Showing posts from October 3, 2015

Kenney Says Tories Would Strip Every Convicted Terrorist Of Citizenship, If Only They Could

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[Feel the love. Talk about your 'barbaric cultural practices': playing to the lunatic fringe which is the Conservative base. No one is saying they love terrorists - although this is a highly subjective term that the Conservatives play free and loose with. Lock duly convicted terrorists away in jail and throw away the key. But they cannot be allowed to turn the right of Canadian citizenship into some kind of privilege where po-faced partisan politicians get to decide who is deserving enough. *RON*]
Althia Raj, Huffington Post, 2 October 2015

The Conservative party would strip all Canadians of their citizenship if they were convicted of terrorism offences but can't because of a UN convention, Tory incumbent candidate Jason Kenney said in an interview this week.

"Oh, yes. Oh, absolutely. If we did not have the legal constraint, then the legal principle of revocation for convictions of political violence against Canada, like treason,…

The short American memory: How mass shootings vanish almost instantly

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[A graphic illustration - literally - of how small of a blip mass shootings have become in the American consciousness. *RON*]

By Emily Badger and Kevin Schaul, Washington Post, 3 October 2015
America has been through so many mass shootings that our cynicism now creeps in early, while we're still in mourning.

"I hope and pray that I don't have to come out again during my tenure as president to offer my condolences to families in these circumstances," President Obama said Thursday, hours after the latest mass shooting at a community college in Oregon, and 15 months before the end of his presidency. "But based on my experiences as president, I can't guarantee that, and that is a terrible thing."

We know that we'll move on, and nothing will change, and then we'll be here again. And then, once more, we'll cringe at the headlines and consider family photos of the victims, and we'll move on again. The half-l…

One Day After Warning Russia of Civilian Casualties, the U.S. Bombs a Hospital in Afghanistan

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[See previous story for a classic illustration of the pot calling the kettle black. See also: UN says Afghan hospital bombing may be 'war crime.' Too bad the US couldn't get their Saudi pals into the chair of the human rights committee fast enough! *RON*]
Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, 3 October 2015

Yesterday afternoon, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power marched to Twitter to proclaim: “we call on Russia to immediately cease attacks on Syrian oppo[sition and] civilians.” Along with that decree, she posted a statement from the U.S. and several of its closest authoritarian allies – including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UK – warning Russia that civilian casualties “will only fuel more extremism and radicalization.”

Early this morning, in the Afghan city of Kunduz, the U.S. dropped bombs on a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)). The airstrike killed at least 9 of the hospital’s medica…

‘Only one in 20’ Russia strikes have targeted ISIS

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[One would like to see this story confirmed by a less partisan intelligence service (if such a thing exists) but, minimally, this casts serious doubt on Putin's claim that Russia is only targeting ISIS troops with its bombing attacks. *RON*]
By AFP, Al Arabiya, 3 October 2015
Only one in 20 Russian air strikes in Syria have targeted ISIS fighters, Britain’s Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said Saturday.

British intelligence services observed that five percent of the strikes had attacked the militant group, with most “killing civilians” and Free Syrian forces fighting against the regime of president Bashar al-Assad, Fallon told the Sun newspaper.

He said that Russia’s intervention had further “complicated” the crisis, while suggesting that Britain should extend its own bombing campaign -- currently only operational against ISIS in Iraq -- to Syria.

Terrorist deaths versus shooting deaths in Canada

[I was reading something about this for the US, so I decided to try to find some Canadian information on this comparison, which was surprisingly difficult.

In any case, in 2014, as we all know, there were two deaths that were defined as terrorist attacks in Canada. One involved 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a reservist standing sentry at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Zehaf-Bibeau then entered the Centre Block of Parliament and was killed by seargeant-at arms Kevin Vickers, a former Mountie. The other involved Martin "Ahmad" Couture-Rouleau, who struck and killed Canadian soldier Patrice Vincent in a parking lot south of Montreal. Sources claim that Couture-Rouleau called 911 after hitting the soldier claiming to have done "Allah's work."

It was interesting to see that this scare-mongering article in the Ottawa Sun had to go back to had to go back 146 years, to 1868, in order to breathlessly announce 11 deadly terror…

25% of Fish Sold at Markets Contain Plastic or Man-Made Debris

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[Roughly a quarter of the fish sampled from fish markets in California and Indonesia contained man-made debris—plastic or fibrous material—in their guts, according to a study from the University of California, Davis and Hasanuddin University in Indonesia. *RON*]
University of California, Davis, EcoWatch, 30 September 2015

The study, published last week in the journal Scientific Reports, is one of the first to directly link plastic and man-made debris to the fish on consumers’ dinner plates.

“It’s interesting that there isn’t a big difference in the amount of debris in the fish from each location, but in the type—plastic or fiber,” said lead author Chelsea Rochman, a David H. Smith postdoctoral fellow in the Aquatic Health Program at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “We think the type of debris in the fish is driven by differences in local waste management.”

Paying CEOs fat bonuses for stock performance doesn't work — Cornell study

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[Click here to view the original study. Increasingly, a major part of CEO compensation is tied to share value and size of dividend paid out. Combined with virtual free money policies by central banks, this has bred a cohort of hit-and-run executives who come to a firm, borrow large amounts of nearly free cash, use it to buy back shares, automatically raising share value and making it possible to pay out dividends. Then they cash in on their bonuses, quit, and move on to the next firm. This does absolutely nothing for the real economy and creates no value. *RON*]

By Lawrence Lewitinn, Yahoo! News, 2 October 2015

It turns out offering CEOs huge bonuses to boost shareholder returns doesn’t actually work, according to a new study from Cornell University.

The analysis, done in conjunction with consultants Pearl Meyer & Partners, examined a decade’s worth of data from every company in the S&P 500 (^GSPC). It compared companies that offer their to…

The Hypocrisy of ‘Helping’ the Poor

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[The corporatocracy at work. Excellent piece by Paul Theroux on the new impoverishment of the US South through globalization. *RON*]

By Paul Theroux, New York Times, 2 October 2015

EVERY so often, you hear grotesquely wealthy American chief executives announce in sanctimonious tones the intention to use their accumulated hundreds of millions, or billions, “to lift people out of poverty.” Sometimes they are referring to Africans, but sometimes they are referring to Americans. And here’s the funny thing about that: In most cases, they have made their fortunes by impoverishing whole American communities, having outsourced their manufacturing to China or India, Vietnam or Mexico.

Buried in a long story about corruption in China in The New York Times a couple of months ago was the astonishing fact that the era of “supercharged growth” over the past several decades had the effect of “lifting more than 600 million people out of poverty.” From handouts? F…