Aboriginal affadavits disallowed in courtroom days after TRC report released
"Where’d you go to school? Asking any other Canadian this is the most casual and even entertaining way of entering a conversation. Ask a First Nations person my age or older and you’re opening up a Pandora’s box of pain.

…Somehow in the year 2015, just days after the TRC report was issued, this happened: a two-week trial centred around allegations of physical and emotional abuse of Indigenous children at a remote Catholic school in the 1960s was conducted entirely in the absence of First Nations complainants themselves.

Affidavits sworn by Furlong’s former students were flatly dismissed, in absentia, as lies and fabrications. In their absence, middle-aged claimants were infantilized, as the defence suggested they might have succumbed en masse to False Memory Syndrome upon the arrival of a reporter in their town in 2012. […]

Then, in the final coup-de grace, the Burns Lake witnesses were eliminated from their own narrative. […]

Courtrooms are, culturally and historically, where First Nations people go to lose.

In Courtroom 54, they just vanished.

The Mask of Sorrow (Russian: Маска скорби, Maska skorbi) is a monument perched on a hill above Magadan, Russia, commemorating the many prisoners who suffered and died in the Gulag prison camps in the Kolyma region of the Soviet Union during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. It consists of a large concrete statue of a face, with tears coming from the left eye in the form of small masks. The right eye is in the form of a barred window. The back side portrays a weeping young woman and a headless man on a cross. Inside is a replication of a typical Stalin-era prison cell. Below the Mask of Sorrow are stone markers bearing the names of many of the forced-labor camps of the Kolyma, as well as others designating the various religions and political systems of those who suffered there.

The statue was unveiled on June 12, 1996 with the help of the Russian government and financial contributions from seven Russian cities, including Magadan. The design was created by famed sculptor Ernst Neizvestny, whose parents fell victim to the Stalinist purges of the 1930s; the monument was constructed by Kamil Kazaev. The mask stands 15 metres high and takes up 56 cubic metres of space

ge-botwin asked:

I have been willing to tell you. Greeks are sending an incredible example of dignity to the world. I know it doesn't make a difference, but I wanted to send you all my love and my support. And kisses. And hugs, big hugs. With love, from Spain.

Thank you sweetheart.

One thing that many people can’t or don’t want to understand is that poverty and difficult everyday conditions don’t mean that we as individuals but also as a united nation full of people that want a better future have less dignity that any other person in the world. Yes our country is in trouble and yes our bank system is breaking down and that is affecting and hurting us every day and is condemning us into a very harsh reality. Yes we are in shock, in fear and in tears. Yes we might even get angry and frustrated. But we are still kind, and loyal and ready to help each other and fight for what we believe.

Keep in mind that political systems, banks, and money are NOT expressing people. Those are not the factors of hopes and dreams and humanity. Yes they are contributing to the conditions of life but are not expressing what people have in their souls. People have emotions and feelings and are equal no matter if they belong to a rich country or a poor country. Certain interests and groups that control the economy are and will always gamble the economical future of countries. This might break the spirit of many people (like you and me and everyone else in this world)  but it doesn’t take away people’s dreams and dignity however.

Keep in mind that what is happening to my country today can happen to EVERY country in the world if this is profitable for certain group of people. Keep in mind that what many condemn or joke about today could potentially be their future tomorrow or in a few decades from now.

Right now in Europe for example Germany is an economical power and a country that is prospering and yet that wasn’t always the case. In 1954 the countries in Europe (Greece included) have decided to sign for a 50% reduction when it came to Germany’s suffocating debt allowing her to survive and start building her economy again. Because people and their future back then mattered and they should matter now too.

People should always be respectful of others no matter what the economy of their country is.

Do not forget your history because your history is now our present and it could become your future tomorrow and that counts for every country worldwide.

People’s worth is not translating in money.

I am proud to be a Greek and a European and that won’t change because some corrupt systems that care only about money are targeting my country in order to get richer.

Yes I am suffering today. And I will suffer tomorrow and the day after tomorrow but I will keep on fighting one way or another for a better day and a better future and that will never change.

anonymous asked:

What do you think is the most natural economic system for humans? Anarchy?

There is not a system which is natural to humans, what appears natural to us is only that way due to capitalism’s century long existence.  Four hundred years ago, people were sure that feudalism was the natural system of governance and economy.  And if we look earlier than that, a large portion of political philosophy in the Ancient world justified a paternal relationship between the rulers and the ruled which legitimated the master-slave relationship, which was seen as similarly being a ‘natural’ relationship.

