Showing posts from September 26, 2015

September 26 : International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

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[This did not even make a ripple in the world media today. *RON*]

Posted By: Rene Wadlow, Global Solution, 26 September 2015

The struggle against the nuclear weapon cult and threats it poses to the international peace, security and development, like all struggles against belief systems which have outlived their times, is going to be long and arduous." --K. Subrahmanyam The United Nations General Assembly has designated September 26 as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. It is being celebrated this year for the second time to “enhance public awareness and education about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination in order to mobilize international efforts toward achieving the common goal of a nuclear-weapon free world."

Achieving global nuclear disarmament--or at least forms of nuclear arms control--is one of the oldest goals of the UN. Nuclear weapon contro…

The Hard-Line Republicans Who Pushed John Boehner Out

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[On the Freedom Caucus and John Boehner's defenestration. American politics moves even farther toward polarization. *RON*]

By Carl Bialik and Aaron Bycoffe, Five Thirty Eight, 25 September 2015
“He’s not going anywhere.” That’s what Kevin Smith, the communications director for the Speaker of the House, said about his boss, John Boehner, in a Time article published Thursday. “If there’s a small crew of members who think that he’s just going to pick up and resign in the middle of his term, they are going to be sadly mistaken,” he said.

But just a day later, a small crew of House members who wanted Boehner gone got their wish. On Friday, Boehner told his fellow House Republicans that he would quit the post at the end of October. He apparently was bowing to pressure from some members of the Freedom Caucus, a group of more than 30 of the most conservative Republicans who wanted Boehner to push harder to defund Planned Parenthood, even if it meant s…

Feds Halted Research Showing Canadians Getting Gouged At The Pumps

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[Have you asked yourself why the price of gas remains so high despite the fact that the price of crude oil bottomed-out a year ago? With good reason. But Harper is suppressing this information during the election, just like he did during the previous election! *RON*]
By Daniel Tencer, Huffington Post, 25 September 2015

Questions are being raised as to why the federal government stopped issuing a bi-weekly report on gas prices, just as that report was showing a large spike in profits made by refiners.

The Fuel Focus Report from Natural Resources Canada had been issued every two weeks for years until the series stopped with the July 24 issue, shortly before Prime Minister Stephen Harper called a federal election in early August.

Natural Resources Canada says they halted this report during the 2011 election as well. But other data sets related to oil and gas continue to be published through the election cycle.

The last published Fuel Focus Report found …

B.C. leaders get on board rail-safety alliance under threat of train derailments

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[Municipalities will obviously bear the brunt of any more Lac Megantic-style disasters, yet they are politically disenfranchised by Ottawa from having any say in what moves through their communities, and how. *RON*]
Tamsyn Burgmann, The Canadian Press / Vancouver Observer, 25 September 2015

VANCOUVER — In the days after a train laden with crude oil exploded and burned in a small Quebec town, killing 47 people, the city of New Westminster, B.C., took inventory of the safeguards for its four railways.

"We realized there really wasn't anything in place," said Coun. Chuck Puchmayr. "A disaster of that nature would be even more devastating than it was in Lac-Megantic."

Puchmayr and other local politicians in British Columbia are banding together with 165 elected leaders from the U.S. Pacific Northwest to pressure federal governments in both countries to overhaul antiquated railway laws.

The American-led Safe Energy Leadership Alli…

31 Federal Swing Ridings Conservatives At Risk Of Losing, Poll Suggests

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[If you look at the original article, there is an interactive graphic that lets you see where these 31 ridings are. If you live in one, it gives you an idea of which candidate stands the best chance of defeating the local Conservative candidate. If you live near one of these areas, you could volunteer to support the candidate with the best chance of defeating the Conservative candidate, or help circulate information within the district on how to vote strategically. *RON*]
By Zi-Ann Lum, Huffington Post, 26 September 2015

Among the 308 federal ridings up for grabs, 31 have been singled out as key battlegrounds — ones the Conservative Party are at risk of losing if an advocacy group’s get-out-the-vote campaign is successful come election day.

Vancouver-based Leadnow commissioned Environics Research to conduct a cross-country survey asking 500-600 respondents in each riding to share their voting intentions.

The group explained its objective is to synth…

Austerity is being used as a cover-story for class war against the poor, Yanis Varoufakis says

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[You need to be kicked out of the system before you're allowed to say things like this. In fact, speaking the truth is what gets you ejected. Economics professor points to tax cuts for the wealthy and service cuts for others. *RON*]

Jon stone, The Independent, 25 September 2015

Austerity and deficit reduction are being used as a cover-story for conducting class war against the poor, an economics professor who served as Greece’s finance minister has said.

Yanis Varoufakis noted simultaneous reductions in taxes on the wealthy and cuts to spending on social security amounted to a redistribution of wealth away from the poor to the rich.

“The problem is that austerity is being used as a narrative to conduct class war,” Mr Varoufakis told the BBC’s Question Time programme.

“To be talking about reducing the state further when effectively what you are doing is reducing taxes like inheritance tax and at the same time you are cutting benefits – that is cl…

Ex-HP CEO Fiorina used job-creating tax breaks to buy back stock — then fired thousands of workers

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[A classic illustration of a Chief Executive not only not investing in job creation, but actually taking resources intended for job creation to buy back shares, thus raising their value while adding no economic value to the corporation, and pocketing a higher bonus because of it. And this one wants to be President of the United States. See also: Global Corporate Cash Piles Exceed $15 Trillion. *RON*]
Tom Boggioni, Raw Story, 24 September 2015

Prior to being fired herself, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina used tax incentives from the federal government, intended to increase research and development and employee hiring, to buy back stock before firing thousands of HP workers.

According to The Daily Beast, Fiorina — whose troubled tenure at HP has come under more scrutiny as she moves up in the polls for the GOP presidential nomination — was not the only high-ranking executive to take advantage of a corporate “tax holiday” and work it to her…

U.S. State Department “Welcomes” News That Saudi Arabia Will Head U.N. Human Rights Panel

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[The foxes are in charge of the henhouse, and the US officially loves it. And why not? After all: "The U.S. loves human-rights-abusing regimes and always has, provided they 'cooperate.' … The only time the U.S. government pretends to care in the slightest about human rights abuses is when they’re carried out by 'countries that don’t cooperate.'" See also the important comments on Yemen. See also: Harper Defends Canada's Military Vehicle Contract With Saudi Arabia*RON*]

Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, 23 September 2015

Last week’s announcement that Saudi Arabia — easily one of the world’s most brutally repressive regimes — was chosen to head a U.N. Human Rights Council panel provoked indignation around the world. That reaction was triggered for obvious reasons. Not only has Saudi Arabia executed more than 100 people already this year, mostly by beheading (a rate of 1 execution every two days), and not only is it ser…