Showing posts from June 15, 2017

Today's Trumpery


Congress Fails to Stop Arms to Saudi as it Bombs Yemen

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[A surprisingly close vote, in fact, considering the power and money involved. See also: Yemen cholera toll nears 1,000 as 'humanity loses out to politics' and A child infected 'every 35 seconds' and These people are fighting off a famine in Yemen. *RON*]
Rand Paul, Institute for Public Accuracy, 13 June 2017

Rand Paul was a leading sponsor of the legislation against the arms sales. See video clips of his comments on Twitter and the full debate on C-SPAN.

SHIREEN AL-ADEIMI, sha980 at, @shireen818 Al-Adeimi, a Yemeni-Canadian-American, is a doctoral candidate and instructor at Harvard University. See her interview on Public Radio International’s “The World”: “Will U.S. stop arming Saudi attackers in Yemen?”

KATE GOULD, kate at, @K8Gould Legislative representative for Middle East Policy for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Gould said today: “Despite the Saudi government and the world’s largest…

Religion increasingly seen as doing more harm than good in Canada: Ipsos poll

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[The majority of Canadians believe religion does more harm than good! And this applies to 62% of Quebecois. This certainly didn't get much coverage. *RON*]
Rebecca Joseph, Global News, 13 June 2017

Just over half of Canadian respondents say they believe religion does more harm than good in the world, according to a new survey.

The Ipsos poll, conducted for Global News, showed that 51 per cent of respondents agreed with the above statement.

“There’s a lot that’s happening in the world right now in the name of religion,” Sean Simpson, vice-president of Ipsos Affairs, said. “Of course, ISIL being the primary example that’s using religion to justify what they’re doing.”

Simpson explained that the number is rising; when Ipsos asked the same question in 2011, 44 per cent of respondents agreed.

“But I think we hear about these incidents more often, not just because they may be happening more often but because of the information age.

“We’ve got 24-hour n…

The Grenfell Tower fire has turned a spotlight on austerity's limits

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[Austerity and mortality. After seven years of spending cuts, the UK's frayed public realm cannot be disguised. See also: Don’t abandon austerity, Tories tell Theresa May amid reports spending splurge to come. *RON*]

George Eaton, New Statesman, 15 June 2017

After the coalition’s austerity programme began in 2010, cabinet ministers would often boast of its success. The government, they would say, was managing to do “more with less”. In 2013, at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, David Cameron went as far as to declare that it was his mission to create a “leaner, more efficient state ... not just now, but permanently”.

But one no longer hears such doctrinaire rhetoric from ministers. In 2017, the UK still has a budget deficit of £52bn (one not due be eliminated until 2025 – a decade later than promised) and austerity’s costs are increasingly visible. Though recent tragedies, such as the horrific Grenfell Tower fire and the London Bridge attack, cannot b…

One-quarter of F-35 fighter jets grounded over oxygen issues

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[On the power of the deep state and its military-industrial welfare queens. The F-35 first flew in 2006, and has yet to see combat. Since oxygen has been used in aircraft for more than a century now you'd think they'd have this little 'problem' just about licked by now. I'm sure if the government tosses them another billion or two in taxpayer-funded welfare they'll get right on it. Trudeau has refused to stop the purchase of these planes for Canada despite his explicit election promise to do so. *RON*]
Mike Stone, Reuters, 12 June 2017
About a quarter of the F-35 fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), or 55 planes, have stopped flying until further notice because of irregularities in pilots' oxygen supplies, U.S. Air Force spokesman Captain Mark Graff said on Monday.

Training flights at Arizona's Luke Air Force Base, where the 55 jets are based, were canceled on Friday and scheduled to resume on Monday,…

Income inequality, the new handbrake on growth

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[Neoliberals generally call for investigations into productivity because they hope to advance policies that will wipe out even more jobs with automation/robotics/offshoring. Interestingly, this research shows that hiding profits in offshore tax shelters leads to an understatement of GDP, which creates a misleading impression of reduced productivity; meaning the neolib's are having it both ways and then some. *RON*]

Mark Kenny, Sydney Morning Herald, 13 June 2017

The yawning gap between rich and poor in Australia should be formally tracked by the nation's prime economic review body, the Productivity Commission, according to a Labor senator who has drafted legislation to bring it about.

The proposal would ensure that any negative impacts on the poor arising from government policies are specifically measured and taken into account in program design.

Known for its market-oriented, pro-business disposition, the Productivity Commission is the …