Showing posts from August 12, 2015

Republican hopefuls reap $62m in support from donors with fossil fuel ties

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[They are still buying them for pennies on the dollar compared with the size of the subsidies they are count on maintaining. Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Rick Perry among candidates poised to see biggest benefits from handful of wealthy individuals and corporations. *RON*]
Ed Pilkington, The Guardian, 12 August 2015
Republican presidential candidates have banked millions of dollars in donations from a small number of mega-rich individuals and corporations with close ties to the fossil fuel industries that stand to lose the most from the fight against climate change.

Eight out of the 17 GOP figures currently jostling for their party’s presidential nomination have between them attracted a bonanza of at least $62m so far this year from sources either directly involved in polluting industries or with close financial ties to them. Three Republican contenders stand out as recipients of this fossil fuel largesse: the Republican climate change denier-in-chief, …

Tomb of Nefertiti, Egypt's mysterious ancient queen, may have been found

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[It will be very cool if this is found! The apparent discovery, based on scans of King Tutankhamun’s burial chamber, could yield treasure beyond what was found in his famous resting place. *RON*]
Staff and Agencies, The Guardian, 12 August 2015
Hidden doorways in the ancient Egyptian tomb of King Tutankhamun may lead to the long-lost resting place of Queen Nefertiti, a scientist has claimed.

British archaeologist Dr Nicholas Reeves, based at the University of Arizona, made the claim after studying high-resolution scans of the walls of King Tutankhamun’s burial chamber in the Valley of the Kings, near Luxor.

The scans are said to reveal two hidden entrances behind the painted plaster.

One doorway appeared to lead to a store room and the other a continuation of Tutankhamun’s burial chamber. Dr Reeves believes the second door may open into the tomb of Nefertiti.

President Obama’s Letter to the Editor

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["And I, as President of the most powerful nation on Earth, can do nothing better to solve this problem than write a groovy-sounding letter to the editor!" *RON*]

Barack Obama, New York Times, 12 August 2015
For the cover story of our Aug. 2 issue, Jim Rutenberg wrote about efforts over the last 50 years to dismantle the protections in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the landmark piece of legislation that cleared barriers between black voters and the ballot. The story surveyed a broad sweep of history and characters, from United States Chief Justice John Roberts to ordinary citizens like 94-year-old Rosanell Eaton, a plaintiff in the current North Carolina case arguing to repeal voting restrictions enacted in 2013. The magazine received an unusual volume of responses to this article, most notably from President Barack Obama.

I was inspired to read about unsung American heroes like Rosanell Eaton in Jim Rutenberg’s ‘‘A Dream Undone: Inside…

Federal Election 2015: Harper Tries To Dissuade B.C. Voters From Strategic Voting

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[There must be something to the idea of strategic voting if Harper fears it this much! *RON*]
By Jordan Press, Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 12 August 2015

RICHMOND, B.C. - Stephen Harper told voters in a rally outside Vancouver Tuesday night that voters in British Columbia may determine who wins power on Oct. 19, hoping to dissuade strategic voting on election day.

Strategic voting is a possibility since the government removed laws that prohibited the broadcasting of election results until polls closed on the West Coast.

Western voters will learn about how Canadians in Ontario and Quebec have cast their ballots before they finish voting on election day.

"The voice of British Columbians will matter more in the outcome of this election than it ever has before. Gone are the days when Canadian elections are decided in the East before Westerners even vote," the Conservative leader said at the rally.

Revealed: Canadian government spent millions on secret tar sands advocacy

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[So. Why, during a national election, is this story in The Guardian rather than The Globe and Mail or the National Post? The media is the 1% The Conservative government used public money on an outreach campaign to counter criticism of controversial Alberta tar sands. *RON*]
Martin Lukacs, The Guardian, 11 August 2015
Canada’s Conservative government spent several million dollars on a tar sands advocacy fund as its push to export the oil faltered, documents reveal.

In its 2013 budget, the government invested $30 million over two years on public relations advertising and domestic and international “outreach activities” to promote Alberta’s tar sands.

The outreach activities, which cost $4.5 million and were never publicly disclosed, included efforts to “advance energy literacy amongst BC First Nations communities.”

The Harper government has been trying to ship tar sands to the British Columbia coast via two pipelines, Northern Gateway and Kinder Morga…

Watchdog to hold secret hearings into alleged spying on law-abiding Canadians

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[Hooray for democracy under Stephen Harper - not! *RON*]

Vancouver Sun, 11 August 2015

VANCOUVER — The watchdog for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service will hold secret hearings in Vancouver this week into allegations that the nation’s spy agency has been spying illegally on law-abiding Canadian citizens, the executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association says.

In a news release issued this morning, Josh Paterson said the BCCLA has been filing complaints against CSIS and the RCMP.

Paterson said the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the body responsible for CSIS oversight, is responding to the BCCLA’s allegations by holding secret hearings in Vancouver running from August 12 to the 14.

“Spying on peaceful citizens is an attack on democracy,” Paterson said in the release, adding that the Sierra Club of BC, the Dogwood Initiative and ForestEthics Advocacy were among groups spied on.

The politics of pot: Are the Tories offside with Canadians?

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[Nice way of diverting attention from Nigel Wright's testimony!! It's true that a majority of Canadians do no support full legalization, but what he doesn't say is that only 13.7% support "Stay The Course" Harper’s advocacy of the status quo. *RON*]
Mark Kennedy, Ottawa Citizen, 12 August 2015

For two years, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have hoped to boost their re-election chances in part by convincing Canadians that Justin Trudeau will put marijuana joints into the hands of their children.

On Tuesday, Harper made his move – with an anti-drug announcement partially designed to divert attention from Nigel Wright’s upcoming testimony at the trial of suspended senator Mike Duffy, and with tough talk about the need to continue the war on pot.

“Unlike the other parties, we will not introduce misguided and reckless policies that would downplay, condone or normalize the use of illegal drugs,” Harper said.