Showing posts from January 20, 2017

Dow Chemical Wants Farmers to Keep Using a Pesticide Linked to Autism and ADHD

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[The corporatocracy swings its bloody legal scythe over the bodies of the poor who complain about their debilitating and deadly toxins. *RON*]

Sharon Lerner, The Intercept, 14 January 2017

ON MONDAYS, MAGDA and Amilcar Galindo take their daughter Eva to self-defense class. Eva is 12 but her trusting smile and arching pigtails make her look younger. Diagnosed with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, Eva doesn’t learn or behave like the typical 12-year-old. She struggles to make change, and she needs help with reading and social situations. Eva’s classmates are sometimes unkind to her, and Magda worries for her daughter’s feelings and her safety. So once a week, after they drive her from her middle school in Modesto, California, to her tutor in nearby Riverbank, the Galindos rush off to the gym where they cheer Eva on as she wrestles with a heavy bag and punches the air with her skinny arms.

White Paper on Asia-Pacific Security Reveals China’s Regional Ambitions

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[Realpolitik. China continues to talk about consensus, cooperation and common security while acting unilaterally with a show of military force to protect what it sees as its interests in the South China Sea. As usual, the Chinese perspective is all between the lines. *RON*]
Manoj Joshi, The Wire, 14 January 2017

China’s policy white paper on Asia-Pacific security cooperation, its first ever dealing with the region, signals the country’s desire to put its own stamp on the region’s security order. The central thrust of the document, issued on Wednesday, January 11, is security cooperation. The document mentions, but does not dwell, on “hotspot” issues like the Korean nuclear crisis, the Afghan reconciliation process, the South China Sea dispute or, as it is often called, the Senkaku-Diaoyu issue.

Austerity isn’t a fix for Canada’s debt problems

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[When a badly planned stimulus fails to deliver, the answer is not austerity, it's a better planned stimulus. One good example is given here: the impact of universal childcare on the economy is positive and large. Pharmacare is another good one. *RON*]

Tom Parking, Toronto Sun, 15 January 2017

A Finance Department report from December is raising new concerns about deficits – and a return to cuts and austerity.

The federal government’s plan is to run deficits of up to $30 billion, then return to balance. But the Finance report says falling GDP growth projections means deficits will continue until 2051.

That projection has set Ottawa chins wagging about a new round of budget cuts from the Trudeau government. Big business lobby groups quickly gave their encouragement on that point.

Justin Trudeau promised changes to draconian Bill C-51. We're still waiting

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[Fervent election-time promises but, 15 months later, no action from Trudeau. Let us recall that Trudeau supported Harper's legislation, while Bill C-51 was opposed by the Green Party, the Bloc Québecois and the NDP. And why might this be so? See also: How governments and corporations will use C-51 against pipeline resisters. *RON*]
Dennis Gruending,, 15 January 2017

In June 2015, the Conservative government passed the Anti-Terrorism Act, which is also known as Bill C-51. It gave sweeping new powers to Canada’s spy and security agencies. For example, the legislation broadened the definition of "security" in a way which could criminalize peaceful protests. It also permitted agents of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to disrupt events preemptively rather than being limited to monitoring them.

Other countries, including the U.S., have at least some semblance of oversight on their spy agencies. In Canada MPs and Sen…

Are the billionaire American Koch brothers playing climate politics in Alberta?

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[What's your guess as to the answer to this question? *RON*]

Elizabeth McSheffrey, National Observer, 13 January 2017
It’s a well-known fact that Charles and David Koch — owners of the second-largest private company in America — have been funding climate change denial in the U.S. for decades.

British Columbia: The ‘Wild West’ of Canadian Political Cash

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[BC ELECTION 2017!! She ran off a podium and out a side door from a public meeting yesterday to avoid being questioned about this. See also: ‘It’s embarrassing’: Experts, politicians weigh in on New York Times article exposing B.C. political cash, and NDP fails to sway B.C. Liberals on banning corporate and union donations. *RON*]

Dan Levin, New York TImes, 13 January 2017

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — As the premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark is on the public payroll, pulling down a salary of 195,000 Canadian dollars in taxpayer money. But if that were not enough, she also gets an annual stipend of up to 50,000 Canadian dollars — nearly $40,000 — from her party, financed by political contributions.