Susan on the Soapbox: A Pop Quiz

Ms Soapbox is shocked. She just returned from the Alberta Teachers’ Association Summer Summit on Public Education and discovered that she knows far less about education and teaching in Alberta than she thought she did. What education looks like today So pop quiz!  (Stop grumbling, many politicians are pontificating about the state of education in ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 31: Isn’t summer supposed to be a quiet time?

The world is truly moving too fast. Or at least it is in the United States of America, the flickering beacon of democracy. It seems like more stuff happened in the States in the past week than we experience in a typical month, or even a year. For simplicity’s sake, I will revert to the ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Plastic Is Out of Hand

Plastic almost always ends up as waste within a year or two of its production. We’re making too much of it also, at an increasing pace. “Of the 8.3 billion metric tonnes of virgin plastics ever made, half was made just in the last 13 years,” Geyer said. “Between 2004 and 2015 we made as ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Scheer Shouldn’t Shrug Off Toxic Rebel Association

CPC leader Andrew Scheer told reporters Wednesday he would not grant interviews to Rebel Media if the editorial direction remains as it is. — Rosemary Barton (@RosieBarton) August 17, 2017 This was in response to me, and countless others calling for him to denounce the hate site for its involvement in the Charlottesville Nazi attack. ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Nazis Ruling News Cycle In USA

The “loons” on the right wing really stuck their foot in their mouths this week, so better balance things out so they don’t seem so violent and crazy by bringing up some possibly comparable event from years ago on the left wing. Main stream media continually proves it’s unwilling to be a reasonable adjudicator of ...

eaves.ca: Teaching Digital at the Kennedy School of Government: Part 6: Bringing it Together

Okay, so to recap, here at the Kennedy School of Government I’m interested in the social, economic and policy changes brought about by the way digital technologies expand or threaten how we can solve problems, relate to one another, and reimagine institutions and the world. We have a range of students who fall into three broad ...

eaves.ca: Teaching Digital at the Kennedy School of Government: Part 5: Foundational Topics

One challenge I’ve observed about how digital technologies are taught at most schools of policy or government is it takes a relatively ad hoc approach. It is a mix of courses that emerge due to either student demand or faculty interest. To be fair, this is often better than nothing, but it offers little in ...

eaves.ca: Teaching Digital at the Kennedy School of Government: Part 4: The Trap — Teaching Tech and Concepts

Before talking about the framework for thinking about digital at the Harvard Kennedy School, I want to discuss what we aren’t doing. I do this because I frequently get asked by students and others to respond to needs that I think are poorly articulated. I believe we should listen to users (students) but that doesn’t ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 30: Bad boy gets caught with hands in cookie jar

The political career of Derek Fildebrandt is coming to an end. We hope. Fildebrandt, the United Conservative Party (and fanantical former Wildrose) MLA for Strathmore-Brooks, was revealed last week to be cashing in on his taxpayer-supported rental apartment in downtown Edmonton. Out-of-town MLAs get $23,160 a year to own or lease property in Edmonton. Fildebrandt ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Diminishing Democracy.

Around the world, from Venezuela to Poland, from Turkey to America, we are watching the destruction of democracy. Those who believe in democracy are routinely arrested, beaten, detained or killed on the streets of once-safe cities. It is a challenge everywhere. There is no safe haven. And Canada is no bastion of democracy. Former Prime ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 29: Western nation in crisis … guess which one.

An important democracy in the Western Hemisphere is lurching towards a dictatorship after the election of a crazed, megalomaniacal leader. And no, this isn’t another blog about Donald Trump. (Betcha ya didn’t see THAT coming, did ya?) No, this week, it’s Venezuela. We don’t hear much about Venezuela. To be honest, I had to look ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Moose Jaw Reunion

I was in Moose Jaw for a family reunion on Sunday. My Dad was in hospital fighting off another infection, while his immunity is compromised by chemo. The rest of the Kleins who could make it were in Wakamow Valley Park. Some other family had taken over the pavilion we’d booked, but we easily found ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Jason Kenney: Servant Leader…what?

