Years of labour peace between the government of Ontario and teachers came to an end this year. Like their colleagues in British Columbia
, Ontario teachers and support staff are complaining of unfair, unnecessary, and unconstitutional legislation -- the Putting Students First Act, 2012
-- that gives the Education Minister, Laura Broten
, unchallenged power to ban strikes, job actions, set compensation and benefits, and to take over local school boards who are non-compliant
. Ontario school boards are unanimously opposed
to the Act, which reduces their power, and so are teachers and support staff, who feel the government is manufacturing a crisis
. Most see this as a cynical ploy to capture public support for two by-elections
this week that could nudge the Liberal government into majority status. ETFO and OSSTF, two of the teacher unions involved, have repeatedly pointed out that "the school year is not in jeopardy"
, that they had already accepted a wage freeze, and that local bargaining is proceeding well.
As legislation looms aheads, teachers, support staff, and labour activists are wondering: is this the end of collective bargaining for the public sector? [more inside]
posted by The Hyacinth Girl
on Aug 31, 2012 -
If we trace liberal disappointment with President Obama to its origins, to try to pinpoint the moment when his crestfallen supporters realized that this was Not Change They Could Believe In, the souring probably began on December 17, 2008, when Obama announced that conservative Evangelical pastor Rick Warren would speak at his inauguration. “Abominable,” fumed John Aravosis on AmericaBlog. “Obama’s ‘inclusiveness’ mantra always seems to head only in one direction—an excuse to scorn progressives and embrace the Right,” seethed Salon’s Glenn Greenwald. On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow rode the story almost nightly: “I think the problem is getting larger for Barack Obama.” Negative 34 days into the start of the Obama presidency, the honeymoon was over.
Jonathan Chait asks in New York
magazine, When Did Liberals Become So Unreasonable? [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus
on Nov 23, 2011 -
Evangelicals are very good at articulating their sexual ideals, but they have little practical advice for their young followers. Social liberals, meanwhile, are not very good at articulating values on marriage and teen sexuality—indeed, they may feel that it’s unseemly or judgmental to do so. But in fact the new middle-class morality is squarely pro-family.
The New Yorker discusses the red-state/blue-state divide in attitudes about premarital sex, sex education, and teen pregnancy: Red Sex, Blue Sex
posted by Who_Am_I
on Oct 31, 2008 -
And we're off
! Prime Minister John Howard has set the date for the Australian Federal election as November 24th, meaning we're up for a long six-week campaign. With Kevin Rudd leading the PM by between 16 to 18 points
(depending on who you read) in recent opinion polls, this election seems the most likely to provide a change of Government since Howard was first elected 11 years ago. Antony Green's usual excellent election guide is up and running here
, along with an excellent calculator
which shows which seats are up for grabs dependent on a 2 party preferred
swing. You might also want to check out the Vote-O-Matic
, a fun but entirely disposable quiz which aims to help you decide who you'll vote for. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000
on Oct 13, 2007 -
Are you a young, college educated liberal who can't afford health care or a place to live? In his new book
, Daniel Brook
says you are getting screwed by being forced to choose between a job that you would actually like or selling out so you can have a middle class lifestyle.
posted by afu
on Sep 29, 2007 -
Bill O'Reilly got word that Jet Blue was sponsoring the YearlyKos
convention. He sent a camera crew to confront
the CEO of JetBlue, asking why they were supporting radicals
He has spent the week comparing
DailyKos to the KKK and Nazi websites. He spent the majority of his radio and TV shows discussing this "hate" site. He said the right-wing equivalent of Kos was Fred Phelps.
and apologized. Has someone ever misunderstood a website this bad?
posted by DougieZero1982
on Jul 20, 2007 -
South Park Refugees.
"The G.O.P. used to have a sizable libertarian bloc, but I couldn't see any sign of it at the conference. Stone and Parker said they were rooting for Hillary Clinton in 2008 simply because it would be weird to have her as president. The prevailing sentiment among the rest of the libertarians was that the best outcome this November would be a Democratic majority in the House, because then at least there'd be gridlock."
posted by ZenMasterThis
on Sep 1, 2006 -
"Why Jon Stewart Isn't Funny" (Boston Globe)
In an op-ed in the Boston Globe, Michael Kalin, a "2005 Harvard College graduate" isn't predicting that Stewart will bomb on Sunday night's Oscar show. Instead, "Stewart's ever-increasing popularity among young viewers directly correlates with the declining influence of progressive thought in America. Coincidence? I think not." He blames Jon Stewart for turning tomorrow's leader away from potential careers in politics. His evidence, "Meet Joshua Goldberg, a fictional composite
of the typical apostle of 'The Daily Show" who goes to work on Wall Street instead of pursuing a job in inner-city teaching
like Kalin did, as he told CBS.
