Showing posts from March 4, 2015

Ron's News is Taking a Brief Pause!

I'm unable to work on the blog for a couple of days. I will be back at it, most likely, on Saturday 7 March. My cat Sookie will keep an eye on things until then! Cheers, *RON*

Franck Gervais pleads guilty to illegally wearing military gear on Remembrance Day

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[See Maybe fake soldier didn't understand only Tory politicians and TV stars are allowed to play military dressup in Canada. *RON*]

CBC News, 4 March 2015
A Quebec man has pleaded guilty to illegally wearing a military uniform and medals during the 2014 Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa at the National War Memorial.

Franck Gervais, 32, pleaded guilty in an Ottawa courtroom on Wednesday to the unlawful use of military uniforms and unlawful use of military decoration while dressed as a military officer on Nov. 11.

Gervais is not a member of the Canadian Forces.

The Crown withdrew two charges of personating a public officer.

Gervais, who is from Cantley, Que., was arrested in Ottawa in November and later charged.

After seeing Gervais speaking as a "sergeant" on television on Nov. 11, a number of veterans and soldiers called CBC News to question his status as a soldier.

Gervais's sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 11.

Death, drugs, and HSBC: How fraudulent blood money makes the world go round

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[Excellent journalism. A real rogue's gallery of the criminal banking corporatocracy. *RON*]

By Nafeez Ahmed,, 2 March 2015

Recent reporting on illegal tax evasion by the world’s second largest bank, HSBC, opens a window onto the pivotal role of Western banks in facilitating organised crime, drug-trafficking and Islamist terrorism. Governments know this, but they are powerless to act, not just because they’ve been bought by the banks: but because criminal and terror financing is integral to global capitalism. Now one whistleblower who uncovered an estimated billion pounds worth of HSBC fraud in Britain, suppressed by the British media, is preparing a prosecution that could blow wide open the true scale of criminal corruption in the world’s finance capital.

Following revelations that the Swiss banking arm of HSBC — the world’s second largest bank — was engaged in massive fraudulent tax-evasion relating to assets totaling $100 billion,…

The Embattled First Amendment

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[Freedom of expression under the corporatocracy. Free speech is increasingly reserved for the winners in our winner-take-all society, while the rest of us are surveilled as potential threats. *RON*]
By Lincoln Caplan, The American Scholar, 2 March 2015
Can free speech wreck the American experiment? The question at first seems crazy: Free speech is almost universally regarded as the heartbeat of democracy.

In this year’s State of the Union, for example, President Obama, extolling American values as a pillar of our leadership around the world, put protecting free speech on his short list of practices that set the United States apart. Coming soon after the slayings in Paris at Charlie Hebdo, the weekly that has mercilessly mocked Islam and so much else, the affirmation of free speech brought to mind Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s view that “we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe.” He …

Site C Dam Unions Are Allowed, Christy Clark Tells BC Hydro

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[A key reason for this otherwise pointless power project (which will flood a million acres of prime BC arable land while California, our main source of vegetables, undergoes the drought of the century) was for the Liberals to buy union votes. *RON*]
By The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 4 March 2015

VICTORIA - Premier Christy Clark has intervened to reverse BC Hydro's decision to switch to an open-shop format that would prohibit union organizing on the $8.8-billion Site C dam.

"I think BC Hydro took this a step too far when they said they can't organize on the site," Clark said Tuesday, a day after the province's council of building trades filed a lawsuit that argued BC Hydro's plan violates the charter.

"In the last 24 hours, I've spoken to ministers and I’ve spoken to the CEO of Hydro so they're going to rework their proposal. They do have the right to organize and BC Hydro can't take that away."


Share resource revenue with First Nations, says Harper's handpicked Working Group

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[Corporatocracy, realpolitik and racism. An interesting slant. He's arguing that, while corporations are pragmatic about sharing resource extraction gains with First Nations, this is a political non-starter because of Canadian racism. For an insight into where he wants to see things go, read Canadian government pushing First Nations to give up land rights for oil and gas profits. *RON*]
By Karl Nerenberg,, 4 March 2015

A key recommendation of a generally pro-industry report by the federal government and Assembly of First Nations panel will almost certainly languish on the back-burner, perhaps forever.

The report comes from the Working Group on Natural Resource Development, which has both aboriginal and business membership.

The Working Group was set-up jointly by the Harper government and the national First Nations organization in 2013, following the Crown-First Nations meeting.

Its sure-to-be-ignored recommendation calls for indus…

Austerity Is Not Greece’s Problem

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[The corporatocracy calling the kettle black. Haussman argues "Greece never had the productive structure to be as rich as it was: its income was inflated by massive amounts of borrowed money that was not used to upgrade its productive capacity… the bottom line is that Greece needs to develop its productive capabilities if it wants to grow." The funny thing is, this is precisely why the stock market is as high as it is today, but no one is up on a moral high horse about that fact. See also Corporate Borrowing Now Flows To Shareholders, Not Productive Investment*RON*]
Ricardo Hausmann, Project Syndicate, 3 March 2015

CAMBRIDGE – When looking out a window, it is easy to be fooled by your own reflection and see more of yourself than the outside world. This seems to be the case when US observers, influenced by their own country's fiscal debate, look at Greece.

For example, Joseph Stiglitz regards austerity in Greece as a matter of ideo…

Burnaby not on list to receive Kinder Morgan money

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[The company says the city won't talk to them... Kinder Morgan is all set to dole out $4.6 million to 14 municipalities along its pipeline route ... that is, if the proposed expansion goes through. In a stunning coincidence, none of the local governments lined up for payouts have raised any concerns about the Texas-based company's habit of refusing to answer questions about the project. "Nobody has to come out and say they like the pipeline," says a Kinder Morgan spokesperson. See? No strings attached. If this kind of thing makes you roll your eyes, sign the Dogwood Initiative petition for a fair, independent pipeline review. *RON*]

Jennifer Moreau, Burnaby Now, 3 March 2015

Kinder Morgan is signing agreements to dole out millions of dollars to communities along the pipeline, but Burnaby won't be one of them.

The money is to offset impacts from pipeline construction, and while most communities along the length of the Trans M…