Author Archive | Jin_TheNinja

Mass Suicide Threat Results In Massive Lay-Offs For Foxconn Workers

Will Fan Boys finally rebuke their iPhones as more news of Foxconn’s inhumane treatment of workers surfaces in this ZNet article by Hana Stewart-Smith?

When 300 men and women climb onto a rooftop and threaten to commit suicide in protest over denied compensation, it is impossible not to wonder how a company could lead its employees into such desperation.

500px-Foxconn_Logo

But Foxconn did.

A little over a week ago, 300 employees at Foxconn’s Technology Park in Wuhan, China threatened their own lives because they were denied a vital pay increase. Foxconn told them they could either keep their jobs without it, or they could quit and be compensated.

Many chose to quit, but the company terminated the agreement, and none of the former workers received the promised compensation.

Production at the company was temporarily halted. It was not until 9 pm the next day that the town’s mayor was able to talk the 300 down from the roof.

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Truly Free Healthcare: Is it Possible?

imagineKrista Simpson describes a student-run, multi-discipline health care center, that requires no ID, no insurance, and no fees, for Torontoist. Is this a possible future model, not just for a marginalised identity-less population, but for Canada and the world at large?

At IMAGINE, a clinic organized and run by U of T students, multidisciplinary teams provide medical care to patients who would otherwise go without.

The life of someone studying in a medical field is a busy one, but for a group of University of Toronto students, even the hectic schedule does not stop them from taking on an extra project.

They are volunteers at a clinic called IMAGINE, an acronym for Interprofessional Medical and Allied Groups for Improving Neighbourhood Environments, which runs out of the Queen West Community Health Centre (168 Bathurst Street) on Saturdays. Patients do not need a health card or identification to be seen. Most who come through their doors are homeless or are new immigrants.

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The Industry of Hunger

Photo: Tawheed Manzoor (CC)

Photo: Tawheed Manzoor (CC)

Vandana Shiva on Al Jazeera English explains how, as mega-chains venture into industrial farming, they have created an epidemic of hunger- and generated billions in profit.

New Delhi, India – In November 2011, when the UPA government announced that it had cleared the entry of big retail chains such as Walmart and Tesco into India through 51 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, it justified the decision saying that FDI in retail would boost food security and benefit farmers’ livelihoods.

But the assurance that FDI in retail would ease inflation did not resolve the political crisis the government was facing; it deepened it. Parliament was stalled for several days of the Winter Session, after which the government was forced to withdraw its decision.

The story of FDI in retail goes back to 2005, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed an agriculture agreement with the US, along with the nuclear agreement.

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Farm and School

Denver Green SchoolAre schoolyard farms the best way to counteract the increasingly industrial food provided by school lunches? Via Denver's ABC affiliate:
DENVER — Just eight months ago, a one-acre plot at the Denver Green School was an unused athletic field, but now that land has come to life with food-bearing vegetation. "We have harvested over 3,000 pounds of produce from this ground. Lots of salad greens and root vegetables, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers," said Megan Caley, the programs and outreach coordinator for Sprout City Farms. Each week during harvest season, the farm produces 150 pounds of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables that end up in the school's cafeteria. "Kids are eating healthier," said Frank Coyne, lead partner at the Denver Green School. "They are excited to eat the tomatoes on the salad bar, they are excited to eat the cucumbers."
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Third World Canada

The Canadian media's furor and spin on the following story is demonstrable proof that any and all attempts to de-legitimise Indigenous self-government and exploit Aboriginal territories for resources is not only allowed, it is welcomed. These policies are based on historical paternalistic colonialism, which is explicitly intended to systematically disenfranchise Native peoples. Note as per this story , Canada spends MORE than two times per capita on non-natives for social infrastructure (housing, education, healthcare) than it does on aboriginal people. The amount reported in the Al Jazeera story below, is the entire budget, and does not include any additional civil infrastructure (roads, transport links) funds, which is normally separate from social spending:
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Women and Disbelief

Darwin FishA long-running critique of the New Atheist movement has been how strikingly male-dominated it is. Victoria Bekiempkis over at Bitch Magazine explores the intersection between feminism and atheism:

Women are God-fearing and don’t challenge institutions. Men, on the other hand, are skeptical and rational, and go out of their way to publicly call bullshit on faith and religion — which is why today’s well-known secular thinkers, especially in the ranks of the New Atheism movement, are all male.

These statements should sound ridiculous because, of course, they are. From Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the founder of American Atheists, whose 1963 Supreme Court lawsuit brought an end to prayer in public schools, to Sergeant Kathleen Johnson, who started an organization for atheists in the United States military, to Debbie Goddard, founder of African Americans for Humanism, countless women have worked as successful atheist activists. They’ve penned books, run organizations, and advocated on behalf of religiously repressed citizens.

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De-Colonizing the Occupy Movement

Iroquois ConfederacyJess Yee at Racialicious takes a look at the Occupy Movement and what it means to the most marginalised of the 99 percent:

The “OCCUPY WALL STREET” slogan has gone viral and international now. From the protests on the streets of WALL STREET in the name of “ending capitalism” – organizers, protestors, and activists have been encouraged to “occupy” different places that symbolize greed and power. There’s just one problem: THE UNITED STATES IS ALREADY BEING OCCUPIED. THIS IS INDIGENOUS LAND. And it’s been occupied for quite some time now.

I also need to mention that New York City is Haudenosaunee territory and home to many other First Nations. Waiting to see if that’s been mentioned anywhere. (Author’s note: Manhattan “proper” is home to to the Lenape who were defrauded of the island by the Dutch in 1626 — see more from Tequila Sovereign).

Not that I’m surprised that this was a misstep in organizing against Wall Street or really any organizing that happens when the “left” decides that it’s going to “take back America for the people” (which people?!).

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A Post-Fossil Fuel World?

Alternative EnergyNew Scientists reviews Robert Laughlin’s new book about the future of energy…

Starting with the premise that we’ll eventually stop using fossil fuels, Robert Laughlin imagines the energy sources of tomorrow

Robert Laughlin, a Nobel laureate for his work in quantum physics, starts his study of our energy futures with an absurd proposition — that it doesn’t matter much whether we burn all our coal and oil or leave it underground.

It’s a cop-out, of course. If we burn all the coal, we would probably burn too. But for the purposes of Powering the Future, it means “we don’t have to analyze contemporary energy struggles”. Instead, he moves swiftly on to imagine what a world that does not burn carbon might look like.

He likes nuclear best, and fast breeder reactors in particular, because they will extend the lifetime of available nuclear fuel to “about 20,000 years”. But he also has a soft spot for solar energy, especially solar thermal energy, which uses mirrors in the desert to heat pipes full of liquid.

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