"Although Stewart's comedic shticks [sic] may thus earn him some laughs Sunday at the Oscars, his routine will certainly not match the impact of his greatest irony: Jon Stewart undermines any remaining earnestness that liberals in America might still possess."
This left me speechless. In my personal experience, Jon Stewart has dramatically increased my own children's interest in politics.
posted by notmtwain
on Mar 3, 2006 -
Looks like a minority liberal government
for Canada. The entire process will have been completed in a single day. The voters used pencils to mark X's on paper ballots, which were stuffed into ballot boxes then counted by hand. Despite the differences in population, is there a lesson here for our southern neighbours?
posted by Turtles all the way down
on Jun 28, 2004 -
writes in his book Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think
that the book began with a conversation about a single question that might be used to tell liberals from conservatives. His friend offered the question: "If your baby cries at night, do you pick him up?"
Is there a basic belief that underlies all conservative and liberal positions? Lakoff's answer, that our politics are connected to how we view family, is summarized in this interview.
Is he right? What about you, what makes you a conservative or a liberal?
posted by yoz420
on Mar 29, 2004 -
"You rats! You stinking rats who hide in the sewers!
You think you can go after my income? You think you can kill my advertisers? You think I'm Dr. Laura? You think I'm gonna roll over like a pussy?..."
Thus did MSNBC's newest hire, Michael Savage,
react to the information that GLAAD is meeting with the head of programming to protest his hiring. What's more, he feels the Bush administration owes him an investigation of GLAAD and any other group that protests his hiring, because "I have millions of people who vote. Mr. Bush wants to get re-elected, and just consider me a politician at that point. I'm going to ask for a trade in favor. If they keep it up, my favor is going to be I want these groups investigated."
Some of Michael Savage's comments regarding America, homosexuals, and the state of the country can be read or listened to here
or at his Paul Revere Society site linked above.
posted by amberglow
on Mar 3, 2003 -
Sweden bucks the trend.
In a heated
election yesterday, Swedish voters ended the European left's losing streak. Despite having the highest taxes in the industrialized world, Swedish voters rebuffed the tax-cutting, center-right parties that proved so successful in Denmark, Austria, Italy, Portugal, France and Holland. With Germany's Socialists suddenly ahead
in the polls, and the implosion
of Austria's far-right Freedom Party, is the center-right revolution in Europe out of gas?
posted by Ljubljana
on Sep 16, 2002 -
Evangelist Franklin Graham, stands by his statements
that Islam is "wicked, violent".
"It wasn't Methodists flying into those buildings, it wasn't Lutherans," Graham told NBC. "It was an attack on this country by people of the Islamic faith."
Is it strange that the son of the popular and eloquent Billy Graham hasn’t come under much fire for his anti-Islamic statements while the goofy duo of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are still being roasted for their own inflammatory 9.11 statements
against liberals and gays?
posted by wfrgms
on Nov 19, 2001 -
Limp Liberals - Aintchasickovem?
A really fine left liberal answer to Berkely and all the faint hearts. And it fits right in with my own thinking. It's time we stood up and got counted for human rights against any "culture" or "religion" that denies them. Polly Tonybee writes an excellent and timely piece. Liberals too, should not "go wobbly" out of a plain cowardly "respect" for reactionary strains of Islam, Christianity or Judaism. What do you think?
posted by terrymiles
on Oct 10, 2001 -
"I have no hesitation in describing this mentality, carefully and without heat, as soft on crime and soft on fascism. No political coalition is possible with such people and, I’m thankful to say, no political coalition with them is now necessary. It no longer matters what they think." Christopher Hitchens says that intellectuals of the left who seek to understand the new enemy are no friends of peace, democracy or human life. Two different versions of the same article here
. Along the same lines, a piece from The Economist
arguing that "Whatever its mistakes, the idea that America brought the onslaught upon itself is absurd.
posted by aaron
on Oct 2, 2001 -
A glimpse into the "Ivory Tower" -
The online community at Swarthmore College
is abuzz with reflections, debates, insults and demands for revenge prompted by the recent tragedies. After being physically threatened by a member of my college community after commenting that I thought that the Netherlands was a more "free" nation than the US, I've stopped going to the site myself; however, a look at the forum may demonstrate that such reactionary thought isn't limited to "middle America" or the "unenlightened," as some intellectual snobs/idealists seem to think. (Swarthmore was tied with Amherst as the number one liberal arts college in the country according to U.S. World and News Report
posted by surblimity
on Sep 13, 2001 -