Showing posts from April 12, 2016

World War Three may have already begun in Iraq and Syria

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[I'm hearing this (WWIII) with increasing frequency. Certainly if the US and Russia were ever to come into direct confrontation it could be here. *RON*]
By Peter Van Buren, Reuters, 7 April 2016

The recent death of a Marine in Iraq exposed the fact the United States set up a firebase there, which in turn exposed the fact the Pentagon misrepresented the number of American personnel in Iraq by as many as 2,000. It appears a second firebase exists, set up on the grounds of one of America’s largest installations in the last Iraq war. Special operations forces range across the landscape. The Pentagon is planning for even more troops. There can be no more wordplay: America now has boots on the ground in Iraq.

The regional picture is dismal. In Syria, militias backed by the Central Intelligence Agency are fighting those backed by the Pentagon. British, Jordanian and American special forces are fighting various enemies in Libya, which, as a failed sta…

Global Fisheries Are Collapsing -- What Happens When There Are No Fish Left?

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["The populations of all large predator fish in the oceans have declined by 90 percent in the 50 years since modern industrial fishing became widespread around the world... 'We are losing species every day without ever knowing about them. Sometimes humans can be like a plague to the environment.'" *RON*]
By Dahr Jamail, Truthout, 11 April 2016

"Commercial overexploitation of the world's fish stocks is severe," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said back in 2012. "Many species have been hunted to fractions of their original populations. More than half of global fisheries are exhausted, and a further third are depleted."

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 85 percent of global fish stocks are "overexploited, depleted, or recovering from depletion."

To see more stories like this, visit "Planet or Profit?"

Yet despite these alarms having been sounded loud and clear, life in…

Canada Revenue Agency's Tax Crackdown Expected To Bring In $2.6 Billion

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[It suddenly occurred to CRA: Harper's gone now and we look like idiots in the news. We could just investigate! What a revelation for an investigatory body to arrive at! *RON*]
By Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 11 April 2016

OTTAWA — The Canada Revenue Agency says heightened efforts to fight tax evasion and tax avoidance will recoup $2.6 billion over the next five years.

The agency is detailing how it will use a $444-million government commitment over five years to help improve detection, auditing and prosecution of tax cheaters.

Read more: Liberals' Tax-Evasion Crackdown Expected To Have A Big Payoff

It says it will review all foreign electronic fund transfers over $10,000 involving the Isle of Man.

In addition, it will examine electronic fund transfers in as many as three other unspecified jurisdictions this year.

The agency also says it will open a special program to stop organizations that create and promote tax schemes for the wealthy.


Join the One Percent and Live a Decade Longer

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[Years of life: the greatest inequality possible. Income inequality is extending the lives of America's richest more than ever. See also: Income inequality is chipping away at Americans’ life expectancy. *RON*]

John Tozzi, Bloomberg, 10 April 2016

The wealthiest Americans can expect to live at least a decade longer than the poorest—and that gap, as with income inequality, is growing ever wider.

New research in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows top earning Americans gained 2 to 3 years of life expectancy between 2001 and 2014, while those at the bottom gained little or nothing. Plenty of research has already shown that health and wealth are intertwined, and that they generally improve in tandem as you move up the income scale. But this year, the vanishing middle class and wildly divergent incomes among Americans have been central issues in a vitriolic race for the White House. Today's JAMA research shows in the starkest …

Are Women the Silent Sex?

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[Via Harry. An interesting article. I have reservations about reformist feminism. It's not concerned with fundamental social change, but with tweaking the system so women can get more of what the men already have. E.g., how many women need to be on a board of directors before they will meaningfully shape decision-making? Experience has tended to show that this benefits middle- to upper-class women more than lower-class women or women of color. bell hooks argues that privileged white men will, if pressured, accommodate privileged white women in order to keep societal goods 'in the family.' This does nothing for the poor or people of color in general. Of course, in this culture, the only voice we hear is that carried by the money of the Koch brothers, so many men are silenced these days as well. *RON*]

Tali Mendelberg & Christopher F. Karpowitz, Boston Review, 11 April 2016

When Madeline Albright broke the glass ceiling of American …

Dear Bernie

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[This is interesting. Regardless of the outcome of his current campaign, this group of activists is inviting Bernie Sanders to put himself and the momentum of his followers behind an invigorated progressive movement. *RON*]
Erik Forman, Medium, 8 April 2016

Sign on to the letter here.

Dear Bernie,

We are amongst the millions of donors and hundreds of thousands of activists who have pushed your campaign forward against seemingly unbeatable odds. What can we say? We love you. Some of us have felt this way for years, as we watched your long march from maverick Mayor of Burlington, VT to solo socialist in the US Senate. Some of us were only more recently smitten by your bolt-from-the-blue presidential campaign, which has injected life and hope, and a small bird, into the lifeless and hopeless American political landscape. This is a happy moment for our relationship. We are slowly turning the tide against the liberal machine in the primaries, riding hig…