Showing posts from February 21, 2017

Today's Trumpery

[A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

Trump names H.R. McMaster as national security adviser, CBC [Apparently an interesting choice, described as a thoughtful outsider, careful thinker, with an analytic mind]

Nationwide 'Not My President's Day' rallies continue protests against Donald Trump, ABC News

Liberal voters warn Democratic officials: resist Trump or be replaced, The Guardian

Warning: Canada is not what you think it is, Al Jazeera

Stepping Away from Microscopes, Thousands Protest War on Science, Common Dreams

Senior Trump Appointee Fired After Critical Comments, Associated Press

Shocking extent of Greece’s poverty revealed as EU-enforced austerity cripples nation

Click here to view the original article.
[Neoliberal poster child. The economic situation in Greece is worsening despite massive bailout funds from the European Union with 22.2 percent of the population now "severely materially deprived", according to the research. *RON*]
Jon Rogers, The Express, 21 February 2017

While Greece is not the worst European country for poverty levels - Romania and Bulgaria are worse - the Mediterranean nation is not far behind as third worse, according to figures released by Eurostat.

Across EU countries, poverty levels are falling since 2008, down from 8.5 percent to 8.1 percent in 2015 but Greece’s situation is worsening rather than improving and has nearly doubled in the same period.

Over 75 per cent of households suffered a significant income reduction last year, a survey by business confederation GSEVEE and Marc pollsters found.

Bodies of 74 migrants heading to Europe wash up in Libya

Click here to view the original article.

[This while we also start to see the real face of Canada: 1 in 4 Canadians want Trump-style travel ban, poll suggests. *RON*]

Maggie Michael, Associated Press / CTV News, 21 February 2017
CAIRO -- At least 74 bodies of African migrants have washed ashore in western Libya, the Libyan Red Crescent said Tuesday, the latest tragedy at sea along a perilous but increasingly popular trafficking route to Europe.

The bodies were found near the western Libyan city of Zawiya on Monday, Red Crescent spokesman Mohammed al-Misrati told The Associated Press, adding that he feared more might surface. He said a torn rubber boat, the kind that usually carry up to 120 people, was found nearby.

The Red Crescent's branch in Zawiya said there are bodies still floating out at sea but it has no means to retrieve them.

Pathetic education funding announcement adds up to about half a textbook per student

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[ELECTION BC 2017!! They're basically returning a fraction of what they took away. Critics and teachers quickly pointed out that government's February 19 announcement of less than $50 per student for classroom supplies won't go far enough to make up for years of cuts under the B.C. Liberal government. *RON*]
Patti Bacchus, Vancouver Observer, 20 February 2017

It says something about Christy Clark’s public education record when government thinks kids getting a new textbook (actually probably about half a textbook given today’s prices) is worthy of a news release. Because — sadly — it is. That’s how low this government has sunk when it comes to education funding.

The Real Reason You Can’t Afford a Home

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[Via my friend Richard. A good illustration of a concrete result of the reliance of the economy on non-value-adding financial activities as opposed to real production. Some good reader comments accompany the original article. *RON*]

Geoff Dembicki,, 20 February 2017

In cities like Vancouver only a privileged few can afford to own a home. The rent that the rest of us have to pay is going up all the time. The shops, restaurants and gathering spots that give our neighbourhoods life are turning into pricey boutiques and luxury high-rises. And nobody seems to understand why. We blame the new art gallery in a low-income area. The hip coffee shop that follows. The developer who buys up all the surrounding property. Or the foreign buyers who snap up the new condo units before they’re even built. In our confusion, we often blame ourselves.

Life changes you, 60-year study finds

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[I'll take this as a hopeful sign: it's never too late to improve yourself! :-) *RON*]

Rosemary Bennett, The Times, 21 February 2017
Perseverance, stability, conscientiousness: character traits that, once instilled, will last a lifetime.

Not according to a groundbreaking study spanning six decades, which discovered that personalities change “beyond recognition” between adolescence and old age as life takes its toll.

In the longest such study conducted, researchers from the University of Edinburgh found that personal qualities they assumed were innate altered greatly between the ages of 14 and 77.