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Showing posts from December 20, 2015

AlterNet Comics: Matt Bors on the True Meaning of 'Fascism'

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[Seems like we're heading into the slow news season in any case. The Democratic debate was a bust IMO, and generally, I'm not seeing much of interest today. I'll keep sweeping, but I may only post a few per day until things pick up again in the New Year... *RON*]

By Matt BorsAlterNet, 16 December 2015

Norway Offers Migrants a Lesson in How to Treat Women

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[An enlightened attempt to deal with cross-cultural value differences and sexual norms, ignorance about one's new country, while respecting the effects of war and post-traumatic stress. *RON*]

By Andrew Higgins, New York Times, 19 December 2015

SANDNES, Norway — When he first arrived in Europe, Abdu Osman Kelifa, a Muslim asylum seeker from the Horn of Africa, was shocked to see women in skimpy clothes drinking alcohol and kissing in public. Back home, he said, only prostitutes do that, and in locally made movies couples “only hug but never kiss.”

Confused, Mr. Kelifa volunteered to take part in a pioneering and, in some quarters, controversial program that seeks to prevent sexual and other violence by helping male immigrants from societies that are largely segregated or in which women show neither flesh nor public affection to adapt to more open European societies.

Fearful of stigmatizing migrants as potential rapists and playing into the hand…

Syrian Refugees: B.C. Immigrant Services Overwhelmed With Volunteers

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[It's great to see such an overwhelmingly positive response among British Columbians! *RON*]
CBC, Huffington Post, 19 December 2015

The Immigrant Services Society of B.C. says its inundated with volunteers wanting to help Syrian refugees, after nearly 6,000 people stepped up to offer their help.

"It's a wonderful challenge, it's an amazing challenge. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of B.C. residents," said director of settlement services Chris Friesen.
Friesen says they're expecting 200 government assisted refugees to arrive in Vancouver by early January and ISS of B.C. is working frantically to train the new volunteers, and match them with refugees.

Meanwhile, he says, local churches and schools are creating hundreds of gift baskets full of coffee, grocery vouchers, and messages of welcome, which will be distributed to all refugees arriving in B.C.
"We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of B.C. resid…

Income inequality is widening gaps in children’s education

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[If you have a lower income you have a harder time affording child care, tutors, school supplies, school outings and sports activities. You also tend to live in worse, more crime-ridden, less safe, less enriching neighbourhoods that don't conduce to studies. The main concern for all parents was bullying, however, "Well off parents 2nd greatest worry is their children being depressed or anxious, while nearly half of low-income parents worry their child will get shot." *RON*]
by Tibi Puiu, ZME Science, 18 December 2015


United States, income inequality, or the gap between the rich and everyone else, has been growing markedly, by every major statistical measure, for some 30 years. After WWII and up to the late 1970s, this gap markedly decreased. In other words, incomes at the bottom were rising faster than those at the top. Since the late 1970s, this trend has reversed to the point that the top 1 percent share of national income peaked …

No Fines, No Charges Laid for Mount Polley Mine Disaster

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[Once my holiday honey-do list was completed yesterday I totally forgot about doing the news! :-) Here's a story on regulatory capture to remind you what 'the public interest' actually means in BC. The fact that the worst such disaster in our history could be 'not due to non-compliances' simply shows how ineffective our regulations are. For a comparison see: Brazil dam disaster: judge freezes assets of miners BHP and Vale. *RON*]

By Carol Linnitt, DeSmogBlog, 18 December 2015
No charges will be laid against the Mount Polley Mine Corporation, owned by Imperial Metals, for the collapse of a tailings impoundment on August 4, 2014, that sent an estimated 24 million cubic metres of mining waste into the pristine waters of Quesnel Lake.

The incident, considered one of the worst mining disasters in Canadian history, was simply the result of “poor practices,” according to B.C. chief inspector of mines, Al Hoffman, and not due to “non…