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Showing posts from November, 2016

Today's Trumpery

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Auditor General Fall Report 2016: Michael Ferguson Says It's 'Deja Vu All Over Again'

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[Check out the list at the end of the article of Ferguson's Key Findings... *RON*]
Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 29 November 2016
OTTAWA — Tax disputes are taking too long to resolve, there's no way to evaluate efforts to streamline cross-border traffic and trade and Canada is "squandering" the potential of its Aboriginal Peoples, the federal auditor general says in his annual fall report.

Michael Ferguson is marking the midpoint of his 10-year mandate by acknowledging some recurring themes, lamenting the fact that despite five years of pointing out flaws in the bureaucracy, many still show up in his reports year after year.

It's time to focus on the redistribution of wealth to poorer workers

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[The former World Bank chief economist says that protectionism against globalisation is not the answer to the labour crisis – inclusive growth is. Check out that shocking first graph. *RON*]

Greg Jericho, The Guardian, 29 November 2016
The globalisation of labour and the rise of automation has led, according to the former chief economist of the World Bank, “a crisis in the global labour market”. But Professor Kaushik Basu, in Australia to give a lecture at the Monash Business School, argues that the push by Donald Trump and political parties in Australia towards greater protectionism is precisely the wrong path to take.

Instead, governments need to focus more on distributing profits to workers.

North Dakota governor orders evacuation of Standing Rock protest site

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[Governor orders thousands of activists to leave the encampment, citing ‘harsh winter conditions’, but does not authorize police to carry out evacuation. See also: Standing Rock Supporters May Block Canadian Pipelines: Chief. *RON*]

Julia Carrie Wong and Sam Levin, The Guardian, 28 November 2016
North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple ordered the immediate evacuation of the main encampment of activists opposing the Dakota Access pipeline, but a state official said he would not authorize law enforcement officials to carry out the order.

Trudeau cabinet approves Trans Mountain, Line 3 pipelines, rejects Northern Gateway

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[They wear the expressions of people who have farted on a crowded elevator. They are rather unhappy puppets, because they know what they have unleashed. "Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said she would be 'willing to go to jail' to stop Trans Mountain's construction." Rona Ambrose: "Approval [of Trans Mountain] is just the beginning, but now [Trudeau] needs to use his political capital to see this project get built, and I don't think he has enough of it." *RON*]

By John Paul Tasker, CBC News, 29 November 2016

Related Stories
3 things to watch for after the Trans Mountain pipeline approvalFor Trudeau and Trans Mountain, it's all over but the shoutingKinder Morgan pipeline approval to set off legal battleFirst Nations, environmentalists vow 'long battle' on approved Kinder Morgan pipelineOnly a third of First Nations OK with Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

6 million Americans have stopped paying their car loans, and it's becoming a 'significant concern'

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[The same finance and bankster idiots who repeatedly scream "Deregulate!" repeatedly paint themselves into the same disaster-scenario corner. See also: Record number of car buyers 'upside down' on trade-ins.  *RON*]

Matt Turner, Business Insider, 30 November 2016


There is a lot of talk out there about the auto-loan market right now.
Hedge fund manager Jim Chanos has said the auto-lending market should "scare the heck out of everybody," while used-car dealerships and their auto lending practices have been given the John Oliver treatment on TV.

'Holocaust on ice' dance by wife of Putin official causes uproar

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[Unimaginable gall. Tatiana Navka and Andrei Burkovsky dance in striped uniform with yellow six-pointed star for dance routine on Russian TV show Ice Age. *RON*]
Alec Luhn, The Guardian, 28 November 2016
The wife of Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has caused controversy by dressing in a concentration camp uniform for a televised ice dance routine that some have called the “Holocaust on ice”.

With 500,000 children living under siege in Syria, UNICEF calls for humanitarian access

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[Syria continues to be a nightmare beyond words. Imagine if anything remotely similar was happening in a Western Christian nation. *RON*]
UN News Centre, 28 November 2016
As the number of children living under siege has doubled in less than one year to nearly 500,000 amid escalating violence across Syria, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has called for lifting sieges and allowing immediate humanitarian access.

