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Honourable Mentions

Decision: 
Summary: 

Worker Co-ops, Animal Rights, Native Reserves, Leaving the Corporate State Behind, New Media, Gaza, Afghanistan, What the Frack?!, and more!

[in no particular order]

* * *

WORKER CO-OPS IN THE AGE OF DE-INDUSTRIALIZATION

The Harper government is presiding over the economic destruction of the country with "free" trade deals in the works between the European Union and Korea. More trade deals will mean further devastation for workers, less economic control, and hence less political control of our futures. A federal election is a distinct possibility next year and a discussion of viable economic alternatives is sorely needed in the political arena.

Themes:

1) The history of worker co-ops - in Canada and abroad: the lessons of the Antigonish movement
2)The lessons from Argentina
3) By taking economic and political control of our lives, the entire political landscape could be transformed, perhaps moving away from a representative from of government to a participatory model.
4) The Slow growth/Transition town movement, in conjunction with a move toward worker co-ops, will help us lessen environmental damage.
5) The necessary role of unions in developing worker co-ops as part of the necessary revival of how workers organize themselves as a social movement rather than relying on the party system to represent our interests.
 

* * *

ALTERNATIVES WE CAN REACH FOR: LEAVING THE CORPORATE STATE BEHIND

How do we inspire people with a 'systemic' way into a better world (a transition plan), instead of beat them over the head with how fucked we all are?

Sample headlines:

The (Im)Possibilities of Winning with Coercion and Resistance
Why Central Planning failed
Parecon: An Methodology for an Anarchist Economy
Why Market Socialism Fails
Transition Strategies (Section) 1. Participatory Dual Power Strategy 2. Federated Participatory Co-ops
Reviewing the Federation Models: Especifismo, Platformism, Synchronization, etc.
Mutualism and Workers' Capitalism: Co-operative history

* * *

NATIVE RESERVES AND THEIR POLITICS

What is the current state and what can be done to ensure Canada's Reserves are healthy politically and culturally?

Sample headlines:

Native Casinos
Democracy on Reserves
Parenting on Reserves
Doing away with the Indian Act
Self-sufficient Reserves?
Reserves or No Reserves?
Urban Natives
Bullying on Reserves
Abuse on Reserves
Addiction on Reserves

 

* * *

END THE DISCRIMINATION: ANGIOPLASTY FOR ALL

MS patients are being discriminated against by not being allowed access to angioplasty as a treatment for their disease.

Sample headlines:

Canadians denied treatment that is accepted internationally
Why is denying angioplasty to MS patients discriminatory?
What level of certainty is required for a new procedure?
Can Zamboni's findings be dismissed as placebo effect?
If carotid artery angioplasty is permitted, why not CCSVI angioplasty?
What does Evidence-Based Medicine really say about RCTs?
Why litigation?
How is the litigation progressing?

 

* * *

THE GREAT DIVIDE 2011

In the early 19880's, a time when the dominant narrative in the United States was one of unity, Studs Terkel through an extensive series of interviews found the opposite. In doing so he profiled the advent of many of the institutions that shape the
current socio-political landscape of the neo-liberal globliazed economy, as well as the many (often community based) organizations fighting against them. The rift included mega-churches and wallstreet versus mill-town parish priests and farmers, as well as anti-war activists, law enforcement, community-organizers, drop-outs, young republicans and more! More important this profile prognosticates the advent of the financial crisis, the new-industrial division of labour, and a host of other issues.

This special issue of the Dominion would revisit the rift outlined by Terkel as well as apply this (somewhat binary) approach divisions in Canada (by no means immune or isolated from the Great Divide) and beyond.

Arguably every issue of The Dominion is about the Great Divide. That is, this might not be all that special a proposal for a special issue. However, revisiting Terkel's work which both explains and personalizes the distribution and competition for power in society is incredibly timely. The challenges and the issues in Reagan's America exist today. Wouldn't re-examining the rift of yore, versus today provide compelling reading.

