Showing posts from August 17, 2017

Today's Trumpery


Figures show number of asylum seekers in July nearly quadrupled at Quebec border

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[RCMP say they "intercepted more than 3,800 irregular entries between Aug. 1 and 15." Apparently this involves a very high proportion of Haitians. *RON*]
Canadian Press, CTV News, 17 August 2017
LACOLLE, Que. -- Authorities say the number of asylum seekers intercepted at the Quebec-New York border in July nearly quadrupled and shows no sign of slowing down.

Immigration and Citizenship Canada said today the number jumped to 2,996 from 781 in June.

The department held a joint news conference with the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency in Lacolle, a Quebec border town at the forefront of the influx of people filing into Canada from the United States.

The RCMP's Claude Castonguay says the force intercepted more than 3,800 irregular entries between Aug. 1 and 15, primarily at Roxham Road in Hemmingford, Que.

At a later news conference, federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced a 300-room temporary shelter will be set up in …

Barcelona: Van hits crowds in Ramblas tourist area

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[According to CBC TV, there are many injured (some videos show at least 10 bodies on the road and an overturned baby buggy) and multiple deaths involved, the police are treating it as an act of jihadist terrorism, the 2 armed men (not 1 as this story says) from the vehicle are still at large, and there are as yet unconfirmed reports that they may be holding hostages in a restaurant. Updates: Barcelona van attack: multiple deaths reported in Las Ramblas area - latest updates; At least 13 people killed, 32 injured in Barcelona van attack. And another one: Latest updates from Barcelona: Car hits officers at traffic blockade *RON*]

BBC News, 17 August 2017

A van has ploughed into crowds in Barcelona's Las Ramblas tourist area.

Spanish police say several people have been injured in a "massive crash", while emergency services are urging people to stay away from the area around Plaça de Catalunya.

Reports from the scene say people are ta…

End of the checkout line: the looming crisis for American cashiers

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[More on the crapification of labour, the end of the working class, automation and the corporatocracy. *RON*]

Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian, 16 August 2017

Donald Trump is fixated on a vision of masculine, blue-collar employment. But the retail sector has long had a far greater impact on American employment – and checkout-line technology is putting it at risk

The day before a fully automated grocery store opened its doors in 1939, the inventor Clarence Saunders took out a full page advertisement in the Memphis Press-Scimitar warning “old duds” with “cobwebby brains” to keep away. The Keedoozle, with its glass cases of merchandise and high-tech system of circuitry and conveyer belts, was cutting edge for the era and only those “of spirit, of understanding” should dare enter.

Inside the gleaming Tennessee store, shoppers inserted a key into a slot below their chosen items, producing a ticker tape list that, when fed into a machine, sent the goods tr…

The Long History of White Nationalism in America

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[The US was a de facto white supremacist nation for most of its existence. Not news per se, but an interesting book excerpt. *RON*]
George Hawley, Literary Hub, 16 August 2017


Detailing the history of white nationalism in America is trickier than it first appears. This is because, despite the egalitarian rhetoric of the Declaration of Independence, the United States operated as a de facto white-supremacist nation for most of its history. This has been a subject of controversy for decades. No one disputes that slavery poses a problem for the narrative that America is, and always was, a beacon for freedom and equality. But debates continue as to what the most important Founding Fathers “really” thought about race and the future of equality.

Many historians, especially contemporary conservative historians, are inclined to view the marquee names of the American Revolution as opponents of slavery who made an immoral choice—…

Five urgent questions in light of an investigation into Saudi use of Canadian arms

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[As Global Affairs Canada looks into alleged Saudi abuses with Canadian arms exports, Cesar Jaramillo asks whether findings will lead to action, and points to other key factors to consider. Will we get answers to any of these questions? *RON*]
Cesar Jaramillo, Open Canada, 15 August 2017
Goaded by incontrovertible red flags and the heightened scrutiny of media and civil society, Global Affairs Canada has announced an investigation into recent reports of the use of Canadian-made military equipment to violently suppress protest in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.

However welcome the move, the key threshold that should have guided the human rights assessment of the export permit authorization process has always been a reasonable risk that Canadian-made arms exports might be used against a civilian population. Such a risk has long been apparent.

Remember: Canada is arming one of the very worst human rights violators on the planet; one recently accuse…