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Showing posts from March 1, 2014

Look Where The U.S. Is On This Chart Of Life Expectancy vs Healthcare Spending...

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[The global home of corporatocracy. *RON*]
HENRY BLODGET, Business Intelligence, MAR. 1, 2014

In this OECD chart of life expectancy vs. per-capita healthcare spending (tweeted by Conrad Hackett), one nation is clearly different than all the rest: The United States.

The U.S. has by far the highest per-capita healthcare spending... and one of the lowest life expectancies of any of the world's richest countries.

No wonder so many Americans think we need healthcare reform.

Permission to Abuse Animals: Idaho's 'Ag-Gag' Bill Signed Into Law

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[“The question is not, 'Can they reason?' nor, 'Can they talk?' but 'Can they suffer?' "
― Jeremy Bentham, The Principles of Morals and Legislation. New law will allow "animal abuse, environmental violations, and food contamination to flourish undetected, unchallenged, and unaddressed." *RON*]

Andrea Germanos, commondreams.org, February 28, 2014

Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter signed into law on Friday legislation that criminalizes those who secretly document abuse of animals at agricultural facilities.

The widely opposed bill, SB 1337, came about following an undercover video released by animal welfare group Mercy for Animals that showed workers torturing cows.
The bill had the backing of the state's $2.5 billion dairy industry.

Otter issued a statement that "Senate Bill 1337 is about agriculture producers being secure in their property and their livelihood."

But as journalist and Green Is…

Ukraine: The Haze of Propaganda

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[Yet another perspective. It seems likely that it's virtually impossible to get "objective" coverage of the Ukraine at this point; all the media are wrapping themselves in their local flags and projecting the needs of their special interests and clients. The local perspective is, to put it mildly, "complicated," the Russian perspective takes one slant, the American perspectives takes another. This is the US perspective, with little or no mention of American interference in Ukraine affairs, whether through the more or less overt influence of Secretaries or the covert influence of the CIA. *RON*]
Timothy Snyder, New York Review of Books, March 1, 2014
From Moscow to London to New York, the Ukrainian revolution has been seen through a haze of propaganda. Russian leaders and the Russian press have insisted that Ukrainian protesters were right-wing extremists and then that their victory was a coup. Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych…

What's Wrong With Democracy?

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[This is a good article, which can be read here in The Economist. It has too many large and fancy interactive images for me to include it in my measly blog! :-) *RON*]


Top 5 Reasons Why Geothermal Power is Nowhere in Canada

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["Under the right conditions, geothermal energy is generally cheaper than all other forms of electricity generation over the entire life span of a power plant..." I think the answer is simple - if government scratches the back of geothermal energy, what have they got to scratch back with, compared with big oil and gas? *RON*]
 RAPHAEL LOPOUKHINE, Desmogblog Canada, Thu, 2014-02-27


Canada has no commercial geothermal power plants, despite having abundant potential and, ironically, Canadian energy companies running geothermal power plants around the world.

Canada’s west coast forms part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a giant horseshoe of active volcanoes and earthquake zones stretching from New Zealand all the way around Alaska to the bottom of South America. The geology putting coastal cities at risk also makes the area great for developing geothermal resources.

Ring of Fire countries New Zealand, Indonesia, the Philippines, the United States and Mexi…

WHY THE ECONOMY SUCKS: Because American Companies And Their Owners Are Greedier Now Than At Any Time In History

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[Requires no comment. *RON*]

HENRY BLODGET, Business Insider, MAR. 1, 2014
The U.S. recovery from the Great Recession is still one of the worst recoveries in history (see red line at right).

Why is the recovery so slow and weak?

One of the main reasons is that average American consumers, who account for the vast majority of the spending in the economy, are still strapped.

B.C.'s Budgetary Sleight Of Hand

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[Good illustrations of the tax trickery practiced by the Liberals in BC. "...when a government starts believing that the impact of its fiscal policies on a single individual earning $80,000 is appropriate for inclusion in the budget, it's a pretty safe bet that they've lost touch with what most people go through at the end of the month just to make ends meet."*RON*]

Dermod Travis, Ex. Dir., IntegrityBC, Huff Post, 03/01/2014

The funny thing about provincial budgets is that sometimes they tell you a lot more about a government's attitude than what the politicians might have intended when they first wrote the document.

Case in point: most governments like to pat themselves on the back at budget time by highlighting the impact of their fiscal policies on family budgets.

In last year's provincial budget, the Saskatchewan government put forward three such scenarios: one for a single person earning $25,000, another for a family earning $5…

B.C. Losing its Tax Advantage -- and Its People

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[The Liberals talk about BC being such a low-tax environment is just that, mainly talk, except for corporations. For regular citizens the deal is not so sweet. *RON*]

Jordan Bateman, BC Director, Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Huff Post, 03/01/2014

We will not be undersold, the old TV car commercials used to blare. If only the B.C. government would take that message to heart.

Like any business, governments are usually careful to make sure their taxation schemes are competitive with neighbouring jurisdictions. Virtually every government, at every level, compares themselves to their peers to ensure they are not driving out taxpayers with unnecessary higher rates.

The B.C. government is no different. Buried in the back of every provincial budget document is Table A3, comparing six tax scenarios for families, individuals and seniors in every province in Canada.

Not too long ago, these charts showed B.C. had the lowest personal income taxes in the country, which…