If we were running things "like a business," we would be doing something like a cost-benefit analysis. Somehow, we became obsessed with cost and swept the other half of the equation under the rug. Everything that government does, or does not do, has consequences that go beyond the number of tax dollars spent.
Justin Beach is a Toronto-based freelance writer, political activist, web producer, agitator and sometimes final rinser at large. He has dabbled for more than two decades in theatre, television, politics and web tinkering. In 2009 he founded and remains the lead cat herder at the crowd sourced Canadian music site NxEW.ca. <br> <br> Justin has written for a variety of on and offline publications, in Canada, the U.S. and England, primarily on politics, music, the arts, technology and media. In his spare time he enjoys parenting, live music, existential crises and contemplating novels he should write someday when there is more time.
In 2014 there are more nuclear weapons than ever, but we don't really talk about them very much. Instead we talk, primarily about the possibility of human extinction due to climate change, food shortages, ocean acidification or, occasionally, super-volcanos or comet collisions. All of these things are possible, and all of them are very unlikely to cause the extinction of humanity.
06/06/2014 22:59 EDT
As I understand it, Harper's plan is to place someone on the CBC's board to monitor and participate in labour negotiations on behalf of the government is different than having a government representative in the newsroom vetting stories. Harper's plans should definitely be thwarted but that is, ultimately, only a tiny step toward actually fixing the CBC.
05/06/2013 12:43 EDT
Anything that there is a demand for on the Internet, will exist on the Internet. If the old news media is unprofitable and disappears, it will be replaced by something new and probably better. It is true that the Internet is changing the media, very rapidly but those who claim that it is "killing the media" or any part of it are generally those who haven't been able to adapt.
04/03/2013 05:35 EDT
Salon reported this week that doctors have urged Morrissey to stop touring. The singer also apparently feels that record labels aren't interested in him because of his age. The odd thing is that none of this should be a concern for Morrissey. The truth is that if Hersh can do it, and Palmer can do it then surely Morrissey can do it.
03/25/2013 12:10 EDT
Even now 3D printers can create a wide range of products the major challenge lies in making those technologies realistically affordable for consumers. When free is an option for all consumer goods it will have a greater disruptive impact than anything since, at least, the industrial revolution.
03/08/2013 06:00 EST
According to Mashable, Aaron Swartz may have been a source for Wikileaks. If looked at in light of the U.S. vendetta against Wikileaks, their extreme overreaction to Swartz's "copyright violations" involving academic journals suddenly makes sense. The Government's response to Wikileaks has been nothing less than rabid.
01/22/2013 05:22 EST
Pornography has been repeatedly protected by U.S. courts as a form of free expression. So, in effect, Stacie Halas has lost a government job because of her past legal speech.
01/20/2013 11:05 EST
What is the first thing you think of when you hear "touring musician?" If your answer didn't include diapers, breastfeeding, homework and playgroups there is a new documentary you might want to see. Rock N Roll Mamas is a new documentary that tells the story of three mothers who maintained their musical careers while raising children. What the director found was that there are no easy answers.
11/29/2012 05:19 EST
The music, film, television and publishing industries have all had to make serious adjustments to cope with the arrival of the Internet. Now it is the universities that are facing a new world where they may be forced to compete with free.
11/23/2012 12:27 EST
The way a news story is structured or what goes in the headline may have a profound effect on what people think they know about current events. For the casual news consumer, many of whom stopped reading this after the first few paragraphs, it is a good idea to carefully read the entire story when it comes to important issues.
11/17/2012 11:56 EST
<img alt="2012-11-05-electionbannerreal.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-11-05-electionbannerreal.jpg" width="300" height="70" /> Republicans have to reinvent themselves. The tactics and issues that have worked for them for more than three decades have failed. Democrats and progressives have a rare opportunity to permanently shift the debate on several key issues. America is at a crossroads, more divided than ever and trying to decide what kind of nation it wants to be now that it is no longer the world's lone superpower.
11/08/2012 12:14 EST
Like the majority of people who live in Oshawa, Ontario, I oppose the building of an ethanol plant on our lakeshore. So does the city government. However, it is not simply NIMBYism which motivates my opposition. No one should have an ethanol plant in their community, particularly not on the lakeshore, and mere feet from the city's largest park and public swimming area.
08/20/2012 05:11 EDT
<img alt="2012-07-25-olympicbanner.png" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-07-25-olympicbanner.png" width="300" height="40" />It is a terrible idea for any modern city to host the Olympics. The price tag alone should cause the mayor of any city to run screaming. It seems to me that the best way to put the focus back where it belongs is to break up the Olympics. Allow cities to bid on specific events that they already have facilities for. Allow sponsors and media companies to bid on specific events as well. This would reduce the cost, the impact on the cities themselves and the need for the military to be involved in security. The key, I think, is to stop trying to make modern cities fit the Olympics and make the Olympics fit the modern world.
08/13/2012 05:21 EDT
The reality is that the seals being hunted are not an endangered species and are not being hunted in numbers that might cause them to become endangered. In the areas of the world where seals are hunted there are few, perhaps no, viable alternatives. There are limited economic opportunities and few other food sources.
07/31/2012 07:51 EDT
The Ontario legislature recently passed its controversial anti-bullying law. The law, among many other things, forces Ontario's Catholic shools to allow Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) and allow them to be called GSAs. Response from religious conservatives was swift: They claimed that the bill infringes on religious freedom and the rights of parents to raise their children. The reality is that Catholic schools created an unsafe and unwelcoming environment for gay students.
06/08/2012 04:02 EDT
In 2011, we are many years past the point where any of the blame for sexual assault or sexual harassment should be pinned on the victim. That victims are in any way responsible is not the kind of message that police should be sending to the community and is certainly not a lesson that should be taught in schools.
10/27/2011 09:30 EDT
With Occupy Toronto approaching, I wrote a letter to Toronto Police and asked others to sign on. The letter listed many of the abuses of the G20 and asked the police not to repeat their mistakes. It asked them to behave calmly, rationally and professionally. My goal was 2,500 and I'd managed to push past 200 signatures.
10/13/2011 11:02 EDT
Those who oppose rights for gays will claim religious freedom and they are, in fact, entitled to it. Ultimately the question of gay-straight alliances in Catholic schools is not about religion or sexuality. It is about the right to feel safe in publicly-funded schools and in their own skin.
09/16/2011 09:35 EDT
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