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Showing posts from November 24, 2015

Dallas Mayor Says He’s More Fearful Of Armed White Men Than Syrian Refugees

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[As contrasted with the vomitus of Donald Trump, this is a true "At last someone has said it!" moment. *RON*]

By Jack Jenkins, Think Progress, 23 November 2015
The mayor of Dallas is pushing back against politicians who say Americans should be skeptical of Syrian refugees, saying he is “more fearful” of armed white men than people fleeing civil war in the Middle East.

Speaking to MSNBC on Saturday morning, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings was asked to discuss the growing anxiety over Syrian refugees entering the United States, purportedly due to concerns they could be potential agents for militant groups such as ISIS. Rawlings staunchly rejected the assertion that Syrians are somehow uniquely prone to violence, saying he is more concerned with the rise of white supremacy and the recent flurry of mass shootings committed by white men.

“I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up, but we…

Ports are the new power plants — at least in terms of pollution

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[As shipping traffic rises, activists try to keep the air in adjacent neighborhoods from getting worse. It would be interesting to see someone do a similar map for BC to the one they provide a link to here for levels of diesel exhaust in New Jersey. I don't see anywhere on the map that is even as low as being at the level of "more than ten times the benchmark." *RON*]

By Lydia DePillis, Washington Post, 24 November 2015

ON New Jersey’s map of diesel exhaust, most of the state is a peaceable blue, indicating a relatively low concentration of pollutants. But there’s a big angry red splotch, where diesel levels are 100 to 1,000 times the benchmark that’s considered safe for humans to breathe.

That splotch falls squarely over the Port of New York and New Jersey, the nation’s third-largest gateway for ocean-borne cargo. It also encompasses several low-income communities in Newark, Bayonne, and Elizabeth, where asthma is now a leading caus…

Mining waste reaches Brazilian coast two weeks after BHP dam collapse

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[Meanwhile, the Mount Polley Mine in BC is already operating at full capacity again and has sought permission (surely it will be granted) from the BC government to dump its overflow into the rivers rather than slowing production. See also Business in Vancouver's: Brazilian mine disaster renews tailings pond concerns. Mining companies don't want to switch from tailings ponds to more expensive 'dry stacking' technologies, and yet BHP faces billions in compensation after mine dam collapse, say protesters. Tide is expected to spread along a 5.5-mile stretch of coastline, threatening a nature reserve after killing plants and animals along 400 miles of the Rio Doce. *RON*]
Bruce Douglas, The Guardian, 24 November 2015

A huge brown plume of mud and mining waste spread out along the coast of the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo on Monday, a little over two weeks after thecollapse of a dam at an iron ore mine.

According to projections from…

Shooting down of Russian jet – how the day unfolded

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[Evidently the jet was found to have indeed been in Turkish air space - for a grand total of 17 seconds - an awfully prompt and vigorous response. A Russian Su-24 took off at about 7am. It was shot down by Turkey 24 minutes later, triggering claims, counter-claims and acrimony. *RON*]

Luke Harding, The Guardian, 24 November 2015


In the blue sky above northern Syria, a dark shape moved. The shape was a Russian Su-24 attack aircraft. Over the past week, Russian jets based at the Khmeimim airbase in coastal Latakia had been pounding rebel positions. Under cover of Russian airstrikes, Syrian government forces have been been attacking. Their target wasn’t Islamic State. Rather, the Su-24s had been hitting the homes and villages of Turkmens, Syrian citizens of Turkish ethnicity.

These strikes had infuriated Ankara. So much so that Turkey’s foreign minister summoned Russia’s ambassador last week to demand Moscow halt its operations around the Syrian-Turki…

2 Men Held in Shooting of 5 at Minneapolis Black Lives Matter Protest

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[Black injustice tipping point. See also: Chicago Officer Charged in Death of Black Teenager, and Black Lives Matter Activists Are Shot While Trump Is Busy Sharing a Neo-Nazi Graphic on Twitter. *RON*]

By John Eligon and Ashley Southall, 24 November 2015

MINNEAPOLIS — Two men were arrested on Tuesday in connection with the overnight shootings of five people during a Black Lives Matter protest outside a police station, the Minneapolis Police Department said.

One suspect, a 23-year-old white man, was arrested in Bloomington, a suburb of Minneapolis, at about 11:20 a.m., the police said in a statement. The other, a 32-year-old Hispanic man, was arrested about 45 minutes later while in his vehicle in South Minneapolis. Neither man was identified.

The police said one other suspect was being sought in the shooting late Monday about a block north of the Fourth Precinct. The victims were taken to hospitals with injuries that were not considered life-thr…

Canada Warming At Twice The Global Rate, Scientists Tell Premiers Conference

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["Greg Flato, a senior research scientist with Environment Canada,.. noted how unusual it was for scientists to brief the premiers and prime minister and then hold a press conference... 'It was pretty remarkable, and it was a pleasure to be able to do it.'" *RON*]
CBC New, Huffington Post, 24 November 2015


Canada's rate of warming is about twice the global rate, according to a climate change briefing presented to the country's premiers on Monday.

For the first time in nearly seven years, federal, provincial and territorial leaders gathered together in Ottawa with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Their meeting comes a week before the start of the UN climate change conference in Paris, known as COP21.

Alain Bourque, the executive director at Ouranos, a consortium on regional climatology and adaptation to climate change, told the first ministers an increase of two degrees in average temperatures globally could mean that Canada w…

Soaring House Prices Are Widening Inequality, So Raise Property Taxes, Stiglitz Tells Canada

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[An interesting example of how municipalities could get involved with decreasing wealth inequality. Property taxes around here are based on assessed value - I think this in turn is generally based on such things as square footage, lot size, number of bedrooms, etc. These, I should think, are a reasonable proxy for the amount paid for the property, but I believe that typically there is only one rate applied - i.e., there is no progressively higher rate for the most expensive homes. *RON*]
By Daniel Tencer, Huffington Post, 24 November 2015


Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz is urging Canada to levy a “very progressive tax” on property in order to combat growing inequality caused by soaring house prices.

“If you have a $50-million apartment, the property tax on it should be very large,” Stiglitz, a Columbia University professor and former chief economist at the World Bank, told The Tyee in a recent interview.

“Some of the revenues could go …

Nestlé​ admits slavery and coercion used in catching its seafood

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[Audit by the food giant finds they use slaves to catch seafood for them in Thailand. Gotta love how they're being admired for admitting it. And they don't say "This will cease this instant!" Rather, the PR flacks promise "to publicly report its progress each year." It's not like this is the first time for this sweetheart of a corporation: The Privatization of Water: Nestlé Denies that Water is a Fundamental Human Right. *RON*]
By Martha Mendoza, Associated Press, CBC News, 23 November 2015
Impoverished migrant workers in Thailand are sold or lured by false promises and forced to catch and process fish that ends up in global food giant Nestlé SA's supply chains.

The unusual disclosure comes from Geneva-based Nestlé​ SA itself, which in an act of self-policing planned to announce the conclusions of its yearlong internal investigation on Monday. The study found virtually all U.S. and European companies buying seaf…