Joe Fantauzzi: Desmond Cole, the Toronto Star and Another Existential Crisis for Professional Journalism

DISCLOSURE: I worked as a mainstream news reporter between 2003 and 2012. I see this as a two-fold issue; firstly, actions and secondly, words. I’ll consider both briefly and then elaborate on my concerns. Actions There is no point in rehashing here the now well-known details of what lead to Desmond Cole’s departure from the Toronto ...

Things Are Good: Be Safe Online

The American government recently repealed laws set to protect your privacy online, clearly the government doesn’t care about private communication. This impacts people around the world because a lot of internet traffic travels through the states via various online services. Safe and secure conversations are needed to keep a democracy running and we all deserve ...

centre of the universe: Fuck Libraries

The Saskatchewan government, in its 2017/18 budget, has slashed library budgets around the province. Its done all kinds of other things too like force civil servants to take a 3.5% cut in pay, shut down the only highway bus transportation service in the province, increase the provincial sales tax, and basically pissed off pretty much…

Things Are Good: Get Rewarded for Supporting Civil Disobedience

If your idea to change the world is creative enough then you could get $250,000 from LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman. Technically, it’ll be from MIT Media Lab with money from Hoffman. The Lab and Hoffman teamed up to ensure that creative civil resistance in the USA doesn’t die under the Trump presidency. With the increased ...

Things Are Good: This River is a Person in New Zealand Law

The Whanganui River its the first river to have the same legal stats as a person. The New Zealand federal government recently passed a bill granting the river legal personhood. This means that the river is afforded all the rights as a person under New Zealand law. The river’s rights to clean air, legal representation, ...

Things Are Good: Use Technology to Mobilize Your Community

The current federal leadership in the USA has many people concerned about their rights and freedoms. If you’re one of those people you can use these technological tools to help you stand up and fight back. Newsweek, rather surprisingly, compiled a list of tech tools that can be used to mobilize communities or be used ...

Things Are Good: How a Better World Can Come from Supply Chain Management

The Canadian organization Shareholder Association for Research & Education (SHARE) just released a report on how supply chain management can help promote and enforce human rights. Some countries legally require companies to report the status of human rights and any liabilities that may stem from neglect or worse. Canada, however, does not. SHARE has looked ...

Things Are Good: The Quick and Powerful Response by the ACLU

Image via Reddit. Over the weekend President Trump enacted what has come to be known as the Muslim Ban. Immediately protestors took to their nearby airports in act of solidarity with the people affected by Trump’s outrageous actions against migration. The protests are continuing today at American consulates and embassies around the world. This is ...

Things Are Good: What It’s Like to Use the Internet in Cuba

The internet is a great resource for connecting people to people and connecting people to services and new ideas. Cuba, like other developing nations, has had a hard time connecting to the internet because of the sheer cost (laying cables underwater isn’t cheap!); and for Cuba the costs are higher since they can’t connect to ...

Things Are Good: Amnesty International’s Guide to Safe Messaging

Thanks to the bravery of whistleblowers we know that the Five Eyes are monitoring all internet chatter regardless of who’s talking. This is a big concern for people who care about freedom and rights to have personal communication. As a result, Amnesty International put together a review of messaging apps so you can make an ...

Things Are Good: Standing Rock Sioux Achieve a Victory

This is proof that direct protest action works. The US Army Corps of Engineers has decided to not grant permission to allow the Dakota Access pipeline to be built as planned. The pipeline was meant to go through burial lands of the Standing Rock Sioux which is offensive in itself, but there’s more to it. ...

Joe Fantauzzi: THE PROBLEMS OF CARDING: Excising the Discriminatory Police Street Check Process

Over at Academia.edu, I have posted an updated public policy analysis of the police practice of carding, also known as “street checks” that I did as part of my Master’s course load. The full paper can be found HERE. But here is the Executive Summary: This policy analysis paper examines three options to deal with the discriminatory ...

