Showing posts from April 19, 2014

Squamish on the Precipice: Saying 'No' to LNG

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[The government has already conducted some of its slam-bam-thank-you-ma'am pseudo-public consultation on this project. *RON*]

G. Elijah Dann, Huffington Post, April 19. 2014

A few nights ago I went to Quest University in Squamish to hear a presentation by three experts on the details of what we might expect from a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility on our shoreline.

The meeting, organized by a local group of concerned citizens -- My Sea to Sky -- wasn't only about what happens if they plant themselves next to our town. The facility will exist only because of a number of prior indignities performed by humans on the environment to extract and then export the product.

Their presentation described how the natural gas is initially derived in northern B.C. by fractuated drilling (so-called, "fracking"); the environmental consequences; the possible economic pitfalls; and some of the important questions LNG proponents need to stil…

Krugman: Worried About Oligarchy? You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

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["Even those of you who talk about the 1%, you don't really get what's going on. You're living in the past.... We are becoming very much the kind of society we imagine we're nothing like." *RON*] John Queally, Common Dreams, April 18, 2014

In an interview with journalist Bill Moyers set to air Friday, Nobel laureate and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman celebrates both the insights and warnings of French economist Thomas Piketty whose new ground-breaking book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, argues that modern capitalism has put the world "on the road not just to a highly unequal society, but to a society of an oligarchy—a society of inherited wealth."

The conclusions that Piketty puts forth in the book, Krugman tells Moyers, are revelatory because they show that even people who are now employing the rhetoric of the "1% versus the 99%" do not fully appreciate the disaster that global wealth i…

5 Things to Know About How Corporations Block Access to Everything from Miracle Drugs to Science Research

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[On the current system of intellectual property rights, which is also at the heart of debates over international free trade treaties. "The intellectual property system needs to be reevaluated so that social and economic progress aren't hampered by laws that only reward the few, and the public good becomes a top priority." *RON*]
By Lynn Stuart ParramoreAlterNet, April 15, 2014

Should a company be able to patent a breast cancer gene? What about a species of soybean? How about a tool for basic scientific research? Or even a patent for acquiring patents (see: Halliburton)?

Intellectual property rights are supposed to help inventors bring good things to life, but there’s increasing concern that they may be keeping us from getting the things we need.

In this wild and contested jungle of the law, which concerns things like patents and copyrights, questions about the implications of allowing limited monopolies on ideas are making headli…

Obama's First-Amendment Defense of Political Liars

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[The Democractic president of the United States hard at work. Political lying is not merely protected as free speech, it is an especially sacred form of free speech which must never be allowed to be legislated against, the US Solicitor General will argue before the Supreme Court. *RON*]

By Eric ZuesseAlterNet, April 18, 2014.
President Obama, through his U.S. Solicitor General, arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court, has now stated that lying in political campaigns isn't merely protected by the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech, but that it is an especially protected form of speech, which must not be hindered by any state government, such as by the state of Ohio. Ohio has outlawed such intentional deception of voters, and has established heavy criminal penalties against it, when it can be proven. The idea behind this law is that any democracy in which lying in political campaigns isn't penalized by severe penalties, won'…

Laureen Harper dismisses missing Indigenous women issue while speaking at cat video festival (VIDEO)

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["If you'd like to donate to animals, we'd love to take your money," Harper shot back at an audience member who asked why the Prime Minister wasn't taking action over Canada's missing and murdered Indigenous women. See also Wife of Canada's prime minister shows callous disregard for missing and murdered women*RON*]
Jenny Uechi, Vancouver Observer, Apr 18th, 2014

Sporting furry black cat ears, the Prime Minister's wife, Laureen Harper, dismissed an audience member's call for action on missing and murdered Indigenous women at an Internet Cat Video Festival in Toronto.

"Mrs. Harper, raising awareness of about cat welfare is a good look for your husband's upcoming campaign strategy," shouted activist Hailey King, disrupting Harper's speech.

"Don't you think supporting an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women would be a better look?"

"We're raising money fo…

BC Liberal Government Revives Proposed “Forest Giveaway Scheme” for Major Logging Companies on Public Forest Lands

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[This huge corporate giveaway was killed off a year ago because of a huge public hue-and-cry. Naturally, what the Liberals of BC have done is wait a while then sneak the legislation back in unannounced, hoping that the public will simply have forgotten about it. Greater corporate rights (=corporate welfare) "will make it harder to protect forests for wildlife, recreation, scenery, and tourism, and could make First Nations treaties more expensive, lengthy and difficult to resolve. It will entrench the massive, short-sighted overcutting taking place that has already driven the crisis in BC’s woods this far,” stated TJ Watt, Ancient Forest Alliance campaigner." *RON*]
Media Release: Ancient Forest Alliance, April 2, 2014

Revived proposal would entrench the status quo of unsustainable overcutting by granting exclusive logging rights to major timber companies over vast areas of public forest lands by expanding Tree Farm Licences.

“Despite bei…