Showing posts from August, 2017

Today's Trumpery


Neither racism nor violence will be tolerated in Quebec City: Mayor Labeaume

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[Quebec needs to work hard if it hopes to shed its image as Canada's Mississippi. See also: Police and counter-protesters clash in Quebec City outside right-wing event. *RON*]
CTV, 21 August 2017

A day after a protest and counter-protest violently clashed in Quebec City, Mayor Regis Labeaume is fuming.

Nearly 1,000 people came out to oppose the anti-immigration message of La Meute, an anti-immigration, anti-Islam far-right group.

La Meute -- the Wolf pack -- was able to march in Quebec City, but hours later than originally planned.

Police kept the small group penned up in a parking garage when groups of protesters using so-called Black Bloc tactics -- dressing in black, wearing masks, and provoking police -- turned violent.

After yelling at riot police, those counter-protesters hurled smoke bombs and bottles at police, set a garbage bin on fire and threw chairs in the street.

Though both La Meute and counter-protest organizer Jaggi Singh ar…

Canada can win by saying 'yes' to B.C.'s sustainable future

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[A flawed review, major public and Indigenous opposition, legal challenges and bad economics make the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain project bad news for BC. Here's a good read from economist Robyn Allan about why the provincial government's actions to defend against the risky project are a step towards a more sustainable economy in BC. *RON*]

By Robyn Allan, National Observer, 21 August 2017
Two years ago, Justin Trudeau recognized that the National Energy Board could not be trusted.

The man who would become prime minister said the Board had torqued reviews making it easy to recommend approval. At the time, he promised that the regulator's review of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain expansion proposal would be redone.

In August, 2015, while on the campaign trail, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau told the Dogwood Initiative's Kai Nagata that the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion review process would have to be redone as part of an…

Goldman Sachs, the president of the US

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[Via my good friend Richard. The key impact of the fall of the USSR was not the emergence of the US as the head of a monopolar world, it was the emergence of corporations as the head of a monopolar world. *RON*]

Jon RappoportJon Rappoport Blog / OpEdNews, 21 August 2017

In this article, I'm not going to trace and list all the Obama and Trump appointees who have ties to Goldman Sachs. The sources are easily available. The Hillary Clinton connections are clear as well.

The point is, Goldman and its allies can exert enormous influence on the direction of the trillion-dollar casino called the stock market.

And the stock market is the universally perceived indicator of the health or illness of the US economy.

The economy is Trump's trump card. If the stock market plummets and stays down, his credibility as president takes a hit of far more serious proportions than anything we've seen so far.

Keep in mind, as well, that giant pension fun…

UK subprime lender loses two-thirds of value as CEO quits

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[Shares dropped 63 per cent. "A catastrophic share price drop in a subprime lender — it's like the last 10 years never happened," said Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital. *RON*]

Pan Pylas, Associated Press / ABC News, 22 August 2017

Provident Financial, a British subprime lender, saw two-thirds of its market value wiped out Tuesday after the company issued another profit warning and revealed that its chief executive was leaving with immediate effect.

Provident Financial's share price closed down a whopping 66 percent at 5.90 pounds, meaning the company isn't even worth 1 billion pounds ($1.29 billion) anymore.

It may not be the biggest of companies but its stock market retreat stands to be one of the largest daily falls in the 33-year history of the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares. Provident is set to lose its place among British blue chip stocks at the next quarterly update.

Its stock market fall from g…

From slavery to street battles, a migrant crisis swamps Europe and Africa

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[The comment section of the original article, even though it is undoubtedly audited, makes me think the world is going to get far worse before it gets any better. *RON*]

Bel Trew, The Times, 23 August 2017

The young Ghanaian migrant had already been robbed at gunpoint, left to die in the desert, kidnapped and tortured. Then he was sold into slavery.

From the moment that Abdulaziz, 25, crossed Libya’s vast desert border from Niger in 2015, he was at the mercy of heavily armed traffickers and militiamen. His story became even more violent in the past 12 months as Libya’s lucrative people-smuggling business morphed into a full-blown slave trade.

Hundreds of thousands of migrants, who like Abdulaziz travelled to Libya to make a living or to catch dinghies to Europe, are trapped in a hellish world where they are repeatedly bought and sold by rival gangs.

“I was a slave for one year in Qatrun,” said Abdulaziz, referring to a town in southwest Libya. …

Today's Trumpery

[Welcome to the monkey house. A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

‘Don’t look!’ yells White House staffer as Trump looks at solar eclipse without glasses, The Star [Just the sort of bold, direct action we need to #MakeAmericaBlindAgain]
Coal Mining Health Study Is Halted by Interior Department, New York Times [Giving the middle finger to Appalachian communities.]
Millionaire wife of Trump’s treasury secretary mocks Oregon mom for not being rich, Think Progress
With No Timetable for Withdrawal, Trump Expands War in Afghanistan While Threatening Pakistan, Democracy Now!
The Activists Who Helped Shut Down Trump's CEO Councils, truthout
Trump's inability to get anything done is crushing one key area of the stock market, Business Insider

Former top Lloyds executives are suing the lender over unpaid bonuses

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[From the Unmitigated Gall Department. *RON*]

Camilla Hodgson, Business Insider, 22 August 2017
LONDON – Two former top employees of Lloyds Banking Group are suing the lender over unpaid bonuses, dating back several years.