Things Are Good: We Need the Humanities More Than Ever

Over the last decade or so there has been a big push in North America to get students in to STEM education. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are important to study, but they need to be studied alongside the humanities. The push for STEM is a result of the success of the tech sector ...

Joe Fantauzzi: Columbus is no hero of mine

Italian-North Americans — especially those of us with roots in the Mezzogiorno (and I include the Ciociaria and Abbruzzo here) — don’t need a Genoese genocidal rapist as our hero. It’s time to eliminate Columbus Day. It’s time for #IndigenousPeoplesDay   Some good reading and watching: ‘All Indians Are Dead?’ At Least That’s What Most Schools Teach ...

Things Are Good: Complaints About Police Drop 93% Thanks to Body Cameras

Policing has become a hot issue in recent years thanks to the efforts of groups like Black Lives Matter bringing discriminatory actions by the police to light. In many jurisdictions police forces are already using (or considering) body cameras that record what officers are seeing and doing. It turns out that using them can decrease ...

centre of the universe: Freedom’s Just Another Word

Over the past couple of weeks, you’ve been either lauding or vilifying this guy who plays sportsball in the US because he opted to sit out the national anthem in protest of racism, race-based violence, and inequity. You got *really mad* at him, and said he shouldn’t be allowed to play anymore. You said he…

centre of the universe: Bikini, Burkini – Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

– initially entered as a series of ranty comments on an effbook post – I don’t care WHAT your religion is, or isn’t – no government has the right to tell anybody how to dress. So the government of France doesn’t have any more right to tell people what they can wear at the beach…

Montreal Simon: The Day Stephen Harper Finally Resigned

Yes, it's true. After living high off the hog for about ten months after he was defeated and humiliated, the mad emperor has finally left the building.Stephen Harper has finally resigned.Stephen Harper is stepping down from Parliament and going into business, hoping that his credentials as a former G7 leader will lead to a successful consulting ...

Montreal Simon: The Day Stephen Harper Finally Resigned

Yes, it's true. After living high off the hog for about ten months after he was defeated and humiliated, the mad emperor has finally left the building.Stephen Harper has finally resigned.Stephen Harper is stepping down from Parliament and going into business, hoping that his credentials as a former G7 leader will lead to a successful consulting ...

Things Are Good: Walkable Streets Solve Nearly Every Problem

Anybody who lives in a city knows that walkability of neighbourhoods is a key reason they live where they do. The attraction to mobility options, safe places, cultural and economic diversity is what keeps cities growing. Walkable spaces makes all of that happen and more! What smoking was to the 20th century car driving is ...

Things Are Good: Holding War Criminals to Account

War is a messy business with the victorious side usually cleaning up how it all looks to outsiders. This is obviously problematic, particularly as we ought to hold people accountable for crimes they commit. When one rogue state let’s their war crimes go unpunished it calls into question the international agreements on how to handle ...

Things Are Good: Hermicity: A Drone-Based City Where Inhabitants Eat Soylent

Hermicity is a proposed community for hermits. The inhabitants would live on their own to cater to their need for isolation, they won’t even need to go to the grocery store. Drones would be used to deliver the meal alternative Soylent to the people paying to live in the community. What’s more is that the ...

Things Are Good: Never Disregard Kierkegaard

There is a trend in our culture to be proud of how busy one is – and this approach to busyness isn’t a good attitude. Instead, we should look to Søren Kierkegaard the Danish existentialist who advocates for reflection on what one is doing and not how much one is doing. This can be hard ...

Things Are Good: Minimalism

Minimalism is good. Read more. Thanks to Delaney! The post Minimalism appeared first on Things Are Good.

Writings of J. Todd Ring: US Intervention In Syria: The Next Iraq

Here is a very brief synopsis of the US role in Syria. We will, for the sake of brevity,  leave aside for the moment the obvious and documented facts of the US arming and supporting of the very terrorist groups they claim to be fighting; as well as the fact that the majority of “rebels” ...