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Showing posts from June 24, 2015

Alberta passes bill banning corporate and union donations

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[An imperfect step, but definitely in the right direction. *RON*]
By Staff The Canadian Press / Global News, 23 June 2015

EDMONTON — Legislation banning corporate and union donations to political parties has passed in the Alberta legislature.

It is the flagship first bill of the new NDP government under Premier Rachel Notley.

The bill passed unanimously, including with support of the Progressive Conservatives.

PC Leader Ric McIver had said last week his caucus opposed the bill because it would tilt fundraising in favour of the NDP.

He also said corporations will find ways around the law to continue contributing.

'A Great Day for Corporate America': US Senate Passes Fast Track

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[This is the worst news in a very long time. The door is now open for a near-total take-over of democracy by the corporatocracy, which will involve rule by secret tribunals of insiders. 'Shameful' vote all but ensures approval of mammoth trade deals like the TransPacific Partnership. *RON*]

By Deirdre FultonCommon Dreams, 23 June 2015

In a win for multinational corporations and the global one percent, the U.S. Senate on Tuesday narrowly advanced Fast Track, or Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) —ensuring for all practical purposes the continued rubber-stamping of clandestine trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The cloture motion to end debate needed 60 votes and it got just that, passing the chamber 60-37. The full roll call is here. A final vote will come on Wednesday. Having overcome the biggest hurdle, the legislation is expected to pass, and will then be se…

Homegrown Radicals More Deadly Than Jihadis in U.S.

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["Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists." *RON*]

By Scott Shane, New York Times, 24 June 2015

WASHINGTON — In the 14 years since Al Qaeda carried out attacks on New York and the Pentagon, extremists have regularly executed smaller lethal assaults in the United States, explaining their motives in online manifestoes or social media rants.

But the breakdown of extremist ideologies behind those attacks may come as a surprise. Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists, according to a count

Taxes are for the little people

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[With a permanent tax exemption, Christy Clark takes care of the beleaguered 1%. *RON*]
Sandy Garossino, Vancouver Observer, 2 June 2015


Christy Clark never met a millionaire she didn’t like. And that goes double for their little darlings.
Clark showed her love for private schools on the last day of the most recent sitting of the legislature by tabling legislation permanently exempting them from municipal property taxes, which have not historically been collected. This while the Vancouver School Board has to go into hock to the tune of $1.6 million to build a needed downtown school.

Take the St. George’s senior campus (the junior school is nearby), an exclusive high school for 700 boys located in Vancouver’s affluent Dunbar neighbourhood. The premier’s son attends “Saints", as it’s known to aficionados of the local peerage. Annual tuition ranges from $22,000 for local boys to $58,000 for international boarding students. That adds up to a minimu…

U.S. short sellers betting on Canadian housing crash: ‘An accident waiting to happen’

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[More of the seemingly endless speculation concerning an 'imminent' popping of the Canadian real estate bubble, especially in Vancouver. You should, however, get nervous when people start saying that the economics of Vancouver are "special" not like "normal" markets - this is what has been said before every big crash since the end of the 20th century. *RON*]

Sam Cooper, Postmedia News / National Post, 24 June 2015

VANCOUVER — Large Wall Street investors who made billions when the U.S. housing market collapsed in 2008 are now betting real estate values in Vancouver and other Canadian cities will crash, financial insiders say.

The hedge fund investors, known as short sellers, are betting against what they believe is a housing bubble in Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and other Canadian cities. They believe Canadians hold too much mortgage debt, and that Canadian banks, mortgage insurers and “subprime” private lenders will los…

District of North Vancouver votes against Kinder Morgan pipeline plan

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[More municipalities are fighting this one as they realize that the NEB has been captured by oil interests and the environmental revue is not credible. *RON*]
Brent Richter, Northshore News, 21 July 2015
Add the District of North Vancouver to the list of communities that have formally opposed Kinder Morgan’s application to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline to Burrard Inlet.

District council passed a motion similar to ones passed by the councils in Burnaby and Vancouver, following a lengthy presentation from staff Monday night on the environmental, health and economic concerns raised by increased tanker traffic or a potential spill at Westridge Terminal.

In its submission to the National Energy Board this September, the district will highlight the importance of the waterfront environment, including efforts to restore and protect ecologically sensitive areas like Maplewood Conservation Area.

With 40 kilometres of shoreline and 72 creeks opening into Bu…

Rush Limbaugh: Banning the flag of the Confederacy is part of the left’s anti-American agenda

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[Possibly one of the newer anti-psychotic medications could be helpful here. *RON*]
David Edward, Raw Story, 23 June 2015

Conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh warned on Tuesday that if liberals were allowed to banish the Confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds then traditional American symbols like the U.S. flag would be next.

“I have a prediction,” Limbaugh announced. “It’s not going to stop with the Confederate flag because it’s not about the Confederate flag, it’s about destroying the South as a political force.”

According to the conservative talker, liberals had a plan to paint everyone in the entire South as if they were the white supremacist who murdered nine black church members in Charleston.

“Do not doubt me!” Limbaugh insisted. “And I’ll make another prediction to you. The next flag that will come under assault — and it will not be long — is the American flag.”

“It makes perfect sense,” he continued. “The speed and rapi…