Showing posts from October 27, 2015

Joseph Stiglitz: Under TPP, Polluters Could Sue U.S. for Setting Carbon Emissions Limits

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[This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper. The replacement of sovereign democracy by the corporatocracy must end, or we will. *RON*]
Amy Goodman, Joseph Stiglitz, Democracy Now!, 27 October 2015

Nobel Prize-winning economist, Columbia University professor and chief economist for the Roosevelt Institute. His new book is called Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity.

Nobel Prize-winning economist and Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz warns about the dangers of the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. "We know we’re going to need regulations to restrict the emissions of carbon," Stiglitz said. "But under these provisions, corporations can sue the government, including the American government, by the way, so it’s all the governments in the TPP can be sued for the loss of profits as a result of the regulations that restrict their ability to emit carbon emis…

Bill Gates: The Private Sector Is Inept

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[The world's richest man doubts the private sector is up to the most important job: fixing climate change. How many decades did it take for that ship to turn about 180 degrees? *RON*]
By Janet Allon / AlterNet, 27 October 2015

Bill Gates, still the world's richest man after all these years, does not have a lot of faith in his fellow billionaires or even capitalism when it comes to doing the right thing. It turns out he thinks the private sector is too selfish and inept to tackle the dire climate change situation, and relying on it would be courting disaster. Better to take a quasi socialist approach and remove the profit motive altogether from this important work.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Atlantic recently, Gates tacked pretty hard to the left. "There's no fortune to be made," he said, when it comes to developing clean energy sources and mitigating climate change. Besides, he pointed out, "the private sector …

'Yes, I Lied': Vindicating Villagers, Star Chevron Witness Busted for Perjury

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[Corruption, injustice, oil and gas, and the corporatocracy. 'Chevron has taken the people of Ecuador and the U.S. court system on a ride, full of lies, deliberate delay, and obstruction of justice,' says Amazon Watch. *RON*]

Deirdre FultonCommon Dreams, 27 October 2015

In what is being called "a dramatic turn" in a protracted legal battle, documents publicized Monday reveal that the star witness in a case pitting rainforest villagers against a multinational oil giant has admitted to lying under oath in an effort to help Chevron avoid paying a $9.5 billion judgment for deliberate pollution of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

"Yes sir, I lied there...I wasn't being truthful," ex-judge Alberto Guerra reportedly told an international arbitration tribunal earlier this year when asked about his claim that the plaintiffs' legal team offered him a $300,000 bribe to ghostwrite the ruling in their favor.

Guerra's claim, VICE…

How many guns are in America? A web of state secrecy means no one knows

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[A majority of states actively restrict access to information on gun permits, the FBI must destroy background checks and Congress bans funding for research. I feel so glad that, by comparison, Canada is now where near this psychotic. *RON*]
Jessica Glenza, Guardian, 27 October 2015

The American Public Health Association will join the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in a national summit in Washington DC to tackle gun violence. They describe the issue as “one of the biggest public health issues facing America”.

But you wouldn’t know it from looking at the state of gun research.

Ask one of the dozen or so active firearms researchers in the United States, and they won’t be able to answer the fundamental question: how many guns are in America?

In addition to a 1996 ban on federal funding for firearms research that is cited as one of the most onerous obstacles to treating gun violence as a public health issue, states have passed dozens of laws in j…

Art binned by cleaner in Italy 'restored'

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[Was the problem that they hired cleaning staff who could not tell art from garbage, or that they commissioned work from an artist with the same problem? :-D *RON*]

BBC News, 27 October 2015

An art exhibit in Italy has been restored after it was mistakenly binned by a cleaner.

The artwork, named "Where shall we go dancing tonight?", was thrown away by a cleaner who mistook it for a mess from the previous night.

It consisted of cigarette butts, empty champagne bottles and confetti.

The museum has now re-installed the artwork after getting the artists' approval.

BC approves Woodfibre LNG enviro approval over huge local opposition

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[Oil and gas profits über alles! Using yet another farcical 'public' environmental assessment process (which approved processes that are illegal in the United States because of their environmental harm), government and industry have crammed this unneeded, unwanted, and hazardous project down the throats of the public. *RON*]
Vancouver Observer, 26 October 2015

The B.C. government has granted the controversial Woodfibre LNG plant in Squamish an environmental permit, despite a loud chorus of opposition from Squamish citizens, and local municipal governments around Howe Sound.

Environment Minister Mary Polak and Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman issued the environmental assessment certificate to Woodfibre LNG Ltd. on Monday afternoon, before the Squamish mayor had seen any of the details.

"It’s been a controversial project in the community. There’s a lot of vocal opposition to it, and to a lesser degree, vocal support,” said …

‘Mass exodus’ of Conservative staffers expected, Liberals need to hire hundreds

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[It's a great time to be an unemployed staunch Liberal supporter! And the sight of all those Conservative staffers trying to collect Employment Insurance will be something to behold as well. :-) *RON*]
By Laura Ryckewaert, The Hill Times, 26 October 2015
A new Liberal government means a “mass exodus” of Conservative staffers from the Hill is expected in the coming weeks, along with hundreds of New Democrats, with a rough estimate of 1,200 staffers looking for jobs.

“I would call it a mass exodus,” said a Conservative staffer who worked on a local GTA campaign and will soon be out of a job, speaking last week on the condition of anonymity.

“Once you’ve been in government so long, working in opposition is not something that’s appealing. I don’t think there will be anyone fighting over opposition-type jobs. That’s not the sense I’ve gotten. So far, everyone is just taking this as a sign that it’s time to leave Ottawa.”

The question of whether or …

French economist Thomas Piketty talks income inequality

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["The ideal solution involves a broad combination of institutions, including progressive taxation, education, social and labor laws, financial transparency [and] economic democracy," Piketty said. *RON*]

Stefan Lacmanovic, Stanford Daily, 25 October 2015

Thomas Piketty lectured on his 2013 bestseller, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” last Friday in Memorial Auditorium. “Capital” explores wealth and income inequality in U.S. and western European economies. This lecture was part of a joint venture between the Stanford Economics Department and the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, which hosted Piketty as part of their Kenneth Arrow lecture series.

Piketty is currently a professor at the Paris School of Economics. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the London School of Economics.

In addition to “Capital,” Piketty has written more than 12 books and has written numerous articles for publications such as the Journal of Politi…