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Showing posts from December 19, 2016

Today's Trumpery

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A brief history of the times the US meddled in others' elections

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[Just a bit of a reality-check before people get too worked up about Putin. *RON*]

T.J. RaphaelThe Takeaway, Public Radio International, Producer Dana Roberson, 14 December 2016

US lawmakers and officials continue to respond to CIA reports that Russia deliberately interfered with the November election in order to get Donald Trump elected. Yet, intervening in foreign election is nothing new, particularly for the US.

For decades, American intelligence agencies have used clandestine tactics to put leaders into office who are favorable to US national interests. This practice of meddling dates back to the early days of the CIA and was seen as a necessary strategy to contain the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Pig CAFOs influence timing of human flu seasons, study shows

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[Corporatocracy and public health. It's been known for some time now that huge industrial pig farms are hot-beds of flu production and transmission. *RON*]

Maryn McKenna, The Fern, 15 December 2016

The enormous numbers of animals concentrated in industrial pig farms are changing the pattern of flu seasons, by providing flu viruses a place to jump between humans and animals and multiply faster than they otherwise would, according to new research from North Carolina — a state that is second only to Iowa in pig production.

Using publicly available data, researchers at Duke University mapped the locations of swine in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in North Carolina, which sells almost 10 million hogs per year and accounts for more than 14 percent of the U.S. pig market. They crossmatched that information with data on the occurrence of flu in the state during four flu seasons, from 2008 to 2012. They found that in two of those flu se…

You Might Have Earned It, But Don’t Forget That Your Wealth Came from Society

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[I have self-satisfied acquaintances who could use this reminder. To be human is to earn the right to share in the wealth generated by productive social institutions. *RON*]

By Ryan Avent, Evonomics, n.d., posted December 2016

Like most people, I often wonder if I am paid fairly. I like to think that I am very good at my job. But I am keenly aware of my bargaining power. It amounts to this: I can threaten to go and maybe The Economist won’t want me to. And yet there are large numbers of people out there who could do my job well. My training and fluency in Economist culture are important to my professional success, and yet there are vast numbers of people out there with similar skills and experience, who could learn the culture if given the opportunity.

Inside Quebec's far right: Soldiers of Odin leadership shake-up signals return to extremist roots

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[It started with the Quebec Charter of Rights. "'We won't allow them to bring mayhem to our streets and the gang rapes that we're seeing in certain countries... What we've aimed for since we started Soldiers of Odin is to unite all the groups of what we'll call the far right because our common denominator is the system,' he said. The system... refers to a situation whereby 'the people' are systematically deprived of power by 'elites.'" *RON*]

Jonathan Montpetit, CBC News, 15 December 2016
Related Stories
Inside Quebec's far right: A secretive online group steps into the real world
Soldiers of Odin, European 'extreme anti-refugee group,' sets up chapters in Canada
Soldiers of Odin Canada president says group is dealing with many misconceptions
Edmonton police threaten charges for distributing anti-Islam flyers

In the early evening darkness, four figures huddled in the parking lot of a Quebe…

Brazil austerity move slammed as disaster for the poor

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[Critics say government bid to pull country out of worst recession in decades with drastic measure hurts poorest most. See also: Thirty thousand march in Madrid against austerity policies; and Greece's anti-austerity measures incur creditors' wrath. *RON*]

Sam Cowie, Al Jazeera, 18 December 2016

Sao Paulo, Brazil - The government's attempt to pull the country out of its worst recession in decades via a drastic austerity measure has been blasted by critics - including a UN special rapporteur - as a disaster for the poor.