Showing posts from February 27, 2015

'Gestapo' tactics at US police 'black site' ring alarm from Chicago to Washington

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[Amazing story. Shocked politicians and rights groups call for inquiries into Homan Square. Rahm Emanuel faces questions as top supporters examine ‘outrageous’ abuse. "The justice department declined to comment to the Guardian on Wednesday." *RON*]
Spencer AckermanZach StaffordMark Guarino and Oliver Laughland, The Guardian, 26 February 2015
The US Department of Justice and embattled mayor Rahm Emanuel are under mounting pressure to investigate allegations of what one politician called “CIA or Gestapo tactics” at a secretive Chicago police facility exposed by the Guardian.

Politicians and civil-rights groups across the US expressed shock upon hearing descriptions of off-the-books interrogation at Homan Square, the Chicago warehouse that multiple lawyers and one shackled-up protester likened to a US counter-terrorist black site in a Guardian investigation published this week. As three more people came forward detailing their stories o…

Kinder Morgan, NEB Draw Ire for Oil Spill Response Plans Released in Washington State, But Not B.C.

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[Great that this story has some 'legs.' *RON*]
Carol Linnitt, DeSmog Blog Canada, 24 February 2015

Since DeSmog Canada broke the story two weeks ago that Kinder Morgan publicly released its emergency oil spill plans for the Trans Mountain pipeline in Washington State while withholding or severely redacting the exact same plans in B.C.,there's been a firestorm of activity on the topic.

The story has now been covered by the Globe and Mail, the CBC and the Canadian Press, the issue was raised in the House of Commons this week and the president of Kinder Morgan and the chair of the National Energy Board (NEB) have been forced to respond.

Kinder Morgan and the NEB angered the B.C. government in January after ruling the company could keep spill response plans for the proposed oilsands pipeline secret due to “security concerns.”

This week Kinder Morgan president Ian Anderson defended the company’s actions, saying the NEB did not demand disclos…

Amal Clooney Puts Stephen Harper On Blast Over Treatment Of Her Client Mohamed Fahmy

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[I imagine we'll finally see some action now; sadly, it takes the negative international publicity made possible by celebrity to force our government do anything resembling the right thing. *RON*]
By Diana Mehta, The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 27 February 2015

The high-profile human rights lawyer for a Canadian journalist on trial in Egypt is lashing out at what she calls Canada's "woefully inadequate" efforts to bring him home.

Mohamed Fahmy spent more than a year in a Cairo prison after being arrested along with two colleagues while working for satellite news broadcaster Al Jazeera English.

The 40-year-old, who was released on bail earlier this month, is currently being tried a second time after a successful appeal of his original conviction on terror-related charges that have been widely denounced.

Although his legal case continues to wind its way through the courts, Fahmy has been hoping to leave Egypt under a law which a…

Do Not Use TurboTax This Tax Season

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[Note that this is merely allegations by former employees - I see nothing in this story about charges being laid, or there even being an active investigation. Certainly this is interesting to me, at least, however, since I use TurboTax every year! Note that I just found this (somewhat soothing) article: TurboTax fraud uncovered in U.S. couldn't happen here, CRA says. *RON*]

Sam Biddle, Gawker, 26 February 2015

If you haven't already filed your taxes, you're probably considering TurboTax, the widely used software that makes filing a return easy for our nation of babies and dimwits. Consider an alternative: according to two former high-ranking employees, the company ignored rampant refund theft because it could take a cut.

Intuit, the corporation that owns TurboTax, is an unequivocally evil firm that's spent millions of dollars lobbying the IRS to make sure filing your taxes is enough of a pain in the ass that you'll continue us…

Crude Awakening: How the Keystone Veto Dashes Canada's 'Superpower' Dreams

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[Good Rolling Stone piece on the fall of the Alberta tar sands. *RON*]
By Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone, 24 February 2015
Barack Obama's veto of Keystone XL has placed the export pipeline for Canadian tar-sands crude on its deathbed. Earlier in February, the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that Keystone could spur 1.37 billion tons of excess carbon emissions — providing the State Department with all the scientific evidence required to spike the project, permanently. If the news has cheered climate activists across the globe, it also underscored the folly of Canada's catastrophic quest, in recent years, to transform itself into a dirty-energy "superpower."
In the minds of many American right-wingers, Canada may be a socialist hell-scape of universal health care and quasi-European welfare policies. But it is also home to 168 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, the third-largest in the world. Since ultraconserv…

Kinder Morgan drillers hit by protests in Coquitlam

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Mychaylo Prystupa, Vancouver Observer, 26 February 2015

A third day of protests encircled Kinder Morgan contractors attempting to do borehole pipeline-test drilling in the Coquitlam and New Westminster area. Megaphones are being blasted, and water trucks are being interfered with, protesters claim.

“People are standing up to the destruction of the land, the expansion of the oil sands, [and] worsening climate change,” said Jacob Markiewicz on Thursday, who was on the scene.

“One of the hired private security pushed a megaphone out of a protester's hands,” he added.

Ottawa Largely Ignored 700 Recommendations On Missing Aboriginal Women, Study Finds

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[When asked about missing and murdered Aboriginal women, the Harper government routinely says no national inquiry is needed, since "40 studies" have already been done. This deflects attention from the question of action. What they don't say is that they have ignored the vast majority of the recommendations from these reports, while cutting the funding available to the RCMP to do anything about this. *RON*]
By Chinta Puxley, The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 26 February 2015

A new study says the federal government is ignoring dozens of recommendations on how to reduce the number of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

The study, which analyzed 58 others on violence against native women, found most of the reviews spanning two decades agreed on the root causes of that violence.

But Ottawa has largely ignored more than 700 recommendations to address the issue, says the report, which was commissioned by the Legal Strategy Coalition on…