Showing posts from July 13, 2014

The vicious cycle of income inequality in one graph

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[A good little model. The text in the illustration is such that I had to leave it a little too large in order to be legible here. *RON*]

By Alex Erquicia, Blouin News Blogs, 10 July 2014.

Income inequality is in vogue when it comes to listing problems that are hurting the global economy today and will do so in the future (for some reason it was one of this year’s Red Zone’s). Even if the United States president “has largely abandoned talk of the subject this election year in a move that highlights the emerging debate within the Democratic Party over economic populism and its limits,” as the Washington Post reports, the reality is that the issue is high on the list of critical points for the global economy’s well being.

The New Economics Foundation (NEF), an independent think-and-do tank, published a report today on “Addressing economic inequality at root”. It displays an overall reduction target and five policy goals focused on the U.K. However,…

Behind German Spy Cases, Twists Worthy of Films

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[Good illustration of American chutzpah. *RON*]

By Alison Smale, New York Times, 12 July 2014
BERLIN — The Cold War is long since over, the capital is no longer Bonn — the “small town in Germany” of John le Carré fame — and few nations have exhibited a stronger reaction against the modern surveillance state.

Yet recent weeks have brought new reminders that the Spy vs. Spy game goes on in Germany, which remains caught geographically and historically between Russia and the West.

As Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview on Germany’s ZDF television on Saturday, “We no longer live in the Cold War era where everyone is suspicious of everyone.” In the 21st century, she added, secret services should concentrate on important issues.
The espionage cases that have caused severe new strains between the United States and Germany grew, paradoxically, out of German concerns about renewed Russian intelligence activity. Based on German news reports and sketc…

Summer Rerun: Why Is the Left Slice of the Democrats Getting Crushed?

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[An interesting analysis - probably of interest mainly to political wonks - on why progressive Democrats are being pummeled in the US congressional primaries. *RON*]
Posted by Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism on July 13, 2014

By Matt Stoller, who writes for Salon and has contributed to Politico, Alternet, Salon, The Nation and Reuters. You can reach him at stoller (at) or follow him on Twitter at @matthewstoller
“I’m flabbergasted. I’m embarrassed. This is the biggest screw-up electorally that I’ve ever been involved in,” said one progressive activist still sorting through the wreckage. "Why Ilya Sheyman And Progressives Lost Big In Illinois' 10th District Primary", Huffington Post “Delaney defeated state Sen. Rob Garagiola, 54 percent to 29 percent, in the Democratic primary. The result is notable since most people believe Democrats in Annapolis drew the district with Garagiola in mind and the legislator enjoyed support from o…

The age of entitlement: how wealth breeds narcissism

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["Call it the asshole effect." As people get richer, they are more likely to feel entitled, to exploit others, and to cheat. That extends to politics too. *RON*]

Anne, 7 July 2014
Call it the asshole effect. That is the term coined by US psychologist Paul Piff after he did some stunning new research into the effects of wealth and inequality on people’s attitudes.

As we ponder Joe Hockey’s budget and his division of the world into "leaners" and "lifters", as we learn from Oxfam that the richest 1% of Australians now own the same wealth as the bottom 60%, we would do well to consider the implications of Piff’s studies. He found that as people grow wealthier, they are more likely to feel entitled, to become meaner and be more likely to exploit others, even to cheat.

Piff conducted a series of revealing experiments. One was remarkably simple. Researchers positioned themselves at crossroads. They wa…

Staggering $1.3 Billion Spent to Propagandize About GMO and Chemical-Intensive Foods -- It's a disaster.

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[More on science being co-opted by the corporatocracy. Good article via Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting rebutting the recent spate of nay-saying articles on the nutritional benefits of organic foods and following the money to their true sources. It's worth remembering some of the names of the industry shills parading as scientific organizations that are described here, such as the Academics Review and  the Culture of Alarmism Project at the Independent Women’s Forum. *RON*]
FAIR / By Kari Hamerschlag and Stacy Malkan, AlterNet, 8 July 2014

The New York Post loves a good villain, but you’d think it would be hard to cast a bad light on the group of people profiled in an April 19 story: moms who feed their kids organic food.

Naomi Schaefer Riley took on the challenge in “The Tyranny of the Organic Mommy Mafia,” and built a case against “the arrogance and class snobbery” of people who buy and eat food that’s been grown without artificial chemic…

Gitxaala Nation to challenge Enbridge Northern Gateway approval in court

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[“We played by Canada’s rules,” said Gitxaala Acting Chief Clarence Innis. “But all of our concerns were ignored by both the JRP and Cabinet." *RON*]
Jenny Uechi, Vancouver Observer, Jul 12th, 2014
Gitxaala First Nation has launched a court challenge of the federal government's decision to approve the Enbridge Northern Gateway. The legal proceeding, known as a Motion for Leave to Apply for Judicial Review, was filed in the Federal Court of Appeal on Friday.

“We played by Canada’s rules,” said Acting Chief Clarence Innis of the Killer Whale Clan. “But all of our concerns were ignored by both the JRP and Cabinet. Reconciliation of Gitxaala’s rights was not considered or addressed in the decision-making process even though our community bears many of the grave risks associated with this Project.”

In a previous interview with the Vancouver Observer, Innis and Gitxaala Wolf Clan Hereditary Chief Elmer Moody said they would resort to court to pr…