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Showing posts from March 15, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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Vibrator maker ordered to pay out C$4m for tracking users' sexual activity

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[Boy oh boy, Big Brother is watching closely! Canadian manufacturer We-Vibe collected data about temperature and vibration intensity, revealing intimate information without customers’ knowledge. *RON*]

Alex Hern, The Guardian, 14 March 2017
Sex toy maker We-Vibe has agreed to pay customers up to C$10,000 (£6,120) each after shipping a “smart vibrator” which tracked owners’ use without their knowledge.

Following a class-action lawsuit in an Illinois federal court, We-Vibe’s parent company Standard Innovation has been ordered to pay a total of C$4m to owners, with those who used the vibrators associated app entitled to the full amount each. Those who simply bought the vibrator can claim up to $199.

The Foreign Workers of Mar-A-Lago

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[What's with the New Yorker? Granted, absolutely, it's horribly two-faced of Trump to cut back on foreign worker visas while staffing his palace with immigrant labor. But for the New Yorker to use an Indian writer to complain about this, then to say we should, instead, be giving more visas to Indians in high tech?!? *RON*]
Sheelah Kolhatkar, New Yorker, 20 March 2017 ISSUE
When it comes to America’s technology industry, Donald Trump takes a dim view of foreign workers. “I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program”—it provides visas for technical and skilled employees—“and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers for every visa and immigration program,” he said in a statement a year ago. “No exceptions.”

When it comes to the hospitality industry, though, Trump is much more, well, hospitable. His Administration recently made it harder to get H1-B visas, but he has expressed no objection to the visa cate…

Rep. Gutierrez Handcuffed After Refusing to Leave Meeting with ICE

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[For us Canucks, ICE is Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "In 20-plus years, I have never heard of the Republicans controlling what meetings Democrats can have with officials of the Executive Branch and never had a staffer ask me to leave a meeting to which I am entitled to attend." *RON*]

Shelby Bremer, NBC Chicago, 13 March 2017


Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez was briefly handcuffed after refusing to leave a meeting with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Chicago, saying he planned to risk arrest by staying at the agency’s office in The Loop until demands are met.

The Democratic congressman led a sit-in following a meeting that began around 10 a.m. Monday with a delegation of activists that included about 22 advocates, attorneys, community leaders and other local elected officials, according to Gutierrez's spokesman Douglas Rivlin.

The Rising Tide of Militarism in the 21st Century: From Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump

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[A few basic facts about trends in US military imperialism. *RON*]
The James Petras Website, 11 March 2017


Introduction: US militarism expanded exponentially through the first two decades of the Twenty-First Century, and was embraced by both Democratic and Republican Presidents. The mass media’s hysteria towards President Trump’s increase in military spending deliberately ignores the vast expansion of militarism, in all its facets, under President Obama and his two predecessors, Presidents ‘Bill’ Clinton and George Bush, Jr.




We will proceed in this essay to compare and discuss the unbroken rise of militarism over the past seventeen years. We will then demonstrate that militarism is an essential structural feature of US imperialism’s insertion in the international system.

EPA Official Accused of Helping Monsanto `Kill' Cancer Study

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[The corporatocracy and regulatory capture. Monsanto is fighting suits claiming it hid Roundup health risk. ‘I should get a medal,’ regulator allegedly bragged to company. *RON*]
Joel Rosenblatt, Lydia Mulvany, & Peter Waldman, Bloomberg, 14 March 2017

The Environmental Protection Agency official who was in charge of evaluating the cancer risk of Monsanto Co.’s Roundup allegedly bragged to a company executive that he deserved a medal if he could kill another agency’s investigation into the herbicide’s key chemical.

The boast was made during an April 2015 phone conversation, according to farmers and others who say they’ve been sickened by the weed killer. After leaving his job as a manager in the EPA’s pesticide division last year, Jess Rowland has become a central figure in more than 20 lawsuits in the U.S. accusing the company of failing to warn consumers and regulators of the risk that its glyphosate-based herbicide can cause non-Hodgkin’…