Showing posts from April 15, 2015

There's No Good Reason Canada Shouldn't Have a National Drug Plan

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[The reason we don't have a national drug plan is the corporatocratic ideology of our Prime Minister. *RON*]
Livio Di Matteo, / Huffington Post, 14 April 2015

A new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal with health economist Steve Morgan as lead author argues a national universal care drug program would not result in substantial tax increases. Indeed, such a plan reduces public and private spending on prescription drugs by $7.3 billion annually -- or by 32 per cent.

According to Morgan et al, the private sector would save $8.2 billion (worst-case scenario $6.6 billion, best-case scenario $9.6 billion), whereas costs to government would increase by about $1.0 billion (worst-case scenario $5.4 billion net increase, best-case scenario $2.9 billion net savings).

The authors suggest that any perceived barriers to implementation of a national universal care drug plan appear to be unjustified. Given that a national drug p…

Only a Handful of People Can Enter the Chauvet Cave Each Year. Our Reporter Was One of Them.

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[If you haven't seen Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams, by all means do so at your earliest opportunity. I would absolutely love to visit the Chauvet Cave. *RON* 

By Joshua Hammer,, 14 April 2015

A rare trip inside the home of the world’s most breathtaking cave painting leaves lasting memories The entry into the depths of the Chauvet Cave, the world’s greatest repository of Palaeolithic art, begins with a dramatic ascent. A steep switchback trail through a forest brings one to the foot of a limestone cliff. From here a wood-plank walkway leads to a steel door. Behind it, sealed from outsiders by four secure locks- including a biometric lock accessible by only four conservators - lies a time capsule that remained hidden from the world for 35,000 years.
Finally, the Beauty of France's Chauvet Cave Makes its Grand Public Debut

Ever since three amateur spelunkers, led by Jean-Marie Chauvet, crawled into…

Coal producers say Northwest environmentalists blocking Asia-bound exports

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[The democratic successes against coal exports in Oregon - described as an 'environmental blockade' by Fox News - shows that this could be stopped in Vancouver as well with sufficient will. *RON*]

By Kelly David, 14 April 2015

Coal-producing states charge Northwestern environmentalists are blocking them from exporting the fuel to hungry overseas nations, costing America jobs and revenue while doing nothing to lessen the use of fossil fuels.

Wyoming, the nation's top producer of coal at 400 million tons per year, only exports about one percent of that. Officials would like to send as much as 70 million tons to coal-hungry Asian nations, but say opposition from states that control Pacific ports is blocking them from doing business. Cowboy State Gov. Matt Mead believes it is unconstitutional for other states to stop his landlocked state from getting its goods to market.

"It's challenging a particular commodity an…

Cops have killed way more Americans in America than terrorists have

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[Check out the Fatal Encounters web site; it's an academic group aiming to collect basic but thorough information on people killed by police and they look like they're well worth supporting. *RON*]

By Xeni Jardin at 10:34 am Tue, Apr 14, 2015

Police have killed more Americans on U.S. soil since the year 2000 than the Islamist terrorists. At Vox, Anand Katakam created an interactive map with data from Fatal Encounters, a nonprofit working to build a national database of police killings. This database, and the map Vox created, shows that US police have killed at least 5,600 people since the year 2000. That's many more than have died in terrorist attacks on American soil.

A huge majority of the more than 5,600 deaths on the map are from gunshots, which is hardly surprising given that guns are so deadly compared to other tools used by police. There are also a lot of noticeable fatalities from vehicle crashes, stun guns, and asphyxiations. I…

The hidden battle to build the Air Force's new stealth bomber

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[Military corporatocrats = the original and greatest welfare queens. Maybe they should think about finishing off that F35 first? Poor Jason Kenney and Stephen Harper will be so confused they won't know which direction to throw our tax money next! *RON*]

By Philip Ewing & Leigh Munsil, Politico, 14 April 2015

The bombardment began early this year on the airwaves and online.

“What will the next revolution in advanced aircraft be?” asks one of the slick advertisements, showcasing a mysterious, tailless aircraft parked in a darkened hangar and draped with a tarp.

The campaign by defense giant Northrop Grumman, specifically targeted at the Washington market, is the most visible evidence of the behind-the-scenes battle to build the Air Force’s new stealth bomber, a deal with an estimated value of at least $55 billion.

Defense officials are expected to choose a winner for the highly classified Long Range Strike Bomber as soon as this summer. And th…

‘Super taper tantrum’ ahead, warns IMF

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["This is going to take place in uncharted territory." Just imagine - CEOs might actually have to start working for a living! I'd throw a tantrum, too. *RON*]

Sam Fleming & Shawn Donnan, Financial Times, 15 April 2015

The Federal Reserve’s first interest rate rise risks triggering a jolt to bond markets that could surpass the turmoil the central bank inadvertently set off in 2013, the International Monetary Fund has warned.

José Viñals, the director of the IMF’s monetary and capital markets department, warned of a “super taper tantrum” and spiking yields as the US central bank gets nearer to lifting rates from near-zero levels. “This is going to take place in uncharted territory,” he said in an interview.

In its Global Financial Stability Report, released on Wednesday, the IMF argued that risks have not only risen worldwide, but that they have rotated to parts of the financial world that are harder to monitor — including to the no…

Coquitlam land sold below value, NDP says

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[They closed down the bidding process early, saying they couldn't find anyone to sell this land to at $40 million below its appraised value to a man who had donated $500,000 to the Liberal Party of BC. Tell me this doesn't stink to high heaven. *RON*]
by Tom Fletcher - BC Local News / Langley Times, 14 April 2015
The B.C. Liberal government sold land in Coquitlam at as much as $43 million less than its appraised value last year to balance the budget, NDP critics said Tuesday.

The 14 parcels on Burke Mountain in north Coquitlam sold in February 2014 for $85 million. Documents obtained under freedom of information law by the NDP showed an appraised value of $128 million.

One parcel had an appraised value of $5.6 million and was valued by B.C. Assessment Authority this year at $2.3 million. It sold for $100,000 to Wesbild Holdings. Ltd., a long-time residential developer in the area.