Showing posts from July 6, 2016

Making Greater Possibilities Inconceivable: Another Thought or Two on the Logic of Lesser Evilism

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[When choosing the lesser evil means settling for the intolerable and losing all sense of what is politically possible. *RON*]

by Alan Nasser, Counterpunch, 5 July 2016

We can’t doubt the prima facie seductiveness of lesser evil (LE) thinking. Faced with two alternatives, one “good” and the other “bad”, why of course you go for the good. Isn’t it just as obvious that if you are faced with the misfortune of having to choose between two evils, and one is not as bad as the other, you should cast your lot with her? No, it is not at all obvious. You have to go past what is presented prima facie. Sometimes what we observe reveals its true colors only after we have dug out its implications. And its implications are often evident only after a bit of Logic 101. Our liberal acquaintances don’t do implication-digging. Pity, since one need not dig too far, and you don’t need a degree in Philosophy to go for the shovel.

Canada gets clarity on how Europe will ratify trade deal

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[If even one EU nation votes against it, CETA's sunk. Facing dissent, European Commission proposes 'mixed' agreement — meaning individual countries must vote. Now the one to worry about is TPP: The TPP And The Democratic National Convention. *RON*]

By Janyce McGregor, CBC News Posted: 5 July 2016

Related Stories
Brexit won't delay Canada-EU trade deal, minister says
Keep calm and carry on? Canada determined to conclude EU trade deal despite Brexit
Post-Brexit U.K. looks to sign free trade deal with Canada, high commissioner says

The European Commission has decided the Canada-EU trade deal will proceed for ratification as a "mixed" agreement, recognizing demands from key members like Germany to vote not just in Brussels, but in each country's legislature.

The executive body for the European Union met Tuesday in Strasbourg, France, to formally propose the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) for ratification at …

Teamsters pensioners still looking at pennies on the dollar in retirement

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[Corporatocratic retirement. It's nightmarish what is happening to some worker's pensions! *RON*]

By Jim Spencer, Star Tribune, 5 July 2016
WASHINGTON – Teamsters in Minnesota and across the country may believe they caught a break when the U.S. Treasury Department stopped cuts in their retirement pay. But the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is now saying the government is on track to run out of money to prop up the troubled Teamsters Central States Pension Fund in 2024, roughly the same time the fund itself is expected to go bankrupt.

Trudeau's Saudi-born foreign policy advisor defends Liberal record in Middle East

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[See also: Liberals' 'Sunny Ways' eclipsed by cynical old-style politics. Here is a posting that has been making the rounds on Facebook:
By Shenez Kermailli,, 4 July 2016

Omar Alghabra has been called many things; a trusty adviser to the Canadian prime minister, a closet Islamist, and "Political Man" -- a cartoon superhero in a suit.

N.J. Forces Mom to Pay Son's Student Loans: Murder 'Does Not Meet Threshold for Loan Forgiveness'

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[As a follow-up to the article on student-loan suicides. This is "state-sanctioned loan-sharking," as a bankruptcy attorney puts it. *RON*]
By Tom BoggioniRaw Story / AlerNet, 4 July 2016
"Please accept our condolences on your loss,” explained a letter from the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority of New Jersey. “After careful consideration of the information you provided, the authority has determined that your request does not meet the threshold for loan forgiveness. Monthly bill statements will continue to be sent to you.”

That is the response Marcia DeOliveira-Longinetti received when she attempted to get student loan forgiven after her 23-year-old son was murdered last year, reports the New York Times.

Welcome to the world of what bankruptcy attorney Daniel Frischberg calls, “state-sanctioned loan-sharking.”

Tug-Barge Petroleum Tankers

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[An interesting new issue raised by a Green Party resolution and brought to my attention by my friend Richard. I wonder if our two heavily oil-connected daily newspapers will pick up on this: ha-ha. *RON*]

Code: G16-P003

Resolution Type: Policy

Submitter Name: Brian Smallshaw & Ingmar Lee


WHEREAS more than half a million deadweight tons of petroleum products are being shipped from Washington state to Alaska via the 'protected' waters of the British Columbia Inside Passage every year;

WHEREAS these tug-barge combined units carry up to 20,000 deadweight tons of petroleum products up the entire BC coast at least once every 10 days;

WHEREAS this traffic employs not a single Canadian, nor a single Canadian pilot, nor master mariner, nor even a deckhand, nor pays any fee, tariff or dividend to the Canadian public, nor even stops in Canada, except occasionally to load petroleum products at the Kinder Morgan or Chevron spigot in Vancouver;