Last, this Special Issue will examine the Great Divide by interviewing people on both sides, and perhaps even spanning the distance, of the rift. This will personalize and explain the challenges, issues, and perhaps point to some solutions.

 

* * *

WHAT THE FRACK?! THE FUTURE OF ENERGY RESOURCES IN CANADA

As fossil fuel resources become increasingly scarce, corporations are turning to ever more desperate, risky, and destructive ways to extract the scraps of what remains.  What are the consequences for the health of land, water, air, and communities impacted by fracking and other desperate measures?

Themes:

The recession (see this site for a breakdown of fracking issues and campaigns - http://forum.stopthehogs.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1020&sid=2d3d197b0a1...), nationalism and patriotism, energy independence, carbon desperation, islamophobia, climate change, free trade, NAFTA and Chapter 11, carbon capture, community control over resources and decision-making processes, access to information, corporate monopolies/dictatorships and threats to activists (like Irving in New Brunswick), environmental
racism/classism, greenwashing/"corporate social responsibility", modern slickwater fracking (relatively new process, untested); Dick Cheney and the safe drinking water act (U.S.); resistance to fracking
in different communities (Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Alberta, BC); climate change; options and alternatives; carbon desperation and way of life; solidarity around Canada against fracking;

UNTITLED

Considering the make up now of many larger Canadian cities it's perhaps difficult Why are talented artists going hungry in Canada ?
Why are talented artists struggling to pay their rent?
Because the media is too busy mumbling about USA / World politics than focusing on their own back yard ?

Sample headlines:

1... How many straggling artists are in your town / city ?
2... Do you know who your local artists are ?
3... Imagine a world without artists... no music, no clothing, no homes designed, no poetry, no graphic design, no no no...
4 ... What defines Culture ?
5... What is trad Canadian Culture (in each province) ?
6... How do we maintain trad Canadian Culture ?
7... Poetry (samples of short poem by Aldan Nowlan and young Spoken Word Artists
8... VIsual Artists (hot talented unknown)

 

* * *

HOW TO ORGANIZE THE REVOLUTION(S)

because most people who do activism do not have a full thought out 'tool box' for, or 'strategic thinking' on, all the different things/aspects they need to know in order to do activism effectively. basically, it's time has come to do something like this. the earlier the better.

Themes:

Radical Peer Support; Effective internal communication (minutes, email listservs, phone trees, etc); How to run a meeting well; Structuring an organization (options and best practices); Human Resources approach to a group (volunteer 'job descriptions', intake interviews, exit interviews, skill sharing, 'professional development'/personal growth, making use of each individual's natural talents, etc); Marketing strategies; The importance of (mainstream) media engagement, and how to do it; Building independent media for movements; Lessons in setting up a media coop; Using social media tools ('case studies' of effective groups); Collaboration between NGOs and grassroots groups (pointers for both sides) and collaboration between groups in general; Engaging (marginalized) communities; Political base-building; Anti-oppression practice basics; Strategic planning; Doing things different than the same-old same-old (ie how to be creative in taking action); Building activist infrastructure; Lessons from the past; Accessing resources (funding and beyond); How to find and connect with what is going on in your community and afar; Assessing and measuring our effectiveness

 

* * *

ANIMAL RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE IN CANADA

Why is "animal rights" a social justice issue? How are animals treated in Canada and why should we give serious consideration to them?

Fills a media gap:

Unfortunately, many who are otherwise progressive dismiss animal rights as a trivial or sentimental issue; The Dominion can help to bridge this gap and to draw attention to the many serious issues involved, not just the suffering and death of millions of animals but the links to global warming, human impoverishment and hunger, displacement, environmental destruction, pollution, human health problems, etc.  There is a real need to put animal rights in political perspective and this special issue would help to draw those connections.

