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Showing posts from August 23, 2014

A Former Marine Explains All the Weapons of War Being Used by Police in Ferguson

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[An astounding armamentum. The links within the article are very informative. *RON*] 
By Lyle Jeremy Rubin, The Nation, 23 August 2014

As smoke hangs over the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, it's important to understand its source. Some of this understanding will require us to reassess the history of police militarization in the United States. This will mean acknowledging its origins in the aftermath of the Watts Riots (1965) and the birth of the SWAT team shortly thereafter. It will mean noting the conservative reaction to the Warren Court's civil libertarian protections in the 1950s and 60s to President Nixon's launching of the drug war at the end of that same tumultuous decade. It will mean harping on President Reagan's wholehearted embrace of racial policing and mass incarceration in the 1980s. It will mean interrogating the devastating effects of the 1208 Program (1990), which became the 1033 Program (1996), both of which auth…

Canadian police forces bulk up with armoured vehicles

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[Harper's government is always trying to out-US the US. *RON*]

By Douglas Quan, Postmedia News / The Phoenix Star, 22 August 2014

Growing numbers of Canadian police agencies in recent years have added armoured vehicles to their crime-fighting arsenals.

Several are retired military combat vehicles that have been donated by the Canadian Forces.

Other police agencies have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase custom-built armoured trucks from private specialty builders.

Scenes of heavily armed and armoured police clashing with protesters in Ferguson, Missouri have sparked discussions on both sides of the border about "creeping militarization" of police.

But Canadian police officials this week defended their acquisitions.

RCMP policy states that armoured vehicles are to be used by emergency response team members only during "critical incidents" and "should not be deployed or used for crowd control.""It&#…

How the Ultra-Rich .01% Have Sucked Up Even More of America's Wealth Than You Think

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[The economy has become systematically corrupt. A long edited excerpt from the new book, The Economics of Revolution. *RON*]

By David DeGraw, AlterNet, 22 August 2014

An extensive analysis of economic conditions and government policy reveals that the need for significant systemic change is now a mathematical fact. Corruption, greed and economic inequality have reached a peak tipping point. Due to the consolidation of wealth, the majority of the population cannot generate enough income to keep up with the cost of living. In the present economy, under current government policy, 70% of the population is now sentenced to an impoverished existence.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the evidence.

I: The Ultra-Rich .01%

To see how corrupt the United States government has become, just follow the money. According to the most recent Federal Reserve Flow of Funds report, US households currently have an all-time high $82 trillion in overall wealth. If that wea…

How the Gates Foundation’s Investments Are Undermining Its Own Good Works

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[Its vast holdings in the fossil fuel and arms industries subvert the foundation’s battle against disease and poverty. "The Gates Foundation boasts about its grants to help poor farmers adapt to droughts and floods caused by global warming. Yet according to the foundation's most recent tax filing and recent SEC filings, it holds more than $1.2 billion in a rogues' gallery of corporate actors, including BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, whose environmental despoliation promotes the climate change that is destroying those farmers' livelihoods." *RON*]
By Charles Piller, The Nation, 22 August 2014

Soon after Susan Desmond-Hellmann became chancellor of the University of California San Francisco medical center campus, she faced an acute personal embarrassment. Financial disclosures revealed that she and her husband, both physicians, owned a sizable chunk of stock in Altria Corporation, a top cigarette maker. The chancellor…

Draghi softens tone on austerity

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[In a significant change in tone on the eurozone’s fiscal rules, Mr Draghi said countries should be encouraged to spend more within existing EU regulations that limit budget deficits to 3 per cent of gross domestic product... The ECB president endorsed a proposal from Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president, for a €300bn investment programme to boost growth... “I am confident that the package of measures we announced in June will indeed provide the intended boost to demand and we stand ready to adjust our policy stance further,” Mr Draghi said. See also: French Economy Minister Says Austerity Measures Sapping Growth. *RON*]

By Claire Jones, Peter Spiegel and Robin Harding, Financial Times, 22 August 2014

Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank president, has signalled he is becoming increasingly concerned about high unemployment and low inflation in the eurozone by backing calls for countries to be allowed to apply strict rules on gov…

RCMP Harassment, Bullying Still Exists In Force: Liberal MP

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[Yes these are the guys who, clearly, should be left alone in charge of the investigation into the missing Aboriginal women across Canada. Plainly, no independent inquiry is needed, right, Mister Harper? *RON*]
By Tamsyn Burgmann, The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 22 August 2014

VANCOUVER - Harassment and bullying hasn't been stamped out inside the RCMP workplace despite high-level assurances that action would be taken, says a Liberal MP who has met with dozens of Mounties.

