Showing posts from April 10, 2016

Radical Politics in the Age of American Authoritarianism: Connecting the Dots

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["There has never been a more pressing time to rethink the meaning of politics, justice, struggle and collective action... Democracy must be written back into the script of everyday life... Connecting issues and social movements and organizations to each other has the potential to build a powerful movement of movements that is stronger than any of its individual parts. This means educating ourselves and in our groups about these issues and their causes and their interconnection." See also: Nuit debout protesters occupy French cities in revolutionary call for change, and #NuitDebut map. *RON*]
By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout, 10 April 2016
The United States stands at the endpoint of a long series of attacks on democracy, and the choices faced by many in the US today point to the divide between those who are and those who are not willing to commit to democracy. Debates over whether Donald Trump is a fascist are a tactical diversion because …

Why the Banks Should Be Broken Up

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["Bernie or no Bernie, 'Times' columnist Paul Krugman is wrong about the banks." See also: Why Bernie’s Right About Glass-SteagallPaul Krugman Is Not Making Much Sense, and Wells Fargo just agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle 'shoddy' mortgage practices. *RON*]

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, 8 April 2016

Paul Krugman wrote an op-ed in the New York Times today called "Sanders Over the Edge." He's been doing a lot of shovel work for the Hillary Clinton campaign lately, which is his right of course. The piece eventually devolves into a criticism of the character of Bernie Sanders, but it's his take on the causes of the '08 crash that really raises an eyebrow.

Excellent Panama Papers t-shirt: 'Mossack Fonseca: because taxes are for poor people'

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[Shades of Leona Helmsley redux. See also: Did you grow up in a bubble? These ZIP codes suggest you did, and They Don’t Just Hide Their Money. Economist Says Most of Billionaire Wealth is Unearned. *RON*]
Corey Doctorow, BoingBoing, 8 April 2016

$24 and up, get 'em before they're sued. (via Joey DeVilla)

Edward Snowden's talk in Vancouver had an 'electric quality'

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[Click here to watch the full video posted by SFU. *RON*]

By Sunny Dhillon, Globe and Mail, 6 April 2016
Two of the people who posed questions to Edward Snowden during a sold-out Vancouver event say the whistle-blower provided valuable insight on issues both global and individual in scale.
Mr. Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor responsible for the release of thousands of classified documents detailing the American government’s use of mass surveillance, spoke via video link during an event hosted by Simon Fraser University on Tuesday night. He is living in Russia under political asylum.

His comments touched on a number of areas, from the Panama Papers and the importance of whistle-blowers, to Canada’s new anti-terror legislation, to what individuals can do to better protect their privacy.

Micheal Vonn, policy director with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and a member of the panel that put questions to Mr. Snowden, said …

Bruce Springsteen pulls out of North Carolina concert over anti-LGBT law


China’s robot army set to surge

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[This could be bad: automation forecast to displace 3.5m workers by 2020. But I also wonder if robots are set to become the next great investment 'bubble' along the way? *RON*]

By Steve Johnson, Financial Times, 8 April 2016
China’s uptake of industrial robots is set to rise rapidly in the coming years as higher labour costs and the heightened aspirations of workers push manufacturers to embrace automation.

The development may add to fears that workers in poorer countries are most in danger of being displaced by automation, with analysis by Citi and the Oxford Martin School, a research and policy unit of the UK university, published earlier this year suggesting that more than 75 per cent of jobs in China are at a “high risk” of computerisation.

Mirae Asset Management, an Asia-focused house with $75bn of assets, predicts that China’s robot army will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 35 per cent until 2020.

Given that the Internat…