 

* * *

CLOUD SEEDING CHANGING OUR ENVIRONMENT

we are the brink of a paradigm shift in our relationship to nature and the environment. cloud seeding obscures the climatic impacts we are having and distances us from ecological feedbacks of which we are apart.

Themes:

climate change, pollution, transportation, weather control.

 

* * *

YOU TOO, LITTLE EICHMANN, ARE AN IDIOT. INTENTIONALLY.

How are neo-hippies, trendafarians, and radicals on facebook dependent on mulleted bitumen tycoons, (or, Why anyone isn't bombing)?

Timliness:

The Personal credit crisis will be in full swing (a.k.a. bind them 2.0) . CNN will touting the virtue of austerity. The new ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico will begin to fester, warming the discontents of a nation --yet scapegoating BP (corpo-fetish) will bring little relief (especially as the fire of discontent is automotorized.)

 

* * *

THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS AND THE COMING GREAT DEPRESSION

What can We the People do to counter the apparent complete domination of the US Congress by the the largest US banks and financial institutions.

Timliness:

The sub-prime mortgage crisis is only the tip of the continuing financial crisis.  As the crisis develops more and more bail out money will be required to bail out the banks at the expense of the real economy and tax payers.  The whole approach to save banks which were' too big to fail' is bankrupting the US and raising questions of the ability of European nations to protect their sovereign debt credit rating as they followed the US lead and tried to bailout their own national banks.  The fundamental injustice of those who deliberately created the crisis being bailed out using public money is revolting.  Yet the public is generally ignorant of the deliberate underlying cause of the current banking crisis and where it is leading.

Making The Global Financial Crisis the theme of the special issue may 'give permission' to other economists to publish alternative ideas of how to save the global economy.

 

* * *

LIKE OLD TIMES: FACISM RESURGENT

How can Canadians protect the cherished nature of our country if we don't accurately identify the dominant and growing threat to it?  The first essential step to reverse Canada's current degeneration into a fascist police state is for the public at large to recognize the current metamorphosis for what it is.  The Dominion News Co-op can play a vital role in that process.

Sample headlines:

