Showing posts from June 8, 2014

Joseph E. Stiglitz Calls for Fair Taxes for All

Watch the full first part of Bill Moyers' interview with Joseph Stiglitz here.

[To read economist Joseph Stiglitz' (brief and understandable) report to the Roosevelt Institute, "Reforming Taxation to Promote Growth and Equality" click here. Below is the transcript of the first part of Moyers' interview with Stiglitz on how to repair the US tax system - equally applicable to Canada. As Moyers said at the end of this show, "There is no need to perpetrate fraud by stealth when you can do so by legislation." *RON*]

BILL MOYERS: Welcome. Avoiding taxes has become a hallmark of America’s business icons; Apple, Google, GE, and many more of the Fortune 500. The nation’s largest corporations are sitting on more than $2 trillion in cash while revenue from corporate income taxes have plummeted from just below 40 percent in 1943 to just below 10 percent in 2012. Government and big business have colluded to create what’s tantamount to an “unlimited IRA” for corporati…

Shock poll: voters tell Joan Burton to end austerity or leave Government

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[Austerity is the number one political issue in Ireland. The existing government was hammered over the issue in the last election and now polls say the government will fall it is does not reign in austerity. *RON*]

Jody Corcoran and John Drennan, The Independent, 08/06/2014

JOAN Burton is the people's clear favourite to lead the Labour Party on a strict mandate to end austerity or pull out of Government, a Sunday Independent/Millward Brown opinion poll has found.

But over half of voters do not expect austerity to end and more believe the Government will collapse than believe it will last full term.

In a shock finding, Sinn Fein has surged ahead since the recent elections to become the most popular party in the country and, on this poll, can expect to lead a new coalition if the Government falls.

The poll findings will deliver another significant blow to the embattled Coalition parties, still reeling from the hammering they received at the ba…

As forests are cleared and species vanish, there's one other loss: a world of languages

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[A new report shows a direct link between disappearing habitats and the loss of languages. One in four of the world's 7,000 spoken tongues is now at risk of falling silent for ever as the threat to cultural biodiversity grows. *RON*]
John Vidal, The Guardian, The Observer, Sunday 8 June 2014
Benny Wenda from the highlands of West Papua speaks only nine languages these days. In his village of Pyramid in the Baliem valley, he converses in Lani, the language of his tribe, as well as Dani, Yali, Mee and Walak. Elsewhere, he speaks Indonesian, Papua New Guinean Pidgin, coastal Bayak and English.

Wenda has known and forgotten other languages. Some are indigenous, spoken by his grandparents or just a few hundred people from neighbouring valleys; others are the languages of Indonesian colonists and global businesses. His words for "greeting" are, variously, Kawonak, Nayak, Nareh, Koyao, Aelak, Selamt, Brata, Tabeaya and Hello.

New Guinea has …

The Thin Blue Privatized Line

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[Long, interesting piece outlining an emerging wrinkle in an existing issue. Big city police forces are busily militarizing (see Radley Balko's The Rise of the Warrior Cop), yet suburban forces cannot cope and residents in the burbs turn to privatized Blackwater-style "security patrols" for their neighbourhoods. While you're at it, read 10 Frightening Facts About Private Military Companies. *RON*]

By Justin Berton, Photo: Jesse Lenz, San Francisco Magazine, June 3, 2014

Unsettled by the reality that the cops can't help them, Oakland residents are hiring private patrols. Crime is down. But is the cure worse than the disease?
When Larry Ward and his buddy realized that they’d been spotted by a security guard during their alleged midday heist of an Oakland home, they did what burglars caught in the act might be expected to do: They dropped the loot and ran.

According to police reports and witness accounts, Ward and his accompl…

When Is a Food Truck More Than a Food Truck?

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[When it helps city dwellers imagine ways to renew moribund public spaces. I love food trucks. Food trucks as a tool of "tactical urbanism." *RON*]
By Chris Turner, photography by Colin Way, The Walrus, November 2012
WHEN Charcut Roast House, one of Calgary’s most celebrated new restaurants, opened in early 2010, it took an idiosyncratic approach to fine dining. Meats were cured in house, the menu changed daily, and the food arrived at the table potted in Mason jars or splayed across cutting boards. The atmosphere was refined but relaxed, like a neighbourhood gastropub. Its co-chefs, Connie DeSousa and John Jackson, wanted Charcut to be a pillar of the community, but it occupied the ground floor of a swank downtown boutique hotel, stranded on a sterile corner across a busy commuter artery from the Calgary Tower, a poured concrete, nine-to-five sort of place. How could they connect with diners in a location that seemed so inhospitable?