Showing posts from June 8, 2016

Why Did Black Lives Matter Activist Face Four Years in Jail While Stanford Rapist Gets Six Months?

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[Class, race and the US justice system. Awfully good question. *RON*]

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!, 7 June 2016

Black Lives Matter
Sexual Assault

KEVIN DE LEÓN president pro-tem of the California Senate.
GILBERT CEDILLO Los Angeles city councilmember who spent 14 years in the California Legislature. He supports Bernie Sanders.

Update: After our broadcast Jasmine Richards was sentenced to 90 days in jail, with 18 days served, and 3 years on probation.

Exclusive: Snowden Tried to Tell NSA About Surveillance Concerns, Documents Reveal

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[In which Edward Snowden is shown to be the only one telling the truth in a snake pit of compulsive liars. *RON*]

By Jason Leopold, Marcy Wheeler, and Ky Henderson, Vice News, 4 June 2016

On the morning of May 29, 2014, an overcast Thursday in Washington, DC, the general counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Robert Litt, wrote an email to high-level officials at the National Security Agency and the White House.

The topic: what to do about Edward Snowden.

Snowden's leaks had first come to light the previous June, when the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald and the Washington Post's Barton Gellman published stories based on highly classified documents provided to them by the former NSA contractor. Now Snowden, who had been demonized by the NSA and the Obama administration for the past year, was publicly claiming something that set off alarm bells at the agency: Before he leaked the documents, Snowden said, he had …

Letting ‘Wall Street’ Walk

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[In the preceding article we saw how even perfectly functioning markets create structural inequality. In this one we see how bankster plutocrats break the law with impunity. See also this article, which shows what happens if average citizens complain about poisoned drinking water: Demand Clean Water, Get Sued for Defamation. *RON*]
By Michael Brenner,, 3 June 2016

Legal double standards are the norm in the U.S. – no jail for law-flouting Wall Street bankers but mass incarceration for average citizens, especially minorities, who get caught up in the prison-industrial-complex, as Michael Brenner describes.

Illicit financial behavior has been decriminalized in the United States – for all practical purposes. Despite the revelations of massive misconduct by banks and other financial services businesses, criminal investigations are rare, indictments exceptional and guilty judgments extraordinary.

Most potentially culpable actions are ov…

How Perfect Markets Concentrate Wealth and Strangle Growth and Prosperity

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[Unsurprisingly, the winners have us all playing a loser's game A. Perfect markets do not exist. B. If they are modelled, they still result in concentrated wealth and strangle growth. It's interesting that economists call this sort of thing a 'market failure' since it seems that this is exactly what it is designed to do. *RON*]

By Steve Roth, Evonomics, 5 June 2016

Capitalism concentrates wealth. Ridicule Marx and his latter-day disciples all you like (I’ll help); he definitely got that right.

But capitalism is a big word with lots of meanings, and enough ideological baggage to fill a Lear Jet. Let’s talk about something more precise: perfect markets, with ownership, in which individuals compete with others to produce stuff, and store up savings. You can see this kind of perfect world in agent-based simulations like Sugarscape. Start with a bunch of sugar farmers trying to accumulate sugar in an artificial world, hit Go, and watch …

Canada's energy superpower status threatened as world shifts off fossil fuel, federal think-tank warns

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['Significant disruptions' forecast in 10 to 15 years as cost of renewables, energy storage plummet. See also: Alberta's government and the tar sands are betting on the wrong side of history ("Alberta's oilsands producers lose $15 to $25 on every barrel they ship... Premiers in Alberta and Saskatchewan are stuck on yesterday's problem... none of the 17 major oilsands projects withdrawn in the past 18 months will likely revive even if prices rebound.") *RON*]

By Robson Fletcher, CBC News, 4 Jun 2016
External Link: Read the full Policy Horizons report (PDF link)
(Note: CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external links.)

Canada's status as an "energy superpower" is under threat because the global dominance of fossil fuels could wane faster than previously believed, according to a draft report from a federal government think-tank obtained by CBC News.

"It is increasingly plausi…

B.C. far short of transit promises: report

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[Promised $11.1 billion, has so far paid out $1.1 billion. Province 'systematically underfunding' transit, Suzuki Foundation says, Minister Fassbender says there has been significant investment, including the Evergreen Line. Prove that you're awake and listening in 2017. See also: Is This British Columbia In 2016, Or Oceania In 1984? *RON*]

Tri-City News, 7 June 2016

The B.C. government has fallen far short of commitments to invest in public transit laid out in its 2008 provincial transit plan while powering ahead with billions of dollars in spending on road and bridge megaprojects, according to a report by the David Suzuki Foundation.

Foundation CEO Peter Robinson accused the province of "systematic underfunding of transit" that exacerbates congestion in dense areas of Metro Vancouver.

The provincial plan of 2008 promised $4.75 billion in provincial funding for transit over 12 years as part of $11.1 billion in total projec…