- "From Peacekeeper to Warmaker: How Recent Federal Governments Have Overthrown Canada's Longstanding Values" (a story about Canada's participation in the illegal invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, the coup in Haiti, material support to America's wars in Iraq and Pakistan, fervent support of unfounded sanctions against Iran and Israel's unlawful blockade of Gaza, complete abandonment of UN peacekeeping missions, sabotage of climate change prevention treaties)
- "Freedom of Speech and Assembly, and Other Nostalgic Reminiscences" (a story about the government's suppression of dissent in this country e.g. Jason Kenney's illegal refusal of George Galloway's entry into Canada for what a court of law found to be purely political reasons fraudulently claimed as security reasons; the ongoing McCarthy-like persecution of Alex Hundert and his compatriots; the PMO's systematic monitoring and manipulation of requests made through the Freedom of Access to Information Act; etc.)
- "Militarism Gone Wild" (about the staggeringly corrupt plan to buy a $18 Billion fleet of F-35 fighters, which are manifestly the wrong weapon system for the wrong role being sole-sourced by the wrong process; and about how much education, healthcare, affordable housing, mass transit and/or income security that money could buy instead)
- "We're Doing Nothing Illegal Unless We Get Caught Doing It" (about the unanimous agreement by all sitting MPs to keep their collective $540 million annual expenditure of public money completely secret, despite the discovery of brazen fraud and embezzlement in other jurisdictions that have been properly audited, e.g. Nova Scotia, UK; also about the Office of the Attorney-General's lawful authority to conduct such an audit notwithstanding the resistance of MPs)
- "What if Canada Were a Single-Party State and We Didn't Know It?" (about steadfast Liberal Party complicity at every turn with the Conservative Party's radical legislative and executive agenda)
- "The Truth-Tellers: What Canada's Whistle-blowers Risk and How We Can Help Them Help Us" (e.g. Richard Colvin and others who've dared to tell Canadians the truth at great personal expense and still without effective legislated protection from retaliation by the government)
- "We Support The Troops That Support Our Extremist Agenda" (a story about how at least two retired Canadian military officers recently discovered that their privacy rights have been wildly violated by successive Liberal and Conservative governments in retaliation for having publicly criticized Veterans Affairs Canada's dismal treatment of injured war vets)
- "Wanted: Government Scientists Who Keep Their Mouths Shut" (a story about the recent and growing imposition of censorship by designated political commissars upon Canada's publicly-funded institutions of science and discovery)
- "We're Here to Help, Depending on Your Skin Colour" (a story contrasting (a) the Harper government's no-expense-spared dash to airlift Caucasian convicted criminal Brenda Martin home from a Mexican jail, with (b) the government's harassment and persecution of innocent Canadian citizens of colour abroad, e.g. Abousfian Abdelrazik, Maher Arar, Abdallah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati, Muayyed Nureddin, Omar Khadr, etc.)
- "If You Don't Know Who the Mark Is, Chances Are It's You" (a story about how the Harper government avoided the political price of bank bailouts by instead covertly bailing out Canada's banks through the useful intermediary of the CMHC, which accepted hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of toxic mortgage-backed garbage from the banks in 2008 and 2009 at the risk of taxpayers alone; Canada's government is now the world's largest sub-prime lender, but as intended, Canadians are utterly oblivious to this fact)
- "Judged By the Company We Keep" (how Canada's increasingly intimate military and political alliance with the world's most aggressive war machines [e.g. USA, UK, Israel] is endangering the security of Canadians rather than protecting it, by associating Canada with the routinely criminal actions of those allies in the minds of their surviving victims)
- "The Rule of Law: The Quaint Relic" (a story about how Canada's government declined to carry out its obligations under international law to arrest George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Condoleeza Rice at the border to face trial on credible allegations of organizing systematic torture and other crimes, and how our government has instead provided each of them with protected visitation in our country so as to be feted by Canada's own afficionados of lawless brutality)
- "Taxation Without Representation for You, Representation Without Taxation for Me Inc." (a story about whose interests are actually advanced by Parliament regardless of party in power; how large corporations in this country pay little to no taxes thanks to complex tax avoidance maneuvers that are considered perfectly lawful, yet these same corporations vastly disproportionate influence over the creation and degree of enforcement of the laws that affect their operations and profitability; and by contrast, the ever-growing burden of taxes and user fees imposed on ordinary citizens who are given no realistic opportunity to influence or even review draft legislation that affects us before it's enacted into law)
 

* * *

BEWARE MARCHEZ DES IDEES

How does have two official languages work to divide a national identity.

Themes:

Language police = thought control.
More communications = less communication
Who's paying = who's receiving (Money talks talcs)

 

* * *

9 MONTHS TO MELTDOWN

How will fear of the end of the world be used by media and organizations to control and manipulate opinions, products, and social movements.

Timliness:

Other media will have started promoting 2012 End of World shows, specials, web-sites around the world will be up and running on Jan. 1 at 11:00 am (late start due to hangovers).

Additionally if you focus on fear there is sure to be fresh material come print time. You can even account/leave a slot open for such a likely occurence.

Should position you well for fall ratings battle. Everything will be end of the world after next summer. Jump start your issue.

 

* * *

NATIVE RIGHTS, NATIVE LANDS ERODING: INDUSTRIAL EXPANSION'S CANADIAN ENDGAME

What is the current Conservative Government's policy direction on native rights and how is it affecting the expansion of industry onto native lands? 

