Showing posts from May 30, 2017

Today's Trumpery


Why 3,000 Scientists Think Nuclear Arsenals Make Us Less Safe

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[Apparently, it takes rocket scientists to tell us that nuclear weapons aren't good for us. Despite what you hear in the news, an atomic war between the superpowers is still the biggest threat. *RON*]

Max Tegmark, Scientific American, 26 May 2017

Delegates from most United Nations member states are gathering in New York next month to negotiate a nuclear weapons ban, and 30 Nobel Laureates, a former U.S. Secretary of Defense and over 3,000 other scientists from 84 countries have signed an open letter in support. Why?

We scientists like to geek out about probabilities, megatons and impact calculations, so we see the nuclear situation differently than many politicians and pundits. From the public debate, one might think that the cold war threat is over and that the most likely way to be killed by a nuke is by being attacked by Iran, North Korea or terrorists, but that’s not what nerdy number crunching reveals. Those media-dominating scenarios cou…

Firm behind Dakota Access pipeline faces intense scrutiny for series of leaks

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[Corporations are fueled by sociopathic venality; they have no sense of obligation to maintain the public good except that which is forced upon them by the rule of law and government regulation. Documents suggest that a major spill from the Rover pipeline in Ohio described as 2m gallons of ‘drilling fluids’ might now be more than twice as large. *RON*]

Sam Levin, The Guardian, 25 May 2017

The oil company behind the Dakota Access pipeline is facing intense scrutiny from regulators and activists over a series of recent leaks across the country, including a major spill now believed to be significantly bigger than initially reported.

Documents obtained by the Guardian suggest that a spill from the Rover pipeline that Ohio regulators originally described as 2m gallons might now be more than twice as large. The revelation was included in a legal challenge activists filed on Wednesday to block the natural gas pipeline run by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP…

Is Big Government Bad for Freedom, Civil Society, and Happiness?

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[Despite neoliberal enthusiasm for the notion, the world fails to fall apart when governments force public goods upon an unsuspecting public! *RON*]

Lane Kenworthy, Evonomics / Lane Kenworthy's Blog

Public goods, services, and transfers boost living standards, reduce insecurity, improve health, and equalize opportunity. But in the course of achieving these valuable goals, do government programs impinge on freedom, weaken civil society, and reduce happiness?

Critics of modern government often assert that they do. “The state can gravely threaten the space for private life,” says Yuval Levin. “It can do so,” he explains, “by invading that space and attempting to fill it, and by collapsing that space under the weight of government’s sheer size, scope, and cost. Both dangers have grown grave and alarming in our time.” Several decades earlier, Milton and Rose Friedman warned of a “major evil” of public social programs: “their effect on the fabric …

B.C. Greens and NDP strike deal for ‘stable’ minority government

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[That's a lot of power in the hands of Andrew Weaver, aka Man of the Moment. Official details of the agreement come out today. We still need to see how Christy Clark reacts and ditto for the Lieutenant Governor. *RON*]

Paula Baker, Global News, 29 May 2017
The B.C. Green Party has reached an agreement to support the NDP and “create a stable minority government.”

The announcement was made jointly by the party leaders, Andrew Weaver and John Horgan, Monday afternoon.
Andrew Weaver
I am thrilled to be working with John Horgan and the @bcndp so that BC can have a stable minority government for four years. #bcpoli …2:35 PM - 29 May 2017Negotiations between the Greens, NDP and Christy Clark’s Liberals have been ongoing since the May 9 election, which resulted in a minority government.

The election did not produce a clear winner in the 87-seat legislature, with the Liberals taking 43 …

Pope appeared open to idea of a residential schools apology: Trudeau

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[hy·poc·ri·sy. noun the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behaviour does not conform; pretence. synonyms: dissimulation, false virtue, cant, posturing, affectation, speciousness, empty talk, insincerity, falseness, deceit, dishonesty, mendacity, pretence, duplicity. Trudeau busily wrings an apology from the Pope when all he has done for Aboriginals is to launch a failed inquiry and approve oil pipelines against their will. *RON*]
Joanna Smith, Canadian Press / CTV News, 29 May 2017
VATICAN CITY -- Canadians are anxious to reconcile with Indigenous Peoples, Justin Trudeau described telling Pope Francis on Monday as he asked the pontiff to apologise for the role the Catholic Church played in the tragedy of residential schools.

The Pope -- himself no stranger to the cause of social justice, he noted to Trudeau -- seemed open to the idea, the prime minister said as he related the broad strokes of their pri…