigarettes would hurt convenience stores, but would be a boon to the so called “contraband” tobacco market that already flourishes in many First Nations

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Corvairs enter Sutherland Cup without Captain Quilty

Two Row Times - April 23, 2014 - 6:17am

CALEDONIA – The last leg of the Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs quest for the Jr. B Holy Grail, the Sutherland Cup, begins Wednesday night, April 23rd, at the Haldimand Centre Arena in Caledonia against the St. Catharines Falcons, beginning at 7:30

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Study reveals shocking premature death rates

Two Row Times - April 23, 2014 - 6:15am

A recent study Walking in their shoes published by Anishnawbe Health Toronto finds that the average age of death for users of four “Aboriginal” health and social service centers in Toronto are shockingly below the average Torontonian at 37 years. The Onkwehon:we male clients who died over the period of the study at the four centers had the average age of 34, with women at

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Museum of Inuit Art Showcases Inuit Ceramics in Toronto

Two Row Times - April 23, 2014 - 6:14am

TORONTO – Toronto’s Museum of Inuit Art’s (MIA) latest exhibition, The Matchbox Gallery: A Retrospective, looks at the gallery’s history and production of fine ceramic art in Kangirqliniq or Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

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Onondaga Nation files human rights violation in Washington DC

Two Row Times - April 23, 2014 - 6:14am

In the Great Law as told by Jake Thomas, there would be a time that a strong wind would come in and threaten to blow down our great tree of peace. It was said that the tree would fall, but that it would not touch the ground because Haudenosaunee people would care for it so deeply that they would stand together around it, and that it would rest upon their joined

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Glebe lands and the BSAR

Two Row Times - April 23, 2014 - 6:11am

The City of Brantford is sniffing around the Glebe Farm lands again for the completion of the decades old Brantford Southern Access Route (BSAR), which Six Nations protesters and local citizens jointly succeeded in stopping in the

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McCoys win Allan Cup

Two Row Times - April 23, 2014 - 6:09am

DUNDAS – The Brantford Blast’s hopes for another Allan Cup were dashed by last year’s Cup winners, the Bentley Generals, in the quarterfinals Thursday night at the Grightmire Arena in

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What’s in a name?

Two Row Times - April 23, 2014 - 6:09am

When I was in my twenties and still forming my own sense of self, someone told me that because I didn’t have my name given to me in a ceremony at longhouse that the Creator didn’t know who I was. Worse yet, he told me that when I die, I would float around in limbo because the Creator wouldn’t know how to address me to call me

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Carrots they’re Appeeling

Two Row Times - April 23, 2014 - 6:09am

Carrots are another example of an awesome vegetable that is often over looked and underappreciated. They certainly are not trending like kale or brussels sprouts. It is important to prepare them with the same love and respect as when they were grown. A carrot should taste like a

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What's New: Réseau pour un transport en commun gratuit

Socialist Project - April 23, 2014 - 2:00am
Le RTC est un service public dont la mission est de «permettre aux citoyens de mieux vivre la ville par un transport collectif de qualité, au meilleur coût pour la collectivité». La seule façon de remplir pleinement cette mission de façon juste et équitable est d'abolir toute tarification et d'opter pour la gratuité du transport en commun.
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