Showing posts from July 11, 2017

Today's Trumpery


The Uninhabitable Earth

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[Apocalypse Now! Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — it's both worse and sooner than you think. *RON*]

David Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine, 9 July 2017
In the jungles of Costa Rica, where humidity routinely tops 90 percent, simply moving around outside when it’s over 105 degrees Fahrenheit would be lethal. And the effect would be fast: Within a few hours, a human body would be cooked to death from both inside and out.

I. ‘Doomsday’

Peering beyond scientific reticence.

It is, I promise, worse than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. And yet the swelling seas — and the cities they will drown — have so dominated the picture of global warming, and so overwhelmed our capacity for climate panic, that they have occluded our perception of ot…

Homage to Simone Veil

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[French lawyer, politician, feminist, holocaust survivor. *RON*]
Bernard-Henri Levy, Project Syndicate, 6 July 2017

PARIS – I have an abiding image of Simone Veil, the French (and later European) politician who died last week. It is a black-and-white photo taken in September 1979, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – a period known as the Days of Awe – in Paris, before the memorial to the unknown Jewish martyr. A young man, bareheaded behind a lectern, is speaking in honor of those who died in the Holocaust. Simone Veil is standing in the front row, a handsome woman lost in her thoughts yet still attentive. She is skeptical, stern, incredulous, wary. Afterwards, she will say to the young man, in a tone of gentle reproach, “too lyrical.”

Several years earlier, in 1974, she stood before the French parliament to deliver a speech that would change the lives of French women and mark the term of President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, just as the abolition…

How legalizing pot could bring more arrests

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[An interesting piece covering little-known facts. Unlike Washington, Oregon and Colorado, Canada is legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, but it’s also introducing 45 new criminal offences. How will police and the courts react? *RON*]
Harrison Jordan, Policy Options, 11 July 2017
Canada’s plan to legalize cannabis could bring with it an increase in law enforcement activity, arrests and jail time — and here’s why. Cannabis is currently controlled by the country’s federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). Canadians can be charged with any of about eight offences related to cannabis, including possession, trafficking, importing and exporting. The proposed Cannabis Act removes the cannabis plant from the purview of the CDSA, and with that change it removes criminalization of possession of small amounts of cannabis, including up to 30 grams in public. However, in its place the Cannabis Act proposes approximately 45 new crimi…

Bank of Canada playing follow the leader on rates

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[The Canadian economy is heavily dependent on housing, record household borrowing and consumption to support 90 per cent of GDP growth. Will Canada line up like a good little duck behind the US in raising rates, or will it pay attention to our actual economy? Watch the video in this story to hear some cogent reasons why we should not be raising interest rates at this time: 'Misguided' for Bank of Canada to raise rates: Capital Economics. See also: Canadian Mortgage Borrowers Face 'Perfect Storm' Of Rising Rates, Even Tougher Rules. *RON*]
Martin Pelletier, Financial Post, 10 July 2017
Strange things are afoot with central banks these days as many are following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s lead and looking to tighten monetary conditions by raising interest rates. While we like to think that we chart our own course, Canada is no different in playing follow-the-leader as evident by the historical correlation in interest rate movements…

MMIW commissioner Marilyn Poitras resigns in another blow to inquiry

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[That makes one of five commissioners, the executive director, plus other key staff, all having resigned over how the inquiry is being run. *RON*]

Gloria Galloway, The Globe and Mail, 11 July 2017
One of the five commissioners appointed by the federal Liberal government to preside over the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women has resigned, saying she could not accept the way the process has been organized.
Marilyn Poitras, a Métis professor of law at the University of Saskatchewan, sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday saying her resignation would take place effective on Saturday.

“It is clear to me that I am unable to perform my duties as a commissioner with the process in its current structure,” wrote Ms. Poitras.

“I believe this opportunity to engage community on the place and treatment of Indigenous women is extremely important and necessary,” she wrote. “It is time for Canada to face this relationship and repair…