‘After the beating’: Moroccan TV airs makeup tips for hiding domestic violence

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[Horrible. *RON*]

Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, 28 November 2016
The smiling woman on the daily Moroccan television show spoke to viewers as if it were any other makeup tutorial, comparing brands and hues of face foundation and demonstrating how to apply it.
#aworldadrift Morocco TV. Makeup tutorial show how abused women can hide bruises. 🇼️🇹️🇫️ 😒 pic.twitter.com/xk1AlCEkpT — CaLi (@CurioGorilla) November 26, 2016 Seated next to her was a woman with what appeared to be a black eye and bruises on her cheekbones.

“After the beating, this part is still sensitive, so don’t press,” the host said in Arabic as she applied makeup on the woman’s face, eventually concealing the woman’s bruises.

Kinder Morgan: Trudeau government poised to decide on pipeline

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[See also: Canada's highest court to hear landmark cases on Indigenous rights and Enbridge pipeline; and, from Janus' other face Government of Canada to develop clean fuel standard. Also: Scholarship winners urge TD to pull pipeline funding. Finally: Trudeau’s Six Unanswered Questions on Kinder Morgan Expansion. His own ministerial panel reviewed the evidence, and posed these queries. *RON*]

Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun / Victoria Times-Colonist, 29 November 2016

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is poised to make a decision on Kinder Morgan’s $6.8-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, perhaps as early as today at a weekly cabinet meeting.

There have been several hints recently indicating that the federal Liberals will approve the controversial project, including notice that Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr has a meeting booked at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday to give an update on market access for Cana…

Cost of poverty in Toronto pegged at $5.5 billion a year

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[Low-income residents pay less tax, are more likely to be unemployed or under-employed and have higher health costs and interactions with the justice system, according to new report. But the non-tax-paying corporatocratic Trumpians get to keep all their money, which is what matters, right? *RON*]
By Laurie Monsebraaten, The Star, 28 November 2016

Poverty in Toronto costs between $4.4 billion and $5.5 billion a year, according to a groundbreaking report on what we all pay in added health care, policing and depressed economic productivity for the city’s 265,000 families living on low incomes.

Theranos Whistleblower Shook the Company—and His Family

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[A classic illustration of where doing the right thing gets you nowadays. Not only was this young man repeatedly threatened, bullied and attacked by Theranos, but his family had to consider selling their house to pay for the legal bills. His relationship with his grandfather—who sits on the Theranos board—is strained and perhaps irreparable. The Wall Street Journal reported that his parents have spent more than $400,000 dollars defending their son in the matter. *RON*]

By John Carreyrou, Wall Street Journal, 16 November 2016

Tyler Shultz says he wanted to shield reputation of former Secretary of State George Shultz, a Theranos director and his grandfather; $400,000 in legal fees

After working at Theranos Inc. for eight months, Tyler Shultz decided he had seen enough. On April 11, 2014, he emailed company founder Elizabeth Holmes to complain that Theranos had doctored research and ignored failed quality-control checks.

10 Industries Already Profiting From The Apocalypse

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[The corporatocracy meets the Four Riders. "Doomsday Preppers is the most-watched show in the history of the National Geographic Channel." Check out the comments on the original article for a taste of what the Apocalypse will be like. See also: The 13 impossible crises that humanity now faces. *RON*]

S. Grant, ListVerse, 28 August 2014

The apocalypse will bring about ultimate devastation, including extreme weather, violence, drought, floods, famine, and overall turmoil. While most of us dread these events, others see disasters as an opportunity to make some cash. The greater the destruction—or just the greater the fear of it—the more the following industries thrive.

Washington Post Thoroughly Discredits Itself With McCarthy-Style Smear Campaign Against ZeroHedge, Naked Capitalism, Truth-Out 200+ Others

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[Return of the McCarthy Era. Remember that WP is owned by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. See also: Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group. *RON*]

Mike Shedlock, Mish Talk, 25 November 2016

The Washington Post stepped well over the line of questionable reporting today, venturing deep into a McCarthy-style smear campaign against hundreds of allegedly “fake news” sites accused of being under control of, or influenced by Russia.

Ironically, the Washington Post headline, Russian Propaganda Effort Helped Spread ‘Fake News’ During Election, Experts Say reads like it a “fake news” supermarket tabloid.

In Europe, right-wing parties find voice after Trump’s stunning performance

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[Anti-immigrant sentiments sweeping throughout Europe. See also: Rise of the right: 'Anarchist' media in the Netherlands; Britain's far right in 2016: fractured, unpredictable, dispirited … and violent; Austrian far-right hopeful Hofer may back EU vote. *RON*]

Patrick Costello, Washington Times, 24 November 2016


BERLIN — As the initial shock of the outcome of the 2016 U.S. elections wears off and the imminent presidency of Donald Trump becomes a reality, right-wing populist parties across Europe are betting their electoral fortunes are on the rise too.

