Showing posts from December 11, 2015

'Militarizing police': Winnipeg buys $343K armoured vehicle for officers

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["...high-risk situations" = controlling all those pesky Indians in Manitoba, no doubt. A companion-piece for today's article, Bernie Is Right: The Military-Industrial Complex Is Alive and Well. *RON*]

CBC News, 9 December 2015
The Winnipeg Police Service's purchase of a $342,800 armoured personnel vehicle is part of a distressing trend, a University of Manitoba professor says.

The Terradyne Gurkha MPV weighs approximately 7,710 kilograms, seats eight and has eight gun ports.

Frank Cormier, a criminology professor at the University of Manitoba, was surprised and "even a little bit disappointed" when he heard about it.

"The idea of militarizing police, this is something that we've been seeing throughout North America, throughout the world, for the past decade or two. It's rather distressing to those who study police and public relations," he said.
Meet Hamilton police's $279K 'armoured rescue vehic…

Bank Crimes Pay: Under the Thumb of the Global Financial Mafiocracy

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[A companion-piece to today's article on Illicit Financial Flows from the Developing World. What Marshall says about the IIEB seems to be perfectly true. The most recent article I could find that was explicitly about this group was from 2011: Europe's financial elite quietly meet in Vienna. *RON*]

By Andrew Gavin Marshall, /, 8 December 2015

Financial institutions are major owners of government debt, which gives them even greater leverage over the policies and priorities of governments. (Image: Banking world via Shutterstock)On Nov. 13, the United Kingdom's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced it was charging 10 individual bankers, working for two separate banks, Deutsche Bank and Barclays, with fraud over their rigging of the Euribor rates. The latest announcement shines the spotlight once again on the scandals and criminal behavior that have come to define the world of global banking.

To date, only a handful …

Paris Climate Talks: Canada Earns 'Fossil' Tag Despite Good Intentions

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[Will Trudeau prove to be as full of hot CO2 on the environment as Obama was? All rainbows and unicorns and no real action? Note also: Trudeau to be First Canadian PM Toasted at White House in 19 Years. *RON*]
By The Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 9 December 2015
OTTAWA — This clearly wasn't what federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna had in mind when she told delegates to the Paris climate conference that "Canada is back."

The Climate Action Network International awarded Canada a second place "fossil of the day" award today at the COP21 climate summit, citing the reluctance of Canadian negotiators to have compensation for weather destruction in poor countries included in the final Paris agreement.

The previous Conservative government was the object of much opposition derision when it was routinely labelled with the "fossil" tag at climate summits.

In 2013 at the UN-sponsored COP19 in Warsaw, the Canadian …

Bernie Is Right: The Military-Industrial Complex Is Alive and Well

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[The corporatocracy, realpolitik and war. It truly is this simple: "As long as we continue to allow corporate funding of candidates for high office, we will continue to have corporate-driven policies." *RON*]

By Leonard C. Goodman, In These Times, 10 December 2015
For some, the Paris attacks were a windfall

The Paris attacks occurred on a Friday. When the markets opened on Monday, “defense” industry stocks—Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Booz Allen Hamilton—soared in anticipation of the coming weapons sales and security contracts.

During the last Democratic debate, the presidential candidates pledged to make defeating ISIS a priority. But more significant was the question raised by Bernie Sandersabout front-runner Hillary Clinton’s corporate donors “from Wall Street, from the military-industrial complex” and “what they’re gonna get” for their money.

Watch people react to hearing violent Bible verses they think are from the Quran

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[A thoroughly excellent and instructive prank. *RON*]
By Walter Einenkel, The Daily Kos, 7 December 2015


The young folk over at Dit Is Normaal, a prankster show out of the Netherlands decided to prank people concerning the Christian Bible. In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris and the rising discussion of Islam as a religion inherently violent and prone to terrorism, these two men thought it would be interesting to buy a Bible, highlight some verses, and then replace the cover of that Bible with a cover of a Quran and then let people read those verses—and film their reactions.

The Evolution of Work

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[The shift to a post-industrial economy was accompanied by a decline in worker protections through government and unions, which has widened the gap between 'good' jobs and 'bad' jobs, especially in the developing world. *RON*]
Dani Rodrik, Project Syndicate, 9 December 2015

CAMBRIDGE – In mid-December, the United Nations will launch the latest of its annual landmark Human Development Reports. This year’s report focuses on the nature of work: how the way we earn a living is being transformed by economic globalization, new technologies, and innovations in social organization. The outlook for developing countries, in particular, is decidedly mixed.

For most people most of the time, work is mostly unpleasant. Historically, doing lots of backbreaking work is how countries have become rich. And being rich is how some people get the chance to do more pleasant work.

Thanks to the Industrial Revolution, new technologies in cotton textiles, ir…

Illicit Financial Flows From Developing World Hit US$1.1 Trillion in 2013

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[The criminal corporatocracy, or, banksters at play. Illicit financial flows, in economics, refers to a form of illegal capital flight and occurs when money is illegally earned, transferred, or spent. This money is intended to disappear from any record in the country of origin, and earnings on the stock of illicit financial flows outside of a country generally do not return to the country of origin. Illicit financial flows can be generated in various ways that are not revealed in national accounts or balance of payments figures, including trade mispricing, money laundering, and smuggling. Click here to read the full report online. A PDF of the full report can also be downloaded here. A separate PDF of the Executive Summary is also available here. *RON*]

Christine Clough, Global Financial Integrity, 8 December 2015US$7.8 Trillion drains from Developing World from 2004-2013Trade Fraud Responsible for Illicit Outflows of US$6.5 TrillionChina, Russia…

America’s Middle-class Meltdown: Core shrinks to half of US homes

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[The global middle class is both smaller and poorer than previously thought, according to a new study, with hundreds of millions who have recently emerged from poverty in developing countries still vulnerable to falling back into it. The research by the Washington-based Pew Research Center paints a picture of entrenched prosperity in the rich economies of Europe and North America and a world that is more divided than previous studies have suggested. Likewise see: Income inequality has squeezed the middle class out of the majority. *RON*]

Sam Fleming & Shawn Donnan, Financial Times, 9 December 2015

Society splinters as bedrock of postwar economy is ‘hollowed out’

America’s middle class has shrunk to just half the population for the first time in at least four decades as the forces of technological change and globalisation drive a wedge between the winners and losers in a splintering US society.

The ranks of the middle class are now narrowly o…