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Showing posts from May 27, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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Calls to reform food system: 'Factory farming belongs in a museum'

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[Stop the Machine aims to put an end to methods of farming that are endangering biodiversity and wildlife the world over. See also: Michigan CAFOs get subsidies despite mounting violations, report claims. *RON*]

Bibi van der Zee, The Guardian, 24 May 2017

We can feed an extra 4 billion people a year if we reject the bloated and wasteful factory farming systems that are endangering our planet’s biodiversity and wildlife, said farming campaigner Philip Lymbery on Monday night, launching a global campaign to Stop the Machine.

At present, 35% of the world’s cereal harvest and most of its soya meal is fed to industrially reared animals rather than directly to humans. This is a “wasteful and inefficient practice” because the grain-fed animals contribute much less back in the form of milk, eggs and meat than they consume, according to Lymbery, the chief executive of Compassion in World Farming (CIWF). “The food industry seems to have been hijacked by the…

The New Class War

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[An interesting piece based on John Burnham's old (1940s) idea of the managerial revolution, which was swiped and re-peddled by John Ralston Saul in his book Unconscious Civilization. Interestingly I just had to correct my spelling; Saul's book uses the American spelling of 'civilization.' *RON*]
Michael Lind, American Affairs Journal, Summer 2017 / Volume I, Number 2


The Cold War has been followed by the class war. A transatlantic class war has broken out simultaneously in many countries between elites based in the corporate, financial, and professional sectors and working-class populists. Already this transnational class conflict has produced Brexit and the election of Donald Trump to the American presidency. Other shocks are likely in store.

None of the dominant political ideologies of the West can explain the new class war, because all of them pretend that persisting social classes no longer exist in the West. Neoliberalism—the …

Saudi Arabia: Counterterrorism Apparatus Targets Rights Activists

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[Trump's besties. UN envoy criticises abuses following a visit. Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism law and a series of related decrees are used to criminalise a wide range of acts as constituting 'terrorism' including intending to 'insult the reputation of the state,' 'harm public order,' or 'calling for atheist thought.' *RON*]
Human Rights Watch, 26 May 2017

(Beirut) – A United Nations official who recently visited Saudi Arabia has criticized the country’s use of its terrorism tribunal and counterterrorism law to unjustly prosecute human rights defenders, writers, and peaceful critics, Human Rights Watch said today. Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, issued his statement on May 4, 2017, following a visit to the country from April 30 to May 4.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manh…

“Is Inflation Understated” in Canada? You Bet: National Bank

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[The Bank of Canada says Statistics Canada understates our inflation rate by under-counting housing inflation costs. *RON*]
Wolf Richter, Wolf Street, 23 May 2017

This is how.

We have long lamented the persistent understatement of soaring US housing costs in the Consumer Price Index, and thus the understatement of overall inflation as experienced by people with a roof over the head. But now two economists from the National Bank of Canada spell out their doubts about the housing inflation component in Canada’s overall CPI.

The Consumer Price Index in Canada rose 1.6% in April year-over-year seasonally adjusted, Statistics Canada reported last week, same as in March, but down from 2.0% in February. Over the past four years, CPI inflation ranged from 0.4% to 2.4%.

For inflation lovers, it was too tame. But Canadians – like Americans who’re in a similar boat – have long complained that life overall is getting a lot more expensive a lot faster than r…

Christian Terrorist Shoots and Kills Montana Deputy

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[I looked around a bit and, while this story is covered on a number of local Montana news sites, Barrus is invariably simply described as 'the suspect' - the fact that he is a White Nationalist Christian terrorist is simply ignored. *RON*]
Michael Stone, Progressive Secular Humanist, 17 May 2017
Jesus and Guns: A gun-loving, conservative Christian, white nationalist, is under arrest for fatally shooting a Montana deputy.
Lloyd Montier Barrus, 61, is being held on a felony deliberate homicide charge after he shot and killed a Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office deputy during a traffic stop early Tuesday morning.

Barrus, an ammosexual with a love for Jesus and a contempt for authority, is being held in the Missoula County jail.

KTVQ reports Barrus is “a frequent user of social media, sharing posts of guns, hangings, Bible verses and patriotic images online,” noting:
Barrus frequently sounds a religious note in his posts, including pictures of …