Showing posts from April 17, 2015

Can the courts liberate the Bank of Canada?

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[This is astounding; I can't believe that I've never heard about this before. Private banks in Canada have made a killing off the taxpayer, and the debt and deficit are both fake. "By 2012, the government had paid C$1 trillion in interest -- twice its national debt. Interest on the debt is now the government's single largest budget expenditure -- larger than health care, senior entitlements or national defense." While some of that interest was paid to holders of Canada Savings Bonds, the vast majority was paid to private lenders. In the early 1990s, at the height of the media's deficit hysteria and rhetorical nonsense about hitting a "debt wall," 91 per cent of the $423-billion debt was due to interest charges. Our real debt -- revenue minus expenditures -- was just $37 billion. *RON*]

By Murray Dobbin,, 17 April 2015

Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who …

Proponents of Renewable Energy Will Own the 21st Century, Say Leaders at World Congress

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[The corporatocracy meets climate change. The move to sustainable energy is both politically and economically viable. In Germany, "more than 80 regions are already 100 per cent renewable and 60 more regions are on their way" and current research shows that the "world’s biggest economies could save $520 billion a year if they go 100 per cent renewable. Such a shift would generate three million new jobs." *RON*]
 Stephen Leahy, DeSmog Blog Canada, 15 April 2015

Vancouver city council’s unanimous decision to commit to running on 100 per cent renewable energy is the kind of political leadership the world desperately needs says Jørgen Randers, professor of climate strategy at the Norwegian Business School in Oslo, Norway.

“Despite the looming catastrophe of climate change the market will choose to do nothing,” Randers said in the keynote speech at the ICLEI World Congress 2015, the triennial sustainability summit of local government…

As fuel spill pollutes beaches, destination of toxic material remains unclear

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[More on our World Class, My A$$ cleanup capacity. Now that they've mopped up as best they're able, they realize they've never thought about where to put the toxic crud they're left with. *RON*]
Danny Kresnyak, Vancouver Observer, 15 April 2015

Nearly a full week after the toxic spill in English Bay, key details regarding the clean-up and disposal of contaminated articles remain unclear.

After the grain ship MV Marathassa spilled in English Bay on Wednesday, responders agreed on Saturday – days after the incident – to hire a contractor to dispose of items contaminated with the leaked bunker fuel, the Vancouver Observer has learned.

The Ministry of Environment stated in an email the contract went to Terrapure Environmental (formerly known as NewAlta), headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, to dispose of the spill contents in accordance with a waste-management plan agreed upon by members of Unified Command on April 11, days after the…

America's lobbying addiction

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[The corporatocracy and US politics. A great, if somewhat depressing, piece on lobbyists in Washington. *RON*]

Philip A. Wallach, Brookings Institute, 13 April 2015

Lee Drutman’s new book, The Business of America is Lobbying, is mandatory reading for two groups of people: masochists and those of us who care about the future of self-government in America. After reading Drutman’s depressing book, it is tempting to think that the second group is a subset of the first, but he manages to muster some notes of optimism, and so must the rest of us.

Whether we are worried about money in politics, government sclerosis, or American citizens’ increasing sense of alienation from the actions of their government, Drutman convincingly argues that the rise of lobbying is the key story for us to understand. Having conducted dozens of interviews with working lobbyists and using a wealth of quantitative data, he does a masterful job painting a portrait of just what lo…

IMF ex-chief Rato detained by Spanish police

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[Political corruption, austerity and unemployment are the big issues in the upcoming series of local and national Spanish elections. The upstart anti-austerity parties, Podemos and Cuidadanos, will continue to make gains as more examples of corruption within the establishment parties appear in the press. *RON*]
Buenos Aires Herald with AP, Bloomberg, & Reuters, 17 April 2015

Former deputy PM held after tax officials search home as part of money-laundering probe

MADRID — Former International Monetary Fund chief and Spanish political heavyweight Rodrigo Rato was detained by police in Madrid yesterday after tax officials spent hours searching his apartment in Salamanca, one of the capital’s wealthiest neighbourhoods.

Rato, also a former deputy prime minister and economy minister, was led away to an unmarked police car accompanied by officers in images broadcast live on television. Spanish media reported he was heading with them to one of his offi…

Hillary Clinton surprises with early attack on CEO pay

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[The corporatocracy and US politics. It will be interesting to see if she sticks to her guns. She won't raise a billion dollars without those hedge fund managers. See also How Hillary Clinton can tackle income inequality—without upsetting her rich friends ("How does Hillary Clinton tackle her party’s chief economic concern—income inequality—when she’s making $200,000-a-pop speeches to Wall Street donors?"), and Bernie Sanders: Hillary Clinton Won't Stand Up To Billionaires On Income Inequality. *RON*]

By Caren Bohan, Emily Flitter & Amanda Becker, Canadian HR Reporter, 13 April 2015

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK/DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) — Hillary Clinton, under pressure from the left wing of her Democratic Party to aggressively campaign against income inequality, voiced concern about the hefty paychecks of some corporate executives in an email to supporters.

Striking a populist note, Clinton, who announced on Sunday she was running…

Hundreds of mental health experts issue rallying call against austerity

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[400 counsellors, psychotherapists and others sign letter saying 'society thrown completely off balance' by 'emotional toxicity of neoliberal thinking.' Alternately, see Austerity and a malign benefits regime are profoundly damaging mental health. *RON*]

James Meikle & Denis Campbell, The Guardian, 17 April 2015 Austerity cuts are having a “profoundly disturbing” impact on people’s psychological wellbeing and the emotional state of the nation, hundreds of counsellors, psychotherapists and mental health experts have said in a letter to the Guardian.

They said an “intimidatory disciplinary regime” facing benefits claimants would be made worse by further “unacceptable” proposals outlined in the budget.

These amounted to state “get to work” therapy and were both damaging and professionally unethical, they said.

Increasing inequality and poverty, families being moved out of their homes and new systems determining benefit levels wer…