Themes:

The quality of native lives in Canada: is it improving?  What is the future of the reserve situation in light of the Flanagan doctrine towards privatization of reserve lands and the individualization of the native economy? Are current, younger native leaders equipped to resist this shift, when social forces are pushing them further to assimilate and memory of life in the bush fades?  Why is Canada still not signatory to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples?  How is the Indian Act still very much alive and well in Canada - a look at the Barriere Lake Algonquin and the Minister of Indian Affairs use of S. 73 (?) to topple their elected leadership?  More analysis of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement from a native rights perspective and in the voices of native leaders talking back to both industry and ENGOs?  etc.

 

* * *

THE HARPER REGIME

What sort of effects has this regime and its adherents had on the social, political, economic and cultural landscape of Canada and beyond?

Sample Headlines:

A Divided Left in the Face of a United Right (regards to a Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition against a united minority Conservative Party)
Harpeconomics 101: Harper and Flaherty Economics

 

* * *

SPIRIT GUIDING CANADA BACK TO ITS ROOTS... ALONG THE WAY

in other words... strategies from the Dark Side... the Shadow side... the mystical, spiritual, religious, cosmic, zen, daoist!  Yin-Yang philosophies from a varied public on what can be done to preserve the quality of life.  Irregardless, perhaps of turning back the giant earth machines, the wells, the gas pipe lines.... Despite it all, what mystical, spiritual unactivities can permeate the world consciousness for peace, order and wholeness.  Body mind and spirit?

Sample headlines:

The Dominion Goes Wild!  Native, Tribal,  or Primordial  
The Dominion's Tribal Wisdom Issue.
The Native Way: Balancing Nature in 21st Century Canada.

 

* * *

THE NEW MARKET: HOW NEW MEDIA CAN HELP FUEL A NEW ECONOMY

I'll look at how new media opportunities are helping small businesses and organizations build a new economy.

The Dominion is already familiar with this model, but it needs to be explored more and discussed with the public in order to inspire people to invest in a new media infrastructure that is unbiased and objective.

The article / content will also explore how new media is fueling a new economy and how we need to assess different policy directions in order to stimulate - as opposed to limit - these opportunities.

Sample headlines:

- 20th Century Business:  The Evolution of Marketing and the Creation of Want.
- 20th Century Media:  Consolidation = Mass = Influence
- 20th Century Marketing:  I am a person, not a Target.
- 21st Century Conflicts:  The State of Media and Influence on Canadians.
- 21st Century Opportunities:  Be the New Market.
- 21st Century Media:  Fragmentation = Local = Protection of our communities

 

* * *

WHAT THE HELL IS CANADA REALLY DOING IN AFGHANISTAN?

Canada is due to end it's formal combat mission in July 2011. The Harper government has stated this, but will come under increasing pressure from the US and NATO to maintain a combat role of some sort. Having lost 152 soldiers with thousands more wounded, and having killed and wounded thousands of Afghans, it might be very timely to have a rigorous look at the entire mission from 2002 until now.

Themes:

Canada's military mission: the dynamics of the CF in war and peace
Integrationist thinking leading to Canada's war in Afghanistan
NATO, the US and the new world order
Private contractors and mercenary forces in the Afghan war
Afghan history
History of the Taliban and Afghan resistance
Western media depictions of the war vs reality on the ground
Nature of the war since 2002 for all US and NATO nations
Potential outcomes of the war on Afghan society, women, and minorities
After Afghanistan, what?

 

* * *

CANADIAN BOAT TO GAZA

Breaking the siege of Gaza: by land and by sea, we sail until Gaza is free.

Sample headlines:

Why the siege must end.
Stories from Gaza (x2 or 3, at least)
Canadians with connections to Gaza.
I was kidnapped by the IDF.
We sail until Gaza is Free: the international Free Gaza movement.
This boat belongs to all of us: communities support the siege-busting Canadian ship.
Lifting the blockade within the broader struggle to free Palestine, BDS, etc.
Why unions oppose the blockade: Canadian postal workers in solidarity with Gaza.

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Comments

Worker Co-Ops and other alternatives to corporatism

5

This is a critical issue that we need to explore to build alternatives to our predatory capitalist system. That said, all are great topics for discussion!

