Wednesday 28 January 2015

Let's talk ... about corporate greed.

The Talking Heads:

Today is the day that one big business has chosen to make itself look good and to brand its corporate image with the glow of a Very Important social / health issue.

Yes, today is Bell _Let's Talk™_ Day.

My co-blogger fern hill wrote about it two years ago.

I agree with her.

Yesterday there was a number of people waiting with me at a Bank Street bus stop, including a mother and her young adult daughter who kept whispering loudly to her mother about the spirits she saw who were telling her *things*.  The older woman was painfully aware that people were looking at them, some in kindness, others not so much as she tried to guide her daughter away from the group.

They travelled briefly on the same bus with me then disembarked to transfer on to a different route. I wondered and worried about them.  My daughter's childhood friend developed schizophrenia in her late adolescence.  Many of her (her partner's, too) peers and contemporaries are beset with a wide range of mental health issues that are aggravated by precarious employment conditions and dwindling mental health resources.


Indeed.  For every tweet, Bell will donate 5¢ per.  The corporation claims that funds they've dedicated to mental health programs are distributed according to funding requests awarded.

You want more numbers crunching? This blogger does an excellent job of breaking down the figures.

[...]in reality one of the things that is actually happening is that for $4.26 per hour Bell are paying you to act as a PR representative for their brand – part of that branding is the image of a “responsible corporate citizen.”

Bell could just pay the same corporate income tax in 2013 that corporations paid in 1960 (or really any point since then) and contribute vastly more to the treatment of mental health in Canada than the money they are contributing as part of a corporate PR campaign. Bell Canada’s 2011 net profits were $2,160,000,000 and its total revenue was 19,500,000,000 – so whatever they end up donating for mental health treatment/awareness could be replaced with stable, annual funding by increasing corporate income tax by less than a sliver of a fraction of a percentage point.

So Bell demands more and more corporate welfare and tax relief from the federal government.  This leads to shortfalls in revenues which governments at the federal, provincial and municipal level must absorb by cutting mental health programs.

At which point Bell swoops in like a white knight in shining armour and can point to where it takes credit for patching up the healthcare infrastructures disintegration that its own corporate greed and gluttony for profits has caused.

Toxic capitalism. 

It also seems a good time to note, as communications flunkeys who toil for the Harper government furiously tweet up a storm on behalf of its CPC Ministers and MPs, that the CRA is directed to investigate charities that do not comply with his government policies, and that millions of dollars in advertising are dedicated to promoting his *Party of One* on the ordinary Canadian taxpayer's dime.

Monday 26 January 2015

Journalism is NOT rocket science

tweet by Sunny Hundal put a bug in my ear this morning.

This factual news report was produced by an independent, local TV resource and posted on Youtube.

REAL news are popping up everywhere, putting to shame many of the establishment media workers who have become far too cozy with their corporate overlords and the terms of their quasi-indentured employment.

So complacent and blasé are such pseudo-journos, they'd arrogantly assumed that quaint old notion of ethics with regard to conflict of interests in reporting was no longer relevant.

Karma is indeed a bitch.

Hundal's tweet reminded me of the modest yet thorough Lori Martin and the professional manner in which she handled a random PMO-generated information packet that arrived unsolicited at her newspaper, the Barrie Advance.

My co-blogger wrote this about Martin's extraordinary challenge to lazy, *laissez-faire* reporting which appears to have become standard operating procedure.  Martin refused to be a stenographer for the speaking points provided by a Harper Politburo/PMO communication hack.

There are still many old-school journalists steadily doing the news gathering and reporting they believe in - though ego-driven *enfants terribles* tend to get all the glory.

Michael Harris is of this calibre.  Not a single fact in his best-selling _Party of One_ has been countered, disputed or proven wrong by Harper's army of flunkeys at their keyboards.

Bloggers like Creekside and independent news organizations also hold a wild card: dissemination by social media, which sometimes goes viral.  Unless the Harper regime shuts down access with its new legislation that it will try to ram through Parliament to maintain their CPC partisan control. Though I trust more allies like this one will emerge to challenge PMSHithead's autocratic ploys.

