What is the future likely to bring? A reasonable stance might be to try to look at the human species from the outside. So imagine that you're an extraterrestrial observer who is trying to figure out what's happening here or, for that matter, imagine you're an historian 100 years from now -- assuming there are any historians 100 years from now, which is not obvious -- and you're looking back at what's happening today. You'd see something quite remarkable.
Ongoing protests in Turkey represent a popular outburst against gradual encroachment of civil liberties and suppression of dissenting views by the Islamist-rooted government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The culmination of the following issues have created discontent among sizeable portions of society and led to spontaneous uprisings comprising people from every walk of life and a wide range of political affiliation.
We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about provisions in the omnibus budget Bill C-60 that allow for direct government involvement with negotiations between employees and their employers at 49 Crown corporations, including CBC, Canada Post and Via Rail.
The changes Bill C-60 makes to the Financial Administration Act go against the spirit of the Canada Labour Code to support productive relationships between unions and management "in the best interests of Canada in ensuring a just share of the fruits of progress to all…" They stand to take away a fundamental freedom of Canadian democracy: the right to free collective bargaining.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford still has many supporters who say they would vote for him again. Even though it might appear, to even a casual observer living in Toronto, that there is more than an abundance of evidence, both circumstantial and otherwise, against the Mayor. So how could any rational person still be supporting him?
The answer to that could be rooted more in neural wiring than in what reporters continue to unearth about Toronto's beleaguered mayor.
In Ottawa, it's raining scandal. Correction, it's pouring, with hurricane-force winds. For a government that thrives on the politics of cynicism, exhibits, at every turn, contempt for democracy and election laws and is preoccupied with punishing those who disagree with their ideology, the past three scandal-clad weeks are as if all of Stephen Harper's chickens have come home to roost.
How do you make radical ideas part of your day-to-day practice? Can you be a revolutionary without a revolution? Who has the power to change the world? Is it possible to stop the austerity agenda? What would it take to shut down the Tar Sands? Why is capitalism in crisis? What causes oppression?
Nothing will erase from my mind's eye the picture of long lines of young women, snaking along the road, in rain or shine going to work in the many, many garment factories to be found all over Dhaka, crammed into every kind of structure, from one time apartments, to tenements to sheds.
Every now and then, colour coded plastic raincoats spoke to the small largesse of some factory management, but on the whole, if it rained they walked soaking. Quietly. Purposively.
This amazing fortitude was also demonstrated in the survival in the recent Rana Plaza tragedy -- which was particularly horrific because it was avoidable.
As of late, Ford Nation has been having a more challenging time rallying to defend Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, in the wake of increasing scandal. But there is a mantra that they feel safe in falling back on when they wish to deflect from the controversy at hand: he's done good things for the city. He's cleaned up the financial mess the city was in.
Feeling anxious about life in a broken-down society on a stressed-out planet? That's hardly surprising: Life as we know it is almost over. While the dominant culture encourages dysfunctional denial -- pop a pill, go shopping, find your bliss -- there's a more sensible approach: Accept the anxiety, embrace the deeper anguish -- and then get apocalyptic.