The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “Media” Category

Inequality in the Fast Lane

Posted on December 14, 2017

In the midst of all the election hubbub following the stunning Democratic Senate win in Alabama, one Republican congressman used the occasion to call on the Republican Party to dump Steve Bannon, one of the early architects of Trump’s presidency. Congressman Peter King is worried over where his own party is headed in recent weeks and although his speaking out against Bannon raised a lot of eyebrows, it was something he said only a couple of weeks earlier that carries much more significance. While the Republican tax cut plan was heralded by some in Washington, King was flummoxed by the nonsensical hurry to get it passed when it was, in fact, the deepest cut in corporate taxes seen in decades. “You’re rewriting a tax…

Community Amnesia – Part 2

Posted on December 12, 2017

In our previous post the subject concerned what transpires in communities when news sources – traditional or online – are wiped out by corporate fiat. Journalists lose their livelihood, citizens lose their context, and communities are cut loose from their recorded history. But there’s more, and it’s devastating. It’s not just about losing the stories that others won’t cover – social club luncheons, the doings of smaller community organizations, neighbourhood developments – but the lack of momentum for causes that are as equally important to society than any other big story. Take poverty for instance. Sure there are the important stories currently gaining attention, like pilot projects for a Basic Income Guarantee, federal housing money for the next decade, a special benefit for children…

Community Amnesia – Part 1

Posted on December 8, 2017

Today I lunch with a good friend and committed journalist trying to come to terms with the loss of his job because of the recent Postmedia-TorStar deal that closed a good number of local newspapers across Canada, including London. He is one of those people who is his writing; it’s how he chronicles his aspirations and struggles, his belief in community and his own place within it. There are many like him now wondering how to navigate their future. The communities are still here, but many of their dedicated storytellers are gone. Such thoughts abounded when I came across CBC London’s Kate Dubinsky’s piece on what happens to the archives of such publications when they close down. You can read it here. She rightfully…

Never Again Just Happened

Posted on December 5, 2017

As decisions go, the passing of the Republican tax cut bill could have the most profound consequences for any nation having economic relations with the United States, including, and perhaps especially, Canada. Nobel Prize winner and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote of how all the lies surrounding the initiative, “show the rot spreads wide and deep,” in the GOP. Krugman isn’t without his many critics, but there was something so manufactured, so devious about the tax plan, that he spoke honestly to what can only be termed as the greatest tax grab by the wealthy in decades. Myths abounded, mostly exposed and exploded, by a bipartisan group of leading economists who consistently bit back at the fabrications. Will the cuts stimulate growth?…

How Our Libraries Opened My Eyes

Posted on December 3, 2017

It’s called epiretinal membrane disease and the implications seemed more than serious. A condition where a scar tissue-like membrane coats the retina at the back of the eye, the disease left me with only two options: major surgery on both eyes or continual decline of sight. I opted for the former, and the good professionals at the Ivey Eye Institute, following two major procedures, successfully removed both membranes, effectively stopping the disease. Nevertheless, my eyesight isn’t what it was and new challenges have emerged. The most serious has been the effect on my ability to read effectively. It hasn’t been easy. But as it has during so many other important occasions in my life, the London Public Library has guided me through difficult days.…

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