Showing posts from August 1, 2015

Liar Loans Pop up in Canada’s Magnificent Housing Bubble

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[Will the government step in when faced with such clear evidence of the same kind of high-profit, high-risk loans that nearly blew everything up five years ago? *RON*]
by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street, 30 July 2015

For a long time, the conservative mortgage lending standards in Canada, including a slew of new ones since 2008, have been touted as one of the reasons why Canada’s magnificent housing bubble, when it implodes, will not take down the financial system, unlike the US housing bubble, which terminated in the Financial Crisis.

Canada is different. Regulators are on top of it. There are strict down payment requirements. Mortgages are full-recourse, so strung-out borrowers couldn’t just mail in their keys and walk away, as they did in the US. And yada-yada-yada.

But Wednesday afterhours, Home Capital Group, Canada’s largest non-bank mortgage lender, threw a monkey wrench into this theory.

Through its subsidiary, Home Trust, the company focuses on “al…

A Snapshot of Imperialism's Crime of Homelessness: Why Boston's Homeless Crisis Deepens Despite City Plan to End It

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["...poverty is not mentioned a single time in the report..." The language used here says that the corporatocracy individualizes structural problems. Back in the 1970s this was known as Blaming the Victim. *RON*]

By Danny Haiphong, Black Agenda Report, 29 July 2015

Homelessness in Boston has increased 40% since 2007, spurring the city's political elite to a plan to “end homelessness in Boston by 2018.” But the city's plan never mentions poverty and unavailability of affordable housing as causes of homelessness. So how likely is it to “end” anything? In late June of 2014, I wrote about the crime of homelessness that millions of people experience everyday in the US. In the article, I explain how the growing problem of homelessness is a direct result of the crisis of imperialism and the rule of the rich. The city of Boston is a picture perfect example of the assault on workers and poor…

No Charges For Two Officers Who Backed False Version Of University Of Cincinnati Shooting

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[Black injustice tipping point. Prosecutor Joe Deters "announced that neither he nor the grand jury would be bringing charges for the two officers present at the scene, who backed up Tensing’s false version of events.... Tensing, meanwhile, has bonded out of jail and is looking to get his job back." See also: SC cop killed teen with two shots to the back during weed bust — and didn’t even report it: attorney and An L.A. Cop Pressed His Gun Into the Chest of an Unarmed Man And Shot Him Through the Heart. *RON*]

By Aviva Shen, Think Progress, 31 July 2015

Earlier this week, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said he was so outraged over the police shooting of Samuel DuBose that he would personally prosecute University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing, whom he vowed to treat as “a murderer.” But on Friday, Deters announced that neither he nor the grand jury would be bringing charges for the two officers present at the scene, who backe…

Why Jimmy Carter Thinks The United States Isn’t A Real Democracy Anymore

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[Plutocratic puppets. *RON*]

By Judd Legum, Think Progress, 31 July 2015
Former President Jimmy Carter believes the United States’ campaign finance system is so broken that the country is no longer a functional democracy. Appearing on the Thom Hartmann show this week, Carter said that “unlimited political bribery” is “the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president.” He said the same problems are present in elections for “U.S. senators and congress members.”

Carter’s comments mirror the conclusions of a Princeton University study released last year. Author Martin Gilens found that “ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over what their government does in the United States.” Meanwhile, “economic elites and interest groups, especially those representing business, have a substantial degree of influence.”

Giles study, which he conducted with Northwestern’s Benjamin I. Page, found the United States was more of a sys…

Half of Canadian voters back NDP-Liberal coalition, poll shows

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[Half of voters want an NDP-Liberal union if the Tories win a minority. The Conservatives will continue to win by pitting a united right against a fragmented left. *RON*]

By: Donovan Vincent, Ottawa Citizen, 31 July 2015

More than two-thirds of Liberal and NDP supporters favour the idea of the parties forming a coalition in the event of a Conservative minority in the Oct. 19 election, according to a new poll by Forum Research.

Of Liberal supporters surveyed, 68 per cent support a coalition, while 75 per cent of NDPers favour the idea –– about half of all Canadian voters.

“The two opposition parties have spent the last week dancing around the coalition question, but it appears their supporters, especially the New Democrats, have no such qualms. They’re ready to get hitched as soon as a minority Conservative government is elected –– if that happens,” said Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff.

New Supreme Court appointee blogged on Khadr, called Trudeau 'unspeakably awful,' hoped for Harper majority

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[Predictably the new Harper appointee to the Supreme Court is to the right of Genghis Khan, and a vocal supporter of Harper. *RON*]
Glen McGregor, Ottawa Citizen, 31 July 2015

Prime Minister’s Stephen Harper’s latest appointment to the Supreme Court was a prolific blogger who regularly offered opinions on Senate reform, the federal government’s role in health care, elections law, the Omar Khadr case and other matters that could now come before him in his new role on the bench.

Russell Brown, appointed to the top court last week, was an active contributor to a blog shared by faculty members at the University of Alberta law school.

The posts and comments were made under the name “Russ Brown” between 2007 and 2008. Brown’s political orientation and libertarian perspective are clearly in evidence in many of them. Some of the posts have been deleted but can still be found in Internet caches.

In one 2008 post, he says he hopes Harper wins a majority go…

No deal: Countries leave Hawaii without 12-nation trade agreement

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[Dodged a bullet. "Harper was prepared to make a triumphant announcement Friday night about Canada joining the largest free-trade zone in history, and use that as a launchpad into an anticipated weekend election call.... Now the Conservative government finds itself in a rare position: instead of campaigning on a free-trade deal, it might have to negotiate one in the midst of a national election." He's being pressured to throw the Canadian dairy industry under the bus, but is trapped by all the votes he'd lose by doing so. *RON*]

Alexander Panetta, Canadian Press / Montreal Gazette, 30 July 2015

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was prepared to make a triumphant announcement Friday night about Canada joining the largest free-trade zone in history, and use that as a launchpad into an anticipated weekend election call.

But the planned event in Parliament's Centre Block never happened.

That's because a few thousand kilometres away,…

Chinese factory replaces 90% of humans with robots, production soars

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[Changying Precision Technology Company in Dongguan city has set up an unmanned factory run almost entirely by robots. The factory has since seen fewer defects and a higher rate of production. The future of many manufacturing jobs is certainly in doubt, as well as low level accountants, bank tellers, etc., etc. Time to learn how to code. Via my friend Harry. *RON*]

By Conner Forrest, Tech Republic, 30 July 2015

The gravest fear that has rippled through humanity from the technology industry is that, someday, almost all of our jobs will be replaced by robots.

While that fear is often laughed off as something that will only happen far into the future, the truth is that it's actually happening right now.

In Dongguan City, located in the central Guangdong province of China, a technology company has set up a factory run almost exclusively by robots, and the results are fascinating.

The Changying Precision Technology Company factory in Dongguan has aut…