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Showing posts from April 12, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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UK tourists to US may get asked to hand in passwords or be denied entry

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[Welcome to the Police States of America. Lawyers warn that attempts to protect personal data may be seen as 'probable cause' for searching. See also: US government sued over 'suspicionless' device searches by customs officials.  *RON*]

Alex Hern, Guardian, 9 April 2017

British travellers to the United States face the uncomfortable choice of handing over personal information, including social media passwords and mobile phone contacts, or running the risk of being denied entry to the country, under a new “extreme vetting” policy being considered by the Trump administration.

Tourists from the UK and other US allies including Germany and France, could be forced to reveal personal data, as well as disclose financial information and face detailed ideological questioning, according to Trump administration officials quoted by the Wall Street Journal. While US citizens have established rights against unlawful searches at the border, the ex…

RCMP reveals use of secretive cellphone surveillance technology for the first time

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[After CBC investigation into suspicious signals in Ottawa, police offer new insight into their own tactics. They're all "open" after being "outed." See also: RCMP, CSIS launch investigations into phone spying on Parliament Hill after CBC story. *RON*]
Dave Seglins, Matthew Braga, Catherine Cullen, CBC News, 5 April 2017
The RCMP for the first time is publicly confirming it uses cellphone surveillance devices in investigations across Canada — but at the same time says the potential of unauthorized snooping in Ottawa, as reported by CBC News, poses a threat to national security.

"Absolutely," RCMP Chief Supt. Jeff Adam, who is in charge of technical investigations services, said in an unprecedented technical briefing Wednesday with reporters from CBC News, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail.

The RCMP held the briefing in the wake of a CBC News investigation that found evidence that devices known as IMSI catcher…

Pruitt's Rejection of Chlorpyrifos Ban Seems Based on "Alternative Facts"

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[Lies that harm public health while propping up the corporatocracy. The new reality: take what science says, claim the opposite and call it unbiased. *RON*]

Paul Koberstein, Earth Island Journal / Truthout, 9 April 2017

The US Environmental Protection Agency under President Trump may have stepped into the brave new world of alternative facts.

Last November, after several years of study, the EPA had announced that the insecticide chlorpyrifos poses an unacceptable risk to humans, especially children, when its residue is found in fruits, vegetables, and drinking water.

The finding cited a 2014 Columbia University study and other research showing that young people have suffered diminished cognitive abilities and reduced IQ after chronic exposures. This led the EPA to recommend a ban on all agricultural uses of chlorpyrifos -- by far the most heavily used insecticide in the US with 4 to 8 million pounds applied annually.

On a pounds per acre basis, the…

Candidate for Virginia governor says there’s nothing racist about the Confederate flag

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["If you take that away, we lose our identity." Which happens to be that of racists. Stewart chaired the Trump campaign in Virginia. *RON*]
Samantha Page, Think Progress, 9 April 2017

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart, a Republican, embraced the Confederate flag and Virginia’s history of defending slavery on Saturday, using multiple phrases that indicate his appeal to white supremacist voters.

Stewart championed Confederate leaders Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and repeatedly emphasized Virginia’s “heritage.”

“It’s the state of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. That is our heritage. It is what makes us Virginia,” Stewart said, speaking at the “Old South Ball” in Danville, Virginia, in a video posted by Blue Virginia. “If you take that away, we lose our identity.”

Maintaining white identity has been a theme of white supremacist movements. “Over time, white supremacist ideology evolved to reflect the new social and poli…

BC Liberals promise to eliminate grizzly trophy hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest

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[BC ELECTION 2017!! Clark will say ANYTHING to get re-elected; this cynic has no truth to tell. She has said for years and years that the hunt is moral, economically important, and environmentally sustainable. 90% of British Columbians oppose the hunt. Now, with one month before the election comes a total reversal. *RON*]

Jenny Uechi, National Observer, 11 April 2017

In a stunning reversal of policy, the BC Liberals are promising to eliminate grizzly bear hunting in the province's Great Bear Rainforest.

Premier Christy's Clark's Liberals made the promise as they unveiled a new platform for the May 9 provincial election that promised to protect healthy and sustainable wildlife populations.

"We must operate on the principle of conservation first in order to pass on B.C.’s natural splendour so future generations can enjoy it," said the Liberal platform. "That’s why our wildlife management practices are determined by the bes…