Voting for a Special Issue on "Co-operatives & Social Economics"

5

My vote here, for Honourable Mention is specifically aimed at the idea of a Special Issue on Co-op's and alternatives to corporate / capitalist norms of business.

 

Community / Social economies are where it's at!

It's the way of the future.

The TEA PARTY in Canada

5

Rob Ford mayor of Toronto, Tim Hudak premier of Ontario (?), Stevie PM of Canada; the Wild Rose Party in Alberta, Action Democratique and successor in Quebec, the Saskatchewan Party ... where do these right-wing formations come from, and why do they succeed in Canada?

Too late to propose, but here are some suggested angles:

* Conservative ties with Republicans

* right-wing mass media (with Faux News North still to come?)

* Zionism as a driving force in Canada

* Stephen Harper is his own Karl Rove

* false Liberals, from throat-throttler Chretien through the Steamship Magnate to 'Torture Lite' Iggy

* weakness of labour and social dem movements

... and on and on (unfortunately)

What the frack!

5

Many communities in Canada are waking up to the fact that the environment and our abilty to grow food in the future are at risk in many areas of Canada. This is because the government and corporations are conspiring together to allow oil and gas companies to search for fossil fuels wherever they want to. Oil and gas companies are desperately trying to find the remaining scraps of fossil fuel energy remaining. Fracking is an extraction method wherby companies force chemicals, sand and millions of ltires of water repeatedly under the ground to crack open rocks in order to capture a comparatively small amount of fossil fuel in the form of shale gas, coal bed methane or oil. This process of "slickwater" fracking, has only been around for 10 or 15 years, and the regulations do not address the dangers of this modern process.

Resistance is strong and growing, and in 2011 will be at fever pitch.

I chose to live in Cape Breton where we try to live with a small ecological footprint, growing our own food and living with less. Only to discover recently that nearby in Lake Ainslie, Glencoe and Rankinville,  the government of Nova Scotia and Petroworth are looking for oil or shale gas. We have done our homework and know what the future holds.

As Neal Mednick, President of Petroworth in a recent memo said, (of another exploration block in New Brunswick), that they are planning on puting up 32 wells a year for the next 30 years.

How can the Department of Energy promote and regulate oil and gas exploration? This IS a conflict of interest.

Canadians in BC, Alberta, Quebec, PEI, New Brunswick and now Nova Scotia are resisting the exploration and extraction of fossil fuels - instead they want their elected representatives to listen to them, for a change, and develop alternative energy sources and encourage all citizens to conserve energy and live with less. 

 

LITTLE EICHMANN

2

The entire "Little Eichmann" pitch was very funny in a too-real sort of way.

LIKE OLD TIMES: FACISM RESURGENT

5

Seems to me this proposal expresses well and incorporates the zeitgeist of all the others.  As a society, we do need to "wake up and smell the fascism" before the opportunity to prevent its ascendancy becomes a lamented memory.  I vote to have this proposal elevated to the short list.

Voting for Workers' Coops

4

My vote on the Honourable Mentions is specifically for the Workers' Coops proposal, especially if it were broadened a bit to include alternative/autonomous economies, inter-community trade models, farming coops, etc.

Agree

I think that one has potential too. Crankin' up the rating accordingly.

honourable mentions

3

So the only one of these topics (main topics OR also-rans) which is actually timely i.e. happening this spring (as opposed to before or after), is the Canadian Boat to Gaza.

Questioning

3

I am all for ALL the topics posted and I voted on all of them.

Yet, I am left with the stick in my craw, where there is a huge gap where LGBT issues are absent.

Why is this?

In conclusion, I feel we, as a media coop seem very linear and narrow when it comes to our focus on stories. Seems to be the same ol' suspects. However, I do not distract from the importance, I believe we could and should DO IT ALL.

Thank you/Merci

Tami Starlight - VMC

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