Showing posts from May 4, 2016

Resettling the First American ‘Climate Refugees’

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[Here is a bit from a documentary on Isle de Jean Charles, Louisianna.
By Coral Davenport and Campbell Robertson, New York Times,

ISLE DE JEAN CHARLES, La. — Each morning at 3:30, when Joann Bourg leaves the mildewed and rusted house that her parents built on her grandfather’s property, she worries that the bridge connecting this spit of waterlogged land to Louisiana’s terra firma will again be flooded and she will miss another day’s work.

Ms. Bourg, a custodian at a sporting goods store on the mainland, lives with her two sisters, 82-year-old mother, son and niece on land where her ancestors, members of the Native American tribes of southeastern Louisiana, have lived for generations. That earth is now dying, drowning in salt and sinking into the sea, and she is ready to leave.

With a first-of-its-kind “climate resilience” grant to resettle the island’s native residents, Washington is ready to help.

“Yes, this is our grandpa’s land,” Ms. Bourg …

Chris Christie Vetoes Equal Pay Bill, Calling It ‘Business Unfriendly’

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[There really seems to be a concerted effort on the part of Republicans to roll the social justice clock back to before the 1950s. See also: Doctor, Warned to Be Silent on Abortions, Files Civil Rights Complaint, also: How Limiting Women's Access to Birth Control and Abortions Hurts the Economy. *RON*]

By Bryce Covert, Think Progress, 3 May 2016

New Jersey’s lawmakers want to require employers to pay women the same as men for essentially the same work. But Gov. Chris Christie (R) thinks they went too far.

The bill that passed both chambers of the state’s legislature would have banned employers from paying women less for “substantially similar” work as men, and would only have allowed differing pay rates between genders if employers could prove it was based on something besides sex, such as education, experience, or performance. The similarity of the work would have been determined based on the required responsibilities, effort, and skills for…

Inequality Kills: Top 1% Lives 15 Years Longer Than the Poorest

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[Compare this with the fact, mentioned below, that if all cancer was cured this second, it would only increase the average life span by three years! What greater social justice issue can there be than life expectancy? *RON*]
By By Sam Pizzigati, Other Words, Reposted by Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism, 3 May 2016

Yves here. Notice how the article includes the “Oh those poor people make bad lifestyle choices,” as the reason for shorter lifespans among the poor. While it gives a contrasting set of arguments, it sanitizes them by putting them under the heading of “stress,” such as those that are directly related to economic desperation and despair (suicide and drug addiction), as well as those that are due to living in neighborhoods with environmental hazards or safety issues. I hope other researchers will isolate the impact of higher level of suicides and drug-related deaths among the poor on the averages. Then you have the next order issues of less ac…

Researchers: Medical errors now third leading cause of death in United States

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[This is truly shocking, and the situation is the same in Canada. According to this article, around 23,000 "Canadian adults die annually because of preventable 'adverse events' in acute-care hospitals alone." When you compare that with this Statistics Canada table, this makes medical errors the third leading cause of death, just below cancer and heart disease. *RON*]

By Ariana Eunjung Cha, Washington Post, 3 May 2016
Nightmare stories of nurses giving potent drugs meant for one patient to another and surgeons removing the wrong body parts have dominated recent headlines about medical care. Lest you assume those cases are the exceptions, a new study by patient safety researchers provides some context.

Their analysis, published in the BMJ on Tuesday, shows that "medical errors" in hospitals and other health care facilities are incredibly common and may now be the third leading cause of death in the United States -- claim…

After the leaks showed what it stands for, this could really be the end for TTIP

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[The documents show that US corporations will be granted unprecedented powers over any new public health or safety regulations to be introduced in future. If any European government does dare to bring in laws to raise social or environmental standards, TTIP will grant US investors the right to sue for loss of profits. See also: Doubts rise over TTIP as France threatens to block EU-US deal. *RON*]
John Hilary, The Independent, 4 May 2016
Today’s shock leak of the text of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) marks the beginning of the end for the hated EU-US trade deal, and a key moment in the Brexit debate. The unelected negotiators have kept the talks going until now by means of a fanatical level of secrecy, with threats of criminal prosecution for anyone divulging the treaty’s contents.

Ted Cruz drops presidential bid

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[Thank goodness and good riddance! But now that tweedle-dum is gone all that's left is tweedle-dumber. Just out: Reports: John Kasich Is Dropping Out. *RON*]

By Maeve Reston, CNN, 4 May 2016

(CNN)Ted Cruz bowed out of the Republican presidential race Tuesday following a crushing loss to Donald Trump in Indiana, clearing the path for the real estate mogul to clinch the GOP nomination.
It was a remarkable turn of events in a presidential primary race that seemed destined -- just weeks ago -- to end in a contested convention this summer. Even in the final hours of the race in the Hoosier State, Cruz insisted he was staying in the race until June 7 -- going so far as to attack his rival during a news conference as a "pathological liar" unfit for the White House.
In the end, the growing strength of Trump's candidacy and Cruz's own stumbles in the past two weeks were too much for Cruz to overcome. The Cruz, Kasich and anti-Trump …