Showing posts from April 15, 2014

Parks Act changed for Kinder Morgan’s illegal pipeline research?

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[Before Bill 4, Kinder Morgan was already conducting illegal research in parkland, using permits Christy Clark's government knew would not stand up in court. Meanwhile, Bill 24 has been introduced, which would allow industrial development on lands currently contained within the Agricultural Land Reserve. *RON*]
By Andrew Gage, Common Sense Canadian, April 14, 2014

You may have heard about controversial amendments to the Park Act by way of Bill 4, the Park Amendment Act, which critics say are to allow industrial “research,” or even industrial activity, in B.C. parks.

Over 160,000 people have signed a petition opposing Bill 4. However, B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak insists that the types of research to be allowed are minor, and that the amendments have nothing whatsoever to do with allowing pipelines in B.C. parks.

Study: Fracking Emissions Up To 1000x Higher Than EPA Estimates

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[New report suggests highly potent greenhouse gas far more prevalent in gas production than previously thought. At least they were only off by a thousand-fold! :-( *RON*]
By Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer Common Dreams, April 15, 2014.

Natural gas drilling is emitting far higher levels of methane into the atmosphere than federal regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency have said, according to the findings of a new study released Monday.
"We identified a significant regional flux of methane over a large area of shale gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania in the Marcellus formation and further identified several pads with high methane emissions," said the report, conducted by a team of scientists led by Purdue University and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

While past EPA studies have said gas well sites emit as little as between 0.04 and 0.30 grams of methane per second, this new study found numb…

School Officials Bully Student into Deleting Recording of Bullying, Threaten him with Felony Wiretapping

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[Trigger-warning if you hate incompetent bureaucrats and the abuse of power. *RON*]

By Carlos Miller, Photography Is Not A Crime, April 9, 2014

A high school sophomore in Pennsylvania who had been bullied all year by classmates with no help from his teacher decided to audio record the bullying on his iPad as evidence.

But instead of disciplining the bullies, school officials called police on him, threatening to have him arrested for felony wiretapping.

By the time the cops arrived at South Fayette High School in McDonald, school administrators had already forced the 15-year-old boy to delete the audio clip.

So police charged him with disorderly conduct instead, a charge he was convicted of last month.

Meanwhile, the bullies and the teacher who allowed the bullying – not to mention the administrators who intimidated him into deleting the audio – have yet to be disciplined.

Northern Gateway makes nice with Canadian unions as it works to build support

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[Here we have the real reason Mike Harcourt dropped his NDP membership - kowtowing to unions. But talk about selling yourself cheap. What does 2,100 person years amount to? If 3 years of work = 700 jobs, if 5 years of work = 420 jobs, if 10 years of work = 210 jobs. *RON*]

By CP / Huffington Post, 04/15/2014

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - Enbridge (TSX:ENB) is aiming to build support for its proposed Alberta-to-B.C. oil pipeline by pledging to bring good jobs, meaty paycheques and ample training opportunities to Canadian workers.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed between Northern Gateway Pipelines and trade unions representing pipeline construction employees.

Northern Gateway says the MOU promises a minimum of about 2,100 person years of union employment to the Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada and four unions, including the Teamsters and the International Union of Operating Engineers.

A news release says the plan is in addition to North…

Feinstein, Meet Irony: Outraged Senate Will Investigate Leak But Not Horrific Acts It Reveals

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["the Senate is scandalized not by the crimes committed in our names... but by journalists doing their job and telling us about them. Which could be the only glimpse the public gets: The Senate plans to release only snippets of the full report. Even those will be redacted by - yes! - the CIA, which has been awarded that privilege despite what some critics blast as a clear conflict of interest, but which review they assure us they will carry out expeditiously, so all good there." *RON*]

by Abby Zimet, CommonDreams,org, April 15, 2014

Surreal: Charging that possible perps "broke the law and should be prosecuted,” aggrieved Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein is investigating, and calling on the Department of Justice to investigate, the dastardly leak to McClatchy of conclusions of the still-unreleased, $40 million, 6,600-page report that contradicts pretty much everything the CIA has ever said about its infamous tort…

Clemency Denied: General Upholds Manning's 35-Year Sentence

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[Chelsea Manning's rock and a hard place: it is a felony to have knowledge of a government crime and not report it. The only worse felony is to report it. *RON*]

- Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams, April 15, 2014
A general has approved the 35-year prison sentence a military judge handed down to Chelsea Manning for releasing a trove of government and military documents to WikiLeaks, the U.S. Army said Monday.
Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan's approval of a judge's sentence and findings "means that no clemency was granted in the case," according to a media statement released by the Army.

