(1293) Beertario


Looks as if we are not the only ones who feel an almost homonymic gravity of some kind drawing the phrases ‘buck-a-beer’ and ‘go fuck yourself’ into the same orbit.  This piece captures the general atmosphere of a hyped up, hot, and violent summer in a province that needs a sex-ed snitch line like it needs another massive forest fire.
Please read and share this powerful piece.
What buck-a-beer feels like to an alcoholic. I’ve been sober for five years, but my province is being led by a politician who seemingly prioritizes cheap beer over other, more urgent, issues—and it sucks
flare.com
image: Tatsuhiko Miyagawa via Flickr/CC

 

(1292) Ontario basic income pilot cancellation


If Ontario’s new Drug Ford government thought they could just cancel a large scale test of a basic income program and everybody would just forget about it they may be disappointed.  What an embarrassment.  Where’s all this business intelligence Ford is supposed to have?  Poverty is bloody expensive and Ford gave indications during the election campaign that the pilot would be respected.  This cancellation represents a total poverty of imagination and total failure to embrace reality and deal with complexity.
A buck a beer?  Go fuck yourselves.  One of their own party elders wrote the paper the test is based on.  Senator Segal is quite eloquent here on CBC regarding the cancellation.
Scrapping basic income pilot ‘horrific,’ former Tory senator says
cbc.ca/news
image: HiMY SYeD via Flickr/CC

(1291) Bit late, bro


Political illiteracy is rocket fuel for neoliberalism and populism.  An example surfaces par excellence via CBC.
To wit, a well enough meaning doofus, with plans to go to business school now in tatters, blithely describes the crash entrance into his life of a new reality in the form of Doug Ford with a machete.  Honestly, what the hell is wrong people?
Ontario PC voter worried about family’s future without basic income pilot
cbc.ca (audio 6:23)
image: Alex Guibord via Flickr/CC

(1290) On the poverty trail

A winter view of the Wentworth Stairs, Hamilton escarpment.
In a balanced community, the trails and parks are major assets.  Greenery and recreation outside are important to so many things, from the development of children to cleaning the air we breathe.  Scenery and recreation are fairly described as necessities.
Something is off when such assets are pressed into use as places to live.  Anyone travelling to Los Angeles lately will have been struck with the scale of urban outdoor living there.  It seems like much of the city has been commandeered by raggedy tents and tarps stretched between poles and sticks to define some privacy for people experiencing socio-economic difficulty.
Such encroachment is problematic in a host of ways.  Safety and hygiene are a challenge for the homeless, to say the least.  Outdoor living in parks and along trails also reduces the pleasure and benefit of such places on the part of others.  It can eliminate that pleasure and benefit completely in some cases.  So, in the best uncomfortable-to-read tradition of this blog we therefore link you to a newspaper item about Hamilton, Ontario.
Hopefully, this issue will receive some sensible amelioration.  Just as the smoke from burning fires in the north seeps across the horizon a sense of psychological uneasiness with the social prospects for Ontario swirls outward as the primal, humid days of Premier Ford’s era unfold.
Hamilton’s ‘out-of-control’ rental market is pushing more homeless to camp out in parks and on streets, advocates say
The Star/Hamilton Spectator on msn.com
image: Colin Payson via Flickr/CC

(1289) Canada’s social spending is wildly out of control, except that it isn’t


Okay, it’s a world of news, bad news, really bad news, and fake news but the finding that Canada is at the bottom of the list of developed countries for progressive spending should cut through the noise and be nothing less than devastating.  Right?  Like, what are we all living our lives here for?
Canada’s investments in social programs now rank near the bottom of the industrialized world. New study finds Canada’s public social expenditures rank in the bottom 10 of all OECD countries
pressprogress.ca

(1286) Repurposing an entire landscape


Golf courses, we’re looking at you.  Free mall?  Can we have two?   This is where the housing will go, where the missing middle will be found.
Positively 23rd Street (podcast)
npr.org
Dead golf courses are the new NIMBY battlefield. As the sport’s popularity wanes, vast amounts of under utilized land will be opened up. Can it be developed?
citylab.com
Landlords are practically giving malls away
bloomberg.com

(1285) Feckless Doug


Whatever your reaction to Doug Ford’s personality and speaking style he is probably best understood to be an advocate of neoliberalism.  Perhaps he’s for a tad more vigorous regime of that than Kathleen Wynn has been during her tenure.  Either way, a political change is imminent in Canada’s largest province and like voters all over the west for decades now we are confronted with a picked over buffet of options and must choose the least ptomaine-inducing one.
Remember to vote, friends and folks.  Above all, remember your interests.
Battle lines drawn over wages, jobs.  Low-wage work force has seen ranks grow rapidly, but parties differ over how to deal with it
thestar.com
image: Scazon via Flickr/CC