Pressure from unfettered media, as well desperate attempts to spin damaging facts that will leak during the election campaign from those Harper's kleptocracy has bullied, antagonized and silenced, could derail the CPC communication strategy.  And the internal cracks are getting bigger.

Let's be fuelled and inspired by the model of what people power did in Greece which gained momentum and will prevail.

Sunday 18 January 2015

Anti-Choice Should Support Approval of RU486

Many questions are being raised over the delay in Health Canada's expected announcement on mifepristone, aka RU486.

While we and others remain confident that the overwhelming evidence of its safety and efficacy will convince scientists (!) at Health Canada to approve it, some are wondering about the politics and secrecy of the process.

Many pro-science/pro-choice people have a very dim view of the Harper government's dismissal of science and evidence and its repeated meddling in supposedly arm's-length agencies, so it's rather odd to see Official Fetus Freakdom speculating on political interference.
The timing of the delay is noteworthy. Making a decision prior to the upcoming federal election could have drastic consequences for the reigning Conservatives. An approval of the drug could potentially result in the party alienating itself from its natural base of people who respect life and think it wrong for a mother to end the life of her pre-born child. Denying the drug, however, could potentially give left-leaning institutions, politicians, and especially mainstream media added firepower to accuse it of being against ‘reproductive rights,’ and ultimately against women.

We know why the Freaks are dead set against medical abortion *cough* privacy/access/cost/end of clinic harassment *cough* but really, they should welcome it.

For the past few months, they've been trumpeting a new "pro-life" treatment that can "reverse" medical abortions.

And look at the new opportunities it offers them.

Gerard Nadal, Ph.D., a pro-life scientist, breaks down the process further.

“Unlike surgical abortions which are immediately lethal, RU-486 (mifepristone) works over a period of 36-72 hours,” he notes.
So, if they can get their hands on someone part-way through the procedure, they have the chance to make another "save" as they call it and interfere with the right to abortion. Again.

Wheeee! Wot fun! More manipulation! More guilt-tripping! More martyrgasms!

Oh. Wait. They'd have to be able to identify people who are partway through a medical abortion in order to intervene. I wonder how they'd do that?

Maybe by launching another anti-choice mole willing to breach patient privacy by snooping into hospital records.

Seriously, we're glad this treatment exists. It represents everything we stand for. Choice above all. If a person is having second thoughts, by all means, stop and reconsider.

Who knew that anti-choice was really so pro-choice?

Monday 5 January 2015

Harper's Record: He's Running on It -- UPDATED

On the weekend I participated in a tweet-em-up with the tag #HarpersRecord. Check it out here.

Here is the blog post (by new blog-roll addition The Cailleach: Another Blogging Ginger) I (mostly) don't have to write now.

It was remarkable, as that blogger said, for its range of tweeters, subject matter, links, and photos.

And I too was struck by the nearly total absence of anyone trying to defend Harper's record. I also wondered if it was because it happened on the weekend while paid CPC and PMO trolls were not on the clock.

Here's a bit of background to it.

I asked who started it and when. It was Norlaine Thomas, who said she'd heard that Harper was planning to run on his record and thought to self: "All righty then." (I paraphrase.)

She said she hadn't thought about weekend timing.

So much good information was gathered -- and so little fun troll-smacking -- that a reprise is planned for tomorrow, Tuesday, January 6, 1 p.m. MST.

Be there.

UPDATE (Jan. 12/15): #HarpersRecord is still going strong and providing an excellent compendium of what ordinary Canadians find particularly loathsome about Harper and his criminal minions. It would be a terrific resource for the Fucking Useless Opposition® for their attack ads. If they gave a shit about ordinary Canadians and Canada, and not just their own electoral chances, that is.

Weirdly, or perhaps not given the sheer volume of tweets on the matter, there have been NO CON-troll attempts to defend #HarpersRecord. Perhaps they've been told to stay clear.

NOTE TO DEFENDERS: If Twitter is intimidating to you, comment here at this wee blog.

Also, as another example of outstanding grassroots involvement, here is a video produced by @KevinBourassa, Election Fraud II.

Please share widely.