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Showing posts from July 26, 2016

How Nonviolent Resistance Works: Factors for Successful Peacebuilding in Samaniego, Colombia

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[See also everything ever written by Gene Sharp and the web site for the Einstein Institution. *RON*]
By Cécile Mouly, María Belén Garrido & Annette Idler, politicalviolenceataglance, 25 July 2016
Colombia is getting closer to ending the longest internal armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere. The government is likely to sign a peace agreement with Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the largest guerrillas in the country, and has announced the beginning of peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN), the second largest insurgent group. In remote municipalities like Samaniego in southwestern Colombia, the war has been harsh for the local population. And yet, in hundreds of places like this one, removed from the media’s spotlight, civilians have not given up: instead they have engaged in nonviolent initiatives to confront violence and overcome their marginalization.

What You Need to Know About the World's Water Wars

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[It's good to see the rest of the world catching up with Canada's Maude Barlow (see her Blue GoldBlue Covenant, and Blue Future) in recognizing the scope and severity of this problem. Underground water is being pumped so aggressively around the globe that land is sinking, civil wars are being waged, and agriculture is being transformed. See also: What Happens to the U.S. Midwest When the Water's Gone? and Wildlife Dying En Masse as South American River Runs Dry. *RON*]

By Laura Parker, National Geographic, 14 July 2016

Beijing is sinking. In some neighborhoods, the ground is giving way at a rate of four inches a year as water in the giant aquifer below it is pumped.

The groundwater has been so depleted that China’s capital city, home to more than 20 million people, could face serious disruptions in its rail system, roadways, and building foundations, an international team of scientists concluded earlier this year. Beijing, despite ta…

Responding to Housing Bill

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[The housing fiasco in Vancouver keeps going from bad to worse. The problem: the government colludes with rent-capturing house flippers to split the profits. Andrew Weaver is, as usual, exactly right: we need a complete housing plan, not one or two random, publicity-grabbing changes. See also: Mysterious wheeler-dealer is at centre of a web of B.C. real estate deals, and Metro Vancouver father blames housing market for 'working poor' lifestyle, and for more information and action steps: Keep fighting for affordable housing in Vancouver. *RON*]
By Mat Wright, Andrew Weaver Web Site, 25 July 2016

Media Statement: July 25th, 2016
Weaver Responds to Housing Bill
For Immediate Release

Victoria B.C. – “Despite legislation tabled today by the BC Liberals, there is still no comprehensive plan when it comes to the affordability crisis facing British Columbians,” said Andrew Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party and MLA for Oak Bay – Gordon Head. “We …

Fraser Institute: capitalism may create less equality than tin-pot dictatorships

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[The logic of the Fraser Institute. Capitalist systems create more inequality than dictatorships (never mind that this is because everyone is poor under dictators). Therefore inequality is good for you - consider the alternative! *RON*]
By Press Progress, 21 July 2016
Maybe tyranny isn't so bad after all!

In the Fraser Institute's latest adventure into the fun and exciting world of comparing apples to oranges, the right-wing think tank discovers that some countries with dictators and/or widespread corruption haveless inequality than some countries operating under laissez-faire capitalism.

So, the Fraser Institute wonders: maybe inequality isn't such a bad thing after all?

"When deciding how much any society should worry about inequality," says Fraser Institute executive vice-president Jason Clemens, "citizens should first understand the way income and wealth are earned."

And to explore this mystery in greater detail, t…

Hunger strike continues as Goodale refuses to meet with immigration detainees

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[This runs counter to international law, even the US does not do this, and it is a vestige of Harperism that Trudeau has decided not to change. *RON*]

By Sophia Reuss, rabble.ca, 25 July 2016

Over 50 immigration detainees -- all black and brown men -- have continued their hunger strike for a second week to demand a meeting with Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and protest indefinite detention of migrants. The detainees have not eaten anything, only had water, for 14 days.

Despite calls from community organizations, lawyers, activists, and health professionals, Goodale shows no signs of agreeing to meet with the strikers.

Protestors confronted Immigration Minister John McCallum in Toronto last week and Colonialism No More - Solidarity Camp Regina protested his appearance at the University of Regina and eventually spoke with the minister.

In Ottawa last Thursday, nearly 20 people gathered outside of the Headquarters of Public Safety Canada to dema…

Panama Papers Reveal Wide Use of Shell Companies by African Officials

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[Where is the capital of Zimbabwe? Panama City. This should come as no surprise to anyone. Let's hear about more North Americans from these files, please. *RON*]

By Scott Shane, New York Times, 25 July 2016

WASHINGTON — Entrepreneurs and corrupt officials across Africa have used shell companies to hide profits from the sale of natural resources and the bribes paid to gain access to them, according to records leaked from a Panamanian law firm.

Owners of the hidden companies include, from Nigeria alone, three oilministers, several senior employees of the national oil company and two former state governors who were convicted of laundering ill-gotten money from the oil industry, new reports about Africa based on the Panama Papers show. The owners of diamond mines in Sierra Leone and safari companies in Kenya and Zimbabwe also created shell companies.

Some of the assets cycled through the shell companies were used to buy yachts, private jets, Man…