Warning of Global Havoc as Possible Arctic 'Tipping Points' Pile Up

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[The signals 'are getting louder,' says scientist involved in new comprehensive Arctic study. See also: Arctic ice melt could trigger uncontrollable climate change at global level. *RON*]

Jon QueallyCommon Dreams, 25 November 2016
What is happening in the Arctic will not stay in the Arctic.

In an ominous (though not hopeless) report published Friday, researchers warn that as many as 19 various 'tipping points' could be triggered by the increasingly warm temperatures in the world's northern polar region.

Today's Trumpery

Tesla Powers An Entire Samoan Island With 100 Percent Solar Energy

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[Funded by the American Samoa Economic Development Authority, the EPA, and the Dept of Interior. *RON*]
Tod Perry, Good.Is, 23 November 2016


Ta’u is an island in American Samoa that lies 4,000 miles off the west coast of the U.S. For years, the island’s 600 residents were completely dependent on oil imported on ships from the U.S., Asia, Central America, and Australia to run its diesel generators. But when the ships didn’t show up, the island was left in darkness. “I recall a time they weren’t able to get the boat out here for two months,” Keith Ahsoon, a Ta’u resident said. “We rely on that boat for everything, including importing diesel for the generators for all of our electricity.”

Giving Thanks: Hedge-Fund Managers are still Super-Rich Edition

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[Guillotine watch. Happy Thanksgiving, you bastards. *RON*]
Bess Levin, Vanity Fair, 24 November 2016
If you've had a rough couple of weeks, topped off today by multiple family members asking you why you aren’t yet married and what, exactly, you plan to do with your life, you might be struggling to come up with things to be thankful for. Not having to worry about the continued existence of Roe v. Wade might not be on the list this year, nor is the continued guarantee of civil rights protections for people who aren’t white men. In fact, probably most of the stuff you could have listed last year is out! But there is one thing that hasn’t changed, and from which we can all derive some level of comfort and thanks: hedge-fund managers are still making enough money to swim in a pool of it Scrooge McDuck-style and are buying expensive piffle accordingly.

World Bank: Only 10 percent of Gazans have access to safe drinking water

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[This is absolutely caused by the Israeli government. See also: How to Solve Gaza’s Water Crisis; and Gaza: Israel bombs water and sewage systems.  *RON*]

Via Ma’an News Agency, posted by Juan Cole in Informed Content, 25 November 2016

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The World Bank denounced the worsening water crisis in the Gaza Strip, calling the situation in the besieged Palestinian enclave “alarming” on Wednesday.

In a statement released by the World Bank, senior water and sanitation specialist Adnan Ghosheh stated that only 10 percent of the population in Gaza had access to safe drinking water.


PressTV: “World Bank says Gaza water situation alarming”

Erdogan warns Europe that Turkey could open migrant gates

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[Using the lives of refugees as hostages and pawns to power. The man is a menace and this would be a small price to pay to keep him out of the EU. See also: Euro MPs vote to freeze Turkey EU membership talks; and Don't underestimate EU warnings on membership talks, Juncker tells Turkey. *RON*]
By Tulay Karadeniz & Nick Tattersall, Reuters, 25 November 2016
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Friday to unleash a new wave of migrants on Europe after lawmakers there voted for a temporary halt to Turkey's EU membership negotiations, but behind the fighting talk, neither side wants a collapse in ties.

Europe's deteriorating relations with Turkey, a buffer against the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, are endangering a deal which has helped to significantly reduce a migrant influx which saw more than 1.3 million people arrive in Europe last year.

Welcome to CETA and the Liberals' faith-based reality

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[We have never left the Harper era of ideologically driven neoliberal policies. *RON*]
By Murray Dobbin, rabble.ca, 25 November 2016

"Sweep away the community of honest brokers in America [and] we'll be left with a culture and public dialogue based on assertion rather than authenticity, on claim rather than fact." -- U.S. journalist Ron Suskind, 2004 While you were going about your daily routines this week, the Trudeau Sunny Ways government was rushing Bill C-30 (the act to implement the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement -- CETA) through the House. Thirty of its 140 pages are devoted to amending The Patent Act, amendments which will increase annual drug costs for Canadians by up to 13 per cent. We already pay more for drugs than any other country except the U.S. Unless the rewards of CETA are very impressive, this "free trade" zealotry qualifies as a special kind of madness.

