Showing posts from November 15, 2014

Greece’s recession is over, but its depression will be the worst in history

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[A welcome rejoinder to Financial Times bumf such as this: Greece is eurozone’s top Q3 performer. The Greek 'recovery' is still worse than The Great Depression. *RON*]

By Matt O'Brien, Washington Post Wonk Blog, 14 November 2014

It only took six years, but Greece's recession is finally over. Just don't call it a recovery just yet.

Indeed, according to the latest gross domestic product numbers, Greece's economy actually stopped shrinking at the start of the year. We didn't realize that before, because it just switched over from reporting GDP on a year-on-year to a quarter-on-quarter basis. So it turns out that it grew at a 3.2 percent annual pace in the first quarter, 1.2 percent in the second, and 2.8 percent in the most recent one. It's been enough to send unemployment all the way down to ... 25.9 percent.

12 Extremist GOP Cartoon Characters Just Voted into Office

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[The American ISIS - politics driven by ideology and religious fundamentalism. In case you were worried that the quality of political discourse might deteriorate even further. *RON*]
By Steven RosenfeldAlterNet, 13 November 2014

As progressives wring their hands over what Republican control of Congress will mean, many pundits are lookingto history for silver linings. The GOP now has the biggest majority since Herbert Hoover in the 1930s, who did such a lousy job that Americans embraced Franklin Delano Roosevelt and what became the New Deal.

Such fanciful thinking ignores the damage that gets done when right-wingers rule. In 1946, when the GOP won a congressional majority for the first time in two decades, the country was introduced to two of the 20th century’s worst American politicians, Rep. Richard Nixon and Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Two years later, Harry Truman held onto the White House and Democrats retook Congress, but that didn’t stop those …

Do no harm, Canada

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[More international protests against the shining glory of the Canadian globalized mining industry, of which Stephen Harper is a staunch corporatocratic supporter. However, this business model doesn't appear to work if you kill Americans: 'Poster Boy for Malevolent Big Business' Indicted Over Fatal Coal Mine Disaster. Or, since this will be one doozy of a trial, try this account of the charges against Blankenship. *RON*]
By Jennifer Moore,, 14 November 2014

The Inter American Human Rights Commission -- an independent office of the Organization of American States -- has added its voice to a growing list of human rights bodies calling on Canada to prevent mining abuses and hold Canadian companies and state agencies responsible to account.

In a statement released summarizing dozens of hearings heard in late October, the Commission specifically urged Canada -- as home to hundreds of mining companies with mining projects througho…

SFU scientist worries she'll lose home, over Kinder Morgan lawsuit (VIDEO)

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[The fight goes on, accompanied by resounding silence from the Province on the democratic right to protest. "If there’s no freedom of speech in Canada, and we continue accelerating climate change...then what’s the value of my home?” reacts biochemist Lynne Quarmby. *RON*]

Mychaylo Prystupa, Vancouver Observer, 14 November 2014

She was the woman everyone on Burnaby Mountain was waiting for. The accidental media star -- SFU professor Lynne Quarmby -- was immediately surrounded by cameras as she gave her reaction Friday to the injunction brought down against her and other pipeline protesters. She vowed to continue her fight.

"It's not like we're on an edge we can retreat from," said Quarmby.

The mild-mannered biochemist, who has spoken and written her mind against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, said she is afraid her home could be taken by the legal troubles she now finds herself in with Texas-based Kinder Morgan.

But if …

It's Not All Relative When It Comes to Income Inequality

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[Makes the somewhat obvious but still important point that social mobility (much touted by conservatives as an antidote to wealth inequality) merely changes the faces in the pool of the poor, it doesn't eliminate the inequalities between the rich and the poor as groups. That's if it actually happens, which is debatable. Only shared economic growth, which is hindered by austerity and ongoing inequality, will make a difference. *RON*]

Stefanie Haeffele-BalchRachel Reese, George Mason U., Huffington Post, 14 November 2014

How do we determine the welfare of poor Americans, and how should we seek to improve it? The left continues to flaunt inequality as the greatest indicator of material well-being, while the right views mobility as the end-all be-all measure of potential for the poorest Americans. So who's correct, which policy prescriptions should we be listening to? The answer is neither: both popular measures fail to grasp the underly…

Portuguese public workers strike over austerity cuts

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[No sign that the IMF Independent Evaluation Office report showing that all this is unnecessary is sinking in. See also Protests in Italy over Government Austerity Measures. *RON*]

SSM/BB/MHB, Press TV, 15 November 2014

Public sector workers have staged a strike in the Portuguese capital Lisbon in protest of the government’s plans for more austerity measures, including labor reforms.

Transport workers and nurses took the action on Friday against the administration of Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s plans for privatization, wage cuts and longer working hours.

Battered by the global financial downturn, the Portuguese economy fell into a recession that compelled the country to negotiate with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union for a bailout loan in 2011.

In return for the bailout, Lisbon imposed a number of austerity measures, including more public spending cuts and tax hikes, as required by the terms of the international lo…

Keith Baldrey - Reaction To The Mt Polley Disaster

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[Good for Keith Baldry, Global TV's Bureau Chief, who comments here on the political fallout from the Mt Polley mining disaster. This video clip is an excerpt from the television program Voice of BC on Shaw TV, hosted by Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer. The date on the clip identifies when the show was originally broadcast. *RON*]

U.S. House passes Keystone bill

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[This still needs to pass Senate and Obama can, as he has threatened lately, veto this. XL is in fact redundant given the quiet, sneaky approval that was already given to the Alberta Clipper line. Approval would also fly in the face of the US-China climate deal that was just signed this week. *RON*]

By Timother Gardner and Susan Cornwell, Reuters, 14 November 2014

(Reuters) - The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives approved the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, but a similar measure struggled to get enough support in the Senate and President Barack Obama indicated he might use his veto if the bill does get through Congress.

The legislation, approved by 252 votes to 161, circumvents the need for approval of TransCanada Corp's (TRP.TO) $8 billion project by the Obama administration, which has been considering it for more than six years. No Republicans voted against the measure, while 31 Democrats voted for the bill.

It was the ninth tim…