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Showing posts from April 18, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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


As Trump plays the global strongman, what happened to 'America first'?, The Guardian
Trump aide McMaster: Time for tough talks with Russia, Reuters
Trump's Missile Attack on Syria Justified With Fake Intelligence, Experts Say, AlterNet
US calls IMF's warnings of protectionism "rubbish", City AM
Blog Like It’s 2007, The Yorkshire Ranter [On the preparedness of US Navy aircraft carriers.]
Here's how to trade a geopolitical shock, Business Insider [Making a buck off armageddon.]

The American Government’s Secret Plan for Surviving the End of the World

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[Newly declassified CIA files offer a glimpse of the playbook the Trump administration will reach for if it stumbles into a nuclear war. *RON*]

Marc Ambinder, Foreign Policy, 14 April 2017

Among the greatest foreign-policy dilemmas faced by former President Jimmy Carter is one that has never been publicly aired but is gaining new relevance. It concerns nuclear war, and how the U.S. government would survive it. Carter’s decisions remain classified, but documents newly declassified by the CIA, along with the archives at several presidential libraries, provide a new window into the White House’s preparations for an imminent apocalypse.

Today, such an apocalypse could be triggered by any number of nuclear-armed states, including North Korea and Pakistan. During Carter’s presidency, such anxieties were focused squarely on the Soviet Union. It was during that period that military planners in both the Soviet Union and United States began to grapple with …

Christy Clark Highlights B.C.'s Low Jobless Rate, Yet Rural Areas Struggle

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[BC ELECTION 2017!! What isn't mentioned is such jobs as are being created in BC are crap; part time, low wage, insecure. Remember: A bad job is harder on your mental health than unemployment. *RON*]
Dirk Meissner, CP / Huffington Post, 17 April 2017


VICTORIA - Premier Christy Clark often highlights the fact British Columbia has the lowest jobless rate in Canada, but rural and remote areas in the province are struggling with major industry downturns and job losses.

The power of jobs to support families and build strong communities is a major theme in the Liberal leader's bid for re-election on May 9, but some mayors say high unemployment is tearing at the fabric of their communities.

"I would challenge this government to really open its eyes and look at what's going on in our small community,'' said Shirley Ackland, the mayor of Port McNeill in northern Vancouver Island. "You can't live in the north island if t…

Starving Under the Bullets in South Sudan

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[One million people on the brink of starvation. We throw the term around loosely these days, but South Sudan is surely a failed state. *RON*]
Jonathan Pedneault, Human Rights Watch / Newsweek, 11 April 2017
The sun has yet to rise when the soldiers arrive. The gunshots wake up everyone. Families scramble to get out of their houses in time. Children, mothers and elderly people run to safety as plumes of smoke rise from the village.
Women and children wait to be registered prior to a food distribution carried out by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Thonyor, Leer state, South Sudan, February 26, 2017.
2017 Reuters

It’s a familiar routine in South Sudan these days and it’s what happened in Nyaneng Gatwuol Rier’s hometown of Durbuony in February, hours before the United Nations declared a famine in her war-stricken home county of Mayendit, in the former Unity state in South Sudan.

I met her a few weeks later, as she sat under a tree in …

Study suggests income inequality pushes people to take greater risks

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[The larger the perceived gap between winners and losers, the more likely people are to make seriously risky bets. *RON*]

Bob Yirka, Phys.org, 18 April 2017

(Phys.org)—A trio of researchers, two with the University of North Carolina and the other with the University of Kentucky, has conducted two kinds of experiments with results suggesting that income inequality in a society can lead those on the bottom to take more risks in hopes of increasing their position. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Keith Payne, Jason Hannay and Jazmin Brown-Iannuzz describe their experiments and why they believe their results indicate that rising inequality in the world today could lead to a range of poor outcomes.

It is no secret that those on the lower end of the economic spectrum would like to move higher, nor is it a secret that the income inequality gap is growing in many countries across the globe. To learn more abou…

S. Europe's birth rate falls to crisis levels

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[Greek women, under austerity, are starting to refuse to have children, saying they can't afford them. If the trend continues, in 20 years they will be a nation of senior citizens. *RON*]
The Straights Times / New York Times, 18 April 2017
Insecurity reigns as economic crisis results in loss of jobs, slow recovery and financial strain
ATHENS • Greek fertility doctor Minas Mastrominas has noticed an escalation of disturbing trends at his clinic: couples insisting on only one child, women renouncing plans to conceive, and a surge in single-child parents asking him to destroy the rest of their embryos.

Women across Europe have been having fewer children for decades. But demographers are warning of a new hot spot for childlessness on the Mediterranean rim, where Europe's economic crisis has had the hardest impact.

"People are saying they can't afford more than one child, or any at all," said Dr Mastrominas, a director at Embryogen…