Today's Trumpery

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Why Liberal MPs in BC should resign if the Kinder Morgan pipeline is approved

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[The string of clear and substantial promises that Trudeau has broken is lengthy. See also: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau - Why the Kinder Morgan Pipeline is not ok, and Canadian Business Leaders Push Trudeau For 'Bold Leadership' On Climate. *RON*]
Andrew Larigakis, Vancouver Observer, 27 November 2016

In August I wrote a letter to my MP, Joyce Murray, outlining why I believe she and other Trudeau Liberal MPs in BC need to resign if the Kinder Morgan pipeline is approved by Cabinet.

The reasoning in the letter is clear: this government was elected on a series of very significant promises to the BC electorate that will be broken by approval.

With such a serious breach of trust, MPs will no longer enjoy the confidence of their constituents and therefore can no longer do their jobs effectively - they should resign immediately.

Why Does B.C. Still Kill Grizzlies for Sport?

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[This was very shortly followed by: NDP promises to end trophy hunt for grizzly bears in B.C. if elected in May. *RON*]

By Judith Lavoie, DeSmog Blog, 23 November 2016
In early October a provincial government news release landed in the inboxes of reporters and researchers around B.C.

It boasted of a new government-commissioned report that concluded B.C. has “a high level of rigour and adequate safeguards in place to ensure the long-term stability of grizzly populations.”

Brazil corruption: How MPs' deal could let elite off the hook

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[The corruption is all too real, but bear in mind that these harsh legal actions have also been described as a 'soft coup' backed by the US. See: How the Pro-Coup US Is Undermining Brazil's Democracy. *RON*]
By Daniel Gallas, BBC South America, 25 November 2016 
To get a good sense of how much Brazil has evolved in tackling corruption in the past few years, one can browse an old copy of those lists of "most powerful and influential people in the country" published by magazines.

If the list was published any time before 2014, it is likely that a good part of those in it are now behind bars - either sentenced or awaiting trial for corruption.

Disgorge the Cash

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[A lengthy piece but interesting. Sit with a coffee and absorb it... Companies used to borrow in the markets as a last resort finance investment in their business. Now it’s a front for shareholder giveaways. *RON*]
By J.W. Mason, The New Inquiry, 21 April 2014

"All these people have a sort of parlay mentality, and they need to get on the playing field before they can start running it up. I’m a trader. It all happens for me in the transition. The moment of liquidation is the essence of capitalism."
"What about the man in Rigby?"
"He’s an end user. He wants to keep it."
I reflected on the pathos of ownership, and the ways it could bog you down.
—Tom McGuane, Gallatin Canyon

Google DeepMind AI destroys human expert in lip reading competition

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[Ain't this dandy, now that the planet is wallpapered with camcorders. Notice how not a word is said in this gee-whiz tech journal about the surveillance possibilities. *RON*]

By Conner Forrest, Tech Republic, 23 November 2016

A new artificial intelligence tool created by Google and Oxford University researchers could significantly improve the success of lip-reading and understanding for the hearing impaired. In a recently released paper on the work, the pair explained how the Google DeepMind-powered system was able to correctly interpret more words than a trained human expert.

The Devil's Hair Dryer

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[A pet peeve of mine: Hell is other people, with leaf blowers. "...running a leafblower for 30 minutes creates more emissions than driving a F-150 pickup truck 3800 miles." *RON*]

David Dudley, The Atlantic, 3 November 2016

A bunch of neighbors were sitting around the other night, talking yard work, and the conversation returned to a frequent target: a certain ex-neighbor, now long gone, who was unduly fond of his leaf blower. This is a familiar tale, how he tormented the block every autumn weekend chasing leaves around his small yard with his shrieking machine, leaving behind the lingering stench of gasoline fumes and resentment. I never met this fellow—he moved out before I moved in—but his legacy is secure: He is The Asshole With the Leaf Blower.

