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| October 23, 2013

Jack Layton steps down temporarily as NDP leader

Jack Layton announces that he will be taking a leave of absence as NDP leader.

Related rabble.ca story:

'Wishfulness,' 'yesmanship' and the Harper Conservatives

At the end of World War II, John Godfrey, the former Director of Britain's Naval Intelligence Division, identified two major weaknesses of the Nazi espionage bureaucracy: ‘wishfulness' and ‘yesmanship'. Wishfulness and yesmanship are not real words; they are strictly Godfrey's concoctions. Yet the behaviours behind these terms have changed history. And they are still with us today.

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Not Rex: The good, the bad and the worst at the G20

Not Rex: The good, the bad and the worst at the G20
It was tough to tell the 'good' from the 'bad' at the G20. Worse still has been the media's lack of response.

Related rabble.ca story:

Two activists speak out about G8/G20 CSIS intimidation: Stefan Christoff's story

Stefan Christoff. Photo: Valerian Mazataud -- www.focuszero.com.

Two Montreal activists, Freda Guttman and Stefan Christoff, say they and their friends have been targeted by CSIS in the run up to the Huntsville G8 and Toronto G20 summits. Both write exclusively for rabble.ca on what they are experiencing.

Stefan Christoff's story is below. Read Freda Guttman's by clicking here.

Over recent months, phone calls to me from friends across Montreal have been filled with a distressing tone, a request to meet me in person over coffee, and vague references to unwelcomed visits by Canadian government intelligence officials.

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Columnists

CEOs as Liberal Party thinkers

Michael Ignatieff did a well publicized tour of Canadian Universities in January. Judging from the list of 40 speakers he invited to address the upcoming Liberal thinkers conference March 26 to 28 in Montreal, he was not impressed: only one student is invited to speak (water activist Ryan Hreljac), and no younger faculty.

The Liberals went for business leaders: 11 CEOs will own the podium (sorry). In 2010, knowledge seemly increases with salary, and brains are best found in the biggest executive suite. Aside from Ryan Hreljac, education is represented by three University and College presidents, two business school heavies, two political scientists, a health scientist and an economist.

In defence of the diversity of tactics

Judy Rebick, from her office in downtown Toronto, complained that "when a spontaneous anger against the Black Bloc emerged on social media, people berated us for ‘dividing the movement.'" She says that, in fact, "it is the Black Bloc that is dividing the movement."

She is wrong.

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Harper folds again, this time on 'Buy American'

In 2007, the Harper government gleefully boasted about how quickly it managed to negotiate the U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement. What it failed to mention was the deal's disastrous impact on Canada's forestry sector, one that has cost taxpayers $1 billion and counting, and thousands of Canadian jobs.

Last week Harper and his team were at it again. This time it was the agreement with the U.S. on how to handle the "Buy American" provisions in their stimulus legislation. While the Conservatives have been touting their apparent success in having Canadian companies exempted from such regulations, the reality is that there are grave concerns about what the deal means for job losses in Canada.

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Making change from the bottom-up

What happens when the political becomes personal? Then who has the power?
Does Stephen Harper because he's our prime minister? For sure. Does Oprah Winfrey because she's a billionaire media celebrity who likes to share her political views and ideas? Yep, she's got some sway. How about ordinary citizens who come together to champion certain causes, or try to tackle certain socio-economic problems? Do they have any political power? Darn right they do. And they're what Maker Culture politics is all about. People, united in cause, working together to spread a message and set changes in action.

Whether at the local, provincial, national or global level, examples of Maker Culture politics are everywhere.

London Activism: Empowerment Infoshop

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