Showing posts from February 10, 2014

That 'market freedom'? What a surprise, it's wiping out farmers and enriching the 1%!

See the original article here.
[Interesting piece on the predictable dissolution of that tool of the socialist devil, the Canadian Wheat Board, and the chaos that has ensued. *RON*]

Remember the "market freedom" the Harper Government was congratulating itself so heartily for delivering to Western Canada's grain farmers a few weeks ago?

To create that "freedom," Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and the trained seals in the federal Tory caucus have all but killed the Canadian Wheat Board. Now the freedom they boast about is killing the prices farmers get for their grain and enriching railroads and multinational food corporations.

Gee, who'd have predicted that?

Canada Budget 2014: Here's What We Can Expect To See

See the original article here.

["The decision to unveil the budget during the Olympics tells you all you need to know." Don't watch the preview of the 2014 Economic Action Plan if you've eaten anything "squishy" for lunch. At least they're calling it "our Conservative government" not "the Harper government" - I'll bet there was wrangling over that one! *RON*]

Sunny, 02/10/2014

What we know about Tuesday’s federal budget: it’s going to crack down on charities, tackle price gaps between Canada and the U.S. and help fund internet access in remote areas. Aside from those undramatic public leaks, there might not be much else to keep us from turning our attention back to Sochi.

Let weak banks die, says eurozone super-regulator

See original article here.

[Better late then never I suppose. Between Daniele Nouy, Janet Yellen, and Elizabeth Warren, perhaps women will save the day. *RON*]

By Claire Jones, Sam Fleming and Alice Ross in Frankfurt, February 9, 2014

The eurozone’s new chief banking regulator has warned that some of the region’s lenders have no future and should be allowed to die, heralding a far tougher approach to the supervision across the currency bloc.

Sophisticated Spy Tool ‘The Mask’ Rages Undetected for 7 Years

See the original article here.

[We're being spied on by everybody and his dog. *RON*]
1:20 PM

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic – Researchers have uncovered a sophisticated cyber spying operation that has been alive since at least 2007 and uses techniques and code that surpass any nation-state spyware previously spotted in the wild.

Business Coalition Announces Massive Offensive Against Environmental Protections

See the original article here.
["The industry can put up a fight if they wish, but they need to be completely transparent about the fact that they believe their profits are worth more than the lives of the 200,000 people who die each year from air pollution." *RON*]
FARRON COUSINS, Mon, 2014-02-10

As the Obama administration begins to take action to rein in the emissions from the dirty energy industry, big business groups all over the country have announced that they aren’t willing to stop polluting without putting up a very serious fight.

Spontaneous Order: Looking Back at Neoliberalism

See the original article here.
[Good, informative book reviews. *RON*]
By Tim Barker - Winter 2014

Masters of the Universe:
Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics
by Daniel Stedman Jones
Princeton University Press, 2012, 432 pp.

Markets in the Name of Socialism:
The Left-Wing Origins of Neoliberalism
by Johanna Bockman
Stanford University Press, 2011, 352 pp.

“The owl of Minerva,” Hegel famously wrote, “flies only at dusk”: historical events can be theoretically comprehended only in retrospect. Is this the case with neoliberalism? A term ubiquitous in the academy but scarcely used outside it, the concept is difficult to define with precision. A common shorthand identifies it as the economic and philosophical ideology behind the Reagan-Thatcher revolution; it is also often agreed that this ideology contributed somehow to the financial crisis of 2008. Now, with the recession technically over but recovery still ambiguous, two recent books attempt to describe neoliberalism’s historic…

What sets humanity apart

See the original article here.

[Are human beings irreducibly different from other living things? Henry Gee thinks not: “There is nothing special about being human, any more than there is anything special about being a guinea pig or a geranium”, he writes in his “persuasive” book The Accidental Species. Other thinkers disagree, but with diminishing confidence. “We are not the only species with, for example, language – we just have more of it” *RON*]

February 7, 2014 6:25 pm

By Stephen Cave

Are we really as unique as we like to think? Stephen Cave considers the evidence
The Accidental Species: Misunderstandings of Human Evolution, by Henry Gee, University of Chicago, RRP£18/$26, 224 pages

Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed, by Marc Bekoff, New World Library, RRP£13.99/$15.95, 320 pages

The Gap: The Science of What Separates Us from Other Animals, by Thomas Suddendorf, Basic Books, RRP£19.99/$29.99, 352 pages

A Natural History of Human Thinking, by Michael Tomasello, Harvard, RRP£25.95/…

How Many More Coal Ash Spills?

See the original article (plus a video I couldn't successfully link to) here.
[In the movie War Games, a learning computer plays the game Thermonuclear War and says "Strange game; the best option is not to play." *RON*]
By David Biello, February 7, 2014
What is the largest type of trash produced in the U.S.? It’s not whatever you’re thinking, most likely. It’s coal ash.