Showing posts from April 28, 2015

Nonviolence as Compliance

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[Controversial but highly charged and compelling piece. Officials calling for calm can offer no rational justification for Gray's death, and so they appeal for order. "When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse." *RON*]
Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic, 27 April 2015
Rioting broke out on Monday in Baltimore—an angry response to the death of Freddie Gray, a death my native city seems powerless to explain. Gray did not die mysteriously in some back alley but in the custody of the city's publicly appointed guardians of order. And yet the mayor of that city and the commissioner of that city's police still have no idea what happened. I suspect this is not because the mayor and police commissioner are bad people, but because the state of Maryland prioritizes the protection of police officers charged with abuse over the citizens who fall under its purview.
The citi…

Tsipras reshuffles negotiating team to sideline Varoufakis

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[Greece is looking well and truly screwed. "The moves come as senior Greek ministers have publicly acknowledged in recent days that they may be forced to accept economic measures they have been attempting to avoid, a sign they are preparing Greek voters for concessions." *RON*]

Kerin Hope & Peter Spiegel, Financial Times, 27 April 2015
Greece’s outspoken finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has been sidelined after three months of fruitless talks with international creditors to unlock €7.2bn in bailout funds, heartening investors and sparking a rally on the Athens stock market.

Eurozone officials said they were encouraged by the move by Alexis Tsipras, Greece’s prime minister, to overhaul his bailout negotiating team in the wake of an acrimonious meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Riga last week.

The shake-up comes as Athens faces questions over whether it can meet this month’s wage and pension bill of nearly €2bn as well as a €750…

The 23 Count Indictment of the TPP

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[The most serious attempt to date to fully replace democracy with the corporatocracy. See also Obama’s Big Trade Failure and Democrats’ free trade war is getting ugly, and Obama is bending the truth. *RON*]

by Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism, 28 April 2015

Yves here. This post will serve to remind you: call your Representative (contact info here) and Senators (contact info here) today and tell them in no uncertain terms that you expect them to vote against Fast Track authority.This post provides more detail about the dangers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and its evil twin, the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. And you can read here about why Fast Track authority is a hazard to your political health.

By Joe Firestone, Ph.D., Managing Director, CEO of the Knowledge Management Consortium International (KMCI), and Director of KMCI’s CKIM Certificate program. He taught political science as the graduate and undergraduate level and blogs …

Baltimore Brings In National Guard After Clashes Between Protestors and Police

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[The police decided to withhold information on how Freddie Gray died. How is that lack of transparency working out for you, Baltimore? *RON*]
By Jon Swaine, Ben Jacobs, Paul Lewis / The Guardian, 28 April 2015

Troops from the US national guard began rolling into Baltimore in armored vehicles after violent clashes, looting and fires led city authorities to declare a week-long curfew banning people from the streets at night.

At least 27 people were arrested after intense rioting broke out following the funeral service for Freddie Gray, a young black man who died last week of injuries sustained after his arrest. Fifteen police officers were injured in Monday night’s unrest, six of them seriously, according to chiefs.

Young people began hurling bricks and bottles at police in riot gear soon after Gray was buried in the afternoon. Shops in the Mondawmin mall were looted and police cars were set on fire and smashed – one while an officer remained seated i…

Pope Francis Steps Up Campaign on Climate Change, to Conservatives’ Alarm

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[Pope Francis keeps knocking them out of the ballpark. "...the effort is already angering a number of American conservatives, among them members of the Heartland Institute, a libertarian group partly funded by the Charles G. Koch Foundation, run by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers, who oppose climate policy." *RON*]

By Coral Davenport & Luarie Goldstein, New York Times, 27 April 2015

WASHINGTON — Since his first homily in 2013, Pope Francis has preached about the need to protect the earth and all of creation as part of a broad message on the environment. It has caused little controversy so far.

But now, as Francis prepares to deliver what is likely to be a highly influential encyclical this summer on environmental degradation and the effects of human-caused climate change on the poor, he is alarming some conservatives in the United States who are loath to see the Catholic Church reposition itself as a mighty voice in a cau…

New spy powers not so scary: Stephen Harper adviser

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[Just like Dick Fadden's not-so-scary facial expression. "The new disruption powers could permit CSIS to... covertly interfere with radical websites." Uh, define 'radical', si'l vous plait? *RON*]
By Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press, Metro Calgary, 27 April 2015

OTTAWA – Planned new powers for Canada’s spy agency seem scarier than they really are, says Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s national security adviser.

Giving the Canadian Security Intelligence Service the ability to disrupt extremist plots will help squelch such dangerous activity at a very early stage, Dick Fadden told the Senate national security committee on Monday.

Opponents of the government’s anti-terrorism bill have denounced the idea of allowing the spy service to go beyond gathering information to actively derailing suspected schemes.
The new disruption powers could permit CSIS to thwart travel plans, cancel bank transactions and covertly interfere with ra…

Coast Guard Station vs Pre-Budget TV Advertising

[Misplaced priorities and contempt for the concerns of the majority of Canadians. Conservatives "save" $0.7 million closing Coast Guard station, spend $7.5 million advertising the budget. Join the call to reverse the Coast Guard cuts. One might add, "Money lost in premature sale of GM shares in order to balance the budget: $100 million." And "Mugging the emergency fund for $2 billion." The emergency being to balance the budget come hell or high water. *RON*]