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Showing posts from July 5, 2016

A Whole New Kind Of Grocery Store Is Coming To The U.S.

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[As the story says, the first zero-waste market in Canada is coming to Vancouver this fall. There's also a link in this story to a petition you can sign, urging Walmart to sell 'ugly' fruit and vegetables to reduce food waste. *RON*]
Jenny Che, Huffington Post, 5 July 2016

In recent years, a spate of no-waste markets have popped up across Europe. In cities like Berlin, Vienna and Barcelona, shop owners have a simple philosophy: Pre-empt waste from bags and packages by simply not offering them.

Now the trend is heading across the ocean.

Sarah Metz is working to open a zero-waste grocery store in Brooklyn, New York, where customers could bring their own reusable containers to measure out just the right amount of food items and other household products.

Nigel Farage, UKIP leader and top Leave campaigner, to step down after Brexit victory

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[Having blown the UK to pieces he now figures it's somebody else's job to put things back together. That's nearly a clean sweep of the key players in the Brexit debates. Jeremy Corbyn remains, hanging in by the skin of his teeth. Boy, I bet these politicos didn't see this coming! *RON*]

CBC News, Thomson Reuters, 5 July 2016

Related Stories
'You're not laughing now': Nigel Farage booed at EU general assembly
London Calling? Canadians eye U.K. vacations after Brexit vote weakens pound
Brexit isn't the half of it: How Angela Merkel juggles Europe's many crises

The leader of the insurgent right-wing U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) said Monday he would be stepping down after realizing his ambition to win a vote for Britain to leave the EU, the latest twist in a dramatic reshaping of the nation's politics.

The departure of brash former commodities trader Nigel Farage would sideline one of the most outspoken and effect…

Unfounded Debt Fears Block Economic Recovery

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[It's been amply demonstrated that even triple-digit debt loads have a negligible effect on GDP. Austerity amplifies the effects of a recession by cutting demand. Nations like Spain and Greece, which can exert no independent control over their currency, can only respond by making even further cuts and dropping wages. Neoliberal mission accomplished. *RON*]
By Anis Chowdhury. Posted on Naked Capitalism by Yves Smith2 July 2016

Yves here. I have a small quibble in this post. The main reason for the sharp rise in government debt levels around the world was not bailouts of financial firms, but the impact of the crisis. Economies all suffered sharp downturns. That led to a big drop in tax receipts and an increase in spending, such as unemployment benefits. But this otherwise is a fine, high level but technically sound discussion of the dangers of debt scaremongering.

By Anis Chowdhury, former Professor of Economics, University of Western Sydney, w…

In Response to Trump, Another Dangerous Movement Appears

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[The problem, far from being a case of "too much democracy," is that there is too little. Too little meaningful information given to the public and too low a quality of public debate. And too much being run on the low-down by too few. *RON*]

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, 30 June 2016
The "too much democracy" train rolls on.

Last week's Brexit vote prompted pundits and social media mavens to wonder aloud if allowing dumb people to vote is a good thing.

Now, the cover story in The Atlantic magazine features the most aggressive offering yet in an alarming series of intellectual-class jeremiads against the dangers of democracy.

In "How American Politics Went Insane," Brookings Institute Fellow Jonathan Rauch spends many thousands of words arguing for the reinvigoration of political machines, as a means of keeping the ape-citizen further from power.

B.C. on the hook for up to $508M for cleanup of contaminated sites

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[If you ask the Liberals about child poverty they shout "balanced budget!" and "austerity!" But a half billion in corporate welfare to clean up the mining industry's mess for them - no problem. Election 2017. *RON*]
Andrew Gage with West Coast Environmental Law says number of sites is 'alarming'

CBC News, 2  July 2016
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Mount Polley Mine to reopen 2 years after tailings pond disaster
Mount Polley disaster not government's fault despite scathing report, says mines minister
Auditor general says B.C. failing to protect environment from mining
Mine inspector issues 19 recommendations after Mt. Polley disaster

B.C.'s liability for cleaning up contamination left on Crown land by companies that may not have the money to deal with spills has jumped to more than half a billion dollars — with many of those sites containing mine waste, according to a new report.

Disrupting Internet Access Is A Human Rights Violation, UN Says

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[This might, I suppose, also add support to the legal case for defining ISPs as utilities. *RON*]

By Lauren C. Williams, Think Progress, 1 July 2016
The United Nations Human Rights Council formally condemned countries that block or limit citizens’ internet access in a new resolution passed Friday.

According to the resolution, individuals’ online and offline rights, such as “freedom of expression” and choice of media deserve the same protections. The UN Council denounced “unequivocally measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to or dissemination of information online in violation of international human rights law.”
Good news today: @UN Human Rights Council affirms online rights, condemns internet disruption and shutdowns. #HRC32pic.twitter.com/nuxvJxOJx8 — Edward Snowden (@Snowden) July 1, 2016 The UN’s resolution, which also calls for governments to improve internet access across gender and disabilities, doesn’t carry any legal weight bu…