Showing posts from December 18, 2014

Inequality In U.S. Today Is Worse than in Apartheid South Africa or 1774 Slaveholding Colonial America … and TWICE As Bad As In Ancient Slaveholding Rome

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[Self explanatory: Even Slaves Had It Better. *RON*]
Posted on December 17, 2014 by WashingtonsBlog

Inequality in America today is twice as bad as in ancient Rome, worse than it was in Tsarist RussiaGilded Age America, modern Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen, many banana republics in Latin America, and worse than experienced by slaves in 1774 colonial America.

Nicholas Kristof notes at the New York Times that inequality in the U.S. is worse than it was in apartheid South Africa:
The net worth of the average black household in the United States is $6,314, compared with $110,500 for the average white household, according to 2011 census data. The gap has worsened in the last decade, and the United States now has a greater wealth gap by race than South Africa did during apartheid. (Whites in America on average own almost 18 times as much as blacks; in South Africa in 1970, the ratio was about 15 times.) Indeed, economist and inequality expert Thomas Pikett…

B.C. still has one of the highest poverty rates in Canada

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[Next time you hear a provincial or federal politician say they are doing all they can to "help the economy" ask them what they mean by that. *RON*]
By Trish Garner,, 17 December 2014

The latest poverty statistics were released by Statistics Canada last Wednesday, and the data once again shows that British Columbia has one of the highest poverty rates in Canada.

Using the Low Income Cut-Off – After Tax (LICO-AT) as the poverty line, 1 in 10 British Columbians are living in poverty. That's 469,000 people struggling to make ends meet. In relation to the rest of the country, B.C. is tied third with Quebec after Ontario and Manitoba.

As always, there's a two-year delay in the data from Statistics Canada so these numbers describe the situation from 2012. However, this year there's also another challenge with the data -- it's produced from a new survey so we cannot compare to previous years. The silver lining perhaps is…

Santa Gives Child An AR-15 Rifle In Latest Ad From Canada's Gun Lobby

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[If gun-industry worshipers would stick to killing themselves off we could chalk it up to Darwinism. Unfortunately this kind of thinking winds us up in nightmares such as Sandy Hook - no Ho-Ho compromise there, kiddies. Read the original article comments if you want to despair for humanity's future. *RON*]
By Michael Bolen , Huffington Post, 17 December 2014

Canada's answer to the NRA is celebrating Christmas this year with an ad that features Santa giving a child the same weapon used in the Sandy Hook school shooting.

The image has been shared this week from the National Firearms Association's Facebook page and by its executive vice president Shawn Bevins on Twitter.

The "no compromise" slogan positioned beside Santa is a longstanding NFA tagline that refers to the group's goal of repealing the gun-control legislation passed in the wake of the Montreal Massacre.

"Don't shoot your eye out kid!" is a reference …

Stephen Harper Says Alberta's Climate Change Approach Model Could Be For North America

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[This accomplishes little - it basically takes the industry's existing 'greenwash' budget and relabels it. But it is surprising that Harper would do this at all. Combine this with the recent defection of Wild Rose Party members to the Conservatives in Alberta, and it adds up to strategic pre-election back-pedaling on the part of extreme right-wingers in Canada, showing they are well aware that their policies are opposed by a strong majority of voters. *RON*]
By The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 18 December 2014

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the Alberta approach to pricing and controlling greenhouse gas emissions could serve as a model for all of North America.

In a year-end interview with CBC News, Harper insisted that Canada can't impose new rules on its oil and gas sector unless the United States does too.

But he added that he is actively proposing to the U.S. and to Mexico that they work with Canada to cut em…

First Nation disappointed by NAFTA commission decision on wild salmon

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[Meanwhile, Harper is giving your tax money away as corporate welfare to these frankenfish farmers, while totally ignoring (in fact acting in direct contradiction to) the recommendations of the Cohen Commission. See also Ministers say salmon not being restored in Fraser River. *RON*]
By Brent Patterson,, 18 December 2014

The Commission on Environmental Co-operation was established in 1994 so that proponents of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) could say that trade liberalization would be accompanied by environmental protection. It was meant to mitigate public concern about the trade deal by creating a mechanism that could look into public complaints about violations of national laws intended to protect the land, water and air. It was created through the side accord known as the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation.

In November 2013, the Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwa'mis First Nation, the Center for Biological Div…

How the 'War on Coal' went global

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["Republicans are trying to prop up the industry, but the world is not cooperating." A very good summary of the dreary economic prospects for US thermal coal. If you think BC should invest in projects with strong economic legs instead of port terminals for slumping American coal, visit Beyond Coal. *RON*]

By Erica Martinson, Politico, 13 December 2014

Congressional Republicans who vow to defeat President Barack Obama’s “War on Coal” can do little to defend the industry against a growing international threat — the drying up of its once-promising markets overseas.

Just a few years ago, domestic producers had high hopes for selling coal to energy-hungry Asia, but prices in those markets are plummeting now amid slowing demand and oversupply, ceding much of the market space to cheaper coal from nations like Indonesia and Australia. Meanwhile, a lot of U.S. coal can’t even get out of the country, thanks to greens’ success in blocking propose…