d g i V i s t a. o r g . . . "Makingthe FifthEstate the Fourth."
Sparky!the Political Blog
dali
global
intelligentsia
expressiveeducationalenlightening transformative
potent and giving
ubuntu


Education
Fiction
Personal
Poetry
Politics

Search dgiVista.org:

Sparky! Politics at dgiVista.org .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sparky! Politics at dgiVista.org

Quick, sparky political digs, crabs, and short bursts of sometimes thunderous applause.

Please contact me at the email address below if you too would like to have each new blog entry emailed to you. For free, even. Archives are at the bottom. The email icon at the end of each post allows you to forward each entry to someone else. Go to town!

Archives

2004.04   2004.05   2004.06   2004.07   2004.09   2004.10   2004.11   2004.12   2005.01   2005.04   2005.05   2005.06   2005.07  

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The BC Government's Idiotic Advice to Struggling Students 

I stumbled upon the Achieve BC website a couple years ago and emailed this webpage to all who enjoy mocking Campbell's neoLiberal community-destroying regime. I'm shocked to see that no one has spruced up the idiocy on this webpage.

In their "Success Tips for Teens" section under the topic of "Learn to Deal with Reality," this is what they recommend:

So what happens when your motivation to do well in school collides with other interests? Or distractions? Friends, TV, job, a teacher you don't like--just to name a few. Life can be tough. It isn't always fair.

What do you do? Deal with it. Just deal with it. Don't give up. Everyone else has to keep going--including your parents and teachers.
[emphasis mine]

This, from the government that creates the $6 training wage, $2 less than the real minimum wage. This, from the government that legislates a new non-negotiated "contract" for teachers that mandated modest raises but wouldn't fund them, forcing districts to cut back elsewhere to cover legislated raises. This, essentially, from a government that is not all that interested in helping those who struggle because that would require tax dollars from the rich and successful who have deserved the right to no longer contribute to society as a whole.

Campbell's neoLiberal, cavalier attitude towards those with difficulty seems perfectly encapsulated in this lame piece of advice. After all, Campbell himself had a tough childhood and rose to become mayor of Vancouver [when the condos began leaking] and premier of the province. Strangely though, the absolute absence of poignant, constructive and tangible advice on that Achieve BC webpage would have left Campbell high and dry in the Maui jail cell the night he was arrested for drunk driving.

Finis

Questions, comments, feedback, gripes, thunderous applause? Email me...use the address at the bottom of the page. Please email me at the email address below if you would like to have each new blog entry emailed to you. For free, even. Archives are below these most recent posts.



Friday, May 13, 2005

In the "Corporate Stooges Don't Get Irony" Department... 



We have The Yes Men at it again making bankers look like the idiots only they can achieve.

In releasing the Acceptable Risk Calculator, The Yes Men, via their DowEthics.com website, posed as Dow executives arguing that their experience making billions in profits while dancing on the knife edge of human misery gives them ideal credibility in helping other corporate immoral criminals make as much cash as possible while optimizing human death and suffering.

The fact that a number of bankers gleefully had their pix taken with Gilda the Golden Skeleton mascot indicates the depth of their inability to get irony. And the world is the better for it. Now let's get off our ass and force our legislatures to reign in corporate banditry worldwide.

Finis

Questions, comments, feedback, gripes, thunderous applause? Email me...use the address at the bottom of the page. Please email me at the email address below if you would like to have each new blog entry emailed to you. For free, even. Archives are below these most recent posts.



Monday, May 09, 2005

Free K-12 Education in BC: Constitutionally Guaranteed 

Too often, minute key factoids evade my memory: likely an aging and expiring neuron issue. One recent brain fart showed up last week when I got on a tangent in some [or maybe all] of my classes [I currently teach high school...for another 2 months anyway before less toxic pastures greet me] when I got talking about school and course fees for public K-12 school students.

I'm opposed to them. They're illegal and anti-constitutional.

But I couldn't remember if they had been upheld in court.

The March 2005 Columbia Journal provided me with a serendipidous resolution to my brain fart as it reminded me that a court case upheld section 82 of BC's School Act and set a clear precedent that meant that people didn't have to be [or pretend to be] poor to be exempt from paying annual school activity fees and course material fees.

The BCTF is pretty assertive in their opposition to fees in an egalitarian, universal, democratic school system:

Full equity is possible only with no fees.

In general, school boards and schools charge fees only because provincial funding is not adequate to cover all the programs and activities that they think should be offered. Despite the best intentions, even the most generous practices in waiving fees means that some students are excluded and that some take part at a cost to their dignity. The only way of ensuring full equity is to have adequate public funding so that fees do not have to be charged.


