Showing posts from May 29, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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

Europe can no longer ‘completely depend’ on America, Merkel says, Think Progress

The Alleged Kushner–Kislyak Meeting: Amateur Hour May Be Worse Than ‘Collusion’, National Review

Security Breach: Trump’s tussle with the bureaucratic state, Harpers [Everybody is doing a swell job of creating a crisis of legitimacy all around]

Homeland Security chief defends Russia back channel, CBC News [Homeland Security: 'This is all normal and natural'...]

Trump attacks 'fake news' following Kushner reports, Reuters [Trump: 'This is all lies and fake news!']

An Appalled Dan Rather Goes After Trump for Failing to Condemn Portland Murders as Terrorism, AlterNet

Woman found guilty and faces year in jail for laughing at Jeff Sessions, The Independent

Louisiana’s Cancer Alley Residents Push Back Against Industrial Polluters

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[Eat the rich? Poison the poor! On regulatory capture and the class wars at their ugliest. The question that defines the corporatocracy: Who does our government represent? *RON*]

Julie Dermansky, DeSmog Blog, 28 May 2017
A group of residents in St. Gabriel, a suburb of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is no stranger to industrial pollution. The small town is on the banks of the Mississippi River in a stretch of land between New Orleans and Baton Rouge containing more than 100 petrochemical factories. To the industry, it’s known as the “Petrochemical Corridor,” but to everyone else it’s “Cancer Alley.” This fact is fueling a local drive to stop any new industrial plans that would add to the area’s already heavy pollution burden.

The Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) has been assisting the Citizens for a Better St. Gabriel, a citizens group formed with the goal of halting one such company from expanding operations in their neighborhood.

The comp…

Proliferation of hate and intolerance

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[On the promotion of intolerance and inter-group hatred as a political tool. *RON*]
Daniel Little, Understanding Society, 26 May 2017

Paul Brass provides a wealth of ethnographic and historical evidence on the causes of Hindu-Muslim violence in India in The Production of Hindu-Muslim Violence in Contemporary India. His analysis here centers on the city of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, and he believes that his findings have broad relevance in many parts of India. His key conclusion is worth quoting:

It is a principal argument of this book that the whole political order in post-Independence north India and many, if not most of its leading as well as local actors -- more markedly so since the death of Nehru -- have become implicated in the persistence of Hindu-Muslim riots. These riots have had concrete benefits for particular political organizations as well as larger political uses. Hindu-Muslim opposition, tensions, and violence have provided the prin…

The last stage of the Brazilian coup

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[It looks like the one who did the ousting is close to being ousted; Brazil is a steaming mess. *RON*]
The unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens, 28 May 2017

Brazil's Temer govt revokes army deployment decree amid outrage

Brazil's government revoked Thursday a presidential decree deploying the military in Brasilia to quell mass protests against unelected President Michel Temer, high-level corruption and unpopular neoliberal austerity measures.

The government deployed soldiers Wednesday to crack down on the popular uprising, claiming that riot police forces were unable to handle the tens of thousands of demonstrators that flooded the streets of the capital city to demand Temer's resignation and early elections to choose a new president before the scheduled 2018 ballot. Organizers estimated the protests boasted a turnout of 150,000 demonstrators under the banner "Occupy Brasilia," a massive crowd in the city of about 3 millio…

Inequality is Fracturing American Democracy and Killing Prosperity

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[Social cohesion and, ultimately, democratic institutions are threatened by the flawed assumption that inequality is irrelevant. *RON*]

David Alexander, Evonomics / The National Review., 26 May 2017

American democracy is under strain.

Public disenchantment with democracy as a system of government has grown consistently in recent decades, with Gallup surveys showing a large decline of confidence in democratic institutions. The number of Americans having confidence in citizens to make good judgments “under our democratic system” is at a historic low of 56 percent. An alarming 40 percent of the population has “lost faith” in U.S. democracy, according to a poll published in the Washington Post last year. The levels of frustration reflected in these surveys — all pre-Trump administration — reveal the preconditions for dark political developments. The imperative to understand their causes could not be greater.


Hundreds rally in Burnaby to oppose Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

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[Walk for the Salish Sea comes as Kinder Morgan files initial public offering to finance project. See also: Protests, court challenges, B.C. recount: Trans Mountain IPO comes at awkward time for Kinder Morgan. *RON*]

Chad Pawson, CBC News, 28 May 2017
Hundreds of people gathered outside of Kinder Morgan's Westridge Terminal in Burnaby at the conclusion of a 75-kilometre protest march Sunday.

Those who participated in the Walk for the Salish Sea, from Victoria to the Vancouver area, are opposed to twinning the company's pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby.

Meera Bains

More than a hundred people gathered outside #kindermorgan terminal in #Burnaby vow to fight pipeline
2:50 PM - 28 May 2017

According to the event's Facebook page, the walk was against "all fossil fuel expansions in the absence of Indigenous consent, sound science and ecological balance."

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan a…