Now isn’t this a conundrum… The impetus to unite the Wildrose and the Progressive Conservative parties was the assumption that only a united conservative party could beat the NDP in the next election. The two parties united and now the polls are showing that any one of the UCP leadership candidates, Jason Kenney, Brian Jean, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: It takes four to replace Mansbridge?

The other day, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation announced that it will take four people to replace long-time news anchor Peter Mansbridge. The question is whether the four are equal to the task? The reality today is that the CBC is doing a far better job with its news website than anyone else and that is ...

TaylorOwen.com: Fake News and the Crisis of Information

Below is the video of a talk I gave recently at a Canada2020 conference in Ottawa, titled “Fake News and the Crisis of Information” followed by a panel I was on with David Frum, Anand Giridharadas, Liz Plank, Susan Delacourt and Evan Solomon. Related, here is a recent radio interview on misinformation and the looming challenge of fake video and ...

Excited Delirium: Follow the Law or the Law will Follow You

Taser torturing a teen for what purpose?

Excited Delirium: The Needle and Damage Done

The opioid crisis that was manufactured by pharmaceuticals is just another reason why ‘science’ doesn’t mix well with ‘business’.

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 28: Justin Trudeau, the free world’s best hope … really?

Rolling Stone magazine is the latest American media outlet to fall under the hypnotic spell of Justin Trudeau. The Perfect Prime Minister got the full Rolling Stone cover treatment this week, an occasion that had much of the Canadian news media in full snicker and guffaw mode. The article, some 6,000 or so words, was ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Playing the racism card.

According to the Black Experiences Project, the Greater Toronto Area is rife with racism. And it all seems targeted at blacks. If you read writers such as Desmond Cole, Royson James, Shree Paradkar or follow the gyrations of Black Lives Matter (BLM), you will be told that all the white people out there are co-conspirators ...

Parchment in the Fire: A despot in disguise: one man’s mission to rip up democracy

George Monbiot The Guardian It’s the missing chapter: a key to understanding the politics of the past half century. To read Nancy MacLean’s new book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, is to see what was previously invisible. The history professor’s work on the subject began by ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Wind Will Be Cheaper Than Natural Gas

Will be? Naw, it has been for years. Still, SaskPower is building another 350MW of natural gas to go online in 2019, while building far less than 300MW of wind power by then. They’ve a target of 50% renewable generation by 2030, and still wind is far less than 5% of the grid total. Clearly ...

Excited Delirium: A Reminder That ‘Science’ Can Be Bad As Well As Good …

Science should just be science, but unfortunately, a LOT of it is funded by different special interest groups. How are we supposed to know when we’re being informed proactively versus being manipulated for profit?

Susan on the Soapbox: UCP Merger…a message from the this-could-get-ugly department

Jason Kenney is busy ticking off the boxes in his quest to be the next premier of Alberta: Become the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party—check. Maneuver Brian Jean (WR) into accepting a merger proposal—check. Merge the PC and WR parties into the United Conservative Party—check. Become the leader of the UCP—ongoing. Lead the UCP ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 27: The right moves; Spicer quits, comics cry.

Well, that was decisive. The Wildrose and the Progressive Conservatives — the Hatfields and the McCoys of Alberta politics — agreed to a merger on Saturday. And it wasn’t even close. Rank-and-file members of both parties voted in shocking numbers in favour of the merger of the two conservative parties. Remarkably (or suspiciously, if you’re ...

Parchment in the Fire: “Syriza has failed.”

For the Greek economist, the single currency has simply allowed Berlin to dominate the European market and to become a global exporter country: “The Euro was a disaster”. And on Greece he adds: “Syriza shows us what we should not do and how we should not organize ourselves. Those who want to change things from […] ...