Showing posts from November 8, 2014

RCMP Slam Disabled mans head into parked vehicle on Burnaby Mountain

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[What a complete mess this has become! The Royal Corporate Mounted Police hard at work with your tax dollars. This story was re-posted from the Vancouver Observer, but for some reason I couldn't get the page there to load. *RON*]
Derrick, West Coast Native News, reported from Vancouver Observer, 8 November 2014

Erin Flegg |

RCMP officers made the first arrest of a demonstrator after the month-long demonstration atop Burnaby Mountain today, hitting a man’s head against a car and then throwing him to the ground after trying to enter the protesters’ camp.

Just after 2 pm today, three RCMP officers in two cars arrived at the top of Burnaby Mountain and spoke to protesters. The atmosphere was peaceful and the officers spoke calmly to several people along the road.

The hidden truth about job growth, lost amidst the statistical noise & optimists’ hopes

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[A great set of charts, and a great conclusion: "This is your economy, shaped by our political choices. Don’t complain unless you work to change it. Previous generations overcame greater challenges." *RON*]

by Editor of the Fabius Maximus website, 8 November 2014

Summary: The key thing to know about the latest job report is the same thing to know about all 2014’s job reports: there has been no change to the trend. No sign of the acceleration so confidently forecast by so many. This confirms the other economic indicators, amidst the slowing world economy. Leave the analysis of the minutia to specialists; the big picture is important and easy to see. Because the expansion grows old, and the next recession approaches (especially with the Fed determined, for good reason, to normalize interests beginning next year).

“Significant monetary stimulus, the end of fiscal austerity, a booming housing market, a cheap dollar, record corporate cash bala…

Understanding and Overcoming America's Plutocracy

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[Democracy, American-style: the battle of the billionaires. The form, but not the reality, of a democracy. By way of a remarkable contrast with the billions spent on these elections, see this story about a 90 year-old man who is facing jail because he fed the pool in Florida: US activist faces jail for feeding homeless*RON*]
Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute at Columbia University, Huffington Post, 6 Nov 2014

Pity the American people for imagining that they have just elected the new Congress. In a formal way, they of course have. The public did vote. But in a substantive way, it's not true that they have chosen their government.

This was the billionaires' election, billionaires of both parties. And while the Republican and Democratic Party billionaires have some differences, what unites them is much stronger than what divides them, a few exceptions aside. Indeed, many of the richest individual and corporate donors give to both pa…

Obama picks low-profile Attorney-General

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[Note that one of her first acts as the Attorney for the Eastern District of NY was to shut down the criminal investigation of AIG Financial Products. So "low profile" apparently = "little to no interest in getting headlines by busting financial bad guys." *RON*]

Richard McGregor, Financial Times, 8 November 2014

Loretta Lynch, a career prosecutor, will be nominated on Saturday as the next US Attorney-General to replace Eric Holder, one of the administration’s longest serving Cabinet members who is retiring.

Ms Lynch, the current US District Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, has little political profile and did not figure prominently in early speculation about who might take Mr Holder’s place.

She has been a low key but respected prosecutor in Brooklyn, and will be the first African-American woman to hold the post if she clears the confirmation process in Congress.

Her lack of political profile may help her do so…

In Praise of Global Imbalances

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[Interesting piece. The global investment rate is actually near the top of its long-term range - but a hugely disproportionate portion of this investment is currently coming from China. As their ability to spend and invest locally wears down they are predicted to become the "world's financier." *RON*]
Sanjeev Sanyal, Project Syndicate, 7 November 2014

SINGAPORE – In recent weeks, there has been a chorus of opinion arguing for a sharp increase in global investment, particularly in infrastructure. Former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers asserted that public investment really is a free lunch, while IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has argued that an investment boost is needed if the world economy is to “overcome a new mediocre.”

These comments suggest that the world has been under-investing for many years. In fact, according to International Monetary Fund data, the current overall global investment rate, at 24.5% of world GD…

Chevron's one-man newsroom defends his work: 'They consider me Voldemort'

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[Democracy vs. corporatocracy. More on the corporate take-over of the news media - this, after Chevron failed to buy the outcome of the municipal election. Edited and written by one man and funded entirely by the oil giant Chevron, the Richmond Standard runs stories hostile to environmental advocates. *RON*]
Rory Carroll, The Guardian, 7 November 2014
Mike Aldax has been called a corporate prostitute, a propagandist for big oil, an apologist for pollution, Voldemort and more. But he’d rather you call him a journalist.

Every morning, after all, he drives across the Golden Gate bridge to Richmond, a gritty town on San Francisco bay, and spends the day seeking out local stories, interviewing people, attending events and then writing them up for a news site called the Richmond Standard.

He casts his net wide: a renovated baseball field, an ice cream store’s award-winning marijuana-infused edible, a burglary suspect shot by police, a city hall debate, a…

NAFTA's Commission On Environmental Cooperation 'Dying A Slow Death': Ex-Director

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[NAFTA was originally sold to Canadians, in part, by giving us assurances that a neutral third party would be a watchdog ensuring that environmental concerns weren't being ignored because of the free trade agreement. This watchdog is a farce. *RON*]
By Bob Weber, The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 7 November 2014

Attempts by NAFTA's environmental watchdog to look into the Harper government's record on salmon farming and the oilsands are at an impasse after deadlines passed for member countries to vote on the investigations.

It's the latest blow to an organization formed to preserve environmental enforcement, but which has now been almost neutered by the governments that created it, said a former director of the Commission on Environmental Cooperation.

"This institution doesn't have the tools it needs to do anything effective," said Geoff Garver, who headed the organization's enforcement branch from 2000 to 2007 a…

Canadian Federal Scientists, Professionals Union Launches Anti-Harper Campaign

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[You know we're living in the Canadian Dark Ages when librarians and scientists are protesting. "A survey commissioned by the union last year found hundreds of scientists who claimed they had been asked to exclude or alter information in government documents for non-scientific reasons. And thousands more said they'd been prevented from talking freely about their work with the media or the public." *RON*]
By The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 7 November 2014

OTTAWA - The union representing scientists and other professionals in the federal public service is abandoning its tradition of neutrality in elections to actively campaign against Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) says delegates to its annual general meeting have agreed the union should be more politically active heading into next year's federal election.

In particular, delegates have agreed that the union s…