Fidel Castro obituary: revolutionary icon finally defeated by infirmity of old age

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[Charismatic leader of the revolution and president of Cuba who bestrode the world stage for half a century. Compare Obama's and Trump's reactions here: Fidel Castro's death: Obama, Donald Trump react to Cuba leader's passing. *RON*]

• Fidel Castro: Cuba declares nine days of national mourning – live updates

Richard Gott, The Guardian, 26 November 2016

Fidel Castro, who has died at the age of 90, was one of the more extraordinary political figures of the 20th century. After leading a successful revolution on a Caribbean island in 1959, he became a player on the global stage, dealing on equal terms with successive leaders of the two nuclear superpowers during the cold war. A charismatic figure from the developing world, his influence was felt far beyond the shores of Cuba. Known as Fidel to friends and enemies alike, his life story is inevitably that of his people and their revolution. Even in old age, he still exercised a magneti…

Here is the world's skewed distribution of wealth in a single graphic

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[Nothing's improved. Last year "just 0.7% of the world's adult population owned almost half of the world's wealth, while the bottom 73% had less than $10,000 each." *RON*]
Ben Moshinsky, Business Insider, 22 November 2016

The distribution of global wealth has stayed just as skewed as last year, according to a huge study by Credit Suisse.

The bank compiled data showing that just 0.7% of the world's adult population owns almost half of the world's wealth, while the bottom 73% have less than $10,000 each.

Here is Credit Suisse:

"The 3.5 billion adults with wealth below $10,000 account for 2.4% of global wealth. In contrast, the 33 million millionaires comprise less than 1% of the adult population, but own 46% of household wealth.

20 Ways to Take a Bigger, Louder Stand in the Post-Election World

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["Sure things suck. But what can I do about it?" Let me count the ways. Many of us are rekindling our activist spirit knowing that the next four years will require everyone to act. *RON*]
Nina M. Flores, Yes! Magazine, 24 November 2016

Everywhere, there are urgent conversations among folks who are committed to justice and who reject an administration with policies grounded in violence and intimidation. They are Bernie Sanders’ “Berners” still hot after his run, or part of a sleepy civil society that has been shocked awake by the Trump victory and Republican sweep. Many people are aching to act but are unsure where to begin, while others are rekindling their advocate or activist spirit. Folks involved in continuing efforts might be ready to take their current actions to the next level. No matter where you are on the “take action” spectrum, there’s something concrete you can do.

Trudeau defends fundraiser with Chinese businessman who later donated $200,000 to father's foundation

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["Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss." The Who, We Won't Get Fooled Again. See also: Fuss over ministers' fundraising ignores why politicians chase dollars. Keep ministers off the cocktail circuit by reducing the need for money in politics! *RON*]
By Peter Zimonjic, CBC News, 22 November 2016
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was forced to defend his party's fundraising methods in the House of Commons Tuesday after media reports emerged revealing he attended a fundraiser with a Chinese businessman who went on to donate $200,000 to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

"The prime minister was the star attraction at this exclusive cash for access event with Chinese billionaires," said Tory MP Blaine Calkins during Tuesday's question period.

Donald Trump lost most of the American economy in this election

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[This Trump article is interesting enough to post in itself. "According to the Brookings analysis, the less-than-500 counties that Clinton won nationwide combined to generate 64 percent of America's economic activity in 2015. The more-than-2,600 counties that Trump won combined to generate 36 percent of the country's economic activity last year. Clinton, in other words, carried nearly two-thirds of the American economy." *RON*]

By Jim Tankersley, Washington Post, 22 November 2016.

In the modern era of presidential politics, no candidate has ever won the popular vote by more than Hillary Clinton did this year, yet still managed to lose the electoral college. In that sense, 2016 was a historic split: Donald Trump won the presidency by as much as 74 electoral votes (depending on how Michigan ends up) while losing the nationwide vote to Clinton by 1.7 million votes and counting.

Trumpery

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Viewing the CBC as a public good

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[The neoliberal view of the CBC as a commodity in the market, as opposed to a public good outside it, must be challenged. See also: Kellie Leitch vows to ‘dismantle’ CBC, as Tory leadership candidates fight over how to gut broadcaster. *RON*]
Brooks DeCillia,Patrick McCurdy, Policy Options, 24 November 2016

Corporate media in Canada are at it again. Sounding alarm bells that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is once again trying to eat their supper. This time their focus is on how the CBC’s digital news operations and the shift to publishing analysis of contemporary news events are detrimental to the country’s private media.

