Showing posts from November 12, 2014

Remembrance Day as empty signifier

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[Self explanatory. See also Lest we forget: Harper's war on Canadian rights and freedoms. *RON*]
By John Baglow,, 11 November 2014

Every year I find it harder and harder to feel a part of the Remembrance Day ceremonies, and this year was no exception. I've been asking myself why this should be -- perhaps "interrogate" is a better term. After all, my father was a veteran of World War Two, certainly a war that needed to be fought and won; and to some extent (emphasis on the word "some") I do believe that those who forget history are condemned to relive it.

Then the revolting Ezra Levant happened by to explain it all to me.

In yet another Toronto Sun article that might have been worthy of Völkischer Beobachterback in the day, and a video at the Sun News Network, Levant targeted Muslims and "disloyal Canadians" in a trademark rant about the Greater Essex County District School Board.

The GEDSB's si…

Canada Subsidizing Exploration For Oil Reserves That Can't Be Used: Report

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[And our federal politicians smile for the cameras. "Vote for us because we're financially responsible, then we'll live happily ever after." Possibly, just possibly, the G20 has no intention of meetings its media-touted emission goals. *RON*]
By Bob Weber, CP / Huffington Post, 11 November 2014

Why subsidize the search for oil and gas that we can never burn if we want to limit the damage from climate change?

That's the question asked in a report from an environmental think-tank, which says Canada is one of the most generous countries in the G20 towards energy exploration.

"There's been virtual consensus among the scientific community that we have significantly more proven reserves than we can afford to burn and put into the atmosphere if we're going to meet the international goal for climate change," said Stephen Kretzmann, director of Oil Change International, which co-authored the report released Tuesday…

Will Catholic bishops start talking about income inequality?

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[American bishops are the 1%. "The Vatican is running laps around American church leaders. It's time for them to catch up." *RON*]
John GehringNCR Today,  11 November 2014

You might think with Pope Francis making economic justice a centerpiece of his papacy that U.S. bishops would awaken from their slumber when it comes to addressing extreme income inequality. Not so much. As Catholic bishops gather for a national meeting this week in Baltimore, the old quip from the Yankee great Yogi Berra comes to mind: "It's déjà vu all over again."

The official agenda is focused on religious liberty, same-sex marriage and pro-life concerns. These are all important issues for church leaders, and they have dominated the bishops' engagement in public life for several years. Absent from the docket again is any substantive discussion of poverty, inequality, or workers' rights. Since the Great Recession, bishops have largely fail…

New Orleans' tourism industry booms but income inequality remains entrenched

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[Income inequality and tourism in The Big Easy. The tourist industry in New Orleans is red-hot, but none of the money is trickling down to the poor residents of the city who provide labour to its services. *RON*]

 By Robert McClendon, The Times-Picayune, 28 October 2014
As Jason Walker makes his way from the bus stop on Canal Street to his job at Harrah's Hotel, evidence of the wealth created by the hospitality and tourism industry is all around.

He walks through the shadows of towering hotels. Eager tourists board buses bound for swamp tours and plantation excursions. Tchotchke shops, despite the early hour, are already doing a brisk business plying gumbo-jazz-voodoo-Cajun kitsch.

Business seems to be booming everywhere but in Walker's pocketbook. A houseman, he works as a bottom-rung gofer, stripping beds and running errands. He earns $10 an hour, although he's had more than four years in the business. "My bank account stays on o…

Canada's Surplus For 2015 Likely To Be Outlined In Harper Government's Economic Update

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[We can't afford our federal information watchdog, or spend money to ensure the safety of oil and gas transport by rail or tanker, or guarantee clean drinking water for Aboriginal people, or health services for immigrants and refugees, or guarantee benefits to veterans, or erase our shameful record or child poverty. Yet somehow we cobble together the money for wars, bank bail-outs, tax cuts for the rich and subsidies for giant oil companies. Ignore all that because we have a surplus, and we're smiling, so vote for us because we're financially responsible. *RON*]
By CP / Huffington Post, 12 November 2014

OTTAWA - The Harper government will deliver its fall fiscal and economic update today — a document expected to reveal the magnitude of Ottawa's 2015 surplus.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver has maintained the government is on track to balance the books in next year's budget, even as the world economy struggles and the declining price…

Appetite for austerity evaporates

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[The people have spoken: "...only two in five voters now believe that more austerity and cuts will be needed.... most voters think any remaining deficit reduction can be achieved by an efficient government cutting waste – without having any serious impact on the lives of ordinary people.... 80 per cent favour a further crackdown on tax avoidance, 79 per cent another tax on bank bonuses, 65 per cent support a so-called mansion tax and 63 per cent back a tax on excess profits on utility companies." *RON*]

George Parker, Financial Times, 11 November 2014

The appetite among British voters for more austerity is evaporating, polling for the Financial Times shows, in findings that present a big political problem for the winner of the next election.

The Populus poll shows that only two in five voters now believe that more austerity and cuts will be needed in the five years after the 2015 election, even though the budget deficit is forecast by the…