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Showing posts from July 4, 2015

Greece

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[Excellent article pointing out how Europe bailed out German and French banks, without punishing German or French citizens for these corporate and government policy errors, in 2010. "Blaming victims for having insufficiently perfect leaders is standard fare for apologists of predation. Unfortunately, understanding this may be of little comfort to the disemboweled prey." *RON*]
Steve Randy Wadmann, Interfluidity, 4 July 2015

Greece is a remarkable country full of wonderful people, but along dimensions of development and governance, the place is plainly pretty fucked up. It has been fucked up that way for a long time, for decades at least. This has never been secret. Anyone who has visited Athens knows it has far more in common with Bucharest or Istanbul than with orderly Western European capitals. In the run up to Greece’s joining the Euro, everyone who wanted to know knew that Greece’s qualifications to join the Eurozone were, shall we s…

Leaked dogfight test reveals that F-35 jet is in 'very big trouble'

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[Crapification and the military corporatocracy. "Currently, Canada's purchase of F-35s is on hold, but not out of the question." *RON*]
2 July 2015

Listen 6:50

"Against a determined foe, the F-35 is in very big trouble."- David Axe, military journalist

David Axe on the F-35: "If you need your airplane to fight air-to-air, you cannot buy this airplane." 0:27

It's the most expensive weapon ever built in human history. But after decades of internationally-funded research and development at an estimated cost of a trillion dollars, a leaked report from a mock combat test reveals that the F-35 is terrible at air-to-air combat.
"[The report found that] the F-35 cannot turn or accelerate fast enough to maneuver into an advantageous position to shoot at an F-16," says David Axe, a military journalist and blogger. "Nor can it escape an F-16 that's attacking it."

What Are We Doing to Ourselves? 84,000 Chemicals, and Only 1% Have Been Tested

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[Women are particularly at risk because they use more personal care products than men. I think we will ultimately discover that a far larger proportion of cancers have environmental, industrial causes: "chemicals are used to produce 96 percent of all manufactured goods consumers rely on every day.". Also see the documentary Evil Dust, about the asbestos industry. *RON*]
By Reynard LokiAlterNet, 4 July 2015

There are around 84,000 chemicals on the market, and we come into contact with many of them every single day. And if that isn't enough to cause concern, the shocking fact is that only about 1 percent of them have been studied for safety.

In 2010, at a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health, Lisa Jackson, then the administrator of the EPA, put our current, hyper-toxic era into sharp perspective: "A child born in America today will grow up exposed to more chemicals than any other gener…

California's Drought Is Part of a Much Bigger Water Crisis. Here's What You Need to Know

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[The problems are ones of policy, not of Mother Nature. *RON*]
By Abrahm Lustgarten, Lauren Kirchner and Amanda Zamora, ProPublica, Truthout, 4 July 2015

Why Do I Keep Hearing About the California Drought, If It's the Colorado River That We're "Killing"?

Pretty much every state west of the Rockies has been facing a water shortage of one kind or another in recent years. California's is a severe, but relatively short-term, drought. But the Colorado River basin — which provides critical water supplies for seven states including California — is the victim of a slower-burning catastrophe entering its 16th year. Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California all share water from the Colorado River, a hugely important water resource that sustains 40 million people in those states, supports 15 percent of the nation's food supply, and fills two of largest water reserves in the country.

The severe shortages of …

Panic wipes £2tn off Chinese shares

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[Promise by the stock market regulator to tackle concerns of market manipulation also failed to halt the slide. It sounds like most of the problems have arisen because of government interference in the market. See also: The Chinese government just took drastic steps to save the stock market. In support of my initial reaction, I also just found this one: The World Bank deleted a section of a report that slammed the Chinese government. *RON*]

Phillip Inman, The Guardian, 3 July 2015

China’s efforts this week to stem the tide of losses on its main stock market failed on Friday when the Shanghai Composite index plunged a further 5.8%, taking the drop in share values to 28% since their June peak.

Panic selling wiped more than £2tn off the value of Chinese-listed companies and traders signalled the rout would extend into next week.

The authorities had cut fees and eased borrowing rules that make it cheaper to buy shares in the hope it would cheer inves…

London 'anti-Jewification' demo dwarfed by anti-fascist counter-protest

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[Lines of police keep two groups apart as neo-Nazis stage demonstration against Jewish neighbourhood watch group. Europeans don't understand their own history well enough to recognize that they are all ethnic and racial mutts to begin with. *RON*]
Damien Gayle, The Guardian, 4 July 2015
Police were forced to escort 20 or so neo-Nazi protesters out of Westminster on Saturday afternoon after they staged an “anti-Jewification” protest.

Hundreds of counter-protesters chanted: “Scum, scum, scum,” as they followed the far-right activists from Whitehall towards Westminster tube station. Lines of police kept the two groups apart.

The demonstration against the Shomrim, a Jewish neighbourhood watch group, was originally due to be held in the strongly Jewish community of Golders Green, north-west London, but was confined to a static demonstration in Whitehall.

Canadian climate change initiatives bolster case for Keystone XL: TransCanada

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[Wait a minute. In what universe of Orwellian doublespeak do tougher emission targets for Alberta enable KeystoneXL to be built?! *RON*]

The Canadian Press, The Financial Post, 30 June 2015
CALGARY — TransCanada says recent Canadian climate change announcements should bolster the case in Washington for building its long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline.

The Calgary-based company makes that argument in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and other American officials as the U.S. regulatory process nears its seventh anniversary.

In the missive, executive vice-president and general counsel Kristine Delkus points to recent climate policy announcements by both the federal and Alberta governments.

In May, Ottawa announced it aims to cut Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, though no mention was made of the oilsands crude that Keystone XL would ship.

Climate change to blame for so many Sask. wildfires, says expert

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[Sask. prof. says dry weather, winds, and lightning a bad combination. Says "it's a wake-up call for communities near forests." I think it's a wake-up call for everyone. See also: Sask. wild fires continue to rage, number of evacuees grows. *RON*]

By Amanda Marcotte, CBC News, 2 July 2015

Why is Saskatchewan seeing so many wildfires this year?

"In a short answer, climate change," Toddi Steelman told CBC Saskatchewan's Blue Sky.

Steelman is the executive director of the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan and is one of the leading experts in the country on wildfires.

Greek banks prepare plan to raid deposits to avert collapse

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[One supposes that the rich have had plenty of time to get their money elsewhere. See also Confusion Reigns As Greece Heads To The Polls, and Greek economy close to collapse as food and medicine run short. *RON*]

Kerin Hope, Financial Times, 4 July 2015

Greek banks are preparing contingency plans for a possible “bail-in” of depositors amid fears the country is heading for financial collapse, bankers and businesspeople with knowledge of the measures said on Friday.

The plans, which call for a “haircut” of at least 30 per cent on deposits above €8,000, sketch out an increasingly likely scenario for at least one bank, the sources said.

A Greek bail-in could resemble the rescue plan agreed by Cyprus in 2013, when customers’ funds were seized to shore up the banks, with a haircut imposed on uninsured deposits over €100,000.

It would be implemented as part of a recapitalisation of Greek banks that would be agreed with the country’s creditors — the Eur…