Showing posts from April 14, 2015

Why the FDA doesn't really know what's in your food

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[The corporatocracy at work on what you eat. Massive legal loophole means companies can add new ingredients to foods with no government safety review. Then people wonder why so little progress has been made in identifying the environmental causes of cancer. *RON*]

By Erin Quinn, The Center for Public Integrity, 14 April 2015

Why doesn't the government know what's in your food? Because industry can declare on their own that added ingredients are safe. It's all thanks to a loophole in a 57-year-old law that allows food manufacturers to circumvent the approval process by regulators. This means companies can add substances to their food without ever consulting the Food and Drug Administration about potential health risks.

How Iran won Bush’s Iraq War

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[Good piece! See also Saudi Arabia, Turkey Discussing Unlikely Alliance To Oust Syria's Assad. *RON*]
By Peter Van Buren, / Posted by Juan Cole, 13 April 2015

The U.S. is running around in circles in the Middle East, patching together coalitions here, acquiring strange bedfellows there, and in location after location trying to figure out who the enemy of its enemy actually is. The result is just what you’d expect: chaos further undermining whatever’s left of the nations whose frailty birthed the jihadism America is trying to squash.

And in a classic tale of unintended consequences, just about every time Washington has committed another blunder in the Middle East, Iran has stepped in to take advantage. Consider that country the rising power in the region and credit American clumsiness for the new Iranian ascendancy.

Today’s News — and Some History

The U.S. recently concluded air strikes in support of the Iraqi militias that Iran fa…

RCMP Money Freed Up Cash For Accused B.C. Terrorists' Bomb Plot, Suggests Lawyer

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[This turns into a worse dog-and-pony show by the day. The RCMP says "We wanted to see how committed and how involved Mr. Nuttall was," when, clearly, they willingly provided him with funds to make sure he had enough money left to buy bomb paraphenalia. They knew their case would fall apart if they bought the whole thing for Nuttall, so the RCMP provided the C4 (why doesn't the whole case end right here!!!???) and provided extra money for anything except bomb equipment. *RON*]
By Geordon Omand, Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 13 April 2015

VANCOUVER - An elaborate RCMP sting operation removed every conceivable obstacle hindering the violent ambitions of a man accused of plotting to blow up the B.C. legislature, a court has heard.

John Nuttall's defence lawyer Marilyn Sandford accused an undercover officer in court on Monday of providing John Nuttall with the money, the expertise and the spiritual guidance to enable him to carry …

Raising BC's minimum wage to $15 makes good economic sense

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[Spread this information around. Keep a copy of this analysis on hand for when people try to tell you otherwise. *RON*]

Economist David A Green has thoroughly reviewed the academic literature and found no evidence that a $15 minimum wage would cause harm — on the contrary, it would benefit families and reduce poverty and inequality.

Read The Case for Increasing the Minimum Wage.

Share the infographic.

Reich: Income inequality hurts the rich

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[It's not just about how big the slice of pie is that you get. It's also about whether you are adopting policies that grow or shrink the total size of the pie. *RON*]
By Jonathan Horn, UT San Diego, 13 April 2015
Income inequality in America isn’t just squeezing the middle class - it’s keeping the rich from getting even richer, former labor secretary Robert Reich said Monday in La Jolla.

“The wealthy do better when they are part of a region or part of a country in which everybody is doing better,” Reich told an audience of several hundred at the Museum of Contemporary Art. “They do better with a smaller share of a rapidly growing economy and a rapidly growing region than they do with a very, very large share of a region … because you simply don’t have a middle class capable of purchasing all that is being produced.”

Income inequality has already become a big part of the upcoming presidential election. Reich, who was a key adviser to Preside…

Supreme Court quashes mandatory sentences for gun crimes

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[In this instance, the Ontario ruling that struck down mandatory minimum sentences of 3 and 5 years was upheld. Compared with what he is unwilling to spend on improving the welfare of average Canadians, someone should add up the costs of Harper "playing to the base" by constantly crafting legislation he knows perfectly well to be counter to the Constitution and taking case after case to court. *RON*]

Canadian Press / CBC, 14 April 2015
Related Stories

Minimum gun sentence ruled unconstitutional
Supreme Court softens Tories' tough-on-crime sentencing law
Repeal of early parole violates rights, Supreme Court rules
Yukon judge wrong to ignore Truth in Sentencing law: Appeal court

External Links

Read the Supreme Court decision

(Note: CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external links.)

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the Harper government's law requiring mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes is unc…

Top 3 Myths About Greening Canada’s Economy

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[From the way people talk, sometimes you'd think a greener Canadian economy only exists in fairy tales — but that's not the case. See yesterday's posting on how nearly half of Spain’s electricity come from renewables. We constantly see examples proving that so-called alternative energy is not just economically feasible, but good for job-creation and for the economy in general. See also Thousands March In Canada To Call For Action On Climate Change. *RON*]
By Sustainable Prosperity, DeSmog Blog Canada, 13 April 2015

This is a guest post by Sustainable Prosperity, a national green economy think tank.

This is a big week for Canadian energy and climate policy, with Monday’s Canadian Round Table on the Green Economy and Tuesday’s premiers’ climate summit. With all the talk of a “green economy,” we’re releasing a new video explaining what that ubiquitous term really means.

What better time than now to bust a few myths about the “what” an…

How To Kill A Pipeline

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[One year after a pivotal vote in Kitimat, the Enbridge Northern Gateway is inches from defeat. "From investment newsletters to energy conferences to the halls of the Alberta government, people who follow pipeline politics are now talking about the likelihood that Northern Gateway will never be built. In fact, in energy circles the project has become a cautionary tale." *RON*]
By Kai Nagata, Dogwood Initiative Blog, 13 April 2015
A version of this article originally appeared on The Tyee.

On the night of April 12, 2014, I was a long way from the North Coast. Surrounded by a ballroom full of grey-haired guys in camo vests and stone-washed Levis, I drained another can of Bone Beer and checked my raffle tickets. I had that lucky feeling. My friend and I were volunteering at the B.C. Wildlife Federation annual meeting in Kelowna and I just knew we were going to win something.

I spotted reporter Robin Rowland's tweet just after nine o'c…

Coast Guard budget cuts roil the water in B.C. oil-spill controversy

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[So, in light of the badly-handled oil spill in English Bay, the federal government has decided to... make MORE cuts to marine safety resources? Ridiculous. Premier Clark has blasted Ottawa for this debacle, but that's not enough. We need a fair, B.C.-led pipeline review process now. One that actually represents the interests of British Columbians. See also Vancouver, B.C., oil spill: City not informed for 13 hoursCrews to continue spill clean-up in English Bay, residents advised to avoid beachesConservatives hammered over oil spill cleanup delay, cuts to marine safetyB.C. spill means Conservatives need a scrubbing: Harper. *RON*]

Justine Hunter, Globe & Mail, 12 April 2015

Oil companies seeking a pipeline path for Alberta crude to open water and new markets breathed a sigh of relief when the ballots were counted in the 2013 provincial election and B.C. Liberal Premier Christy Clark was still in charge. It seemed there was still a …