Brexit vote wiped $1.5tn off UK household wealth in 2016, says report

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[Oxfam criticises rising inequality as Credit Suisse finds about 400,000 Britons have lost their status as dollar millionaires. See also: Philip Hammond admits Brexit vote means £122bn extra borrowing. *RON*]
Phillip Inman, The Guardian, 23 November 2016
The UK saw $1.5tn (£1.2tn) wiped off its wealth during 2016 after the Brexit vote sent the pound tumbling and the stock market into reverse, according to a survey by Credit Suisse.

A fall in values at the top-end of the property market also contributed to about 400,000 Britons losing their status as dollar millionaires and one of the biggest drops in wealth among the major economies.

"Nothing Short of a Slaughter": 1 Million Syrians in Aleppo Under Siege with No Hospital, Food

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[Beyond words. One million Syrians are living under siege and the last remaining hospitals in eastern Aleppo have been destroyed. See also: East Aleppo’s last hospital destroyed by airstrikes. *RON*]
Neerman Shaikh, Bassam HaddadZaher Sahloul, Democracy Now!, 23 November 2016


As the United Nations says nearly 1 million Syrians are living under siege and the last remaining hospitals in eastern Aleppo have been destroyed, we speak with Syrian analyst Bassam Haddad and get an update from a physician in touch with medical personnel in Aleppo. Dr. Zaher Sahloul is founder of the American Relief Coalition for Syria and senior adviser and former president of the Syrian American Medical Society. He has visited Aleppo five times since the war began.


Ramming CETA Through Parliament Would Be A Loss For Democracy

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[This could be a done deal by Christmas: "...two days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau flew to Brussels in October to sign the deal, the committee declared that it would only take input from a list of witnesses that it selected, and would not hear from anyone else -- including the public." *RON*]
Jerry Dias, Huffington Post, 23 November 2016

The federal government is ramming ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) through Parliament in a process as undemocratic as the deal itself.

Justin Trudeau’s lofty rhetoric on First Nations a cheap simulation of justice

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[The consensus on Trudeau and Aboriginals is growing clear. An era of so-called reconciliation has disguised the continuation of Harper-era land and resource grabs. See also: From housing to health, Trudeau’s rhetoric on First Nations out of step with reality, critics say; Trudeau's Trumpishness bulldozes Indigenous rights; and Canada Fought to Include Indigenous Rights in the Paris Agreement, But Will Those Rights Be Protected Back Home? *RON*]
Martin Lukacs, The Guardian, 19 September 2016

By now, we all know the greatest priority of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is its relationship with Indigenous peoples. How could we miss the weekly reminders?

Dakota Access pipeline protester 'may lose her arm' after police standoff

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[You can see photos of her wounds on Google, but don't do so after a full meal. Sophia Wilansky, 21, was seriously injured after officers threw concussion grenades at demonstrators. *RON*]

Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian, 23 November 2016

A 21-year-old woman was severely injured and may lose her arm after being hit by a projectile when North Dakota law enforcement officers turned a water cannon on Dakota Access pipeline protesters and threw “less-than-lethal” weapons, according to the woman’s father.

Donald Trump's 'alt-right' supporters express dismay at disavowal

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[People had said perhaps president Trump wouldn't be as bad as candidate Trump, but his opinions are blowing in circles like the breezes. See also: Trump Abandons Promise to Lock Up Hillary Clinton, and Paris climate deal: Trump says he now has an 'open mind' about accord; Trump seems to have forgotten all about his Mexico wall in first 100 days plan; and What, Me Torture? Donald Trump’s Week of Wild WTF Reversals. *RON*]

Nicky Woolf, The Guardian, 23 November 2016
President-elect Donald Trump’s disavowal of Richard Spencer and his far-right thinktank the National Policy Institute, a day after video of Spencer’s supporters giving the Nazi salute at an event in Washington DC surfaced, has dismayed some of his supporters on the “alt-right”.

15 things that happened in the second week Trump was president-elect

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[Great idea, Judd Legum! Where Trump is concerned so many rotten things happen so quickly that it's far more efficient to post a compendium once in a while. Given the merely egregious, and barring Y-U-G-E disasters of Trumpian proportion, this is what I will do for The Donald from now on. *RON*]

Judd Legum, Think Progress, 22 November 2016

This is the second in a weekly series tracking the Trump transition and presidency. You can find the entire series here.

As a candidate, Trump was able to avoid accountability through volume. He said and did so many things, it was hard for any individual statement or action to have an impact. Many things were simply forgotten as new outrages took their place.

Because accountability requires awareness, this series is focused on creating a real-time record of what Trump and his administration says and does.

