Showing posts from February 18, 2017

Today's Trumpery

[A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. A reader commented that they can't get through to places like Financial Times when clicking the links. Some places I post are subscription services. Typically, with Financial Times and quite a few other subscription services, if you cut and paste the title into Google News, it will show up and can be read for free. Other times, right-clicking on a story title and opening it in an incognito window helps. *RON*]

Donald Trump aide accuses BBC of 'fake news', BBC News
Robert Reich: Donald Trump's 'America First' Economics is Pure Demagoguery, AlterNet
Trump’s pick to replace Flynn as national security adviser turns down job, National Post
Mike Pence pledges Washington’s unwavering support for Nato, Financial Times
European Union president rejects Trump call for more NATO spending, CNBC
Damaging leaks target Trump’s inner circle, Republican warns: ‘Next it will be Kellyanne Conway’, Ottawa Citizen [How about being tran…

Police Reform Is Impossible in America

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[And, speaking of no justice... "In a country that has identified black people as its criminal element, public safety (and perceived security) is more tied to the suppression of blacks than it is to the suppression of crime. And as long as the public insists on its myth of black criminality—almost as an article of faith—police practices will be impossible to reform." *RON*]
Donovan X. Ramsey, Gawker, 3 February 2017

In recent weeks, the White House has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening "community policing" around the country. The U.S. Conference of Mayors has coalesced around the same theme, releasing a report days ago with recommendations for community policing measures to be adopted nationally. The suggestions for building better "relationships" and boosting "trust" are comprehensive but, for a national crisis brought on by the killing of unarmed black people, there's one thing conspicuously…

How to Solve Income Inequality

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[No magic bullets, only justice and common sense, the world's two rarest commodities at present. *RON*]
John Divine, U.S.News & World Report / Yahoo! News, 14 February 2017

Consider this shocking statistic on income inequality: The eight richest men on earth control as much wealth as half of the global population, or the poorest 3.6 billion people.

While those are global statistics, the problem is mind-numbing in the U.S., too. The top 1 percent of American households earned an average of $1.26 million in 2014; the bottom 90 percent got an average of $33,068. And since 1965, income inequality has worsened: The ratio of CEO pay to worker wages skyrocketed from 20-to-1 to 303-to-1 in 2014.

This increasingly gratuitous income inequality gap is contributing to global poverty, health crises, crime and the slow death of class mobility, the backbone of the American dream.

So, how can society change to narrow this wealth gap? There's no single a…

Humans causing climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces

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[Researchers behind ‘Anthropocene equation’ say impact of people’s intense activity on Earth far exceeds that of natural events spread across millennia. *RON*]

Melissa Davey, The Guardian, 12 February 2017
For the first time, researchers have developed a mathematical equation to describe the impact of human activity on the earth, finding people are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces.

The equation was developed in conjunction with Professor Will Steffen, a climate change expert and researcher at the Australian National University, and was published in the journal The Anthropocene Review.

'A deal for the people': European Parliament approves trade deal with Canada

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[A statement from the European Union suggests that a provisional application is possible by (appropriately enough) April 1. Hang on to your medication receipts as memorabilia of the days of 'affordable' drugs. This is the clincher, though - an uninformed public: Majority of Canadians back the CETA deal. *RON*]
Janyce McGregor, CBC News, 16 February 2017

The European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday approved the Canada-EU trade agreement after a noisy and sometimes emotional debate.

Roughly 58 per cent of the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted to ratify the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), setting the stage for provisional application of nearly 90 per cent of the agreement later this spring.

"This is a deal for the people," International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne said after the vote, emphasizing how the agreement will offer consumers more choice and lower costs.

"Trade …

Trudeau blames corporate elites for rise in global public anger

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[And it doesn't have a thing to do with the elite's lap dogs, Trump, Merkel and Trudeau? He's simply asking corporatocrats to retract their fangs a millimeter so their mutual food source doesn't expire of exsanguination. See also: Against all odds, CETA, Canada’s trade deal with Europe, moves forward. Now what?, and With CETA, Canada swims against the anti-trade tide. *RON*]

Bill Curry, The Globe and Mail, 17 February 2017

Justin Trudeau is blaming corporate and government leaders for the spike in global anger rocking world politics, warning that low wages and the shift to precarious part-time work is at the heart of why citizens are opposing traditional powers.

Speaking at the St. Matthew’s Day banquet – an elite, black-tie event in Hamburg with a tradition that dates back centuries – the Prime Minister said companies contribute to public anger when they post record profits on the backs of workers who are underpaid and overworked.