Thus I remain steadfast in my recommendations to students and parents alike: DO NOT PAY YOUR SCHOOL FEES.

Finis

Questions, comments, feedback, gripes, thunderous applause? Email me...use the address at the bottom of the page. Please email me at the email address below if you would like to have each new blog entry emailed to you. For free, even. Archives are below these most recent posts.



Walmart's Anti-Union Mania 

Recently Walmart closed a store in Quebec that was moving towards unionization. The UFCW built a webpage to encouraging us to direct outrage at Walmart, who soon started bouncing complaint emails sent to it [no surprise there].

The contents of that page were picked up and included in the March 2005 Columbia Journal [see the bottom of the page of letters], one of the few independent papers in BC.

One phrase was particularly niggly in my head as I read it a few times. Eventually I figured out why I disagreed with it:

The message from the world's largest and wealthiest corporation to consumers, communities and workers worldwide is clear: Wal-Mart would rather close stores, eliminate worker's jobs and make the entire community suffer, rather than reach an agreement with workers for fair wages and benefits.

The bolded section is my emphasis; it reflects perhaps an ironic mistake. While a unionized Walmart would be better than a non-unionized one, no Walmart is better than a Walmart at all. Walmarts create a local economic black hole that uses economies of scale and monopolistic purchasing practices to drive out all competition, including small community-based businesses, many of which pay decent wages and benefits, thereby precluding a need to unionize.

Indeed sometimes Walmart will open two stores "too" close together to absolutely saturate the market and drive all competition six feet underground, then close one store and reap the monopolistic benefits.

My favorite Walmart cynical trick to destroy humanity was its dead peasant insurance policies it secretly took out on its employees with itself as the beneficiary. Such a policy makes one question whether their employer will pay any real attention to keeping them merely alive on the job.

Simply, though, if the Walmart virus happens to arrive in a community, one tool to actually help heal the community's economy would be a kind of chemotherapy that exists in a unionization drive. Success, or near success can get the parasitical virus to expel itself from the economic host.

Finis

Questions, comments, feedback, gripes, thunderous applause? Email me...use the address at the bottom of the page. Please email me at the email address below if you would like to have each new blog entry emailed to you. For free, even. Archives are below these most recent posts.



Who Listens to CKNW... 

I think we now know which political stripe is represented by their listeners who use the internet and self-select to partake in the poll, despite BC Federation of Labour emails encouraging "others" to participate in the polls. Other recent polls are below this one.

http://www.cknw.com/station/corus_qod_poll.cfm?PollID=9013

[as of noon on May 9]
Who do you think won the radio leadership debate on CKNW?

82% Gordon Campbell
12% Adriane Carr
6% Carole James
1% No winner

[as of 1115pm today]
Who do you think won the radio leadership debate on CKNW?

83% Gordon Campbell
11% Adriane Carr
5% Carole James
1% No winner

http://www.cknw.com/station/past_polls.cfm

Who do you think would make the best premier of BC?
70.74% Gordon Campbell
16.02% Adriane Carr
10.59% Carole James
2.63% none of the above
Total Votes: 30001

Who do you think won the leadership debate on Tuesday night?
72.16% Gordon Campbell
4.12% Adriane Carr
23.73% Carole James
Total Votes: 33758

Finis

Questions, comments, feedback, gripes, thunderous applause? Email me...use the address at the bottom of the page. Please email me at the email address below if you would like to have each new blog entry emailed to you. For free, even. Archives are below these most recent posts.



Sunday, May 08, 2005

The BEST BC Election Ad Yet 

This one comes from the BC Federation of Labour's Count Me In campaign.

It's warm, compassionate, intense, moving and poignant. It should not be missed.


http://www.count-me-in.net/AudioandVideo/bc4sale-parody3-v2.avi



Finis

Questions, comments, feedback, gripes, thunderous applause? Email me...use the address at the bottom of the page. Please email me at the email address below if you would like to have each new blog entry emailed to you. For free, even. Archives are below these most recent posts.



A Scourge a Day Keeps Electoral Defeat Away 



The CanWest Ministry of Information in BC has created another issue for the reigning neoLiberal Campbell junta.

In a province where St. Paul's and Women's hospitals tell maternity patients to bring their own pillows, linen, blankets and pads to the hospital to give birth, the premier along with the Province rag create their very own scourge: crystal meth. Certainly this is a serious problem, but it's far from the scope of a health care crisis affecting 4 million British Columbians. Too bad there's no SARS still hanging around for our beloved [until recently] invisible former drunk driving leader to battle.

