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Showing posts from January 3, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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Rafe’s New Year’s letter to Trudeau: Time for PM to get to know BC…for real

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[CLASSIC Rafe! :-D *RON*]

Rafe Mair, Commonsense Canadian, 31 December 2016
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

Allow me to introduce myself. I am a lifelong, pretty old British Columbian who loves his province with the same passion I’m sure people in Trois Rivières love theirs. Your inferential calling BC’s patriotism into question because we will vigorously oppose your approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline demonstrates clearly that you’re quite unable to understand this, your connections to BC notwithstanding.

$2,000,000,000,000 in Proceeds of Corruption Removed from China and Taken to US, Australia, Canada and Netherlands

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[Wow! Only a handful of nations in the world have economies as big as the proceeds of corruption are in China. *RON*]

By Christine Duhaime, Duhaime's Money Laundering Law in Canada, 2 January 2017

The questions and answers I’ve been asked the most in 2016 about China:

Q: How much money has been removed from China in proceeds of corruption?
A: According to the Bank of China, way over US$120 Billion or CAD$160 Billion between the years 1995-2008. China appears to have quit sharing data officially after 2011 because it said at that time that the outflows of proceeds of corruption was severe enough to threaten its economy and its political stability.

However, a Chinese Commission later said this:
The amount more than doubled in 2010 to US$412 Billion (CAD$553 Billion);In 2011, it was at US$600 Billion (CAD$806 Billion);In 2012, it was at US$1 Trillion (CAD$1.3 Trillion); andBy 2013, it was at US$1.5 Trillion (CAD$2 Trillion). China also has something…

A simple guide to CRISPR, one of the biggest science stories of 2016

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[You will be hearing more about CRISPR gene editing, so this is a good read if you know little about what it is, what it can be used for, and the implications of all this. *RON*]
Brad Plumer & Javier Zarracina, Vox, 30 December 2016
One of the biggest and most important science stories of 2016 will probably also be one of the biggest science stories of the next decade. So this is as good a time as any to get acquainted with the powerful new gene-editing technology known as CRISPR.

If you haven’t heard of CRISPR yet, the short explanation goes like this: In the past four years, scientists have figured out how to exploit a quirk in the immune systems of bacteria to edit genes in other organisms — plant genes, mouse genes, even human genes. With CRISPR, they can now make these edits quickly and cheaply, in days rather than weeks or months. (The technology is often known as CRISPR/Cas9, but we’ll stick with CRISPR, pronounced “crisper.”)

Reading Burma

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[In his refreshingly pessimistic account of modern Burma, Blood, Dreams and Gold, Richard Cockett argues that recent democratic reforms "only serve to disguise the country’s underlying divisions rather than resolve them". The oppression of the Rohingya minority has intensified since the military ceded power to Aung San Suu Kyi, who was viewed almost as a saint during her decades of house arrest, but who now displays "a ravenous egotism that perhaps the years of isolation only made worse." *RON*]

Sebastian Strangio. LA Review of Books, 1 January 2017


The Lady and the Generals: Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma’s Struggle for Freedom. By Peter Popham. Published 03.10.2016, Rider Books, 480 Pages
Blood, Dreams and Gold: The Changing Face of Burma. By Richard Cockett. Published 10.27.2015, Yale University Press, 296 Pages
The Rebel of Rangoon: A Tale of Defiance and Deliverance in Burma. By Delphine Schrank. Published 07.14.2016, Nation B…

Finland launches basic income experiment with Jan. 1 cheques for those in pilot project

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[Project could see jobless citizens receive $782 a month, regardless of employment income or other government benefits, with no rules on how to spend it. See also: 'A rare opportunity' for basic income pilot project on P.E.I., and Ontario to test basic income project amid criticism. *RON*]
Associated Press, CBC News, 3 January 2017
Finland has become the first country in Europe to pay its unemployed citizens a basic monthly income, amounting to 560 euros ($782 Canadian), in a unique social experiment which is hoped to cut government red tape, reduce poverty and boost employment.