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Showing posts from August 18, 2014

Why Bill Bennett Needs to Resign

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[Tradition decrees he take 'ministerial responsibility' for Mount Polley mess on his watch. "Don't hold your breath." *RON*]

By Rafe Mair, TheTyee.ca, 18 August 2014


Mining Minister Bennett: Quitting would send a message about government integrity.

By well-established precedent, Bill Bennett right about now should be typing his letter of resignation to Premier Clark.

Extreme? Not at all. Here's a bit of history that, trust me, speaks directly to the mining minister's duty after the catastrophic breach of the tailings pond at Mount Polley mine.

Just after the the Second World War, the British agricultural minister resigned. During the war, the Royal Air Force had expropriated a lot of farmland for airfields. After the war, this land was resold by the ministry to bidders. A lot of hanky-panky and plain unfairness came with the sales and it became a scandal.

When the scandal broke, the minister, Thomas Dugdale, who knew litt…

University professor sues NEB for ignoring Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion's climate impact

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[The argument is that NEB cannot ignore climate impact since the Constitution "guarantees that the government will not unjustifiably deprive Canadians of their health and well-being." *RON*]
Jenny Uechi, Vancouver Observer, 18 August 2014
Climate scientist Danny Harvey has launched a constitutional challenge against the National Energy Board for refusing to consider climate change as a factor in its decision on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

Harvey, who is a geology professor at the University of Toronto, told the NEB in an affidavit in 2013 that issues such as oil sands expansion are closely related to the Trans Mountain expansion. The National Energy Board determined last fall that it would not consider either oil sands expansion or climate change as a factor in reviewing the project.

Harvey argued that the expansion, which will triple the existing pipeline capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels of bit…

Police Officer Threatens To Shoot Reporter Live-Streaming Protests In Ferguson

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[Evidently, to some police in Ferguson, everything in the US Constitution other than the Second Amendment is just blah-blah-blah. See also Ferguson police officer was 'doing his job', say supporters*RON*]

By Judd Legum, Think Progress, 17 August 2014

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Ferguson on Sunday night. The situation quickly spiraled out of control when police fired tear gas into the crowd well before the midnight curfew. It’s unclear what prompted the police action.

Capturing the dramatic events for the world was Mustafa Hussein, a student who works at a local all-volunteer music station, Argus Radio. The station is using video equipment it purchased to live-stream concerts to broadcast the protests in Ferguson.

Tonight, as tens of thousands of people around the world watched, Hussein was threatened by an officer wielding a weapon. “Get the fuck out of here! You get that light off or you’re getting shot with this!,”…

How the Defense Industry Convinced Congress to Militarize Local Cops

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[A Bill to simply restrict the range of military weaponry that can be sold to municipal police forces was soundly defeated in the US Congress. The politicians who voted against the Bill had received 70 per cent more in donations from the defense industry. *RON*]

By Alex Park, Mother Jones, 18 August 2014

The Ferguson, Missouri, police department's display of armored cars, officers in riot gear, and assault rifles over the past week shocked Americans who didn't realize how much military equipment is now available to local police departments. But since the 1990's, more than 8,000 federal, state, tribal, and local police agencies across the country have armed themselves with the military's excess gear, free of charge. The inventory includes everything from office furniture and first aid kits to aircraft, armored cars, rifles and bayonets, according to the Defense Logistics Agency, the Department of Defense office that manages the tra…

A Co-op State of Mind: New York City jumpstarts worker cooperatives

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[On the worker cooperative movement in the US, with a focus on New York City. *RON*]

By Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo, In These Times, 18 August 2014

In 2006, Daniela Salazar, then a 22-year-old mother of two, was making about $7.25 an hour doing restaurant work and housecleaning. For three hours every month, she also stood on the street in Brooklyn with 12 other women passing out flyers, rain or shine (and sometimes snow).

They were promoting a cleaning company of a new kind: one that would not only provide them with jobs and more money to support their families, but would also make them business owners.

That company was a worker cooperative called Sí Se Puede—“Yes, We Can” in Spanish. The women started the co-op with the help of the SCO Family of Services’ Center for Family Life, a social-service agency and advocacy group for families. They marketed their business in this low-tech way for months, slowly building up a clientele until they could afford …