Public consultation on Bill C-51 looks like an elaborate PR stunt

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[Canada gave up the 'steak' of real change and, instead, voted en mass for the 'sizzle'. *RON*]
Kyle Curlew, rabble.ca, 10 November 2016


Canada is currently undergoing a human rights crisis. The Liberal government is conducting public consultations over the "problematic elements" of the so-called anti-terror Bill C-51. However, this process is already set up to be rigged.

This three-part blog series will act as a response to the Liberal government's rhetoric of amendments by highlighting the actual problematic elements of the Act. Ultimately, the Liberal government should repeal and replace the Act with national security measures that can be held accountable to our Charter rights to democratic participation and privacy.

ThinkProgress will no longer describe racists as ‘alt-right’

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["A reporter’s job is to describe the world as it is, with clarity and accuracy. Use of the term “alt-right,” by concealing overt racism, makes that job harder... We won’t do racists’ public relations work for them." *RON*]
A note from the ThinkProgress editors, 22 November 2016.

You can learn everything you need to know about the “alt-right” by looking at the man who popularized its name. Credit goes to Richard Spencer, head of the white supremacist National Policy Institute (NPI), and one of the country’s leading contemporary advocates of ideological racism.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, Spencer keynoted an NPI conference in Washington, D.C. Over the course of his speech, he approvingly quoted Nazi propaganda, said that the United States is meant to be a “white country,” and suggested that many political commentators are “soulless golem” controlled by Jewish media interests.

Rafe: Trudeau will have hell to pay in BC if he approves Kinder Morgan

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["British Columbians know that the standard Ottawa patter that something is 'in the interests of Canada' is ill-concealed code for 'in the [material] interests of Bay Street and whatever they’ve invested in or covet.'" *RON*]

Rafe Mair, Commonsense Canadian, 21 November 2016

None should be in the slightest surprised at the anti-British Columbia stance of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. As Talleyrand famously noted when, after the fall of Napoleon the Bourbons were restored, “they learned nothing and forgot nothing”.

Thus it is with the Liberals who, once safely back in power, turn their attention to repaying supporters, namely Ontario financiers and the oil industry, often the same people. This ancient Liberal policy never fails.

Trudeau says pipelines will pay for Canada's transition to a green economy

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[Note the date of this story: this is where he has been coming from for a while now. Like saying crime will pay for police forces. *RON*]

By Elizabeth McSheffrey, National Observer, 2 March 2016 Steadfast in his commitment to getting Canadian oil to market, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said putting pipelines in the ground will help pay for the country's transition to a greener future.

Opening the Globe 2016 Leadership Summit in Vancouver on Wednesday — which deals with tackling climate change and sustainability in business — the Liberal leader dodged questions about whether building controversial energy projects like the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion and Energy East pipeline would directly contravene his commitment at COP21 in Paris to keep global warming below two degrees this century.

“We want the low-carbon economy that continues to provide good jobs and great opportunities for all Canadians," he told a crowd of hundreds o…

Premier Christy Clark avoiding questions on long-term ICBC rates

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[ICBC blames fraud, spike in claims for coming rate hike. "People cannot afford these massive rate increases," said Clark. "I am fighting for the ratepayers." Documents provided by Dix show the Clark government moved $1.2 billion from ICBC into provincial coffers. It is unclear where that money was used, but the province has committed to not taking revenues out of ICBC's account this fiscal year (i.e., election year). *RON*]

By Richard Zussman, CBC News, 22 November 2016
As debate heats up at the Insurance Corporation of B.C., Premier Christy Clark is avoiding the discussion on whether the public insurer should be required to disclose future projected rate increases.

Premier Christy Clark wants to make sure ICBC does not increase rates more than 4.9 per cent this year. (Glen Kugelstadt/CBC)

Liberals present plan to phase out coal-powered electricity by 2030

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[We need to give Trudeau credit when he gets something largely right. The proof of it's correctness lies in the public response: half are screaming that we are going to freeze in the dark with no jobs and half are screaming that this is far to slow; the world will be a dead cinder in 14 years. *RON*]
By Kathleen Harris, CBC News, 22 November 2016

Related Stories
Canada's rejection of coal will clear the air but impact workers and power billsJustin Trudeau and Donald Trump face different politics over coal policiesSaskatchewan premier slams coal-power planAlberta's deputy premier booed by rural politicians for defending coal phase-out The federal government is speeding up the plan to phase out coal-fired electricity by 2030 as part of its comprehensive plan to make Canada a leader in green energy.

