Showing posts from February 25, 2015

U.S. Geological Survey: Fracking waste is the primary cause of the dramatic rise in earthquakes

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[It's decidedly risky. But I also wonder to what extent other extractive activities (e.g., coal mining) have a similar effect? One thing's for sure solar and wind power don't do this. *RON*]

by Jen Hayden, Daily KOS, 23 February 2015

Large areas of the United States that used to experience few or no earthquakes have, in recent years, experienced a remarkable increase in earthquake activity that has caused considerable public concern as well as damage to structures. This rise in seismic activity, especially in the central United States, is not the result of natural processes.

Instead, the increased seismicity is due to fluid injection associated with new technologies that enable the extraction of oil and gas from previously unproductive reservoirs. These modern extraction techniques result in large quantities of wastewater produced along with the oil and gas. The disposal of this wastewater by deep injection occasionally results in eart…

Canada pulls funding for Palestinian NGO after founder criticizes Baird

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[Foreign Affairs pins blame for project's termination on founder's refusal 'to acknowledge Canada’s contribution to the project.' *RON*]

Chris Plecash, Embassy News, 25 February 2015

Attachment: MIFTAH Contribution Agreement (abridged).pdf 1.1 MB

Canada has terminated a funding agreement for a project aimed at training women to participate in municipal politics in the West Bank following critical comments directed at John Baird by the founder of a Palestinian NGO.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development signed a $27,000 contribution agreement with a Ramallah-based NGO known as MIFTAH on Jan. 13, 2015 for the organization to provide training for women involved in municipal politics in the West Bank.

One week later, then-foreign minister John Baird arrived in Israel for what would be his final Mideast tour before his sudden resignation on Feb. 3. During his visit, Mr. Baird reiterated the Harper government’s position t…

Meetings between Kinder Morgan and feds leave no paper trail

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[The totalitarian corporatocracy. "If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself." - George Orwell, 1984. "It's not just bad administration," says former ICBC CEO. "It's a betrayal of public trust." *RON*]
Jenny Uechi, Vancouver Observer, 23 February 2015

No records, no agenda, no minutes, no briefing notes. That's what Vancouver-based economist and former ICBC CEO Robyn Allan learned from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request on senior-level meetings between the federal government and Texas-based oil giant Kinder Morgan.

"It's not just bad administration," said Allan. "It's a betrayal of public trust."

Three of the meetings involved then-Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver.

Allan filed FOI requests on records relating to 20 meetings between Kinder Morgan and the federal government in 2013 and 2014 in May, and received her first response in October.

She s…

Harper's anti-terror law will turn Canada into a police state

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[“War is peace.  Freedom is slavery.  Ignorance is strength.”  ― George Orwell, 1984 "This act could apply to Rosa Parks sitting in the Whites Only section of the bus. It could apply to anyone who talked with her about it ahead of time. It could apply to journalists who wrote she should be commended for breaking the law." See also C-51: Conservatives Demand Limit On Anti-Terror Bill Expert Testimony. *RON*]
By Elizabeth May,, 24 February 2015

I remember the events of October 22. While I was in lock-down on Parliament Hill, I remember who hid in a closet and who ran toward gun fire. The guy in the closet is now planning to concentrate the powers of the state in his own hands while converting the Canadian spy agency into a secret police with virtually unlimited powers. And, at the same time, he has decided to demote the security team that performed its role heroically, the House of Commons Security, led by former Sargeant at Arms K…

Mentally Ill Canadian Soldiers With Afghan Experience Often Declared Unfit For Service: Study

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[Harper sends them to war, destroys their mental health, then declares them unfit for service so they can be fired without having to pay them a pension. Remember this the next time you see a photo-op of him saluting nobly in front of a war memorial. *RON*]
By Murray Brewster, The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 24 February 2015

OTTAWA - New research by National Defence shows that soldiers with mental health conditions, especially those with Afghan war illnesses, are far more likely to be declared unfit for military service and almost 70 per cent of them can expect to be mustered out within 10 years of deployment.

The startling figures are contained in an analysis by the Canadian Forces Health Services Branch, which reviewed the medical files of over 30,000 troops who deployed as part of the nearly 12 year Afghan campaign.

The analysis focuses on the long-term career impact of service-related mental disorders and how they are impacted by the milita…

CSE Monitors Millions Of Canadian Emails To Government

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[The Canadian surveillance state. "The surveillance service vacuums in about 400,000 emails to and from the government every day... The agency refused to provide specifics... CSE, under its cyberdefence mandate, is allowed to hold on to personal information for up to 30 years, then transfer it to Library and Archives Canada... [Civil liberties lawyer] Vonn says it’s “an utter mystery” why the government would need to retain personal information of those implicated in a potential cyberthreat for that long." *RON*]
CBC / Huffington Post, 25 February 2015

Canada’s electronic spy agency collects millions of emails from Canadians and stores them for “days to months” while trying to filter out malware and other attacks on government computer networks, CBC News has learned.

A top-secret document written by Communications Security Establishment (CSE) analysts sheds new light on the scope of the agency’s domestic email collection as part of its m…

Obama blocks Republicans' Keystone pipeline bill in rare veto

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[The Republicans, peering out from deep within the pockets of the oil and gas industry, will continue to force votes on this matter (e.g., see President Obama vetoes Keystone bill; GOP plans override vote). Harper would have needed a change of pants yesterday. You can also sign a petition asking Obama to withdraw their permit altogether here: Thanks for the veto, Mr. President, now reject the KXL once and for all. *RON*]

Dan Roberts, The Guardian, 24 February 2015

Barack Obama has blocked a Republican bill that would allow a contentious extension of the Keystone oil pipeline, in a rare veto that arrived in low-key fashion but leaves open a long road to the end of his presidency.

Though long expected and downplayed by the White House, the symbolic clash over a pipeline from Canadian tar sands to US refineries on the Gulf coast is the first time the president has refused to sign legislation in his second term, and only the third veto of his presiden…