Showing posts from October 9, 2016

On Corporations, their Minions and the Perversion Called ‘Mandatory Arbitration’

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[In their continual effort at world domination and the end of democracy, 'mandatory arbitration' is simply the micro-economic version of macro-economic 'investor state dispute settlement' by equally in-the-bag international trade arbitrators. *RON*]

Tony Butka, City Watch LA, 6 October 2016

EASTSIDER-I am old enough to have grown up in and around labor unions and the union-management collective bargaining system, a system that today is largely broken, even as the 1/2 of 1% grow obscenely rich and the rest of us are beggared into a two class system. In fact, most people alive today have never experienced labor unions since manufacturing, American companies with roots in America, and the concept of full time employment of our citizens have all been supplanted by a new system of global financial manipulation masking as “Free Trade.” 
I mention all this because there was a method for conflict resolution that came out of those days cal…

WTO Slashes Global Trade Growth Forecast by 39% Since April: “Wake-Up Call” Says WTO Director

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[And, for me, the key point - totally missed by Trudeau in his continued support of corporatist so-called 'free-trade' agreements - is social justice: the "System should include poor countries, small firms, marginalized groups" *RON*]

Mike Shedlock, MishTalk ~ Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis, 27 September 2016

Yesterday I commented Draghi Increases Risk of Global Trade Collapse With Brexit Tough Talk.

Today, the World Trade Organization (WTO), slashed its global trade forecast by 39%.

WTI director Roberto Azevedo issued a Trade Wake-Up Call noting trade estimates are below global growth estimates for the first time in 15 years.

The World Trade Organization cut its forecast for global trade growth this year by more than a third on Tuesday, reflecting a slowdown in China and falling levels of imports into the United States. The new figure of 1.7 percent, down from the WTO’s previous estimate of 2.8 percent in April, marked …

Not so sunny ways: Canada looks the other way on arms scrutiny

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[Does Trudeau's victory cry of "Canada is back" include the idea of us being war-mongers and exporters of death? Whose Canada is back? *RON*]
Amy Lubik, Vancouver Observer, 7 October 2016

“Canada is back.” So said the new Liberal government when it took office – back to being a peace keeper nation.

During the 2015 Federal election, many social justice advocates joined the campaign to exchange the Harper government to one that would listen to the people of Canada – we thought we were in for “sunny ways,” and actual accountability for human rights.

Sadly, this week the Federal Liberal government quashed a bill put forward to form a committee to oversee arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other nations with questionable human rights records.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of Canadians are concerned about the sale of armoured vehicles to a nation that allows women to be executed for sorcery.

B.C. Accelerates Past Point Of No Return On Megaproject Overruns

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[For Christy Clark there is no such thing as austerity for crony capitalists; just the opposite. Who else will fund her retirement? *RON*]
Dermod Travis, Huffington Post, 7 October 2016

The point of no return. Works as a title for horror movies just as well as it does as a slogan for election-tailored megaprojects.

How do you get a project past the point of no return? Hit the accelerator.

Case in point: the mad dash to wrap up the Port Mann Bridge/Trans-Canada Highway deal before the 2009 election. It was the perfect storm of haste, politics and intrigue.

Consider the 53 days from Jan. 23 to March 17, 2009.

The "we have a public-private partnership deal" announcement cancelled with 18 minutes to spare. "We really have a deal this time" redux on Jan. 28. "We hold a pile-driving photo-op to show we mean it" one week later. Deal falls apart on Feb. 24. We announce a new deal on Feb. 27 and put it all to bed with everyon…

Dr. Strangelove Rides Again

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[There is, in conservative quarters of the US, a belief (see comments to the original article) that "2016 Syria is looking increasingly like 1914 Serbia." If so, that will be in large part because of successful propaganda on the part of those like Defense Secretary Carter on behalf of the military industrial complex. See also: Carter: DoD Will Rebuild, Sustain its Nuclear Deterrence Enterprise, and For $178 million, the U.S. could pay for one fighter plane – or 3,358 years of college. *RON*]

Harper, Sic Semper Tyrannis, 6 October 2016

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has revealed himself to be the 21st century's answer to the original Dr. Strangelove. Last week, while touring US nuclear weapons facilities, Carter threatened that the US was prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend against the new emerging Russian threat in Europe. Carter held a press conference at Minot, North Dakota, with a B-52 in the background, pressing for…

Plan B

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[The chancellor charts a new, non-austere fiscal course for the bumpy Brexit years. How long will it be before other European nations begin calling for the Canadian model? And yet, see also: Getting Ready for the Tory Storm in Manitoba: Austerity Measures, Balanced Budgets, Privatization*RON*]
The Economist, 8 October 2016

IT HAD been trailed for months, but in a speech on October 3rd Philip Hammond confirmed that he would no longer seek to eliminate Britain’s budget deficit by 2020. Instead, the chancellor said, fiscal policy would reflect “the new circumstances we face”. With the prospect of an economic slowdown caused by the Brexit vote, he said there was a case for “careful, targeted public investment in high-value infrastructure”, in order to boost demand.

This is music to the ears of economists, who have long argued that when productivity growth is low and interest rates are on the floor—both true in Britain—investment in large capital p…