Showing posts from July 13, 2017

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Arbitration as Wealth Transfer

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[A good piece of making it virtually impossible for consumers to sue corrupt corporations and how this contributes to structural inequality. This is just the abstract. Click here to view the whole article. *RON*]

Deepak Gupta & Lina KhanYale Law & Policy Review, Vol. 35, No. 495, 2017
Date Written: July 11, 2017


This Essay offers a fresh way to understand and talk about forced arbitration: as a wealth transfer. It argues that the rise and prevalence of forced arbitration clauses should be understood as both an outcome of and contributor to economic inequality, and that the national conversation about economic inequality should therefore include the debate over forced arbitration. Given the extreme levels of inequality in the United States—with the richest 0.1% of the country now holding the same share of national wealth as the bottom 90%—the connection between arbitration and inequality is worth exploring in depth. Here, we ex…

UK terror funding report will not be published for 'national security reasons'

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[The 'national security reason' for publishing only a summary being that Saudi Arabia would get mad if they honesty reported on their funding of terrorists. So, instead, it is being buried. *RON*]

Peter Walker, The Guardian, 12 July 2017

Opposition parties have condemned the government for opting not to publish a much-delayed report into the funding and support of extremist groups, saying the decision appeared intended to bury any criticism of Saudi Arabia.

But the home secretary, Amber Rudd, said the move was based on national security and claimed that the full report contained sensitive and detailed personal information.

Announcing the decision in a written parliamentary statement, Rudd instead published a 430-word summary of the report, including that some extreme Islamist groups receive hundreds of thousands of pounds a year in funding, mainly from UK-based individual donors.

The summary said the most common source of support for ext…

Navy Introduces Toxins to Drinking Water, Then Expands Operations

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[Interesting piece on the Whidbey Island naval base. As a category, armed forces are one of the biggest polluters on the planet. *RON*]

Dahr Jamail, Truthout, 12 July 2017

Washington State's Whidbey Island already has problems with inadequate water supplies. Located in Puget Sound, the residents have to face a long, dry summer with no aquifer replenishment and ongoing threats of saltwater intrusion.

But now they have to deal with the US Navy introducing toxic chemicals into Whidbey Island's public and private wells, particularly in the area around the small town of Coupeville, where the Navy maintains a heavily used air strip to practice touch-and-go landings, among other exercises.

Cate Andrews is a member of Citizens for Ebeys Reserve (COER), a group of locals working to protect their land, homes and health from environmental and sound pollution from the US Navy. Andrews said some of the wells in Coupeville contain toxic chemicals from…

Canadian dollar soars as BoC hikes interest rate for the first time in 7 years

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[Housing and consumer debt account for 90 per cent of the growth in Canadian GDP. There's good reason to think this will be a (politically driven?) bad move for Canada. Click here to watch a good video on why it is misguided for the Bank of Canada to raise rates. Keep an eye on what happens with GDP over the next year. *RON*]

Linda Nguyen, Canadian Press, 12 July 2017

TORONTO — The Canadian dollar soared this morning after the Bank of Canada announced it was hiking its key lending rate.

The loonie was up 0.67 of a U.S. cent at 78.06 cents US about an hour after the central bank’s decision. The last time the dollar closed above 78 cents US was in August 2016.

The Bank of Canada says it’s raising its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 0.75 per cent — its first increase in nearly seven years.

It had slashed its interest rates in 2015 to help the economy deal with a plunge in oil prices that began in late 2014. The bank’s …