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Showing posts from April 8, 2015

IMF warns of long period of lower growth

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[Gosh I'm glad to see that austerity program is still working so well, and promises to do so indefinitely. But, gee! Who doesn't want cheaper servants in their home? *RON*]

Ferdinando Giugliano, Financial Times, 7 April 2015

Most of the world’s leading economies should prepare for a prolonged period of lower growth rates, which would make it harder for governments and companies to bring down their debt levels, the International Monetary Fund has warned.

The warning will reignite fears that the world economy is facing a prolonged period of low growth, which some economists have labelled “secular stagnation”.

The findings, included in one of the analytical chapters of the IMF’s twice-yearly World Economic Outlook, mean that living standards — particularly in the developing world — could grow more slowly than they did before 2008.

All Praise To The Iranian Nuclear Framework—–It Finally Exposes The War Party’s Big Lie

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[An excellent piece on the Iranian nuclear framework and the house built on sand which is the basis for Republican opposition to it. *RON*]
by David Stockman, Contra Corner, 7 April 2015

The Iranian framework agreement is an astonishingly good deal, and has the potential to become a historic game-changer. As Robert Parry astutely observed, its about much more than sheaving the threat that Iran will get the bomb:
The April 2 framework agreement with Iran represents more than just a diplomatic deal to prevent nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. It marks a crossroad that offers a possible path for the American Republic to regain its footing and turn away from endless war. The saliency of that observation lies in the fact that there is virtually nothing in the substance of the deal for the War Party to attack. So what they are doing is desperately hurtling the Iranian axis-of-evil narrative at the agreement, claiming that the regime is so untrus…

Ugly portraits of PMO staffers, senators and Senate emerge in Duffy trial

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[Okay, yes, this is going to be one hot steaming mess. But you'll be getting this whole process posted and tweeted to you live and in excruciating detail via the mainstream press, so I'll not post any more on Duffy until the whole thing is over unless they are any truly new revelations. Although this is worth noting from the get-go: Harper Says He Won't Be Asked To Testify At Mike Duffy Trial. And, well, what can I say? This is just funny: NDP Hilariously Delivers Camembert To Reporters At Mike Duffy Trial. *RON*]
The Canadian Press, Vancouver Observer 7 April 2015


The trial of Mike Duffy got underway Tuesday with a series of ugly portraits: the senator himself, the prime minister's former right-hand man and the much-maligned upper chamber as a whole.

The Crown drew a picture of an allegedly corrupt senator who made personal trips on the public dime, paid acquaintances for questionable contracts and extorted the Prime Minister'…

Raising B.C. Minimum Wage Is Not The Right Policy To Help Struggling Families

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[This is such a worn out neoliberal tactic - it should have been drowned as a pup. To see the US version which the Fraser Institute slavishly copies, read Bill O'Reilly Downplays Impact Of Minimum Wage Increase For Low-Income Workers. Then, for a dose of reality, read The Minimum Wage: Myths & Facts. *RON*]
Charles Lammam, Fraser Institute, Huffington Post, 8 April 2015


The B.C. government recently announced it will increase the minimum wage in September to $10.45 per hour. Thereafter, annual increases will be automatically pegged at the rate of inflation.

Shortly after the announcement, Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills TrainingShirley Bond said: "We want to protect the most vulnerable British Columbians in our province and... deal with the issue of those who are struggling with their families."

The goal of helping struggling families and the most vulnerable in society is laudable. But the problem is the minimum wage is the wr…

Oiling the machinery of climate change denial and transit opposition

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[It should be obvious, but it's worth pointing out that the most energetic opponents of transit improvement are from the oil and gas industry. *RON*]
By David Suzuki, rabble.ca, 7 April 2015

Brothers Charles and David Koch run Koch Industries, the second-largest privately owned company in the U.S., behind Cargill. They've given close to US$70 million to climate change denial front groups, some of which they helped start, including Americans for Prosperity, founded by David Koch and a major force behind the Tea Party movement.

Through their companies, the Kochs are the largest U.S. leaseholder in the Alberta oilsands. They've provided funding to Canada's pro-oil Fraser Institute and are known to fuel the Agenda 21 conspiracy theory, which claims a 1992 UN non-binding sustainable development proposal is a plot to remove property rights and other freedoms.

Researchers reveal they're also behind many anti-transit initiatives in the …

Comment on coal plan while you can

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[There is literally only a day or so left before they close down the public input process on the permit to allow Port Metro Vancouver to flush chemically treat coal dust through our sewer system. Please take the opportunity to write them a quick email to let them know what you think of this. *RON*]

Scott Van Denham / New West Record, 6 April 2015
Dear Editor:

Port Metro Vancouver hasn't tried really hard to tell us about it, but they want to expand shipments of low-grade, dusty American coal through Fraser Surrey Docks for sale to Asian markets. I thought you might want to know this, because, after all, coal dust is bad for our health or our air quality, and we should have a say in the Port Authority's plans where they affect our health and environment.

Doesn't the Port Authority have a way, you might ask, of dealing with the dust produced from moving this dirty fossil fuel around? Well, yes, but there is a problem with that, too. You se…