Here are some of the most interesting things I could find this week, on a pretty wide variety of subjects. Sure you’ll find something to interest you! Share your own favourite links in the comments.
“Academic publishers reap huge profits as libraries go broke“, CBC, June 15th
Universities are having a crazy tough time with finances right now, seems a bit mad that all these publishers are doing so well. Something I never understood is that universities produce the knowledge, give it to the journals for free, and then buy it back from the publishers, who make a hefty profit in the exchange. When you consider that most of a university’s income comes from the tax-payer, it’s a little weird that this isn’t more of a public issue.
“Magna Carta: Challenging 800 years of ‘liberty’“, Al Jazeera, June 15th
Great point here: the anniversary of Magna Carta should be a reminder that the fight against the power of the state is an ongoing one. Our society is becoming less and less democratic, let’s not sit by and watch the Queen talk about an old piece of paper.
“Middle-class votes sought for 1 big reason“, CBC, November 2013
Everyone thinks they’re in the middle class, and they’re (probably) not. Might not seem like a huge deal, but politically there’s some major consequences. I’m writing a piece on this issue for next week, check back then.
“Senator Don Meredith kicked out of Conservative caucus“, CBC, June 17th
So, if I’m not mistaken, this guy is still sitting in the senate as an independent? Crazy. If the Duffy scandal didn’t bring senate reform to the forefront of the October election, I can only hope that this will.
Pretty horrifying, really. Border agents can “arbitrarily” imprison migrants for up to eight years in a “cruel and inhumane” way, with “little or no accountability” or oversight. Was shocked that it wasn’t the lead story on the CBC or any other Canadian news networks.
“TPP: What is it and why does it matter?“, BBC, April 29th
Informative piece on a pretty big economic deal – this stuff always confuses me, this explains it pretty clearly though. Should there not be more debate about this?
“Watch out“, Economist, June 13th
Bit of a dire warning that the world’s leading economies are not at all prepared for another recession, which is almost bound to happen to come around soon. Our economic system is built on the expectation of boom/bust cycles, and for some reason we accept this as normal – is it so radical to start rethinking capitalism?
“Many Ask, Why Not Call Church Shooting Terrorism?”, NY Times, June 18th
Title says it all, really. The shootings in Norway and in Moncton were never labelled as terror attacks, but other “lone gunman” style attacks, such as that in Ottawa or Boston, are immediately called “terrorism” by authorities. Why? The state benefits from “terror” attacks by radical racial minorities: they can use the fear of the majority that is generated to increase their own power, enforce obedience, and pursue hawkish foreign policy aims, all of which generally help them at the polls. Labelling this shooting, and others by right-wing white men as terrorism on the same par as others would require the state to deal with the real issues, mental health and gun control, that are much less popular.
“The Geography of Terrorism“, The Atlantic, November 2014
This article also helps demonstrate that our definition of terror in the west is flawed. Terror attacks are far more likely to be committed against Muslims and almost never occur in the West, despite the popular image of terror attacks conveyed in the newsmedia, in Hollywood films, and in the political discourse. Also interesting is that terror attacks are far more likely to occur in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the West has been meddling for more than a decade now; the chart that shows a massive increase in the number of terror attacks after the 2003 invasion of Iraq is particularly enlightening.
Follow doonpress on WordPress or Twitter if you’re interested in seeing more recommended reading or opinion pieces! Lost Graduate is publishing one of my pieces next week on youth voting, and I’ll have one for you on perceptions of the middle-class in Canada here on doonpress as well! Cheers