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Showing posts from February 23, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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If Trudeau Really Blames Corporate Elites, Why Did He Sign CETA?

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[Then, with his other hand, he signs away our sovereignty with this kind of crap. The neoliberal "with a heart." *RON*]
Daniel Tencer, Huffington Post, 22 February 2017
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, bedecked in tuxedo and tails, stood before a crowd of some of Europe's richest and most powerful people last week and told them to get in touch with the middle class.

"It's time to pay a living wage, to pay your taxes and give your workers the benefits -- and peace of mind -- that come with stable, full-time contracts," Trudeau told the St. Matthews gala dinner crowd in Hamburg, Germany.

Trudeau wasn't entirely blind to the context of his speech.

Defending the Court Challenges Program

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[On the one hand, Trudeau does stuff like this which, along with reinstating all-Party representation on committees, gives a real boost to Canadian democracy. The program is a powerful symbol of Canadians’ commitment to our Constitution. *RON*]
Carissima Mathen,Kyle Kirkup, Policy Options, 22 February 2017

After much anticipation, the federal government has announced the reinstatement of the Court Challenges Program. Set to cost $12 million over five years, the CCP will assist Canadians with legal challenges to advance and protect their Charter rights. The decision is a welcome one.

The program’s history spans some 40 years. It was introduced in skeletal form in 1978, applying only to minority language rights. In 1985, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney extended it to equality rights challenges to federal laws. Mulroney ended the Program in 1992, but the Liberals under Jean Chrétien resurrected it two years later.

After coming to power in 2006, Prime M…

Outside coastal cities an ‘other America’ has different values and challenges

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[The class losers of neoliberalism. I don't think this surprises anyone - everyone believes this was a major factor in the election of Donald Trump. Although Anthony, interviewed here, has a different take: "Most people in this neighborhood sat idle. We didn’t have a dog in this fight." In any case, beyond the bubbles of the big cities and elite college campuses is an America that has faced a downward trajectory for decades. *RON*]
Chris Arnade, The Guardian, 21 February 2017

Anthony Rice’s house in Youngstown, Ohio is a mile away from a river valley once filled with factories offering jobs. Many of those left in the 1980s, and with them, many residents.

His home is one of the few occupied on the street. Empty lots or boarded-up homes make up most of the block. He points to those remaining, listing his neighbors and their age. They are all over 70. “This neighborhood is okie-dokie, although not much goes down here”, he says. “Stores …

Ireland's Brexit Meltdown

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[Great fear in Ireland of what effect Brexit will have on them; they are strong advocates for a soft Brexit. I have no idea what the photo below has to do with this story! *RON*]
Charlie Cooper, Politico, 22 February 2017

DUBLIN — Forget about the Brexit upside. Just weeks before British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to pull the trigger that begins divorce negotiations, Dublin is convinced that Britain’s departure from the EU will be disastrous and is desperate for the rest of Europe not to forget its plight.

The turning point was May’s admission that Britain intended to leave the single market and probably the customs union, delivered in a speech at Lancaster House in London in January, which set out the prime minister’s vision for a United Kingdom outside the EU.

No One Can Figure Out What's Behind a Mysterious Radiation Spike Across Europe

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[Short answer: It appears to be linked to pharmaceutical manufacture in Eastern Europe. Very similar to an incident from 2011. *RON*
BEC Crew, Science Alert, 21 February 2017
Small amounts of nuclear radiation spread across Europe last month, and no one can figure out why.

First detected over the Norway-Russia border in January, the radioactive Iodine-131 bloom was then found over several European countries, and while unsubstantiated rumours of nuclear testing by Russia have been cropping up, officials say it's most likely linked to an unreported pharmaceutical mishap.

While the radiation spike happened in January, officials in Finland and Francehave only just gone public with information on the incident, announcing that after the spike was detected in Norway, it appeared in Finland, Poland, Czechia (Czech Republic), Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January.