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Showing posts from July 5, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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Drive an Electric Car? One in Three States Now Charge You Extra

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[The US government is thoroughly in thrall to the oil and gas industry. The corporatocracy and regulatory capture. *RON*]

Ben Jervey, DeSmog Blob, 3 July 2017
A few months ago, early in the state legislative sessions, we reported on how lawmakers in nine states had introduced bills that would penalize electric vehicle (EV) drivers by charging higher registration fees. Now that the state legislative sessions have mostly wrapped up, it’s time for a review of how these bills fared, and how many states have implemented this extra financial burden on anyone who buys or leases an electric car.

Coming into the state legislative season, ten states imposed extra fees on EV registrations. These include:
Colorado: $50 (Passed in 2011)
Nebraska: $75 (2011)
Washington: $100 (2012)
Virginia: $100 (2014)
North Carolina: $130 (2014)
Idaho: $150 for EVs; $75 for hybrid-electric (2015)
Georgia: $200 (2015)
Wyoming: $50 (2015)
Michigan $100–235 + $35 special “gasoline tax” …

The secret lives of young IS fighters

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[Sad and interesting insights into the lives of young men attracted to IS. The original article contains much fancy formatting of graphics, plus some video that could not be transferred out, so click above if you'd like to see these. *RON*]

Quentin Sommerville & Riam Dalati, BBC, 23 June 2017

Three young IS militants lie dead on the banks of the River Tigris.

They left behind personal photos and documents which reveal the extraordinary story of their private lives.


Warning: Disturbing content

Mohammed is giddy with excitement as he films the discovery of three IS fighters on his mobile phone.

“Shoot him,” he shouts, gesturing at one of them.

His nervousness gives him away as the unit’s cook. He’s unarmed, but his fellow soldiers from the Iraqi police special forces - known as the Emergency Response Division - are armed to the teeth and are not taking any chances.

A body and a pile of clothes on the banks of the Tigris

Two of the IS fighters are c…

Beyoncé and Jay-Z file trademark on twin names Rumi and Sir

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[Names 'Rumi Carter' and 'Sir Carter' registered with US authorities. Commodify the wee plutocrats from birth. Guillotine watch. *RON*]

Martin Pengelly, The Guardian, 3 July 2017
Beyoncé and Jay-Z appear to have named their new twins. The couple have reportedly registered in the US to trademark “Rumi Carter” and “Sir Carter” – as they did regarding their five-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy.

The trademark application was reportedly made from the same California address as that for Blue Ivy. The website TMZ.com reported that the application was made on 26 June, around the time the twins would have returned home from the hospital.

The birth of the twins has not yet been officially confirmed, though it was reported to have happened last month.

Rumi appears to have been chosen in reference to the 13th-century poet and Muslim scholar Jalaluddin al-Rumi, who the Hollywood screenwriter David Franzoni, working on a script about Rumi’s life, sa…

Canada's top general condemns actions of servicemen who disrupted Indigenous ceremony in Halifax

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[The Trumpian world view provides an excuse, the thin edge of the wedge for public expressions of racism. An Aboriginal description of events here: Military "Proud Boys" Disrupt Mi'kmaw Memorial in Halifax. *RON*]

Adina Bresge, Canadian Press / Globe & Mail, 4 July 2017

Canada’s top general has condemned the actions of a group of Armed Forces members who disrupted a spiritual event on Canada Day marking the suffering of Indigenous Peoples at a statue of Halifax’s controversial founder, Edward Cornwallis.
Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, called the incident “deplorable” and said the men will be removed from training and duties while the incident is investigated.

On Saturday, the group of men were clad in black polo shirts with yellow piping — one of them carrying a Red Ensign Flag — as they approached singing “God Save the Queen,” one Mi’kmaq organizer said. The Canadian Red Ensign, which bears the Union Jack in the…

Three quarters of graduates will never pay off student debt

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[After the crash, instead of tackling debt forgiveness, the government went out of its way to protect creditors and increase the flow of credit, with - it is increasingly clear - bad results. People are defaulting, going bankrupt and, generally, decreasing their spending and lowering their demand for goods. This will ultimately result in even more people losing their jobs, in an environment already threatened with widespread automation. It won't end any place good. *RON*]

Nicola Woolcock, The Times, 5 July 2017
Three quarters of graduates will never repay their student loans and the poorest face the biggest debt, according to a comprehensive analysis.

The trebling of tuition fees in 2012 means students now finish university with average debts of £50,000, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. They are liable for repayments once they earn more than £21,000. After 30 years, the balance is written off.

Some 77.4 per cent were not expected …