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Showing posts from August 30, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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Federal court grants B.C. intervener status in Trans Mountain challenge with harshly worded judgment

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[A. I'm glad that BC applied for, and was granted, intervener status. B. I'm sorely disappointed that Horgan's crew did what is, evidently, a half-assed and half-hearted job of it. 'A number of aspects of British Columbia’s motion are unsatisfactory,' wrote Justice David Stratas. *RON*]

Roshini Nair, CBC News, 29 August 2017
The Federal Court of Appeal has granted British Columbia intervener status in the legal challenge launched against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project — along with a stern rebuke of the province's filing.

On Mar. 9, 2017, 19 separate lawsuits from First Nations and environmental groups challenging Ottawa's approval of the project were consolidated as one case.

The controversial pipeline project would expand the capacity of a currently existing pipeline route between Edmonton and Burnaby and significantly increase tanker traffic out of Burrard Inlet.

Interveners — who are not litigants but p…

Armed men destroy two dozen logging trucks in Chile indigenous dispute

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[Along with Antifa, we seem to be seeing a ratcheting-up of the level of violence that people are willing to engage in, in the environmental and Aboriginal communities. *RON*]
Gram Slattery, Reuters, 28 August 2017

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - A group of armed men claiming to represent the nation’s indigenous Mapuche people hijacked and burned 29 logging trucks in southern Chile on Monday morning as a years-long conflict with forestry companies heated up.

The government convened an emergency meeting less than two weeks after a similar hijacking in which 18 trucks were burned, and several high-ranking officials denounced the attack later in the day.

“We’re going to combat violence and we are not going to allow minoritarian groups, which don’t value dialogue, to ruin the great effort all regional actors in the south are doing to promote development and overcome exclusion,” Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said in televised remarks.

It was not clear to wha…

You Are the Product

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["Facebook is in the surveillance business." When does an Internet company become evil? *RON*]

John Lanchester, London Review of Books, Vol. 39 No. 16 · 17 August 2017


The Attention Merchants: From the Daily Newspaper to Social Media, How Our Time and Attention Is Harvested and Sold by Tim Wu. Atlantic, 416 pp, £20.00, January, ISBN 978 1 78239 482 2Chaos Monkeys: Inside the Silicon Valley Money Machine by Antonio García Martínez. Ebury, 528 pp, £8.99, June, ISBN 978 1 78503 455 8Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google and Amazon have Cornered Culture and What It Means for All of Us by Jonathan Taplin. Macmillan, 320 pp, £18.99, May, ISBN 978 1 5098 4769 3 At the end of June, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook had hit a new level: two billion monthly active users. That number, the company’s preferred ‘metric’ when measuring its own size, means two billion different people used Facebook in the preceding month. It is hard t…

Shock Tactics, Part I: The Toll

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[Much to ponder, none of it good, in this investigation of more than 1,000 deaths involving American police tasers since 2000. Police routinely use Tasers to subdue people in emotional or mental distress — including those they have been called to help. "More than 100 of fatal encounters began with a 911 call for help during a medical emergency. In nine out of 10 incidents the deceased was unarmed. A quarter of the victims were suffering from a mental health breakdown or neurological disorder" *RON*]

Peter Eisler, Jason Szep, Tim Reid and Grant Smith, Reuters, 22 August 2017.
A 911 plea for help, a Taser shot, a death - and the mounting toll of stun guns

Part 1: In the most detailed study ever of fatalities and litigation involving police use of stun guns, Reuters finds more than 150 autopsy reports citing Tasers as a cause or contributor to deaths across America. Behind the fatalities is a sobering reality: Many who die are among society…