Things aren’t going to get any easier after we move to the new system; politics is going to happen after the next revolution just as politics continued after the French Revolution. This doesn’t invalidate the search for a new social order, it merely approaches it practically.

400 people have been imprisoned at Riker's Island for at least two years without being convicted
Kalief Browder, who recently committed suicide after spending three years at Riker's Island without being convicted of a crime. This past weekend, Kalief Browder, having served three brutal years ...

Currently, at Riker’s Island, at least 400 people have been imprisoned for over two years without being convicted. Half a dozen people have actually been waiting for over six years inside of Riker’s without being convicted of a crime. A staggering 1,500 inmates have waited at least a whole yearsome imprisoned for crimes that wouldn’t even have sentences for this long if they actually were convicted.


Rare Martin Luther King Video on Economic Justice

Martin Luther King discusses the inequities in a political system that chooses winners and losers.  As migration to the west was happening, millions of poor Americans and immigrants were given land grants to start a new life and develop the American dream on their own private piece of land provided by the government.  Unfortunately, after slavery, black people were excluded from this opportunity to build homes on land grants.  This picking of winners and losers is a devastating economic hit to the African American community to this day.

OK Bernie Sanders Fans, lets get serious

Here is the thing, Bernie Sander is the only presidential candidate who offers some hope for the country actually addressing the major issues that are destroying this nature rather than ignoring them in favor of the old standbys.  I judge presidential Candidates on the basis of their answer to this question “HOw do you win a war on terror?” and Sanders is the only one who seems likely to actually be able to answer that honestly without common off like a moron.  But lets be honest, he is a long shot, so if we want to promote him, we need to get serious.  Here are some things we need to get worried of soon/be prepared for 

1) If he wins the first Primaries, then the DNC is going to tighten its ranks.  See Sanders is in this magic sweet spot right now where he can get national attention and the support of the base because even establishment democrats want him to pull Hillary to the left.  But remember when Mike Huckabee won the early primaries 2011 and the GOP suddenly rallied around Romney because they realized that Mike might win and he was a candidate who will never win a national election.  Now MIke would never win because he was a fucking psychopath and Bernie sanders has a chance, but the DNC is traditionalist and they will all rally around Hillary when that happens.  So what ever happens, don’t get into a celebratory mood if Bernie wins, because that is when things are going to get tough, and plenty of Democrats are going to come out with the old “You don’t want to see Jeb Bush be president?” phrase.  Here is the thing, no GOP candidate except MAYB Rand Paul can win a national election, they are just too damn racist.  So take advantage of the period right now, before the New Hampshire primary to spread the word as much as possible and try to get enough of them on the bandwagon before Clinton gets really scared

2) Don’t fall into the trap of Clinton inevitably.  Its a myth, it isn’t true, Hillary is a very weak candidate, because she is a damn Clinton, we know how they work.  They are corrupt to the core.  But that myth is going to be popular, it is going to be pervasive, and comparison to Ralph Nader costing Gore FLorida are going to happen (he didn’t).  The establishment is no longer needed as much as it once was, and if the internet is used properly, Bernie Sander’s strengths and Clinton’s weaknesses can be promoted.  But once Bernie starts getting to the debates, we are going to hear more and more about how Clinton can’t possibly lose

3) He is Jewish.  This won’t be a problem for the primaries, but if he goes up against what ever GOP hack they spawn, suddenly his not being Christian is going to be a very big deal.  Lots and lots of people are going to come out and start saying how MERICA IS A CHRISTIAN NATION and “DA JEWISH CONSPIRACY”.  Be prepared for that, get your defenses ready for that, turn that into a strength.  

right lets talk about some things that Bernie Supports need to do right now make him stronger

