Showing posts from March 22, 2015

Walker wants $250,000 to duplicate wind energy study because he didn't like the findings

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[Sustainable energy and the politics of the corporatocracy. "His transparent intention is to continue stalling on Wisconsin’s development of this renewable energy source, which is opposed by the real-estate sector and producers of dirty energy, including Koch Industries and Exon Mobil. Those industries have bestowed Walker with beaucoup bucks, and, as he’s proven time and again, he’s not about to let the state do anything counter to their interests on his watch — not even for the best interests of Wisconsinites." *RON*]
Wisconsin Gazette, 21 March 2015
There’s a proposed item in Gov. Scott Walker’s budget that would waste $250,000 to have the Public Service Commission study the health effects of wind turbines. His transparent intention is to continue stalling on Wisconsin’s development of this renewable energy source, which is opposed by the real-estate sector and producers of dirty energy, including Koch Industries and Exon Mobil. Thos…

"Worse yet to come" for Canada on falling oil prices, TD economist predicts

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[The sound of too many eggs cracking apart in one basket. "Oversupply concerns have been the crux of a pullback motivated by oil inventories that continue to climb against weak demand. U.S. domestic stockpiles rose by 9.6 million barrels last week, which was much more than expected. The latest worry is that oil storage space is becoming full, which could further depress prices." *RON*]
The Canadian Press / Vancouver Observer, 22 March 2015

TORONTO — With little in the way of domestic economic news, Toronto markets are expected to focus this week on the impact of falling oil prices on the Canadian economy.

Crude prices briefly touched six-year lows near US$40 a barrel last week — close to 60 per cent below the highs of last June — and some observers believe the bottom may be lower still.

"The current state of crude oil markets suggests the worst is yet to come," TD Bank economist Dina Ignjatovic said in a note.

"The impact of …

Punishment’s purpose: How humans became hardwired for justice

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[Well, this is certainly one perspective on punishment; one we encounter in spades in the Internet social media. The profound messages of love and forgiveness in all world religions are being ignored and replaced by hatred and fear of the other expressed through violence. For an alternative perspective, see David Boonin's (2008) The Problem of Punishment, as well as the huge literature on restorative justice. *RON*]
By Morris B. Hoffman, Reuters, 20 March 2015
One of the positive things about the media frenzy over cases like the Boston Marathon bombing and the Aurora Theater shooting is that these types of cases remind us there are profound mysteries of the human condition that we usually tune out during our everyday lives. What is the nature of good and evil? When are we responsible for our actions and when should we be excused? Why do we blame and punish, and when do we forgive?

These questions are no longer the exclusive domain of religion,…

It’s illegal to prevent workers from talking about wages. T-Mobile did it anyway.

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[From the front lines of the class wars: a judge has thrown out large sections of T-Mobile's employee handbook for having a chilling effect on union organizing. It's also irritating and humorous in equal parts to click the link, below to the story on really, really bad CEO apologies. *RON*]

By Lydia DePillis March 19
Carolina Figueroa works at a T-Mobile call center in Albuquerque, N.M., in the bilingual retention section, trying to talk Spanish-speaking customers out of canceling their accounts. She likes her job, and the pay is decent — $18.50 an hour after eight years working there, plus health coverage, which covers the bills for her and her young daughter.

There’s only one problem: the employee handbook, which covers some 40,000 employees across the country. As long as she’s worked there, workers at the call center have been discouraged from discussing wages and working conditions, through provisions that bar things like disclosure of…

Investors Crushed as US Natural Gas Drillers Blow Up

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[Hey Christie Clarke, have you woke up yet? How's that coffee smelling? "Quicksilver’s bankruptcy is a consequence of this fracking environment. It listed $2.35 billion in debts. That’s what is left from its borrowing binge that covered its negative cash flows. It listed only $1.21 billion in assets. The rest has gone up in smoke. Its shares are worthless. Stockholders got wiped out. Creditors get to fight over the scraps." See also Just as Global Oil Glut Deepens, China Cuts Oil Imports. *RON*]
by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street, 18 March 2015

The Fed speaks, the dollar crashes. The dollar was ripe. The entire world had been bullish on it. Down nearly 3% against the euro, before recovering some. The biggest drop since March 2009. Everything else jumped. Stocks, Treasuries, gold, even oil.

West Texas Intermediate had been experiencing its biggest weekly plunge since January, trading at just above $42 a barrel, a new low in the current oil b…

Rich Man’s Bank Hit by Bank Run, Collapse, “Bail-In”

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[Crooks everywhere; banks run by crooks, serving other crooks, regulated by other crooks. What's even more interesting than the fact that the United States thinks it can investigate and prosecute banks outside of the US is that everyone else thinks so too. *RON*]
by Don Quijones, Wolf Street, 21 March 2015

In Europe nary a day seems to go by without some mention or rumor of a bank run or bank closure. Ground Zero of the current troubles is Greece, whose broken financial system is now wholly dependent on regular infusions of euros from the ECB. The moment those infusions stop – something the ECB has warned could happen at any time – the country’s banking system collapses. On Wednesday Greek banks saw deposit outflows of €300 million, the highest in a single day since a February deal with the euro zone that staved off a banking collapse.

But it’s not just on Europe’s periphery that banks are experiencing problems. At the beginning of this month, …

EXCLUSIVE-Canada regulator probing TransCanada over safety allegations

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[I'm travelling this week, so there might be little or nothing posted here. Things should be normal again by Saturday. "...the allegations include faulty or delayed repairs, sloppy welding work and a failure to report key issues to the regulator. TransCanada declined to provide details about the allegations, but noted someone previously raised them within the company..." Which is a spin-wise way of saying this is due to a whistle-blower. *RON*]
Mike De Souza, CNBC, 18 Mar 2015

OTTAWA, March 18 (Reuters) - Canada's energy regulator is investigating up to a dozen new allegations of natural gas pipeline safety-code violations at TransCanada Corp, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.

The regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB), and the company confirmed an investigation is under way but offered few details of the allegations.

It marks the second time in recent years the regulator has probed safety practices at Canada's se…