Former Chief Executive Eric Daniels and former head of Lloyds' wholesale banking arm Truett Tate filed claims with the High Court, for what they allege was an unfair decision not to pay them part of a bonus in 2012.

Daniels is thought to be seeking about £500,000, while Tate's claim is as yet unknown.

Daniels was the lender's chief executive in the lead up to the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent £20 billion bailout

As a result of the bailout, Lloyds merged with HBOS and the state took 43% ownership, the last of which it sold earlier this year.

A source with knowledge of the claim told The Times that the bonuses had allegedly been based on performance targets, which both men had met and yet had not been paid. Both hav…

Gum disease sufferers 70% more likely to get dementia

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[Yet another reason to brush and floss regularly! *RON*]

Chris Smyth, The Times, 22 August 2017
People with long-term gum disease are 70 per cent more likely to develop dementia, researchers have found.

Scientists believe that inflammation caused by years of mouth problems could eventually damage the brain. Although the study of 28,000 people could not prove that gum disease directly caused Alzheimer’s, experts said that proper tooth-brushing could be advised to ward off dementia if further research confirmed the link.

Gum disease is caused by the build-up of plaque that results in swelling and infections. It can usually be treated by thorough cleaning but research is finding that long-term problems are linked to a wide range of illnesses including heart disease and cancer.

Previous studies have found that dementia patients with gum disease tend to get worse quicker but, unlike the new research, were unable to determine which condition came first.


How the tech sector can legally justify breaking ties to extremists

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[I still disagree. These guys thrive on their persecution complexes, so this will only fuel their righteous indignation. And they will find a new ISP. And censorship is nearly never a good idea. See also: Canada's conservative Rebel Media site down after service cut. *RON*]

David Kravets, Ars Technica, 17 August 2017
In the wake of recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, a swath of the tech sector has undergone a renaissance of sorts and announced that it was reducing or examining its ties to extremist groups.

CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince said what a lot of executives were thinking when deciding to cancel service to the neo-Nazi site, the Daily Stormer. The site celebrated the death of a Charlottesville protester and sparked a tech-sector backlash against hate speech.

"My rationale for making this decision was simple: the people behind the Daily Stormer are assholes and I'd had enough," Prince said. "Let me be clear…

Barcelona attack: Van driver shot dead by police

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[Of the 12 members of the cell, 8 are dead and 4 are in custody. *RON*]

BBC News, 21 August 2017
Police have shot dead the main suspect in last Thursday's Barcelona attack, Younes Abouyaaqoub.

They believe he was the driver of a van which careered down the Las Ramblas avenue, killing 13 and injuring more than 100 others.

He was killed some 25 miles (40km) west of Barcelona near a sewage treatment works following a tip off.

Abouyaaqoub, wearing a fake explosive belt, is reported to have shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Greatest").

An extensive manhunt was already under way when police closed in on the Subirats area, close to Sant SadurnĂ­ d'Anoia.

A petrol station employee spotted Abouyaaqoub and called the police who found him hiding in vineyards.

After he was shot, bomb disposal officers used a robot to examine the fake explosive belt. This led to some delay before Moroccan-born Abouyaaqoub could be officially identified.


In reversal, Cambridge University Press restores articles after China censorship row

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[Having caved in to pressure from the Chinese government, bold and brave Cambridge University now caves in to public pressure from academics. A good result, but not a shining moment for the university administration. And I think their saying that this was a temporary ban while they consulted with the academic community is, simply, a lie. *RON*]

Simon Denyer, Washington Post, 21 August 2017

BEIJING — Cambridge University Press reversed course Monday after facing a major backlash from academics over its decision to bow to Chinese government demands to censor an important academic journal.

The British-based publisher announced Friday it had removed 300 articles and book reviews from a version of the China Quarterly website available in China at the request of the government. But on Monday, it rescinded that decision after outrage from the international academic community.

It said the original move had only been a “temporary decision” pending discus…

Today's Trumpery

[Welcome to the monkey house. A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

Stealth Voters Facilitate Trump´s Poll Vault to Victory, Psychology Today [Argues that Trump won via voters who were too ashamed to tell pollsters that they'd voted for him]
Gary Cohn stays put — for now — following Trump’s comments on Charlottesville, Washington Post [The White House; not an easy place to be a Jew]
Pentagon Forces Out Popular Press Spokesman, Foreign Policy
Carl Icahn’s Failed Raid on Washington, The New Yorker [Interesting read]
Trump Knows Exactly What He’s Doing, The Atlantic [Walking a rightist, righteous political tight-rope]
Things Don’t End Well for Madmen, Foreign Policy

How Much Should Major Polluters Pay? A Case Against DuPont Provides a Model

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[An interesting read on scientific sleuthing in the interest of corporate accountability. A biologist traced mercury from a company spill to contamination in songbirds, and devised a new way to hold polluters financially accountable. *RON*]

Paul Greenberg, Audubon, 16 August 2017
It was just another sweltering summer afternoon gathering blood samples from Shenandoah Valley birds when the news came in. The ornithologist Dan Cristol had been conducting a preliminary assessment funded by DuPont to determine to what degree the company’s pollution of the watershed might have affected the avian community. DuPont was facing potential legal action and had cautiously agreed to one summer of funding for a small team to gauge just how expensive fixing the damages might be. True to his nature, Cristol hadn’t been tentative in his research. He and his students had skulked into stream-bank kingfisher nests, cornered screech owls near bridges, and mist-netted d…