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Showing posts from December 15, 2015

'Highway Of Tears': B.C. Pledges Millions To Improve Transportation Safety

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[With the prospect on a national inquiry hanging over their heads, the BC government is suddenly inspired to take action on the Highway of Tears. They can always be counted on to do the right thing... whenever a gun is put to their head. Harper had said this is a criminal matter best left to the RCMP, concerning whom: RCMP racism runs deeper than a few bad cops. *RON*]
By The Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 14 December 2015


VANCOUVER — British Columbia's government is looking to improve transportation safety along a 750-kilometre stretch of highway renowned for the number of women who have been murdered or gone missing along or near the route.

A long-awaited announcement for the so-called Highway of Tears will see $3 million go towards enhancing existing transit services, expanding driver-training programs and helping local communities buy and operate transit vehicles.

The province has earmarked $500,000 to install webcams and transit shelters …

Why the Middle Class Is in Revolt and Susceptible to a Dangerous 'Strongman'

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["It was only a matter of time before the anxious class would revolt... They’d support a strongman who’d promise to protect them from all the chaos." See also: Trump Supporter Shouts For Black Lives Matter Protester to be Lit "On Fire". *RON*]

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog / AlterNet, 15 December 2015


The great American middle class has become an anxious class – and it’s in revolt.

Before I explain how that revolt is playing out, you need to understand the sources of the anxiety.

Start with the fact that the middle class is shrinking, according to a new Pew survey.

The odds of falling into poverty are frighteningly high, especially for the majority without college degrees.

Two-thirds of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Most could lose their jobs at any time.

Many are part of a burgeoning “on-demand” workforce – employed as needed, paid whatever they can get whenever they can get it.

Yet if they don’t ke…

China and Egypt worst jailers of journalists: report

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[Which governments have the most to hide? New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says 199 journalists imprisoned worldwide in 2015 due to their work. Note also: "...media freedom has taken a turn for the worse in Turkey, which has seen a doubling of the number of journalists in jail over the year." *RON*]

Source: Al Jazeera, 15 Dec 2015
China, Egypt and Iran topped a list of countries jailing journalists in 2015, a year that saw a slight decline in the number of journalists behind bars worldwide, a press freedom watchdog has said.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists released a report on Tuesday that identified a list of 199 journalists in prison due to their work in 2015, as compared with 221 the previous year.

Arab Strategy Forum: Income inequality hinders growth, top economists say

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[That plutocracies are self-defeating is not rocket science. Workers spend their money because they have no choice in the matter; capitalists squirrel theirs away in savings because they have a surplus. If you keep moving money from workers to capitalists, eventually, as Larry Summers and Nouriel Roubini warn, demand becomes a bigger constraint than supply as savings tie up funds needed to drive growth. *RON*]
Andrew Staples, , 15 December 2015
Dubai: Income inequality is one of the major obstacles to global growth, leading economists told the Arab Strategy Forum on Monday.

Dr Nouriel Roubini, of New York University, and Dr Larry Summers, former US Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton, warned that savings were tying up money that could otherwise be used to drive growth.

“If inequality goes up, we are distributing income from labour to capital. We are transferring from people with a propensity to spend to people with a propensity to save,” said Dr …

Tackling corporate tax avoidance is an alternative to EU austerity

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[Fair corporate taxes versus austerity - What a concept! No doubt, this will be construed as declaring a class war on the corporatocrats. Wednesday's vote will show whether the European commission upholds the interests of its citizens, or sides with large corporations, says Corbyn advisor. See also: Portugal's New Govt Starts Reversing Austerity Measures. *RON*]
Richard Murphy, The Guardian, 15 December 2015
On Wednesday, the European commission will vote on a series of demands made by the EU parliament on corporate tax transparency.

This is important: no parliament has done more to promote tax justice issues than the European parliament. Its demands represent important steps towards ensuring large companies pay the right amount of tax, in the right place and at the right time.

The demands are also significant because they will force the commission to say where it stands on a number of key issues.

Canada Need Not Fear Deficit Financing

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[Facts and reality seem to have little enough to do with politics nowadays. In any case, here is a pretty compelling set of evidence showing that Canada has nothing to fear from loosening its purse strings a little beyond the permanent condition of being puckered-up that Harper left them in. *RON*]

Guest post by Norman Mogil, Sober Look, 14 December 2015

As the new Liberal Government takes shape, all eyes will be focussed on how it proposes to finance its ambitious agenda . Deficit financing will be at the centre of all discussions concerning jobs and economic growth over the next five years. In its latest Economic and Fiscal Update (November, 2015), Canada's Finance Department recognizes the damage that has already occurred from plunging commodity prices, the deterioration in the country's terms of trade and the worldwide slowdown . The major question facing the Government is: What is the capacity of the Federal finances and the Canadian …

Here’s what you need to know about the new Paris climate agreement

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[What is and is not addressed by COP21. See also: A Mythbusting Guide to the Paris Climate Agreement. *RON*]

By Ben Adler, Grist.org, 12 Dec 2015

PARIS, France — The Paris Agreement to address climate change, adopted on Saturday, will be remembered as a big step forward and at the same time a frustrating set of compromises and omissions.

The COP21 conference brought every country to the table, they all accepted the science of climate change, and they agreed to work together to do something about it. But some proved more ambitious than others, and the rich countries didn’t come up with enough money to get the best deal possible.

The bottom line is that the agreement gets us far closer to containing climate change than we were two weeks ago, but still far short of where we need to go. In fact, we won’t even know for years what it will accomplish. How much the agreement reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and through that reduces warming, will depend…

COP21: Climate obstacles emerge within hours

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["Before his international partners pop the champagne, they should remember that this is an unattainable deal based on a domestic energy plan that is likely illegal, that half the states have sued to halt, and that Congress has already voted to reject," Mr McConnell said. See also: China: Diners charged 'air cleaning fee'*RON*]


Pilita Clark and Demetri Sevastopulo, Financial Times, 13 December 2015

The obstacles facing this weekend’s historic global climate change accord were thrown into relief on Sunday night when businesses and government officials played down the impact of the deal and US Republicans underlined their opposition.

The Paris agreement, which requires all countries to regularly publish plans to deal with global warming, has been hailed by international leaders as a turning point after more than 20 years of effort to make this century the last to be powered by fossil fuels.

Angela Merkel, German chancellor, said …