100 Million Goddamn Trees Are Dead

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[President-elect Trump: either there is such a thing as global warming or these trees committed mass suicide. See also: ‘Unprecedented’: More than 100 million trees dead in California. *RON*]

Hudson Hongo, Gizmodo, 20 November 2016

California drought update: It’s still bad. How bad? According to the U.S. Forest Service, 102 million goddamn trees have now died in the state since 2010, including 62 million trees in this year alone.

“The scale of die-off in California is unprecedented in our modern history,” one Forest Service official told the L.A. Times. “[Trees are dying] at a rate much quicker than we thought.”

Officials say that five years of drought combined with increased bark beetle activity and higher temperatures have led to the die-off, which represents a more than 100 percent increase in dead trees across the state since 2015. Answers differ, however, on what should be done about the trees. From The Christian Science Monitor:

Tesla’s solar roof to cost less than a regular roof – even before energy production, says Elon Musk

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[If this proves true, this is very different from what he was saying just a week ago. Apparently his conclusion is mainly based on the light weight of the Tesla product and shipping costs. *RON*]

Fred Lambert, Electrek, 17 November 2016


Elon Musk made quite the announcement today. During the special shareholders meeting to approve the merger with SolarCity, which they approved by 85%, he said that he was coming back from a meeting with the SolarCity engineering team about the solar roof and that he now feels confident that they could deliver the product at a lower cost than a regular roof – even before energy production.

That’s different from what the company was claiming before the meeting today.

And it’s an incredibly bold claim since if it turns out to be true, no homeowner would have any reason not to choose a solar roof when buying a new roof.

Trump to withdraw from Trans-Pacific Partnership on first day in office

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[In ideal world, Trump will kill the TPP, keep the US out of the war with Russia that Hillary would have started, then get kicked out of office by the Republican Party. E.g., see: Neocons, War Criminals & White Nationalists: Jeremy Scahill on Trump's Incoming Advisers & Cabinet; or, Wall Street and Private Prisons ‘Licking Their Lips’ Over Trump Presidency.  *RON*]

Nicky WoolfJustin McCurry & Benjamin Haas, The Guardian, 22 November 2016


What is the TPP and is it over? The Guardian briefing

Donald Trump has issued a video outlining his policy plans for his first 100 days in office and vowing to issue a note of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership “from day one”.

In the brief clip posted to YouTube on Monday, the president-elect said that “our transition team is working very smoothly, efficiently, and effectively”, contradicting a wealth of media reports telling of chaos in Trump Tower as Trump struggles to build …

Ottawa Didn't Study How Much More We'll Pay For Drugs Under CETA

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['Oh well, it's hard research to do.' But others have done it. 'Oh well, it doesn't matter because they're already expensive.' And how does this make things better? '....' *RON*]
By Daniel Tencer, Huffington Post, 21 November 2016
Experts have been warning for years that Canada’s trade deal with the European Union would add billions to the cost of pharmaceuticals in Canada, but the government itself apparently did not study the issue.

That’s according to the chief Canadian negotiator for CETA, Canada’s recently-signed deal with the EU.

“The main reason is [that] it’s very difficult to conduct that kind of analysis, we’re finding,” Steve Verheul told a parliamentary international trade committee on Nov. 15.

Four planks for a bold and progressive BC jobs agenda

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[Hey Christy! How's that job plan coming along that you've been working on for the last 12 years?! Jobs are being lost in every part of BC outside of the Lower Mainland and Greater Victoria. *RON*]

By Seth Klein, PolicyNote.ca, 17 November 2016

Special Report: U.S. manufacturing economy fails employers and workers

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[Employers who, since the 1980s, have been busting unions, eliminating workers' rights, lobbying to dismantle the social safety net, and driving down wages, now complain that they can't find qualified and motivated employees. Labour are such ungrateful louts! *RON*]
By Timothy Aeppel, Reuters, 4 November 2016
James L. Brown tried to hire a dozen workers for his metal foundry here. Half of them flunked the drug test.

Those results are typical, says the president of Bremen Castings Inc, a family-owned employer of 350 workers who make parts for trucks and other equipment. Drug problems are one factor contributing to a labor shortage that delayed filling orders earlier this year.

“We’ve become a recruiting company,” Brown said of the relentless struggle to maintain a strong workforce.