Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘anti-Olympics

Monday!

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* Police Tape is an Android app from the American Civil Liberties Union that is designed to allow citizens to covertly record the police. When activated, it hides itself from casual inspection, and it has a mode that causes it to send its recording to an ACLU-operated server, protecting against police seizure and deletion.

* Capitalism can turn anything into a miserable boondoggle: London Olympics edition.

* Share Our Future – The CLASSE Manifesto.

* “I’ll be paying this forever,” said Chelsea Grove, 24, who dropped out of Bowling Green State University and owes $70,000 in student loans. She is working three jobs to pay her $510 monthly obligation and has no intention of going back.

“For me to finish it would mean borrowing more money,” she said. “It makes me puke to think about borrowing more money.”

Everyone only wants temps.

2012 drought rivals Dust Bowl.

* Journalists really should just refuse quote approval. That’s just not how this is supposed to work.

* And Nate Silver says voter suppression efforts probably won’t determine the results of the election. But digby and Ed Kilgore say light your hair back on fire.

Olympics and Anti-Olympics

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In preparation for this month’s ACLA conference, here’s Jules Boykoff in New Left Review on anti-Olympics activism in Vancouver.

The IOC would introduce British Columbians to ‘celebration capitalism’, the whipsaw inverse of Naomi Klein’s ‘disaster capitalism’. From day one, the Olympic party was a full-on budget-buster. The five-ring price tag was originally estimated at $1 billion; by the month before the Games, costs had ballooned to $6 billion, and post-Olympics estimates soared into the $8–10 billion range, with the City of Vancouver alone kicking in nearly $1,000 for every single person in town. The model followed was so-called public–private partnerships, in which the public pays and the private profits. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson—a New Democratic Party-style liberal—was no exception; when it came to the Olympics, the co-founder of the Happy Planet organic juice company was guzzling the public–private partnership Kool-Aid. 

Vancouver has become a poster city for neoliberal-era gentrification, the gap between rich and poor widening into an abyss. As a measure of what Henri Lefebvre would have called its ‘spatial contradiction’: Vancouver is reputedly the most liveable yet the least affordable global city. In 2010 the median house price was $540,900, while median household income was $58,200. Nowhere is the difference between nouveau riche and old-school poor more glaring than in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood, an 8-by-15-block strip of gritty urban intensity that—outside aboriginal reserves—is Canada’s poorest postcode. Yet the sharp juxtaposition between high ‘liveability’ and dire poverty does not undermine Vancouver’s status on the silver-frosted terrain of global capitalism. Hosting mega-events like the Olympics tends to enhance this status, a massive extra boost for turbogentrification.