1) Appeal to minorities.   Right now.  Here is the thing, the reason why the GOP can’t win this next election is that not enough of the electorate are white men.  Hispanics, African Americans, Asians, GSM, young people, and women mostly vote Left, and they are making up more and more of the country.  the most dedicated of the Right wing voters are old and they are you know…old and are dying off.  ALl of the GOP candidates have spent the last few decades proving to the world that they are horrifically racist, sexist, and religiously intolerant, so winning the majority of the country will be difficult.  The only one who has a chance is Jeb Bush and….well this country isn’t ready for another Bush.  Now Bernie Sanders as 4 main groups who like him in this country.  Jews obviously, the all important student demographic is interested in him because you know….student loans reform, old people because of his age (even some conservatives and independents like him because he wants to reform Social security) and a surprising amount of white people like him.  But minorities in this country are distrustful of him because he hasn’t been on their radar and they are generally mistrustful of whitey (for good reason).   The clintons are well known and connected to Obama.  Notice how Clinton has passive aggressively been saying that Sanders is not invested immigration, when he has done more than Clinton has.  But they really don’t have any reason to, he has a good record on immigrant reform and you know…he actually knew Dr. King.  He marched during the Civil Rights movement, which is more than any other person here can say.  I mean, he was the only president candidate who not only called the Charleston massacre both the result of Neo Confederate racist culture in the south AND called it an act of terror.  And considering how many of the problems minorities face are descended from the economic inequality in this country, a candidate who can address that will be doing more to help ethnic minorities in this countries than Clinton’s connections to banks ever will.  

2) Talk to women.  Sanders again has a good record on women’s issue, and is pretty evenly tied with Clinton in that regards, so why should women vote for an old man?  Well two things, first his proposed healthcare reform will go a long way to helping with various women’s issues (Like affordable birth control) and unlike Clinton, he is more trustworthy.  The Clintons infamously will change their stance at the drop of a hat (she voted for the Iraq war for god’s sake), and so even if she can talk the talk it isn’t guaranteed that she will walk the walk.  Women are essential to winning any election, and Bernie Sanders has made his views on hate groups quite clear.  If he can just stand up to the MRA crowd he’d be perfect.  

3) Rally the base.  Try to get anybody who cares about real liberal issues to come out and get behind Bernie now before the establishment has its chance to turn him into traitor, with the internet this is actually possible.  Everybody on the left needs to start talking about the issues that the Clintons are too sacred…or well connected…to talk about.  Like ending the War on Drugs, ending the war of terror, addressing the wealth gap, bringing wallstreet under control and addressing the main issues of Social and Civic Rights.  AKA, addressing police brutality and the government disregard for the 4th amendment.  

4) Really go on the attack towards Clinton.  Because she voted for the Iraq war, and is a Centrist more than a liberal.  She (and her husband) are corrupt and utterly connected to all of the worse aspects of government.  She is the standard politician joke, utterly untrustworthy and just competent enough to get herself elected, and just likable enough because she is better than anybody the GOP puts up.  But she is not your friend, and she is not trustworthy, nobody with a Super Pac is.  

For that matter, the only GOP candidate you really need to focus on attacking is Jeb Bush, because there are many desperate people in this country who will vote for him even though the Bushes have been nothing more than a parasite on this nation, because he is the only one who seems to offer (on the surface) a reasonable chance of the conservatives winning.  

5) Finally, you know what Bernie Sanders offers?  A great deal of independents, and in fact Republicans might vote for him.  Because while the TEA party is mostly just full of vile paranoid racist sexist homophobic super racist theocratic conspiracy theorists, many of them are pissed about Wall Street corruption.  Many of the conservatives who cry about this country becoming “dechristinized” are also really poor and suffering.  Certain social issues are used to divide people who have something in common.  Famously in the south, the issue of race has been used to keep poor blacks and poor white from uniting against the rich, because poor whites will choose racism over their own well being.  Sanders is going to try to get people to vote there interests, and so its important to try to get people who normally don’t vote democrat to realize that the only candidate who is honestly suggesting to bring jobs back to the US in a real way, because you can’t be cozy with big business and want to bring jobs back to this country it doesn’t work.  

But finally here is the most important thing to remember, the Clintons (and they do work as a team) are old.  They are very old in politics, and lets be honest, they have a lot of dirty little secrets as most political high rollers have and there are MANY people who hate the CLintons.  And lets be honest with ourselves here, some scandal or gaff is going to come out in the next two years which is going to seriously damage the champaign and once that happens, Bernie needs to be strong enough to take advantage of it and present himself as a reasonable alternative before she can recover 

The fact is, this is age of the internet, random people have the power to change political elections…….if you organize.  If you focus and take these steps, Bernie has a real shot at office and we can finally have a real liberal in office not one of these centrist dopplegangers.  

United States of Belief.

We live in a country where freedom of belief is supposed to be an encouraging and inviting concept, but instead it allows for the stagnation of progress, harming future generations unseen to the present, then getting defensive when we point out that the physical laws of nature as revealed through scientific inquiry do not have a favored belief system. 

Religion is after the why. Science investigates the how.

