Showing posts from May 9, 2014

Finnish Finance Minister Ousted as Party Head Over Austerity

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[This story comes on the heels of the news that an anti-austerity coalition is running in the upcoming Irish elections. Finnish government policy will now "change to more and more targeting creating jobs and economic growth." *RON*]
By Kati Pohjanpalo and Kasper Viita, Bloomberg,  May 9, 2014

As finance minister, Jutta Urpilainen has been a front figure defending austerity measures.

Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen lost the Social Democratic leadership as her party soured on her fronting three years of austerity measures that have weighed on growth and jobs in the northernmost euro member.

Antti Rinne, head of the trade union Pro, won the backing of 257 party members against Urpilainen’s 243 at a congress today in Seinaejoki, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Helsinki. Urpilainen has said she will step down as finance minister should she lose.

“SDP’s stance will change to more and more targeting creating jobs and economi…

No need for Site C mega-dam, Treaty 8 Tribal Association agrees

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[This entire multi-billion dollar project is a taxpayer-funded giveaway catering to the nascent BC fracking industry. The reason they cannot "fully demonstrate the need for the project" is that no one is willing to say this out loud. *RON*]
Jenny Uechi, Vancouver Observer, May 9th, 2014

The recent Joint Review Panel report for the proposed Site C hydroelectric dam -- which, if built, would be on Peace River in northeast BC, the heart of Treaty 8 territory. Although the report cites some "clear" benefits of the project, the Treaty 8 Tribal Association agrees with the report that BC Hydro has not "fully demonstrated the need for the project". 
The Joint Review Panel report on the proposed Site C hydroelectric dam has found that despite some major benefits of the project, BC Hydro has not proven the need for the $8-billion mega project.

The project -- which BC Hydro has trying to move forward for over 30 years -- would b…

World’s Largest Solar Array Set to Crank Out 290 Megawatts of Sunshine Power

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[Megaplants like Agua Caliente in Arizona herald a new efficiency in solar-sourced electricity. *RON*]
By Roni Jacobson, Scientific American, 9 May 2014 Global climate change is here, and it’s only going to get worse, according to a White House report released on Tuesday. To combat rising sea levels and blistering summers, the Obama administration has been pushing for clean, renewable energy sources that cut down on carbon emissions. Now one of its projects is poised to pan out: Agua Caliente, the largest photovoltaic solar power facility in the world, was completed last week in Arizona.

The plant comprises more than five million solar panels that span the equivalent of two Central Parks in the desert between Yuma and Phoenix. It generates 290 megawatts of power—enough electricity to fuel 230,000 homes in neighboring California at peak capacity. The Agua Caliente Solar Project represents a significant advance in the technology compared with just…

Conditioned Minds: When Censorship is the Norm

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[On the active suppression of free speech in the United States. *RON*]

by Lawrence Davidson and Janet Amighi,, 9-11 May 2014

Most Americans assume the United States government speaks “the truth” to its citizens and defends their constitutional right to “free speech” (be it in the form of words or dollars). On the other hand, it is always the alleged enemies of the U.S. who indulge in propaganda and censoring of “the truth.”

In practice it is not quite that way. Washington, and more local American governments as well, can be quite censoring. Take for instance the attempt to censor the boycott of Israeli academic institutions – institutions engaged in government research that facilitates illegal settlement expansion and the use of Palestinian water resources. In this case, the fact that a call for boycott is an age-old, non-violent practice also falling within the category of free speech, is mostly disregarded. Instead we get a knee-…

Five Gross Ways Your Meat is Kept Safe to Eat

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[Yum! Why not have some pink slime - err, I mean a Big Mac - for lunch today?! :-) There certainly is a fine art to naming these processes - "finely textured meat," "modified atmosphere packaging." One point I can add that the author doesn't mention - propylene glycol is also the main ingredient in automobile antifreeze. *RON]

By Martha, 9 May 2014

It is no secret that in the war against meat pathogens in commercial U.S. meat production, the pathogens are winning. The logical result of the tons of antibiotics that Big Meat gives livestock (not because they are sick but to fatten them) is clear: antibiotics that no longer work against antibiotic-resistant diseases like staph (MRSA), enterococci (VRE) and C.difficile. Antibiotic resistant infections, once limited to hospitals and nursing homes, are now in the community and have been found on Florida public beaches and on the highway behind a poultry truck. Big …

Buying America: Koch Brothers’ American Prosperity Bid $125 Million

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[The Koch brothers by themselves will be spending as much on the mid-term elections as the Democratic and Republican parties will. So they won't have too much power, right? *RON*]
by Taylor Marsh,, May 9, 2014

Koch brothers’ American Prosperity bids $125 million for America, starting in North Carolina with targeting Senator Kay Hagan, who thumbed her nose at their efforts this week.

THE ROBERTS Supreme Court has set up the Koch Brothers’ American Prosperity to buy America for a measly $125 million. Senator Kay Hagan is among the vulnerable Democrats being targeted and this week she told the money boys what she thought of their efforts by rigorously defending Medicaid expansion in Obamacare.

Reporting from Politico:
The Koch brothers’ main political arm intends to spend more than $125 million this year on an aggressive ground, air and data operation benefiting conservatives, according to a memo distributed to major donors and sour…

Boko Haram Is Winning, and You Are Helping

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[Good points - the media needs to be more careful than it has been in order not to needlessly help groups like Boko Haram meet their goals by publicizing their demands and "successes". *RON*]

By Will H. Moore, Political Violence @ a Glance, May 9, 2014Boko Haram (BH) has had a banner couple of weeks, and the western press and social media participants have played an integral role. This type of thing exorcises me. I don’t like when peoplefree ride (do not contribute to outcomes they value because they know their contribution to the outcome won’t make a difference), but I understand why, and accept it.[1] And I also understand why people unwittingly play into the hands of dissident groups who use terror tactics, rewarding the truly spectacular missions, but I have a harder time accepting it.[2]

Did they just say that the government spied on 1 in 34 Canadians? You, your family, or your neighbours are likely victims

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[Canadians spied on, often without a warrant, every 27 seconds on average - plus, of course, Harper has us paying for this privilege! Click here to tell Harper what you think of this! *RON*]
By Josh Tabish,, May 8, 2014

Canada's Privacy Commissioner has revealed that in just one year the government made 1.2 million requests for sensitive information about our private online activities from telecom companies, often without a warrant. To achieve numbers like this, the government would have to ask telecom companies to disclose the personal information of Canadians every 27 seconds.

And, if you think this type of surveillance could never affect you, guess again. Doing the math on these outrageous revelations show that the sensitive online activities of one in 34 Canadians have been requested. Given these staggering numbers, it is very likely that either you, your family, or your neighbours, are victims -- all without even being told yo…