Showing posts from January 5, 2015

Auto Industry Galvanized After Record Recall Year

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[Rampant corporatocracy. The crapification of the automobile industry, which causes 1.24 million deaths per year. *RON*]

By Bill Vlasic and Hilary Stoutdec, International New York Times, 30 December 2014

DETROIT — Spurred by a decade-old ignition-switch defect in millions ofGeneral Motors vehicles, the auto industry this year has issued more recalls involving old models — those made five or more years ago — than ever before, an analysis of federal recall records by The New York Times shows.

More than 60 million vehicles have been recalled in the United States, double the previous annual record in 2004. In all, there have been about 700 recall announcements — an average of two a day — affecting the equivalent of one in five vehicles on the road.

The eight largest automakers have each recalled more vehicles in the United States this year than they have on average since 1966, when data collection began, with G.M., Honda and Chrysler each setting corpor…

The Koch Brothers Launch A Surrogate War Against Pope Francis

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[The Koch brothers only support Radical-Free-Enterprise-Jesus. Likewise see West Virginia school board alters climate change education standardsBecause "West Virginia coal... has been taking on unfair negativity." *RON*]

By: Rmuse, Politicus USA, 2 January 2015

One of the greatest things to happen over the past year is the remarkable revelation that there is finally, at long last, a major Christian leader, and member of the clergy, who espouses, embraces, and promotes the teachings of Jesus Christ. Even for an avowed secular humanist, this is a stunning, and welcomed, development if for no other reason than one of the world’s leading religions appears to be adopting Christ’s regard for the world’s poor and downtrodden. Of course, the Catholic Pope has garnered nothing but serious opposition and pushback from America’s evangelical and Catholic Republican movement, and now the Koch brothers and their dirty energy cabal have joined what…

The Future of Getting Arrested

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[What they're gonna do when they come for you. On how new technology "from predictive-policing software to surveillance cameras programmed to detect criminal activity" will affect who will be arrested in future. Validity, ethics and what the public will put up with will all become relevant questions. *RON*]
Leon Neyfakh, The Atlantic Monthly, 28 December 2014
Even the most straightforward arrest is built upon an incredibly complex foundation: the moment the handcuffs go on is the moment some of our society’s most hotly contested ideas about justice, security, and liberty are brought to bear on an individual. It’s also a moment that’s poised to change dramatically, as law-enforcement agencies around the country adopt new technology—from predictive-policing software to surveillance cameras programmed to detect criminal activity—and incorporate emerging research into the work of apprehending suspects.

Not all of the innovations that are…

You Are Worth More Than The “Market” Says

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[Traditional economic theory posits a direct positive correlation between wages and productivity. The reality, found by comparing labour's share of national income with labour productivity statistics, puts the lie to theory. In other words, your labour is worth more than the so-called market says it is. As Yves Smith puts it, this is "precisely why economics is so attached to theory and so leery of data." *RON*]
Posted on January 5, 2015 by Ed Walker

Yves here. Ed Walker’s post below, on how mainstream economics tries to explain how wages are set, reveals that making them look market-determined is ideology that bears no relationship to facts. But that’s precisely why economics is so attached to theory and so leery of data.

In a bit of synchonicity, Ed’s post dovetails with our piece on Polanyi’s The Great Transformation last week. By e-mail, he quoted Polanyi:
Such precisely was the arrangement under a market system. Man under the na…

CETA should have a GMO warning label on it in Europe

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[I am neutral on the topic of GMOs, but we need it shouted from the rooftops that CETA, TIPP and the like are not trade agreements, they are all about shifting the balance of power away from sovereign states and labour to corporations. Globalizaion is the corporatocracy. *RON*]
By Brent Patterson,, 5 January 2015

Genetically modified (GM) food is more strictly regulated in the European Union than it is in Canada or the United States. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the United States-European Union Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will increase the risk of GM food entering Europe.


In Europe, it is subject to evaluation by the European Food Safety Authority. Their findings are either adopted by the European Commission or passed to the Council of Agriculture Ministers, which has three months to reach a majority for or against the proposed GM product. From there, E…

Austerity Killing You? How About a Trade Deal?

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[On the ongoing inanity of Teutonomics (Merkelnomics?). At least there is an awareness, here, that TIPP is not a "trade agreement" it's a power grab by corporations, pure and simple. *RON*]
Robert Kuttner,  Huffington Post, 4 January 2015

Europe is right on the edge of another downward lurch into prolonged deflation. GDP growth is hovering right around zero. Germany, as an export powerhouse, continues to thrive, but at the expense of the rest of the continent -- victims of German-imposed budget austerity demands. The euro, which keeps sinking against the U.S. dollar, is now trading at just $1.20, its lowest level in four and a half years.

Unemployment outside prosperous Germany remains stuck at over 12 percent. All of this weakens the political center that supports the EU, and increases the appeal of far-right parties. (You wonder if Europe's leaders bother to read their own history. When there is protracted depression and despera…