If we as a society hold religious beliefs up to a greater standard of importance and respect than the physical laws of nature by which we determine how something is true, and we repeatedly see the harm it’s doing and could do to inevitably befall our entire civilization - if not our entire ecosystem - it’s our own fault. I appreciate religion for the questions it’s proposed, but not a single religious practice has advanced science on its own through their independent research labs with the routine funds they acquire to construct entertainment venues and pulpits rigged with the finest technology to broadcast their message. Instead, we have people training up their children to believe without evidence rather than bolster their critical thinking skills; and spend more time in church and “life” groups than they do on the solutions to problems we need to tackle through inquiry and scientific research which will preserve the lives of generations who have not yet been born. So, it’s not that I appear barbed because I have some chip on my shoulder, it’s because we live in a society (as Carl Sagan aptly put it) “fully dependent upon science and technology, where nobody understand anything about science and technology. 

There are so many people who hear things like that and say, “well, it’s up to the politicians, they should be the ones making the decisions because knowing how many electrons this or that chemical element are charged with doesn’t apply to me or my family’s life on a day-to-day basis” but we as a society and electorate vote these people in, and only a handful (if that) of politicians have any sort of scientific background whatsoever. So, it’s truly up to us to make sure that each generation understands how the world actually works using the tools we have used to advance our society up to the present moment to ensure our longevity going forward. 

There’s a difference between believing something and using the methods and tools of science to establish what is objectively true. And what is objectively true is something that is true outside of your belief system. That’s what science is.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson (via this interview with Larry King)

This is why we’ve been spinning in circles for the last 45 years since the Apollo program and even longer than that since the Age of Enlightenment. I don’t get kicks from periodically poking fun at “fundamentalists” because there are no such thing as extremists or creationists; there are simply people who have not been brought up amidst a society where enough people around them (and especially their immediate family) were scientifically literate enough to understand what questions they should be asking, why they should care, what’s “in it” for them, and how it would impact their life or their child’s life to know how things work and why everything is the way it is. Instead, stories have replaced actual knowledge and understanding, and are repeatedly defended when anyone has anything to say about indoctrinating children with these stories, rather than educating them on why there are religions in the first place, why they still exist, and why we haven’t advanced as a society to a collectively mature and scientifically literate civilization. Thus, you have “life groups” and Bible studies that are trying to make sense of the world amidst backlash being thrown at more vocal, visible, or abrasive members of their tribe/niche in accordance with a very ancient society’s mode of thinking during a time when they didn’t have an actual understanding at all about the world and our place within it. 

I certainly can agree that wisdom can be gained from various religious texts, but not an actual understanding of the world around us, other worlds, the universe, or the grand perspective of our existence from a historical, biological, chemical, and cosmological perspective. And therein lies the problem. We continue to move forward like this and expect things to change amongst a society where people truly have no idea why things haven’t changed at all. 

Blame is placed on presidents, or members of a political group, or religious groups of a different sect, and of course, people who don’t believe at all. What truly concerns me is not whether or not Jesus existed. We - historians, archaeologists - understand enough at this point to confidently and without question assert that, for instance, Christian doctrine (including Islamic doctrine by default of influence) are a smorgasbord of stories married and muddled together which have borrowed from other shades of ancient stories and myth in their time to create the Biblical texts. It’s not difficult to understand, but our curiosity has to be massaged in such a way where we actually enjoy the process of understanding in the first place. We’re creatures influenced by other influences, especially when we aren’t born fully equipped with the faculties to discern whether something is or isn’t true and how to find out. 

Recommended: Why We Need To Understand Science’ (Carl Sagan, Skeptical Inquirer, 1990)

The important thing now is to move forward with what we know to be true, break free from any kind of ignorance which is harmfully holding our society back from truly creating a ‘Tomorrowland-esque’ future, and see where that takes us. Without doing so, the next century will mirror the last, and so on, which is what we’re seeing now. And the reason why we are seeing so much strife between atheists (non-believers in a god or gods) and believers is because we now are becoming more globally connected with the ability to indirectly and directly - on the go and around the world - call people out when they are passing on false information while claiming it truth and holding people accountable for this during a time when we finally have the means to do so; while religions have thrived for so long without this ability of others (and their own congregation) to access information and verify a claim. 

The burden of responsibility truly is on the person/s or organized groups which continually are raising children up without the proper information and in affect, harming them without even knowing it, regardless of their perceived good intentions. I’m a result of that environment and as a father, it’s my commitment to my children and everyone else I share this brief existence with to promote scientific literacy and education. The denial of climate change, evolution, and vaccinations are a direct parallel of this kind of harmful behavior as a result of a society bereft of an educational directive which nourishes the importance of understanding rather than knowing (recalling) the name of something.  