MP Judy Sgro wants a judicial inquiry into "horrible and graphic" conduct within the country's national police force after hearing a slew of allegations during a series of private forums across the country.

"Every one of those sessions was emotionally draining and very sad," Sgro told those who attended a Liberal party-hosted breakfast in Vancouver on Friday.

"It continued to diminish the image we all have, and that we want to have, of the RCMP…

Mount Polley Spill: Fish Exceed Guidelines But Safe To Eat, Says Government

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[The BC government says that the fish exceeds the guideline for what is safe to eat but it's safe to eat... especially for Aboriginals! ;-) See also: Mount Polley spill: Testing finds elevated selenium in fish. *RON*]
By The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 22 August 2014


LIKELY, B.C. - The B.C. government says fish tissue collected near the site of a tailings spill showed elevated levels of selenium, but that fish from the area is still safe to eat.

The tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine failed almost three weeks ago, prompting extensive testing of water quality and aquatic life to assess the potential impact on people and the environment.

A government news release says rainbow trout collected on Aug. 8, four days after the spill, had levels of selenium in their livers and gonads that exceeded guidelines for human consumption.

However, it says a person would need to eat about one cup of livers and gonads in one day to exceed those limit…

Russia's growing military presence in the Arctic a concern to Harper

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[In case you thought I was exaggerating in my comment to yesterday's story on Canada's military deployment in the arctic. *RON*]
By Steve Rennie, The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 22 August 2014

FORT SMITH, N.W.T. - Russia's growing military presence in the Arctic is a concern and Canada should not get complacent about it, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday during the second leg of his annual northern tour.

Harper, who was in the Northwest Territories town of Fort Smith to announce initiatives to promote fresh food production in the region, said Russia has not made the same sort of aggressive military incursions in the Arctic as it has in Eastern Europe.

But the prime minister gave a "cautious yes" when asked if he was concerned about the militarization of the Arctic.

"Cautious in the following sense: that we haven't seen, obviously, the kind of aggressive moves in the Arctic that we have seen in eastern Euro…

Alaska requests greater involvement in oversight of large B.C. gold mine

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[There can be no better evidence of the dangerous incompetence of the BC and Canadian governments than that foreign governments don't trust them to do their jobs properly. *RON*]
By James Keller, The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 22 August 2014

VANCOUVER - The state of Alaska has taken the rare step of asking the Canadian government for greater involvement in the approval and regulation of a controversial mine in northwestern British Columbia amid growing concern that the project could threaten American rivers and fish.

Alaska's Department of Natural Resources outlined its request in a letter this week to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, which has been reviewing the proposed KSM gold and copper mine, owned by Seabridge Gold Inc. (TSX:SEA). The project has already been approved by B.C.

"The state of Alaska has important obligations to our citizens relating to the protection of fish, wildlife, waters and lands that we hol…

Obama considering granting 800K Guest-Worker Visas as 90% believe American workers should be favored

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[More pure corporatocracy. Some Democratic president he turned out to be, doing 800,000 Americans out of work during a jobless recovery. *RON*]

by Tony Lee, Breibart, 21 August 2014

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg’s Phil Mattingly reports on President Barack Obama’s plan for executive action to give millions of immigrants work permits to stay in the United States. He speaks on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”
After meeting with a "bevy" of big-business groups, President Barack Obama is reportedly considering granting them up to 800,000 additional guest-worker visas via executive actions.

According to the Associated Press, "one of the more popular requests among business and family groups is a change in the way green cards are counted," which would "essentially free up some 800,000 additional visas the first year." In addition, "other requests have included removing the requirement that some spouses of U.S. citizens retur…