Showing posts from July 16, 2015

As scandal rocks Malaysian government, B.C. pushes LNG deal with state-owned gas giant

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["Far from giving British Columbians a safe and secure economic future, the B.C. Premier — intent on signing with Petronas as soon as possible — is simply propping up a corruption-plagued government whose primary source of rescue remedies is the $160 billion fossil fuel company, which contributes heavily to global warming. With all the talk in investment circles of needing to leave most fossil fuel reserves in the ground, and a looming “carbon bubble,” Premier Christy Clark’s obsession with signing as soon as possible with Petronas looks more and more like reckless indifference towards major risks to British Columbia's future. This deal should not go through." *RON*]
By Warren Bell, National Observer, 15 July 2015
Christy Clark is recklessly planning on linking the next generation in BC to the Malaysian government, which in the last few days has headed into the worst financial and political scandal in its recent history – the lates…


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[An interesting series of insider details concerning Canada's recently signed trade agreement with Ukraine. *RON*]

by John Helmer, Dances With Bears, 15 July 2015

Canada – bless its maple-leaf heart – has given Ukraine C$400 million in cash since last September to help the Kiev government finance its civil war and debts. This week in Ottawa, with the signing of a free trade agreement between the two governments, the Canadians aim to claw back the cash by obliging Kiev to allow a surge of imports of Canadian cereals, meat, timber and other products. Until now Ukrainian producers of these goods have resisted, blocking the Canadian imports for fear they will damage the Ukrainian market and domestic earnings.

Canadian officials acknowledge that for Ukrainian steel, which is currently barred from entering the Canadian market at dumping prices, there will be no change, and the new agreement will make no difference.

“Harper is saving the Ukraine by…

Native Americans Get Shot By Cops at an Astonishing Rate

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[So why aren’t you hearing about it? Smaller population, not considered politically important and not well organized. *RON*]

By AJ Vicens, Mother Jones, 15 July 2015

Nearly 100 people demonstrated in downtown Denver earlier this week after police there shot and killed 35-year-old Paul Castaway on July 12. Police said the man was coming towards an officer with a knife, but his family and witnesses on the scene dispute those claims and say he was pointing the knife toward himself.

The shooting comes a little more than a month after two Denver Police officers were cleared in the shooting death of Jessie Hernandez, a 17-year-old girl killed in January when the officers fired into a stolen car she was supposedly driving toward them in an alley.

According to his mother, Castaway struggled with schizophrenia and alcoholism. Witnesses say he was holding a knife to his own throat and didn't threaten officers, according to the Denver Post. Castaway was s…

How Goldman Sachs Profited From the Greek Debt Crisis

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[No surprise here, including the fact that this story is receiving zero coverage in the mainstream press. The investment bank made millions by helping to hide the true extent of the debt, and in the process almost doubled it, "For its services, Goldman received a whopping 600 million euros ($793 million)". *RON*]

By Robert B. Reich, The Nation, 16 July 2015
The Greek debt crisis offers another illustration of Wall Street’s powers of persuasion and predation, although the Street is missing from most accounts.

The crisis was exacerbated years ago by a deal with Goldman Sachs, engineered by Goldman’s current CEO, Lloyd Blankfein. Blankfein and his Goldman team helped Greece hide the true extent of its debt, and in the process almost doubled it. And just as with the American subprime crisis, and the current plight of many American cities, Wall Street’s predatory lending played an important although little-recognized role.

In 2001, Greece was …

The 3 Most Asinine Corporate Arguments Against CEO-Worker Pay Disclosure

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[Of course they only hide it because they know it's wrong and that the public will hate them for it. It will also make it harder for them to pose as victims, one of their favourite ploys. As Dodd-Frank turns five, the SEC hasn't been able to put the regulations into practice. *RON*]
By Sarah Anderson / AlterNet, 15 July 2015

Regulators of the Great Depression era could teach their modern-day counterparts a few lessons in how to get things done. Consider, for example, how fast the Securities and Exchange Commission of that era was able to implement the first executive pay disclosure rules, compared to today’s bureaucratic foot-dragging.

When Congress required U.S. corporations to start reporting their exec comp figures in 1934, it provoked a huge corporate backlash. One firm wrote, for example, that the public’s interest in this information amounted to “criminal curiosity.” Another suggested it would do nothing but make the “rank and file se…

Canadian recession fears grow as interest rate drops to another record low

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[Between scandals, defections and cheap oil, Stephen Harper is not having a good lead-up to the election. "Economy meets standard definition of recession after shrinking in two straight quarters, with Canadian dollar hitting lowest point since 2009" *RON*]
John Barber, The Guardian, 15 July 2015
The Canadian dollar has plunged to its lowest point since 2009, and the country’s clouded political future became even murkier as the Bank of Canada dropped its key interest rate to a record low for the second time this year, confirming that the national economy is shrinking as the country heads into an election.

Bank governor Stephen Poloz carefully avoided using the word “recession” as he announced the rate cut on Wednesday, bringing the central bank’s overnight lending rate down 25 basis points to 0.5%. But the indicators that inspired the move showed that the economy had shrunk for the second quarter in a row, meeting the standard definition …

Universal Childcare Benefit Cheques Sales Pitch Targeted By Opposition

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[The 'benefit' is both an admission of the failure of their decade-long Economic Action Plan as well as a case of bribing voters with their own money immediately before an election. This is not new money, so Peter will need to be robbed to pay Paul. *RON*]
By Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 13 July 2015

OTTAWA - Opposition parties hammered the federal government on Monday after it boasted about the economic benefits of childcare cheques set to be mailed out to Canadian families next week.

NDP finance critic Nathan Cullen says the Conservatives appear to be owning up to the fact the Canadian economy is slumping.

"You almost want to celebrate the fact they're acknowledging the Canadian economy needs a boost. But this isn't what this tax measure was designed for and it is not what it does,'" Cullen said in a phone interview.

At a weekend event at an Ottawa-based retail chain, Employment Minister Pierre …

Province gives $1 million for upgrade of historic Vancouver church

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[This story is four months old, but it's the first I've heard of it. While cutting things like education left right and centre, Christy Clark has given a million dollars of tax-payers' money to Christ Church Cathedral for renovations. This just happens to be the church that Christy Clark attends, a small fact that escaped the attention of Global News when reporting the story. See also: Top 9 Scandals Of Christy Clark, B.C. Liberal Party. *RON*]
By Justin McElroy, Global News, 10 April 2015

An upgrade of Vancouver’s historic Christ Church Cathedral got a million-dollar boost from the provincial government today.

“This is a very historic and important heritage building for the city,” said Vancouver-False Creek MLA Sam Sullivan in making the funding announcement.

“We have to treasure the old buildings that we have, and this is a real icon for the city. It’s something we all have to get involved with, and the provincial government wants to …

Feds Sold New CSIS Mandate To Public With Completely Inaccurate Claims: Baloney Meter

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["Intelligence services in most of Canada's close democratic allies have had similar mandates and powers for many years." = A Lot of Baloney. *RON*]
By The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 16 July 2015

OTTAWA - "With its new mandate, CSIS could take measures, at home and abroad, to disrupt threats when it had reasonable grounds to believe that there was a threat to the security of Canada. … Intelligence services in most of Canada's close democratic allies have had similar mandates and powers for many years." — Public Safety Canada backgrounder on proposed anti-terrorism bill, January 2015.


In introducing its sweeping security bill earlier this year, the government said the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canada's spy agency, did not have a legal mandate to take action concerning threats. Rather, CSIS was limited to collecting and analyzing information as well as advising the government.

The government char…