Showing posts from June 1, 2017

Today's Trumpery


A Fair Trial for Julian Assange

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[A good piece my friend Dick sent to me yesterday. *RON*]

John Kiriakou, OpEd News, 31 May 2017

If recent press reports are to be believed, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is the target of a secret grand jury investigation, either in the federal court of the District of Columbia or in the notorious Eastern District of Virginia, known colloquially as "the espionage court." Assange is currently holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he fled to avoid a British arrest warrant and probable extradition to Sweden on what supporters and many legal analysts called a flimsy sexual assault case.

The Swedish case was dropped last week, but Assange remains in the embassy. British authorities say that he still faces a misdemeanor UK charge of jumping bail (on the moot Swedish case), but the British disingenuously won't talk about the rumors of a US case and the possibility of extradition to the US.

For its part, the Justice Departmen…

Empty Political Theatre Will Define Justin Trudeau's Legacy

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[Empty rhetoric and plenty of selfies. "Justin's emerging governing style is made obvious in his predilection for teaching high-school drama." *RON*]
G. Elijah Dann, Huffington Post, 30 May 2017
Noam Chomsky once said that "propaganda is to a democracy what a bludgeon is to a totalitarian state."

Watching Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the past months has been an exercise in political theatre, and a testament to Chomsky's observation above about democracy. It also puts an interesting spin on former Prime Minister Stephen Harper's rather drear, pre-election assessment of Mr. Trudeau:

"He isn't ready."

While Liberals bristled (and still do) at Chairman Harper's suggestion, it wasn't one noted only by the right, but also by real-life liberals who've actually read their copy of On Liberty and, for that very reason, could never be part of the federal Liberal Party.

For Harper, he saw Trudeau a…

TigerSwan, Counter-Terrorism and NoDAPL: 10 Astonishing Revelations in ‘The Intercept’ Report

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[Oil giant allegedly hired international counter-terrorist military group to fight Natives. While we're on the subject: 2 more leaks found along Dakota Access pipeline. *RON*]

ICMN Staff • May 29, 2017

'The Intercept' posts internal memos by TigerSwan, an international counter-terrorist military group, allegedly hired by Energy Transfer Partners

The revelations posted by the investigative-news website The Intercept on Saturday May 27 did not come as much of a surprise to water protectors who spent time on the front lines or at the camps near Standing Rock in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). In fact the allegations of intense surveillance by private contractor TigerSwan, as if water protectors were terroristic jihadists rather than peaceful, prayerful protesters upholding the right to clean water, validated the experience of those people on the ground last summer and fall.

“While in the #OcetiSakowin camps, we knew tha…

How Iceland cut rates of teen substance abuse with sports and family time

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[No ideological War On Drugs; no one goes to jail and has their life ruined. Iceland has real troubles with substance abuse; this approach is good news. This is also a way of doing things that would work well with Canada's Aboriginal communities. "We just had fun playing football. We tried it and got used to it, and so we kept on doing it." *RON*]

Emma Young, Positive News, 31 May, 2017

In Iceland, teenage smoking, drinking and drug use have been radically cut in the past 20 years. Emma Young finds out how they did it, and why other countries aren’t following suit

It’s a little before three on a sunny Friday afternoon and Laugardalur Park, near central Reykjavik, looks practically deserted. There’s an occasional adult with a pushchair, but the park is surrounded by apartment blocks and houses, and school is out – so where are all the kids?

Walking with me are Gudberg Jónsson, a local psychologist, and Harvey Milkman, an American psycho…

Shareholders force ExxonMobil to come clean on cost of climate change

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[Trump or no Trump, the worm will turn. 'Historic' vote by nearly two-thirds of shareholders will force annual 'stress test' to measure how regulation will affect assets. *RON*]

Dominic Rushe, The Guardian, 31 May 2017
ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, was compelled by shareholders to be more open about the impact of climate change on its business in a “historic” surprise vote on Wednesday.

The public rebuke came as Donald Trump reportedly prepared to pull out of the Paris climate accord, the agreement forged by close to 200 countries to address climate change.

Some 62% of shareholders voted for the resolution and against Exxon’s management at the company’s annual meeting in Dallas, Texas. The vote to more clearly report how climate change impacts Exxon’s business comes as investors are increasingly demanding companies disclose the likely impact of global warming and follows the passing of similar proposals at two smaller …