Showing posts from October 16, 2015

What big companies pay workers when they lose body parts on the job

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[The Class Wars will cost you an arm and a leg. How big corporations are rewriting the rules for paying injured workers. "...a disabled truck driver who struggles to afford his pain medication, reveals that he has lived off of just half a can of SpaghettiOs a day." *RON*]

By Ana Swanson, Washington Post, 16 October 2015
Workers' compensation is one of those topics that sounds really dry on the surface. But once you see how these laws — which determine how workers who are injured or killed on the job get compensated — affect the lives of everyday people, you can see that nothing is further from the truth.

A new investigation by ProPublica and NPR unpacks the dramatic ways that workers' comp laws are changing around the U.S. these days, as well as what effect these changes are having on working people. It finds plenty of evidence of people who would have been covered under the old laws, but are left behind by the new system. One wo…

A New Snowden? Whistleblower Leaks Trove of Documents on Drones & Obama's Assassination Program

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[The Drone Papers on The Intercept are, collectively, far too long to post here, but they include some invaluable information on the low quality of intelligence the US has relied upon to guide its drone attacks. *RON*]
Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!, 15 October 2015

The Drone Papers (The Intercept)

Newly leaked government documents have provided an unprecedented window into the secret U.S. drone assassination program across the globe. In "The Drone Papers," The Intercept reveals drone strikes have resulted from unreliable intelligence, stemming in large part from electronic communications data, or "signals intelligence," that officials acknowledge is insufficient. The documents also undermine government claims that the drone strikes have been precise. In Afghanistan, strikes on 35 direct targets killed at least 219 other people. Among other revelations, they also suggest the strikes have hurt intelligence gathering and that un…

Joseph Boyden On Harper, First Nations, The Election, And Canadian Racism

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["Why is this not an election issue? Harper saying terrorism is the biggest threat to our country? How many people have been killed domestically because of terrorism in this country? How many missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in this country? I've heard the number 1,800. Officially, it’s 1,200, but it's much closer to 2,000." *RON*]
Joshua Ostroff, Huffington Post, 15 October 2015

The irony of this federal election campaign is that no matter who is elected on Oct. 19, many of the most pressing issues — energy, housing, health care — ultimately fall under provincial jurisdiction. There’s really only so much that the next government can do on its own.

Except for aboriginal issues, that is.

First Nations, Inuit, and Metis concerns all fall under federal jurisdiction, and yet those have been a minor part of the campaign. While Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair have promised an inquestinto the mor…

Stephen Harper seeks to tap into Ford Nation voter base

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["He's saying to Canadians, 'There's no depth to which I won't descend in the hunt for the single last vote." I had to pick one story to post here, but the real story is watching Harper is chase his tail, desperate to drum up any support he can, a rat caught in his own trap. See this story, Stephen Harper seeks to tap into Ford Nation voter base. Then compare it with: Stephen Harper Called Ford Brothers 'Bunch Of Losers', and Harper plays down Ford rally after explosive allegations revealed in new book, and Harper embraces support from Ford brothers, shrugs off criticism. *RON*] 
By Mark Gollom, CBC News, 16 October 2015
He can't even bring himself to say their names, but in the last days of this election campaign, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper is cosying up to Rob and Doug Ford, perhaps reluctantly, hoping the controversial brothers can deliver some crucial Toronto votes.

That the straitlaced, law-and-o…

Voters Must Stay Involved Post-Election For Real Change to Happen

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[Truth. "Why do politicians make promises and then break them? Because you let us. After the election you go dormant and politicians get to do what they want to do or what those who are most interested in maintaining the status quo want them to do." *RON*]
John Izzo, Huffington Post, 16 October 2015

By all accounts, the current federal election in Canada has more citizens engaged in the political process. Judging by my own Facebook feeds and the record number of Canadians voting ahead of election day, we seem very interested in the outcome of this election.

But I want to make a somewhat counter-intuitive suggestion which is that the real work of us as Canadian citizens in this election begins on Tuesday, October 20. In fact, our voting and who wins this election matters far less than what we as citizens do after Monday. If we act the way we usually act after the election, it probably won't matter much who wins.

In this week's first…

Harper Government Withholds Millions Budgeted For Crime Prevention

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[More lies. This is one of Harper's favoured tactics: a) make a big spending announcement at a splashy media event, b) actually budget for the expenditure, then c) never spend the money (letting it go to general revenues to balance the budget). Besides, isn't more fun to just throw people in jail after the fact? Tough. Very tough. *RON*]
By Dean Beeby, CBC News / Huffington Post, 16 October 2015

The Harper government has withheld millions of dollars for crime-prevention programs — the same programs it cited in pre-election events as proof of its tough-on-crime policies.

About $28 million in promised spending for the National Crime Prevention Strategy was allowed to lapse over the last three years, an internal document shows.

And the amount of unspent money has been rising each year, to more than 30 per cent of the 2014-15 budget, or about $12 million returned to the treasury. The lapse level has tripled since 2012-13, when it was 10 per cent…

Harper is a serial abuser of power. Here are 70 facts to prove it.

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[Seventy reasons to vote Anything But Conservative on Monday. Download the free PDF. *RON*]
By Rabble Staff,, 16 October 2015

Let us be clear: Stephen Harper is a serial abuser of power.

Over nine years of the Harper government has seen the most outrageous abuses of power in Canadian history.

Who was the first government in Canadian history to be found in contempt of Parliament? The Harper government.

Which party violated election laws or ethics at least 17 times? The Harper Conservatives.

And the list of abuses goes on.

Now, Tyee founding editor David Beers and contributors, have compiled a 70-item list of Harper's corruption and scandal in a free, downloadable PDF Stephen Harper, Serial Abuser of Power.

Austerity 101: The Three Reasons Republican Deficit Hawks Are Wrong

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[Robert Reich is excellent at giving understandable explanations for economic concepts in a field where obfuscation is the rule rather than the exception. *RON*]
Robert Reich, Huffington Post, 15 October 2015

Congress is heading into another big brawl over the federal budget deficit, the national debt, and the debt ceiling.

Republicans are already talking about holding Social Security and Medicare "hostage" during negotiations -- hell-bent on getting cuts in exchange for a debt limit hike.

Days ago, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew asked whether our nation would "muster the political will to avoid the self-inflicted wounds that come from a political stalemate."

It's a fair question. And there's only one economically sound answer: Congress must raise the debt ceiling, end the sequester, put more people to work, and increase our investment in education and infrastructure.