Judge Denise Lind, an Army colonel, convicted Manning of 20 charges including espionage in July, and issued the 35-year sentence in August.

Buchanan's decision means the whistleblower's case now automatically heads to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals.

Audit finds 'gross mismanagement' in two case files for integrity commissioner

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[Whistleblower protection, Harper-style. *RON*]

Bruce Cheadle, CP / Huffington Post, 04/15/2014

OTTAWA - Whistleblower protection groups are demanding the Harper government fire its second public service integrity commissioner after two damning audits of his office.

The auditor general has found what he calls gross mismanagement of two separate case files in the troubled office, which was created by the Conservative government in 2007.

Christiane Ouimet, the first federal integrity commissioner appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, resigned in disgrace in 2010 before a scathing audit found she had failed to fulfil her mandate and had mistreated her staff.

Her successor, Mario Dion, vowed to clean up the office, which is supposed to protect public servants who blow the whistle on wrongdoing within the federal government.

Now Dion and his senior managers are under sharp criticism by the auditor general for the slow handling of two specific files, …

Free Speech Or Bribery?

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["We are dealing with those funneling millions of dollars to politicians in exchange for political and legislative favors. That is the exercise of free speech only if you equate it with the suborning of elected officials. It's hard to believe that the five Supreme Court Justices who voted in the majority do not know this. And if they do, they are guilty of using the Constitution to rationalize criminal behavior." *RON*]
By Lawrence Davidson, OpEd News, April 14, 2014
Part I -- Legalizing Bribery

On Wednesday, 2 April 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court took another step toward the destruction of campaign finance reform with a five-to-four decision known as McCutcheon v. Federal Elections Commission. One gets the feeling that this is part of a general campaign, waged by class-biased, ideologically committed conservatives, against government regulation, which they see as somehow a violation of their constitutional rights. As if to suggest that…

Quotes about rate of psychiatric meds prescribed to federal women prisoners

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[There's nothing new here; this is a direct consequence of the lack of proper psychiatric services in prisons. In the seventies I was a research assistant for a UBC study of the effects of solitary confinement on Federal maximum security penitentiary inmates, working in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. I remember seeing huge plastic jars of antipsychotic medications, the size of industrial mayonnaise jars. "Trustee" inmates went from cell to cell with wooden trays hanging by straps around their necks, which had holes cut in the top to hold paper cups with medications in them, which they passed around door-to-door, just like the guys at baseball games who sell "Peanuts, popcorn, crackerjacks." At the time they had about 1,000 inmates (it's only about half that now) and used one part-time GP for providing all of their "psychiatric" services. *RON*]

By CP / Huffington Post, 04/14/2014

Canada's prison watchdog h…

McDonald's Boycott Threatened Over Use Of Temporary Foreign Workers

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["...every time you bring in a temporary foreign worker in a job that, 'A,' isn't temporary and, 'B,' has no labour shortage, then basically you're abusing the program and those people." Jim Sinclair, President BC Federation of Labour. *RON*]

CBC, 04/14/2014

B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair says his organization may call for a Canadian boycott of McDonald's if it doesn't immediately commit to stop using temporary foreign workers.

Sinclair says his organization is opposed to the use of temporary foreign workers filling positions which have "traditionally provided important employment for young people, new Canadians and others seeking entry-level work."

He says the program is "fundamentally flawed."

"We've got some examples at McDonald's that show how bad it is both for the people who are temporary foreign workers and for Canadians," said Sinclair.

"We k…