In a free country - or we believe, we tell ourselves we live in a free country - I don’t care what you believe. Believe whatever you want. The problem comes about if you’re in denial of an emergent scientific truth and you wield power over legislation. That’s a recipe for disaster. When an elected official stands in denial of climate change - something that scientists have been telling them now for decades - and they’re going to create legislation in response to that…that is the end of an informed democracy.” 

– Neil deGrasse Tyson (via same interview)

I’d like to comment on the above quote. Wielding power equates to direct influence. If a parent is raising their child on their own perceived truths which are in contradiction to reality, that child’s environment is then subject to a disruption of knowledge and understanding about just that – reality. So a parent or caregiver is as influential and wields the same kind of power over a child’s development as a politician does over a legislative decision.

As safe and secure in mind as people may be in the religion they were exposed to when they were young or as a consequence of their environment, we know psychologically and through meticulous research of the brain what this type of indoctrination is imposing on peoples’ mental health and physical development of the brain. Yet, this still persists. It’s not a matter of black and white, or agreeing to disagree, it’s looking at what we know, learning from history, examining repeated mistakes, and making corrections for which we have the tools and the knowhow to apply. We’re too flooded with those in power and influence who stand up for Biblical literalism and freedom of religion to see how out of control it’s gotten. It’s not about reconciling religion with science and it’s never been, because they are two mutually exclusive paths of understanding, approaching problems, and visualizing the future. It’s blind faith vs an evidence-based approach to everything and every subject, with a commitment not to “sharpening swords” but practicing skepticism/doubt, and concentrating on what actually works, not what we wish to believe.


This is why we can’t rely on the mainstream political system- we have to challenge the system itself and build our own infrastructure to liberate women!

“Women are the most politically powerless group:

Among the demographics Stephanopoulos looked at — including racial minorities and low-income individuals — women have the least influence on policy at both the state and federal level. In cases where there’s major disagreement between men and women, the chance of a policy taking effect falls the more it’s supported by women, and it falls dramatically: from 80 percent to about 10 percent.

Using slightly different methodology, Stephanopoulos compared states’ overall ideological bent (as measured by actual policies enacted) to the bent of different demographic groups within the state. As this graph shows, women’s political ideology has almost no effect on states’ overall leanings.

Stephanopoulos says he was most surprised by the gap between men and women — a gap larger than those between black and white or rich and poor Americans. "When you think about what cleavages are in the news,” he said in an interview, “you hear about race and income, but you don’t hear as much about gender differences in terms of influence.”

Aboriginal inmates less likely to get early release from prison
'Releasing someone at the end of their sentence does not make a safe community,' John Howard spokeswoman says

Aboriginal prisoners are overrepresented in Canada’s federal prisons and waiting longer for parole, according to new numbers from the Public Safety Ministry, which is responsible for corrections.

Federal offenders are first eligible for parole after serving one-third of their sentences, but their release isn’t guaranteed.

However, according to the 2014 Corrections and Conditional Release Statistical Overview, nearly 85 per cent of aboriginal offenders are detained in federal prisons until they have served two-thirds of their sentences, at which time most offenders are entitled to statutory release, compared to 69 per cent of non-aboriginal offenders.

Struggles to secure housing, an inmate’s criminal record and high caseloads for legal aid lawyers all contribute to longer wait times for release of aboriginal inmates in federal prisons, says Lydia Bardak of the John Howard Society in Yellowknife.

“Statistically, aboriginal offenders are more likely to go right to the end of their sentence date, which is something we don’t want to see,” said Bardak.

“Releasing someone at the end of their sentence does not make a safe community.”

Continue Reading.

Political systems are the incredibly complex product of the long history of power struggles between the elites of the country and its neighbours. Readers, however, don’t really have the time or interest to work through the Byzantine routes to power of an (unfamiliar) American-style democracy or similarly complex social hierarchy of an (unfamiliar) system of Celtic-like chieftainships — which intricacies are often distracting from plot and character.

There are certain ‘coded’ political systems (single head of state, democratic legislature, clan chiefs, evil dictator, etc) that most people are pretty familiar with. A pragmatic approach is to take one of these as your model, and then make a few careful customisations and deviations to keep things interesting (e.g. change the succession rules or method of elections). If you make the systems any more complex than that, you risk (a) spending all your time explaining it, or (b) confusing readers over something that doesn’t drive the plot anyway.