On September 24th, 2013, Broadbent Institute Chair Ed Broadbent gave the 2nd annual Jack Layton Lecture at Ryerson University. In this speech, Ed Broadbent connects the philosophy and historical successes of social democracy with today's social and political challenges. Over the past fifty years, social democrats -- both in government and out -- have achieved great progress. The creation of the middle class, the extension of new rights to previously disadvantaged groups like women and gays and lesbians, and an openness to new movements like environmentalism are some of the many advances that social democracy can claim credit for. But what now? Are the dreams of social democracy and the cherished social programmes of Canadians still affordable? Broadbent's answer is yes.
Right wing politicians in Ontario are championing "right to work" rules, measures designed to weaken unions in the name of prosperity. Similar laws have lowered wages in the United States and the middle class is shrinking. Is there a lesson here for Canada? Veteran journalist Bill Gillespie travels to the USA to discover the impact of "right to work" laws on working people.
In a national address from the White House Tuesday night, President Obama announced he is delaying a plan to strike Syria while pursuing a diplomatic effort from Russia for international monitors to take over and destroy Syria's arsenal of chemical weapons. However, Obama still threatened to use force against Syria if the plan fails. We get reaction to Obama’s speech from world-renowned political dissident and linguist, MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky. "The Russian plan is a godsend for Obama," Chomsky says. "It saves him from what would look like a very serious defeat. He has not been able to obtain virtually any international support, and it looked as though Congress wasn’t going to support it either, which would leave him completely out on a limb.
Every day, people are bombarded by media clutter and that doesn't leave a lot of space for important messages to get through. CUPE Ontario made a series of new videos that hope to grab your attention. Find out what this cat has to do.. with the economy. Visit http://StandUpForFairness.ca to watch the videos and learn more.
President Obama's effort to win legislative backing for military strikes against Syria passed its first hurdle on Wednesday when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-to-7 in favor of bombing Syria. We're joined by Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson, a leading opponent of the resolution in the House. Grayson has set up a website, Don'tAttackSyria.com, which is gathering signatures for a petition calling on Congress to deny permission to attack Syria. "I am very disturbed by this general idea that every time we see something bad in the world, we should bomb it," Grayson says. "The president has criticized that mindset, and now he has adopted it. It's simply not our responsibility to act alone and punish this."
Video from segment of Democracy Now!
While Washington debates the use of military force in Syria, the United Nations has revealed the number of refugees who have fled the country's civil war has topped two million, with another four million internally displaced. The tide of children, women and men leaving Syria has risen almost tenfold over the past 12 months. On average, almost 5,000 people take refuge in Syria's neighboring countries every day. The United Nations warned last month that the war is fueling the worst refugee crisis since the Rwanda genocide in 1994. Overall, the fighting in Syria has killed more than 100,000 since 2011, including some 7,000 children.
On Saturday afternoon, President Obama issued a statement from the White House, saying he had decided to authorize a military attack on Syria to, in his words, "punish the Syrian administration and regime for its use of chemical weapons". He also said he was going to give American Congress a voice. The Real News Network's Paul Jay speaks to Chris Hedges about the significance of President Obama's statement is Chris Hedges. Chris is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and senior fellow at the Nation Institute. His latest book is Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. He was The New York Times' Middle East Bureau chief.
This video presents a message from workers across the Pacific Rim about the potential negative consequences of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade and globalization agreement among 12 countries (Australia, Brunei-Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam). If this agreement puts corporate rights first, workers and their families in all 12 countries could be harmed by downward pressure on wages and labor rights; more polluted air and water; reduced access to life saving medicines; and more powerful corporations influencing our laws and trying to override our voices.
John Greyson and Dr. Tarek Loubani have been wrongfully imprisoned in Egypt for two weeks. This is a video appeal for their release. For more information visit: http://tarekandjohn.com/
Phyllis Bennis: US policy should emphasize direct diplomacy to negotiate a ceasefire with all sides including Syrian President Bashar Assad, but direct military intervention will lead to more bloodshed and Obama fighting on the side of an Al-Qaeda affiliated organization. Video from the Real News.