Over the past few decades, average families have coped by more women going into employment, by working longer hours and by credit. But since 70% of the US economy is based on consumer spending, a lack of surplus cash means the engine is running out of fuel. The rich are small in number and don’t spend nearly as much as the majority. “Free” markets with the rules written by the richest result in a shrinking public sector, deregulation, unemployment, low taxes for the most affluent and the threat of globalisation, depressing wages still further. The sum impact isn’t “bad” capitalism, it is modern-day capitalism. How it changes, and how rapidly, is a challenge to its own survival. Once, the advancement of the employee was a part of the social contract. Under Thatcher, the aspiration of the average citizen was central via shareholding and home ownership. Now, a more brutal set of priorities pushes the requirements of “the little man” aside, while those who have money buy the influence that unjustly shapes the world in which we live. So how do we forge again the link between morality and the markets?
Hey, here’s a novel proposal: How about holding criminal bankers to account?
I think we’re kidding ourselves if we say that the debate about abortion is now over and shouldn’t be reopened. It may have been closed in the courts since 1988. It may be closed in the Parliament insofar as there is not (currently) any debate proceeding on legislation to regulate abortion. But it is obviously not closed and done with in the public sphere. It’s silly to pretend otherwise.
Twenty-five years after the country’s abortion law was struck down, Canadians are still divided on how – and whether – the procedure should be regulated.
But there is one area where there is widespread agreement across the political spectrum: This is not the time to re-open that debate.
That is what emerges from the results of a new [Angus Reid] poll…released [Jan. 28].
The one question in the poll that produced the most agreement was whether there was any point reopening the debate, with a solid majority, 59 per cent, saying No, compared to 30 per cent who want the discussion reopened and 11 per cent who are undecided.
Angus Reid also examined the issue based on voting preference and found that 55 per cent of Conservatives, 65 per cent of NDP backers and 66 per cent of Liberals do not want to reopen the debate.
Histrionic faith-based groups that are pathologically obsessed with clumps of cells != “the public sphere,” anymore than dead-end 9/11 Truthers or ‘Young Earth’-addled Creationists do. Besides, how exactly does one ‘debate’ those who don’t even traffic in rational argumentation to begin with?
DNFTT — especially the ones toting fetus-pr0n placards.
Soft Machine & Allan Holdsworth, Live at Montreux Jazz Festival 1974:
Since 9/11, Kurzman and his team tallies, 33 Americans have died as a result of terrorism launched by their Muslim neighbors. During that period, 180,000 Americans were murdered for reasons unrelated to terrorism. In just the past year, the mass shootings that have captivated America’s attention killed 66 Americans, “twice as many fatalities as from Muslim-American terrorism in all 11 years since 9/11,” notes Kurzman’s team.
Editing by click rate is stupid and unethical. Chasing traffic is an abyss. The hamsterization of journalism is degrading the work environment for news professionals. Expecting reporters to report, write, blog, tweet, shoot video, sift the web, raise their metabolism, and produce more without time and training is guaranteed to fail. Trading in print dollars for digital dimes has been an economic disaster for newsrooms that ran on those dollars. Online advertising will never replace what was lost. The editorial staff is the engine that makes the whole thing go. You cannot cut your way to the future. The term “content” is a barbarism that bit by bit devalues what journalists do. Pure aggregation is parasitic on original reporting. Untended, online comment sections have become sewers, protectorates for the deranged, depraved and deluded. That we have fewer eyes on power, fewer journalists at the statehouse or city hall watching what goes on, almost guarantees that there will be more corruption. Bloggers and citizen journalists cannot fill the gap. Experienced beat reporters are the community’s institutional memory. Everyone needs an editor. It’s absurd to claim that “anyone” can be a journalist if we mean by that someone who knows how to find the right sources and ask the right questions, dig for information, counter the spin, produce a fair, accurate and unflinching account without libeling anybody– and do it all on deadline.
Also (and especially) this:
A journalist is just a heightened case of an informed citizen, not a special class.
As they say, read the whole damn thing.
The cream in your Sunday coffee, back where it belongs: