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Showing posts from April 1, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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Iowa lawmaker embraces forcing women to carry dead fetuses to term

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[American Taliban. Rep. Shannon Lundgren (R) said it would be fine to require women to continue such a pregnancy. *RON*]

Josh Israel, Think Progress, 30 March 2017

Iowa House Republicans advanced an unconstitutional ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy on Wednesday, sending it from the Human Resources Committee to the full House on a 11 to 8 vote. All seven Democrats and one Republican voted no. This legislation replaced their original attempt to ban abortions after just six weeks.

But a question by a Democrat on the committee revealed just how little the measure’s manager understood about the possible ramifications of her legislation — and how little concern she has for the women who face tough choices about whether to terminate a pregnancy even in the most difficult situations.

Rep. John Forbes (D), a pharmacist and the past president of the Iowa Pharmacy Association, noted that he has a pregnant daughter. During Wednesday’s committee de…

Who’s Paying for the Clean Up of the Worst Mining Spill in Canadian History?

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[Via my friend Richard. BC ELECTION 2017!! Absolutely repellent. Economist says taxpayers will be on the hook for nearly $40 million; no charges for company responsible. By the way, were you aware that MSP and Pharmacare are already, in essense, privatized? BC Pays a ‘Huge Premium’ for Contracting Out Health Admin *RON*]

Judith Lavoie, Desmog Blog, 31 April 2017

British Columbian taxpayers will be on the hook for $40 million to clean up the worst mining spill in Canadian history and the company responsible has once again escaped criminal charges after a private prosecution was dismissed this week.

In August 2014 the 40-metre-high tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine near Williams Lake collapsed, sending 25-million cubic metres of contaminated sludge and mine waste sweeping into lakes and rivers — but no charges have been laid and no fines have been levied against Imperial Metals, the parent company of Mount Polley Mining Corp.

Since 2005, Mount…

Some of the Chibok girls are getting an education and a new future

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[A bit of uplifting news for once. I do look for such stories, you know! *RON*]

Brenna Daldorph, Public Radio International, 28 March 2017

Much has been written about the Chibok girls, the 276 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok in northern Nigeria who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014. A few have been found or rescued in the past few months; most are still missing. However, there’s another group of those Chibok girls we’ve heard less about — those who managed to escape the night of the abduction.

Mary, Glory and Ladi are three such girls. Even though militants had threatened to shoot any girls who tried to escape, these three decided to risk it. They jumped from the trucks that were transporting them and fled into the forest. We're not using the girls’ last names because there are real, ongoing security concerns for them and their families.

In the weeks following the attack, Mary felt empty. She was home with her family, but she ha…

Apologies for torture seem to be the hardest words

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[No April Fool's here, sadly, just a back-handed, mealy-mouthed, semi-secretive apology from the Canadian government. No admission of guilt, no use of the word torture, no accountability for any of the people involved, never name any legal action. *RON*]
Matthew Behrens, rabble.ca, 31 March 2017

Imagine that you live in a city where you must drive past the offices of individuals whose decisions and actions led to your torture. These individuals -- they might be called "violence workers" or "desk torturers" -- are celebrated as honourable people who acted in the "best of faith" even though they knowingly created false descriptions of you as an "imminent threat" to state security, landing you in an abominable dungeon.

These individuals, we are told, made "mistakes" when they knowingly passed along questions to your captors, despite cautions that sending such inquiries would inevitably result in …

Stephen Harper Jumps Back Into Politics To Run For Tory Leader

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[Here it is, the first of April already! *RON*]
Dieter Lancebridge, Huffington Post, 1 April 2017
CALGARY - Former prime minister Stephen Harper has shocked the Canadian political world and announced he is seeking to lead the Conservative party again.

In a press release early Saturday morning, Harper says that though he has been enjoying his time away from politics and building his consulting career, he is eager for a political comeback.

“Friends, I am very excited to once again seek the leadership of our great Conservative party,” he said.

“I am entering a highly competitive field,” Harper said, noting that the 14 contenders in the Tory leadership race are all competent challengers.

“However, with all due respect to the caucus and the candidates hoping to lead it, let’s be clear: Daddy’s home, and he’s got no time for these rookie blues.”

I don’t need ‘permission to ride’

Harper’s surprising decision comes with plenty of complications and challenges,…