Showing posts from June 28, 2016

Federal government invests $150 million for affordable housing in B.C.

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[This sounds good until you realize that much of the money is to keep old buildings from falling apart, that both the feds and the province have abandoned their responsibility in this area for decades, and that the problem was far larger than was reflected in their funding even then. The most you can say is: a) there's an election coming for Christy Clark, and b) this is more than we would have got under Harper. See this old article for an idea of the real size of the problem: Affordable housing crisis affects one in five renters in Canada. *RON*]
The Canadian Press, Vancouver Observer, 27 June 2016

The federal government has announced it will invest $150 million in affordable housing in British Columbia, as real estate prices in the province continue to skyrocket.

The money will be spread out over the next two years and is part of the $2.3 billion the Liberal government pledged to spend on affordable housing in the 2016 budget.

Jean-Yves Duc…

Supreme Court Says No to Guns for Domestic Batterers

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[The SCOTUS strikes two blows for women's rights and lives, after also striking down the Texas abortion access law. AKA the NRA and Clarence Thomas have a sad day. On the last day of the term, the high court rejects domestic abusers' attempt to avoid a gun prosecution. *RON*]

Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones, 27 June 2016

Should domestic abusers who get convicted of minor domestic-violence charges get to keep their right to own guns just because their crimes were merely reckless, as opposed to premeditated? That's more or less the question the Supreme Court was considering in Voisine v. US, a somewhat obscure case that was languishing on the court's docket as one of the last cases decided of the term. In a 6-2 opinion written by Justice Elena Kagan, the high court answered that question with a muted "no."

The case challenges a 1996 amendment to the federal Gun Control Act, sponsored and named after the late New Jersey Sen…

‘Three Amigos’ Summit: Just one-in-four Canadians say NAFTA has been good for their country

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[Just like the UK and Brexit, Canadians have no idea what to think about NAFTA. 25% say NAFTA helped the economy, 26% say it hurt, 22% say it's had no impact, and 27% say they don't know - might as well flip a coin.  From the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives: "The agreement has destroyed more jobs than it has created, depressed wages, worsened poverty and inequality, eroded social programs, undermined democracy, enfeebled governments, and greatly increased the rights and power of corporations, investors, and property holders. NAFTA has also been used to weaken Canada's sovereignty and promote its economic assimilation by the United States. It has led to greater pressure on Canada and Mexico to conform to U.S. foreign policy objectives." *RON*]

Angus Reid Website, 28 June 2016

Trade, security issues top Canadians’ list of priorities for North American Leaders’ Summit

June 27, 2016 – With U.S. President Barack Obama an…

Having Won, Some ‘Brexit’ Campaigners Begin Backpedaling


Pope says Church should ask forgiveness from gays for past treatment

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[The church should in fact do a whole lot more than ask forgiveness. "I think that the Church not only should apologize ... to a gay person whom it offended but it must also apologize to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been exploited by (being forced to) work. It must apologize for having blessed so many weapons." Meanwhile: A Noah’s Ark in Kentucky, Dinosaurs Included. *RON*]
Philip Pullella, Reuters, 26 June 2016

Pope Francis said on Sunday that Christians and the Roman Catholic Church should seek forgiveness from homosexuals for the way they had treated them.

Speaking to reporters aboard the plane taking him back to Rome from Armenia, he also said the Church should ask forgiveness for the way it has treated women, for turning a blind eye to child labor and for "blessing so many weapons" in the past.

In the hour-long freewheeling conversation that has become a trademark of his int…

When You Dial 911 and Wall Street Answers

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[Privatizing public safety, public health. "Since the 2008 financial crisis, private equity firms have increasingly taken over public services like emergency care and firefighting, often with dire effects." *RON*]
By Danielle IvoryBen Protess & Kitty Bennett, New York Times, 25 June 2016
A Tennessee woman slipped into a coma and died after an ambulance company took so long to assemble a crew that one worker had time for a cigarette break.

Paramedics in New York had to covertly swipe medical supplies from a hospital to restock their depleted ambulances after emergency runs.

A man in the suburban South watched a chimney fire burn his house to the ground as he waited for the fire department, which billed him anyway and then sued him for $15,000 when he did not pay.

In each of these cases, someone dialed 911 and Wall Street answered.