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Showing posts from February 25, 2016

Liberals to repeal Bill C-24 on citizenship: Immigration Minister

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[In the reality of political-speak, "repeal" = "modify in a largely unspecified manner." We need to see what the new bill says when it comes out. Read the comments to the original article though. Even this is being greeted with an outflow of racial and religious hatred. *RON*]

Michelle Zilio, The Globe and Mail, 24 February 2016

Immigration Minister John McCallum says the government will announce significant changes to the Citizenship Act in the coming days.
Mr. McCallum said Tuesday that the Liberals will soon follow through on their election pledge to repeal the Conservatives’ controversial Bill C-24, which gave the government the power to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens convicted of terrorism, treason or espionage.

Asked when the changes will be unveiled, Mr. McCallum told The Globe and Mail to expect an announcement “in coming days, but not very many days.”

During last year’s election campaign, the Liberal plat…

Egypt: Life Sentence for 3-Year-Old. Error Demonstrates Arbitrary Nature of Crackdown

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["This case exemplifies the banality of repression in Egypt today. Police, prosecutors, and judges aren’t even bothering to check basic facts as they rush to pack defendants off to prison." *RON*]
Human Rights Watch, 23 February 2016

(Beirut) – A life sentence apparently handed down by mistake to a 3-year-old boy on February 16, 2016, exemplifies the arbitrariness of Egyptian courts that are used to punish political opponents of the government.

A Cairo military court presiding over a mass trial of 116 defendants, including Ahmed Mansour Qurni Sharara, 3, delivered the sentence after investigators and prosecutors failed to remove Mansour’s name, even though they knew it was included by mistake, a lawyer for the defense team told Human Rights Watch.

“This case exemplifies the banality of repression in Egypt today,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director. “Police, prosecutors, and judges aren’t even bothering to check basic facts as they…

How Militarized Police Are Turning American Communities Into War Zones, Death by Death

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[The occupying armed force of the class wars. When it comes to people of color, the police make San Francisco "Baghdad by the Bay." *RON*]

By Rebecca GordonTom Dispatch / AlterNet, 23 February 2016

In the photo, five of Beyoncé’s leather-clad, black-bereted dancers raise their fists in a Black Power salute. The woman in the middle holds a hand-lettered sign up for the camera, bearing three words and a number: “Justice 4 Mario Woods.” Behind them, the crowd at Levi's Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, is getting ready for the second half of Super Bowl 50, but the game’s real fireworks are already over.

The women in the photo had just finished backing Beyoncé’s homage to the Black Panthers and Malcolm X during her incandescent halftime appearance, when two San Francisco Bay Area Black Lives Matter activists managed to grab a few words with them. Rheema Emy Calloway and Ronnisha Johnson asked if they’d make a quick video dema…

PAUL KRUGMAN: Germany turned Europe's problems into a 'morality play'

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["Austerity policies have taken what was fundamentally a story about excessive private capital flows and housing bubbles and turned it into lectures of fiscal responsibility that have ended up doing a lot of damage... All of this austerity has not only not resolved the fiscal problem, it hasn't even moved it in the right direction." *RON*]

Elena Holodny, Business Insider, 25 February 2016

Paul Krugman is going after Germany's austerity policy again.

In a recent interview with Business Insider Deutschland's Brigit Haas, the Nobel Laureate detailed what he believed to be the worst effects policy pursued by Europe's largest economy.

Krugman argued that the ramifications of the policy run "very deep" — but that it's not just a huge cost in terms of lost output and lost jobs.

"Years of terrible economic performance have also done enormous damage to the European project and have basically left Europeans no lon…

Ireland’s Recovery Has Nothing to Do With Austerity

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[Voters headed to the polls in Ireland tomorrow take heed: The Celtic Tiger got its groove back despite — not because of — the EU and IMF’s advice. Notice also that both Brussells and the current Irish government are taking credit for a recovery at least partly (mostly? who knows) fuelled by US tax off-shoring. *RON*]
By Philippe Legrain, Foreign Policy, 24 February 2016


After years of crisis, austerity, and wage cuts, Ireland’s economy grew by 7 percent last year, faster than China’s. With a general election on Feb. 26, the governing coalition has been quick to claim credit for this turnaround, as have policymakers in Berlin and Brussels who celebrate Ireland as the poster child of the harsh medicine they prescribed in the country’s financial assistance program. “See,” they say to Greeks and others, “if you do what you’re told, it works.” But while Ireland’s economic recovery is impressive, it has happened despite the European Union and Internat…

Hillary Clinton Now Says She’ll Only Release Big-Bank Speeches if the Republicans Do

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[This is progressive politics? Hillary said she would release information about her Wall Street speeches if Bernie Sanders did. Bernie did; now she says she will only do so if the Republican candidates release their information. Can you imagine four years of this? Bernie's response: "Hillary Clinton believes Republicans should set the standard for disclosure of her Wall Street speeches. Aren’t we better than that?" *RON*]

Zaid Jilani, The Intercept, 23 February 2016
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton again refused to release transcripts of her paid speeches to big banks, telling a CNN town hall audience Tuesday night that she will only release her transcripts if her Republican opponents release theirs.

“Earlier tonight, I asked Senator Sanders: Will you give your transcripts of speeches?” said host Chris Cuomo. “He said he doesn’t have the bank speeches. If he can find any of the speeches that he did give for money, he…

Democracy warning as Canadian media outlets merge and papers close

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Federal minister convenes talks over increasingly centralised ownership in response to warnings of threat to public interest journalism. "Concentration of ownership in Canada is roughly double that in the United States, according to Dwayne Winseck, a Carleton University professor... 'What sets Canada out as an outlier is the extent of vertical integration,' he said. 'The companies that own the pipes also own the content providers whose messages are flowing over those pipes.'" *RON*]
Staff and agencies, The Guardian, 24 February 2016

Canada’s media crunch has prompted a federal minister to cite concerns for democracy as papers close, newsrooms merge and more of the country’s outlets come under the control of handful of companies.

Canadian newsrooms are shrinking as an oil shock rocks the economy and curtails the appetite of advertisers. The media retreat is touching small-city newspapers thousands of kilometres apart and t…

Christy Clark government takes on staff from Harper's and Alberta's ousted Conservative ranks

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[In case there was any doubt that tbe BC "Liberals" are actually Conservatives. As the wave of Conservative defeat crosses Canada, BC "Liberals" are able to pick up unemployed advisers on the cheap. "Influx from Ottawa and Edmonton could send tricky messages, say experts." *RON*]

By Cassidy Olivier, The Province, 24 February 2016

It appears out-of-work roughnecks from Alberta aren’t the only ones heading west across the Rockies in search of greener pastures.

Judging by a recent string of political appointments, British Columbia is also a hot destination for recently unemployed Stephen Harper Conservatives and staffers from Alberta’s defeated Conservative government.

Since last month, about a dozen Conservative-aligned political staffers have found employment with the B.C. government.

Included in the wave is Nicholas Koolsbergen, Harper’s former director of issues management, who once made headlines for purportedly c…