Finis

Questions, comments, feedback, gripes, thunderous applause? Email me...use the address at the bottom of the page. Please email me at the email address below if you would like to have each new blog entry emailed to you. For free, even. Archives are below these most recent posts.



Thursday, May 05, 2005

Education Commercialization [K-12 and Post-Secondary]...the Frog in the Pot 

I just got the email containing this fantastic article on corporate creep in education. Its beginning is quoted below.

Then when I flipped through this month's BC Teachers' Federation Teacher Newsmagazine and read what's becoming a regular update on commercial creep in K-12 schools, I saw too much light for my strained eyes to bear. 62% of BC high schools have exclusive marketing arrangements. Vomitous. Truly. More research into the K-12 frog in the slowly boiling pot is in the BCTF's Public Education Not for Sale site.

The not-so-facetious beginning of the article below about homeschooling to keep our children from being preyed upon by cradle to grave marketing is beginning to make more than just unlikely sense.

All this to say that I'm glad we've got more and more creative people finding more effective ways of teaching us frogs that we're in a pot of trouble. Sean Cook's School Inc. play is just that. Here's hoping it gets extended runs and tours the province, country and our whole neo-liberal privatization world.

Corporate College
By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

Believe or not, there exists a group of homeschooling parents who teach
their kids at home because they believe that the public schools have
been destroyed by corporations.

The food is corporate junk.

The street clothes and sportswear are covered with corporate logos.

The curriculum is often sponsored by corporate predators. (The winner of
a spelling bee sponsored by the local high school's principal last week
won a choice of prizes from Wendy's, McDonald's or Dairy Queen. Can you
spell diabesity?)

Even the music increasingly is corporate-inspired crapola, driven
largely by payola.

And the morality of the schools is the morality of the marketplace.

But even the most ardent anti-corporate homeschooling parents often give
up the fight when it comes to college.

At 18, little Johnny has had enough of being at home.

And it's time to send him off to --

College.

We can only guess at the extent of the corruption of academia by the
corporate predators.

But if we are to believe what we read in journalist Jennifer Washburn's
new book, then academia is in it deep.

The title of Washburn's book tells it all -- University Inc.: The
Corporate Corruption of Higher Education
(Basic Books, 2005).
(Disclosure: an old research piece of ours is mentioned in the book.)

If you listen to right-wing radio, or watch Fox News -- as we do -- then
you might be under the impression that universities are dominated by
left-wing professors, liberals and cranks.

If you don't, you might believe that universities are independent
non-profits dedicated to education and research.

Not true, Washburn says.

SNIP

Finis

Questions, comments, feedback, gripes, thunderous applause? Email me...use the address at the bottom of the page. Please email me at the email address below if you would like to have each new blog entry emailed to you. For free, even. Archives are below these most recent posts.



Archives

2004.04   2004.05   2004.06   2004.07   2004.09   2004.10   2004.11   2004.12   2005.01   2005.04   2005.05   2005.06   2005.07  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?





Impeach Bush

Killer Coke

www.stopsleeping.com

International Committee of the Red Cross

Amnesty International

Doctors Without Borders

No Sweat Apparel.com

Rumsfeld and The Grinch?
Separated at Birth?

the Onion

http://rtmark.com

dali global intelligentsia Vista dot org

dali
Because sometimes the surreal is the only viable approach
global
The big picture is the only picture
intelligentsia
Since we're all in this together, let's put our minds together
Vista
We're dead without a vision. What's yours?
dot org
We're no dot com

Education . Fiction . Personal . Poetry . Politics

Email me: NotUninspired at Yahoo dot com

Stephen Buckley, CEO* of dgiVista.org [un]Limited

You must be of legal drinking age [in your jurisdiction] to enter this site. If you are too young, please exit here.

The data in this web site is meant for general [mis?]informational purposes only, and while prepared from sources and data believed to be reliable at the time this web site was last modified, it is not intended for stock market trading purposes, exchange, barter or reliable martini recipes. dgiVista.org [un]Limited makes no representation or warranty, expressed or implied, innie or outie, and assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any information in this web site or [especially] anything to which this site links. Material copyright (c) 1984-2007 dgiVista.org [un]Limited. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form, unit of measurement, national currency, flavour or medium without express written permission of Monsanto, Yoko Ono, the International Monetary Fund and Phil Knight is prohibited. God save the Queen. And her heirs, I guess.

* CEO = [Chief Entropic Officer]

ISSN 1198-7634
This gravitational colour scheme is brought to you by the letter L, the number 12, the red wheelbarrow and the palm at the end of the mind.