Showing posts from April 6, 2016

Leaked documents show strong business support for raising the minimum wage

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[So why do most chambers of commerce still oppose it? Big business (the corporatocracy) within the chamber co-opt the voice of small business; they see themselves as the political spokesmen. *RON*]

By Lydia DePillis, Washington Post, 4 April 2016

Whenever minimum wage increases are proposed on the state or federal level, business groups tend to fight them tooth and nail. But actual opposition may not be as united as the groups' rhetoric might make it appear, according to internal research conducted by a leading consultant for state chambers of commerce.

The survey of 1,000 business executives across the country was conducted byLuntzGlobal, the firm run by Republican pollster Frank Luntz, and obtained by a liberal watchdog group called the Center for Media and Democracy. (The slide deck is here, and the full questionnaire is here.) Among the most interesting findings: 80 percent of respondents said they supported raising their state's min…

An Inconvenient Truth About Free Trade

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[Proponents shouldn’t ignore the fact that workers are harmed by low-wage competition. And this comes from Bloomberg Businessweek. See also: Blue collar voters: Trade is killing us. *RON*]

Peter Coy, Bloomberg Businessweek, 31 March 2016

It’s easy to scoff at the anti-free-trade rhetoric emanating from the U.S. presidential campaign trail. Donald Trump keeps yelling about China, Mexico, and Japan. Bernie Sanders won’t stop shouting about greedy multinational corporations. Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich are awkwardly leaning in the same direction. If you’re a typical pro-trade business executive, you’re tempted to ask: Were these people throwing Frisbees on the quad during Econ 101? A recent article in the National Review expressed disdain by blaming a swath of America for its own problems, attributing Trump’s success to a “white American underclass” that’s “in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and use…

The oceans are so polluted, we're now eating plastic

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[See also: There could be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, and Post-mortem on thirteen dead sperm whales finds their stomachs full of plastic. Also: Fisheries study shows 2/3 of fish stocks declining, researcher says. *RON*]

Daksha Rangan, The Weather Channel News, 3 April 2016

Sunday, April 3, 2016, 4:25 PM - Shortly after a study revealed that there could be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, another troubling report says humans have polluted oceans so much that plastic is now a part of our diet.

Humans have dumped so much plastic in the ocean that its being ingested by marine wildlife -- some of which we later consume as seafood.

A study from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego notes that nearly 10 per cent of fish collected on a trip to the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" contained plastic waste in their stomachs.

Drafted by Peter Davison and Rebecca Asch, the study estimate…

Icelandic prime minister offers his resignation amid offshore scandal

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[It will be interesting to see if this story has 'legs.' My other thought was, 'Look at the size of the protest crowd in dinky little Iceland - no wonder nothing ever changes in BC!' *RON*]

by Associated Press, News 1130, 5 April 2016
REYKJAVIK, Iceland – Iceland’s embattled prime minister has resigned amid a controversy over his offshore holdings, a Cabinet minister said Tuesday as outrage over the accounts roiled the North Atlantic island nation.

Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson is stepping down as leader of the country’s coalition government, Agriculture Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson told Icelandic broadcaster RUV.

No replacement has yet been named, and Iceland’s president has not yet confirmed that he has accepted the resignation.

Thousands of Icelanders protested outside the parliament building in Reykjavik on Monday, demanding that Gunnlaugsson resign over reported offshore financial dealings by him and his wife …

Siksika man's broken facial bones blamed on RCMP 'abuse'

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[Amazingly this article is never able to clarify what, if anything, this man was actually charged with. Christian Duckchief recovering from broken eye socket, fractured cheek bone and broken nose. *RON*]
By Meghan Grant, CBC News, 5 April 2016
RCMP making an arrest are alleged to have battered an Alberta First Nation man's head, hauled him naked from his home and taken him to a detachment before realizing he needed an ambulance, say his family, who are accusing the police of racism and brutality.

Christian Duckchief, 23, is recovering from a broken eye socket, a fractured cheek bone, a fracture to the back of his head and a broken nose.

Duckchief and his wife say they were sleeping in their home on the Siksika First Nation southeast of Calgary Friday when RCMP from the Gleichen detachment entered their home around 6 a.m. to arrest him.

"I can hear him screaming for me, and I can hear him saying 'Stop, Honey help me,'" said Duck…

Dermod Travis: Why do citizens rather than the province have to enforce law against local governments?

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[Transparency is essential to democracy. Some BC municipalities are going in camera at every opportunity, dropping question periods, and fighting freedom of information requests tooth and nail. But the BC minister who oversees local government says, if you think your municipality is breaking the Community Charter, it's up to you to hire a lawyer and do something about it. *RON*]
by Dermod Travis, Georgia Straight, 31 March 2016

No one could be blamed for wanting to scream “go to your rooms” at some local council meetings across B.C.

Seven of eight Nanaimo city councillors want their mayor, Bill McKay, to quit.

Earlier this year, Grand Forks council went to court to force a councillor out. They lost.

Greenwood residents tried it last year. Their petition was stayed by the court, but they're not deterred.

Courts should be the last refuge of citizens or councils wanting to overturn election results.