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Showing posts from July 29, 2015

The Video of Police Killing of Sam Dubose Is Apparently so Bad Cincinnati Is Preparing for Riots

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[Black Injustice Tipping Point. The decision has just been made to release the video publicly. Even the police chief admits what the video shows is "not good." See also the just released: Police officer indicted for murder in fatal shooting of Samuel Dubose. *RON*]

By Shaun King / Daily Kos, 28 July 2015


After a routine traffic stop by a University of Cincinnati Police Officer, Sam Dubose ended up dead with his face blown off. The officer was wearing a body camera, but the city refuses to release in the video. In the meantime, everybody who sees it is deeply disturbed, including the citywide police chief.

Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said he's seen the unreleased footage from a University of Cincinnati officer's body camera during last week's fatal shooting and "it's not good."

"The video is not good," Blackwell said. "I think the city manager has said that also publicly. I'll l…

Inequality and Labor Market Institutions

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[Guess who thinks that unions reduce income inequality? The International Monetary Fund, that’s who. A new IMF Staff Discussion Note, Inequality and Labor Market Institutions, says "The decline in unionization is related to the rise of top income shares and less redistribution, while the erosion of minimum wages is correlated with considerable increases in overall inequality." But at the AFL-CIO Now blog, Tula Connell notes, "Long a bastion of pro-employer policies, the IMF is not willing to go so far as to recommend the obvious. Acknowledging its findings can 'suggest that higher unionization and minimum wages can help reduce inequality,' the IMF dodges the logical conclusion to pursue such policies, saying its data 'do not constitute a blanket recommendation for more unionization or higher minimum wages.'" *RON*]

Florence Jaumotte and Carolina Osorio Buitron, International Monetary Fund, July 2015.

The rise of …

Learning the wrong pipeline lessons

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["The lessons learned from these tragic spills shouldn’t be how to improve regulatory oversight or how to build supposedly better pipelines. The lessons learned must be that piping tar sands oil over delicate wild areas and through human communities can never be done safely. The lessons learned must be to leave fossil fuels in the ground and shift to a low-carbon economy, one based on renewable, clean energy such as solar and wind. The fossil fuel industry is right. We will learn from these spills—and it will be the death knell for their industry." *RON*]

by Larissa Stendie, Georgia Strait, 26 July 2015

The similarities are deeply troubling.

Last week, a contractor happened to be walking by Nexen’s Long Lake pipeline and discovered a spill of 31,000 barrels of tar sands oil. Five years ago today, a utility worker happened to be walking by Enbridge’s Line 6B near Michigan’s Kalamazoo River and discovered a spill of 27,000 barrels of tar s…

Elizabeth May: Pharmacare Would Save Canadians Billions

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[This story might also have mentioned that, of all countries in the world that have a single-payer medicare insurance program, only Canada does not also have a pharmacare program. *RON*]
By The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 29 July 2015

OTTAWA - The federal Green party is making a national pharmacare plan a key plank of its election platform.

The party says it would make affordable medicine a reality for all Canadians while saving billions of dollars.

The plan would expand and co-ordinates the patchwork of public and private plans that already provide drug insurance to 22 million Canadians.

Green party Leader Elizabeth May says the plan would ensure two million Canadians have access to prescriptive medications that they otherwise could not afford.

She says the Greens will work with all federal parties, provinces and others with a stake in health care to implement the plan - the second phase of Canada's universal health system.

Moreover, the par…

Premier Clark's claims of thousands of LNG jobs 'grossly overstated' — CCPA report

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[Statements that, if made by businesses, would be punishable as fraud are routinely made by politicians - why is this allowed? This is well known from experience with the industry around the world. Petronas' own estimates (also believed to be highly optimistic) show that about 3,500 workers would be required at peak construction but the plant will only employ 200 to 300 full-time permanent workers. After a quick search on Google News, I could only find one article, by the Globe & Mail, from the mainstream press on this story: B.C. LNG job numbers overstated, report claims. *RON*]
Vancouver Observer, 28 July 2015

Premier Christy Clark may be touting massive job opportunities with the B.C.-based LNG industry, but the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has released a "reality check" report that disputes the numbers.

Clark has stated that the LNG industry as a whole would create …

UN Committee supports charities in fight for freedom of expression

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[A pathetic retrograde government, busily turning us into a banana republic. *RON*]
By Megan Hooft, rabble.ca, 29 July 2015

Canada has received a rebuke from a United Nations treaty monitoring body for its lack of respect for human rights. The Human Rights Committee (HRC) released a lengthy list of issues it cited as concerning as part of its concluding observations on the country's review of civil and political rights.

Included was an important reference to the federal government's efforts to silence human rights organizations and advocacy through the Income Tax Act (ITA) -- a welcome expression of support for charities under audit.

Canada Without Poverty (CWP) had taken this issue to Geneva earlier in July to raise awareness of the "advocacy chill" and the threatened environment charities have been forced to work in for years. The organization is one of many charities being audit…

The 1 percent declares war on Puerto Rico: The austerity push that unmasks neoliberalism

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[Governor says island's debt is "not payable." But a hedge fund-backed report says education cuts will do the trick. "Through recommending Puerto Rico cut an already-impoverished society’s access to quality education in order to satisfy financial markets, the report shows how neoliberalism’s 'form of reason' ends up applying an intellectual gloss to what would otherwise be recognized as base avarice." *RON*]

Elias Isquith, Salon, 19 July 2015

Earlier this summer, I spoke with UC Berkeley professor Wendy Brown about “Undoing the Demos,” her recent book on neoliberalism. Much like her book, I thought the whole conversation with Brown was edifying. But there’s one idea of Brown’s in particular that I’ve found myself returning to frequently in the time since we spoke. It’s the concept of neoliberalism as not only an economic and political system, but also as a kind of mindset — or, as she called it, “a whole form of re…

American Capitalism Isn't Broken After All

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[Nothing in Lawrence's analysis changes what is demonstrated in the original graph. Workers' wages are not keeping pace with the general increase in productivity they helped to create, so their purchasing power has dropped and they will have a harder time affording many of life's basics. He simply de-emphasizes the real-world impact on worker's lives by shifting the technical argument to narrower and narrower terms. *RON*]
By Clive Crook, Bloomberg View, 26 July 2015

One of the best-loved stories about the squeeze on middle-class incomes in the U.S. concerns the long-term divergence between wages and productivity. This goes as follows: Wages have stagnated for decades even as output and profits kept going up. Owners of capital grabbed all the gains.

For those who tell this story, the issue is justice not growth. What's the point of striving for efficiency if the benefits don't flow to the living standards of everyday Americ…