Showing posts from June 14, 2015

The Silencing Of Science

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[We have, increasingly, the most shameful and shameless government in the Western world; with policy driven by corporatocratic ideology, shunning both reality and democracy. *RON*]

Jordan Sowunmi, Mountain Culture Magazine, 1 June 2015.
From the floor of the United Nations to the pages of The New York Times, the Harper Government’s war on research, reason and environmental law is being watched by the world.

On Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 125 world leaders gathered at the United Nations office in New York City for the UN Summit on Climate Change. The summit was touted as an attempt to “galvanize and catalyze climate action,” and featured appearances from some of the planet’s most powerful men, many of whom represent countries responsible for the largest carbon emissions in the world, including American president Barack Obama, United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron, French President François Hollande and South Korean President Park Geun-hye. C…

Officer in Tamir Rice shooting: 'He gave me no choice'

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[The Black Injustice Tipping Point. See also: NYPD Cops Withheld Key Details in Eric Garner Death to Superiors Prior to Video Going Viral and Louisville police defend shooting of African man (and, by the way, since when are African-Americans called 'Africans'? *RON]
Phil Trexler, USA Today, WKYC-TV, Cleveland, 14 June 2015

A newly released sheriff's report on the fatal police shooting of Tamir Rice shows that the Cleveland officer who shot the boy told investigators that the 12-year-old reached for a gun just before the patrolman opened fire. Rice had a toy gun.

CLEVELAND — The police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice told investigators that the boy reached for a gun just before the patrolman opened fire.

"He gave me no choice. He reached for the gun and there was nothing I could do," Cleveland police Officer Timothy Loehmann told a fellow officer in the moments after he shot Tamir at a gazebo outside the a…

How theme parks like Disney World left the middle class behind

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[Mickey joins the 1%. Add that to this article and see what it says about The Happiest Place on Earth: Pink Slips at Disney. But First, Training Foreign Replacements. *RON*]

By Drew Harwell, Washington Post, 12 June 2015

When Walt Disney World opened in an Orlando swamp in 1971, with its penny arcade and marching-band parade down Main Street U.S.A., admission for an adult cost $3.50, about as much then as three gallons of milk.

Disney has raised the gate price for the Magic Kingdom 41 times since, nearly doubling it over the past decade. This year, a ticket inside the “most magical place on Earth” rocketed past $100 for the first time in history.

Ballooning costs have not slowed the mouse-eared masses flooding into the world’s busiest theme park. Disney’s main attraction hosted a record 19 million visitors last year, a number nearly as large as the population of New York state.

In North Dakota’s Bakken oil boom, there will be blood

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[Excellent reportage. The oil industry continues to scramble to produce record quantities of oil for which there is no market, and is killing its employees in the process. "These workers are paying for cheap gas with their lives and their limbs," said Peg Seminario, director of safety and health for the AFL-CIO. "Eric Brooks, director of OSHA’s Bismarck, North Dakota, office, says there’s a 'bit of a hole' in workplace safety requirements for the oil and gas industry.... A spiderweb of corporate relationships allows big energy firms to shield themselves from collateral damage by forcing insurance companies for contractors at the bottom of the pecking order to pay." *RON*]

By Jennifer Gollan, Reveal News, Center for Investigative Reporting, 13 June 2015

In the early evening of Sept. 14, 2011, Jebadiah Stanfill was working near the top of an oil rig at a bend in the Missouri River in North Dakota. Jolted by a deafening bo…

Trapped in a Bubble

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[Shares have become chips in a game, and no longer represent anything connected to economic performance. A great illustration, using data from Caterpillar Corp., on the fake economic recovery, with stock market performance being fueled solely by the cheap money being used to buy back stocks, artificially raising their values. BTW, 'Capex' refers to Capital Expansion, an index of how much more a company is willing to invest in expending its capital resources (e.g., equipment) in response to expanding demand - of which there ain't none. *RON*]
By Golem XIV, 10 June 2015

When in a hole, stop digging. But when in a bubble, keep blowing. - Not very ancient proverb.

I think our ruling and wealthy elite are worried that they are stuck in their own ponzi scheme or bubble and are suffering from the general problem of all ponzis and bubbles – how to get out.

You see bubbles and Ponzi’s are fine as long as they keep going. As long as there are e…

Is The TPP Dead? Trade Partners Sift Through Political Debris Of Obama's House Defeat

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[We can only hope, though, as the article notes, we will know soon enough whether negotiations will continue. See also RIP TPP? *RON*]
By Alexander Panetta, Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 13 June 2015

WASHINGTON - For the U.S. president, it was a day of humiliation. For international free-trade talks, a moment of hesitation.

A dozen countries including Canada are now probing the debris from a disastrous day in Barack Obama's efforts to reach a major trade deal.

It'll quickly become clear whether the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement was temporarily diverted by the U.S. Congress on Friday or more permanently derailed.

Obama made an extremely rare visit to Capitol Hill to lobby members of his own party to support a provision that would be a precursor to a so-called fast track toward a deal.

Stephen Harper: There are “1.2 million more Canadians working now than ever before.”

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[False. As in "Lying, v., telling falsehoods." *RON*]
Tyler Sommers, FactsCan, 13 June 2015
Stephen Harper, Prime Minister and Conservative MP for Calgary Southwest, in a speech on May 15, 2015
All previous periods of employment were not 1.2 million jobs beneath today’s count. The difference in jobs from just before the latest recession to when this claim was made is about 800,000 jobs.

FactsCan Score: False

Last month, Stephen Harper spoke about his government’s record on job creation. He said, “since the depths of the recession, the Canadian economy has added 1.2 million net new jobs. 1.2 million more Canadians working now than ever before.”

FactsCan already checked the first part of this claim, that 1.2 million jobs were added “since the depths of the recession.” Gary Goodyear, a Conservative MP, made an almost identical claim, and we found it true. But we noted that the truth of the 1.2 million count hinges on the time frame: Since the…

Vancouver's Affordability Trap

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[The corporatocracy and your home. In the midst of a dangerous housing bubble, Christy Clark has our housing policy set by the BC Real Estate Association, which "is a little like asking the fox how to build the best henhouse." *RON*]

Matt Toner, B.C. Green Party Critic For Finance And New Economy, Huffington Post, 13 June 2015

It's hard to know what to make of B.C. Premier Christy Clark's response to Mayor Gregor Robertson's better-late-than-never request for government action around Vancouver's affordability trap. But if you peel back the layers and actually take the time to read through both the B.C. Finance Ministry's briefing note on the topic, and then the research submitted by the B.C. Real Estate Association, things become a little more clear. This is a decision born more from ideology than from any evidence-based analysis.

And while the provincial government might want to wish this crisis away, the facts have …