Showing posts from April 18, 2015

Exclusive: Greece scrapes bottom of barrel in hunt for cash to stay afloat

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[Last politician out of the Greek parliament building please turn out the lights. *RON*]
By Lefteris Papadimas & Deepa Babington, Reuters / Yahoo Finance, 18 April 2015

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece will need to tap all the remaining cash reserves across its public sector -- a total of 2 billion euros ($2.16 billion) -- to pay civil service wages and pensions at the end of the month, according to finance ministry officials.

Barring a last-ditch deal with its creditors, that is likely to leave no money to repay the International Monetary Fund almost 1 billion euros due in the first half of May, although Greece has said it wants to honor its debt obligations.

Athens' scramble for basic funds shows how extreme the financial constraints on Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras have become as he tries to convince skeptical foreign creditors to extend his country new financial aid.

Greece's finance ministry denied that it would need to tap remainin…

TSA Trained Disney, Seaworld to Spot Terrorists

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[What's next - a pat-down by Goofy? I feel safer already. *RON*]

By Jana Winter. Intercept, 16 April 2015
(This is an item from our new blog: Unofficial Sources.)

Going to Disney World this summer? Don’t laugh excessively with widely open staring eyes — because those behavior indicators could identify you as a potential terrorist. Packing a Mickey Mouse costume? Wearing a disguise is another indicator.

Yes, the Transportation Security Administration’s embattled $900 million behavior detection program, called Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT, is not just used at airports. It’s also used at theme parks.

TSA has trained security teams from SeaWorld, Disney World and Busch Gardens to use the same checklist of behavior indicators, which includes “wearing a disguise,” “whistling,” “exaggerated yawning” and “excessive laughter,” according to interviews and documents obtained by The Intercept.

In March, The Intercept published …

Number of Adjunct Professors on Public Assistance Is Shocking

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[On corporatizing and crapifying higher education. For many who teach at universities, economic security is a thing of the past. *RON*]
By Zaid Jilani / AlterNet, 17 April 2015

Academia was once a secure job track, that offered both the opportunity to explore your research interests and the ability to maintain your livelihood. ew research out from UC Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education shows that for many who teach at universities, economic security is a thing of the past.

The report shows that part-time—adjunct—faculty at colleges and universities are on some form of public assistance at about half the rate of fast-food workers:

The recession, which lasted from 2007 to around 2010, was particularly severe on this population. During that time, “the number of people with master's degrees who received food stamps and other aid climbed from 101,682 to 293,029, and the number of people with Ph.D.'s who received assistance ros…

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Politicians Denying Science Is ‘Beginning Of The End Of An Informed Democracy’

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[Sounds like a good television program. Of course democracy is in trouble once politicians get away with replacing reality with any old string of baloney they would prefer that you believe in. *RON*]

By Ari Phillips, Think Progress, 18 April 2015

What will you be doing on Monday, 4/20, at 11 p.m.?

Perhaps watching the premiere of acclaimed astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new show StarTalk. Tyson, who may be best known for hosting the reboot of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series in 2014, will now be appearing weekly on the National Geographic Channel in what may be the first late-night science talk show. Along with a trusty cast of comedians and science-minded folks like Bill Nye, Tyson hopes the adaptation of his popular podcast to a broadcast format will make getting a regular dose of science as pain-free as possible. He thinks that by embedding it between pop culture discussions and entertaining asides, the science will go down easy, and…

Canada's greenhouse gas emissions continue slow climb: Report

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[Anything else that Harper says is baloney when put next to this simple fact - CO2 emissions in Canada continue to rise. *RON*]

Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press / Vancouver Observer, 17 April 2015

OTTAWA — The latest emissions inventory from Environment Canada shows the country's overall greenhouse gas output climbed 1.5 per cent between 2012 and 2013, continuing a slow, but steady, upward trend since the global recession of 2009.

The report, prepared by Environment Canada and submitted annually to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, shows 726 megatonnes of emissions in 2013, still three per cent below Canada's output in 2005.

However, under the international Copenhagen Accord signed in 2009, Canada committed to reduce its emissions by 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020 — and the trend is now firmly heading the wrong way.

A new, post-2020 international emissions regime is supposed to be negotiated at a UN conference…

Government To Stop Publishing Contact Information In Blue Pages Of Phone Directories

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[Hide you telephone number then say, "Well, we haven't received any complaints!" :-) *RON*]
By Steve Rennie, The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 18 April 2015

OTTAWA - Canadian phone books are about to get a little less colourful.

The federal government has decided to stop publishing contact information for all of its departments and agencies in the blue pages section of telephone directories.

A newly released document says it doesn't make sense to publish what often ends up being outdated information in the phone book when most people look for phone numbers on the Internet.

"Given that the government pages publication and distribution cycle takes approximately five months, most government of Canada information is out of date by the time it reaches Canadian households," says a memo to Shared Services Canada president Liseanne Forand.

"Fewer than 50 per cent of departments and agencies update their information, with m…

Woodfibre LNG: Shady PR, lobby violations, fraudulent, eco-criminal owner…Is this the kind of business BC wants to welcome?

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[The BC corporatocracy. Everyone involved sound like real charmers; just the sort of people we'd love to be associated with! Company's coming for dinner today, so I'm off to an extremely slow start! :-) *RON*]

Rafe Mair, Common Sense Canadian, 16 April 2015

The war against an LNG plant in Squamish is heating up, and as the late singer Al Jolson said, “You ain’t seen nothin yet.”

Know that on this issue, I am not in any way independent. Along with thousands of others, I’m in this fight to the finish.

On the side of the LNG plant is all the money, the company itself and its crooked multi-billionaire owner, the federal government, the provincial government, the LNG lobby, the fossil fuel industry, the tanker industry, the corporate media, and the right wing in general. Shilling for Woodfibre LNG, as readers will know, is an outfit called Resource Works, funded in part by the BC Business Council and, one suspects, Woodfibre LNG itself – alt…