This and that for your weekend reading.
- Tavis Smiley discusses the need to speak realistically about the causes and effects of poverty, rather than simply dismissing real human costs as somebody else's fault and problem. And similarly, Tim Stacey comments on the appalling "empathy gap" - which sees upper-class mouthpieces complaining about the cost of luxuries while claiming that the poor have it easier in trying to scrape together the essentials of life.
- But for the most compelling indication as to the consequences of policies designed to attack rather than assist those in need, CBC reports on a Harris poll showing that 39% of Canada's long-term unemployed have completely given up on looking for work - as the Cons' attempts to bully people back to work have predictably done nothing to create opportunities worth pursuing.
- Meanwhile, PressProgress challenges Tim Hudak's complete and baseless belief in the magic of corporate handouts. And Thomas Walkom notes that Hudak's entire jobs plan has been met with nothing but refutation by anybody who takes a meaningful look at it.
- Emily Atkin's report on the Harper Cons' squelching of environmental and scientific reporting is well worth a read. And Charles Pierce offers a reminder that the use of state coercion to further corporate power at the expense of the public interest isn't limited either to the oil sector or to Canada's federal government.
- Finally, Tim Harper poses six questions about murdered and missing aboriginal women in Canada which cry out for answers (rather than the Cons' continued denial and obfuscation).