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Showing posts from September 21, 2016

WashPost Makes History: First Paper to Call for Prosecution of Its Own Source (After Accepting Pulitzer)

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[The story title pretty much says it all. On the glories of the mainstream press - this paper is owned by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com. *RON*]
Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, 18 September 2016
THREE OF THE four media outlets that received and published large numbers of secret NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden — The Guardian, the New York Times, and The Intercept –– have called for the U.S. government to allow the NSA whistleblower to return to the U.S. with no charges. That’s the normal course for a news organization, which owes its sources duties of protection, and which — by virtue of accepting the source’s materials and then publishing them — implicitly declares the source’s information to be in the public interest.

But not the Washington Post. In the face of a growing ACLU and Amnesty-led campaign to secure a pardon for Snowden, timed to this weekend’s release of the Oliver Stone biopic “Snowden,” the Post editorial page today not only…

United States Air Force grounds F-35As after cooling kit cracks up

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[Dear Prime Minister Trudeau: Wake up and smell the coffee! If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the poly-alpha-olefin insulation lines. Crapification. *RON*]
Richard Chirgwin, The Register, 18 September 2016

The “ready for combat” F-35 has run into headwinds again, with 15 of the F-35A variant grounded in America because cooling line insulation is cracking up. Various reports state that the problem is non-conforming insulation in lines carrying coolant in the plane's wings. The F-35 passes its poly-alpha-olefin (PAO) coolant through the fuel tanks to chill it.

During maintenance, the insulation around PAO lines was found to be “peeling and crumbling”, and leaving residue in the tanks.

So far, 13 aircraft belonging to the US Air Force have been grounded, and two more belonging to Norway. According to Bloomberg, the problem also affects 42 aircraft currently on the production line.

The US Air Force says the “non-conforming” insulation is t…

Sleepwalking into a big war

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[The major powers are planning for war and claim that’s the best way to defend against war. Will this mutual hawkishness lead to armed conflict? See also: US bomb used in Saudi-led strike on Yemen hospital that killed 19Saudi Arabia appears to be using American-supplied white phosphorus in its war in YemenAir strikes hit aid convoy as Syria says ceasefire over. *RON*]

by Michael T Klare, Le Monde Diplomatique, September 2016

As the US presidential race approaches its climax and European officials ponder the implications of the UK’s Brexit vote, public discussion of security affairs is largely confined to strategies for combating international terrorism. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are trying to persuade voters of their superior qualifications to lead this battle, while European leaders scramble to bolster their countries’ defences against homegrown extremists. But though talk of terrorism fills the news media and the political spac…

I Used to Be a Human Being

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[On the down-side of being perpetually connected to an endless bombardment of news and gossip and images. "In the long term, the fragmentation of attention, a breaking up of focus and mental continuity, can disrupt neural connections in the brain and eventually lead to a literally ‘shallower’ neurological structure. It makes us – on the physiological level of the brain, as well as of the mind – less capable of concentration and continuous thought." From Eva Hoffman (2016) How To Be Bored. *RON*]

By Andrew Sullivan, New York Magazine, 19 September 2016
I was sitting in a large meditation hall in a converted novitiate in central Massachusetts when I reached into my pocket for my iPhone. A woman in the front of the room gamely held a basket in front of her, beaming beneficently, like a priest with a collection plate. I duly surrendered my little device, only to feel a sudden pang of panic on my way back to my seat. If it hadn’t been for e…

Re: Liberals seek public input on national security review, Sept. 9

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[Got that right. See also: Documents show CSIS and RCMP's role in post-9/11 torture of 3 Canadians in Syria. *RON*]

Letter to the Editor, The Star, 14 September 2016

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says he wants our input regarding changes to the national security framework so the government can "get it right." It all sounds terribly democratic and inclusive but just why does he need to consult us to learn that we want our democratic rights, privileges, privacy, representation and our will to be respected and protected? We remain innocent until proven guilty. No need for further investigation.

5 reasons why private surgeries won’t shorten waits in the public system

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[The simplest reason is that the rich should not be able to use their money to bump ahead of everyone else where health care is concerned. *RON*]

By Seth Klein and Andrew Leyland, Policy Note, 5 September 2016


After years of delay, Dr. Brian Day’s case against the BC Government is now being heard in BC Supreme Court.

Day and his private for-profit Cambie Surgery Centre are challenging the parts of the BC Medicare Protection Act that prevent doctors and private clinics from directly billing patients for medically necessary procedures; in other words, the provincial legislation that protects our public health care system by making it illegal to create a parallel private, for-profit system. Day claims these limitations are un-constitutional because they prevent patients from leap-frogging waits in the public health system.

At the heart of the case is the contention by Day that people should be free to spend their money as they wish (either paying for p…