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Showing posts from June 28, 2015

A Practical Vision of a More Equal Society

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[This looks like it could be good. I have asked my local library to buy it. *RON*]

Thomas Piketty, New York Review of Books, 25 June 2015 ISSUE

Inequality: What Can Be Done? by Anthony B. Atkinson
Harvard University Press, 384 pp., $29.95
Toward a New Radical Reformism

Anthony Atkinson occupies a unique place among economists. During the past half-century, in defiance of prevailing trends, he managed to place the question of inequality at the center of his work while demonstrating that economics is first and foremost a social and moral science. In his new book, Inequality: What Can Be Done?—more personal than his previous ones and wholly focused on a plan of action—he provides us with the broad outlines of a new radical reformism.

There’s something reminiscent of the progressive British social reformer William Beveridge in Atkinson’s reformism, and the reader ought to enjoy his way of presenting his ideas. The legendarily cautious English scholar …

Rich People Are the Worst: The 1%'s Vile New War on Us All

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[The wealthy and their GOP apologists talk about poor people as the takers. They have it completely backward. *RON*]
By Sean IllingSalon / AlterNet, 24 June 2015

Rich people rarely tell you how they really feel about poor people. Occasionally, though, you get a glimpse. Earlier this week, the Washington Post published a story about Rancho Santa Fe, a small but extremely wealthy enclave in Southern California. Like the rest of California, the people of Rancho Santa Fe are dealing with a drought. As you might imagine, that means water is scarce and conservation is critical. For the denizens of Rancho Santa Fe, however, conservation is someone else’s problem, namely poor people.According to Steve Yuhas, who lives in the area and hosts a conservative talk-radio show, privileged people “should not be forced to live on property with brown lawns, golf on brown courses or apologize for wanting their gardens to be beautiful.” Oh, the humanity! In case i…

Pope Francis recruits Naomi Klein in climate change battle

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[The odd couple in many ways. Good choice, though. Social activist ‘surprised but delighted’ to join top cardinal in high-level environment conference at the Vatican. *RON*]
Rosie Scammell, The Guardian, 28 June 2015
She is one of the world’s most high-profile social activists and a ferocious critic of 21st-century capitalism. He is one of the pope’s most senior aides and a professor of climate change economics. But this week the secular radical will join forces with the Catholic cardinal in the latest move by Pope Francis to shift the debate on global warming.

Naomi Klein and Cardinal Peter Turkson are to lead a high-level conference on the environment, bringing together churchmen, scientists and activists to debate climate change action. Klein, who campaigns for an overhaul of the global financial system to tackle climate change, told the Observer she was surprised but delighted to receive the invitation from Turkson’s office.

“The fact that they…

Ornette Coleman and a Joyful Funeral

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[Not many left now of his stature from his generation of jazz players. *RON*]
By David Remnick, New Yorker, 27 June 2015

As John Coltrane was dying of liver cancer, he made it known that he wanted a relatively spare funeral. The service was held on July 21, 1967, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, on Lexington Avenue and Fifty-fourth Street, and was presided over by the “minister for the jazz community,” John Garcia Gensel. The funerals of African-American notables have a tendency to stretch out—the astonishing service, in Charleston, for the Reverend Clementa Pinckney went more than four hours; the service for Rosa Parks, in 2005, went nearly seven—but not this one. At Coltrane’s request, Ornette Coleman—backed by two bassists, Charlie Haden and David Izenzon, and the drummer Charles Moffett—closed the ceremony by playing one number, a raging version of “Holiday for a Graveyard.” Later that evening, at the Village Vanguard, Coleman played one of Co…

Greek debt crisis: Banks to stay shut, capital controls imposed

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[See also ECB to Stop Emergency Support of Greek Banks on Monday; Bank Holiday Likely, and KRUGMAN: Europe is crazy to let Greece implode, but, given this, Greece is doing the right thing. *RON*]
BBC World News, 28 June 2015
Greek debt crisis What are capital controls?Is Greece's exit from the euro inevitable?
Peston: ECB to turn off emergency Greek help
Greece on the brink

Greek banks will be closed and capital controls will be imposed, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says.

Speaking after the European Central Bank (ECB) said it was not increasing emergency funding to Greek banks, Mr Tsipras said Greek deposits were safe.

Greece is due to make a €1.6bn (£1.1bn) payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday - the same day that its current bailout expires.

Greece risks default and moving closer to a possible exit from the eurozone.

Greeks have been queuing to withdraw money from cash machines over the weekend.

5 Things You Should Know About Bill C-377

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[Realpolitik in the surveillance state. Unions should agree to this the moment the Conservative Party of Canada agrees to do the same thing. *RON*]
By The Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 26 June 2015
OTTAWA - The Senate was locked in debate Friday about the fate of a contentious union finance disclosure bill, known as Bill C-377. Here are five things to know about the bill.

1.What would it do? The bill would require unions, labour trusts and employee associations to disclose any transaction of more than $5,000, along with the names of the payer and payee, to the Canada Revenue Agency, which would post the information to its website. That rule could apply to anyone who receives cash from a union, including private contractors hired to do work, such as construction, maintenance, or photocopying. Unions would also have to disclose any executive or officer who earns more than $100,000 (similar to provincial "sunshine" salary disclosure lists…

Guerrilla marketing campaign shows insanity of Vancouver real estate market

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[Yesterday we worked long and hard in the garden. I came home pooped and simply forgot to post any news! :-) Tony Savino posted signs around Kitsilano offering to pay $2M for old houses on large lots. *RON*]

CBC News, 26 June 2015
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Just when you thought the Vancouver real estate market couldn't get any crazier, posters spotted on the city's West Side indicate there may be more madness yet to come.

The signs, simply typed on white card, with just a phone number across the bottom, read, "We buy old houses on 33' lots for $2 million."

The signs are the work of real estate agent Tony Savino who calls what he is doing "guerrilla marketing".
Savino told CBC News that he put up five signs in Kitsilano on…