Showing posts from September 24, 2017

Today's Trumpery

[Welcome to the monkey house. A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

US Provides Military Assistance to 73 Percent of World's Dictatorships, Truthout
The Racial Demagoguery of Trump’s Assaults on Colin Kaepernick and Steph Curry, New Yorker
Unbelievable review: Katy Tur's Trump tale relives an utterly insane campaign, The Guardian
Trump slams Democrats, McCain over health care bill, The Hill
The Fragile, Toxic Masculinity of Donald Trump, The Nation [This, along with his political inexperience, will lead to war with North Korea if anything will. Precisely the same is true of Kim Jong Un]
Harvard Hopes Trump Will Help It Undermine Unions, Truthout [Trying to defeat graduate student unionization]

Flint's lead-poisoned water had a 'horrifyingly large' effect on fetal deaths, finds study

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[Class wars. Most Americans now live in a Third World country ruled by a plutocracy that will happily cull the weakest in the herd in the name of austerity. *RON*]
Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post / The Independent, 22 September 2017

The fertility rate in Flint, Michigan, dropped precipitously after the city decided to switch to lead-poisoned Flint River water in 2014, according to a new working paper.

That decline was primarily driven by what the authors call a "culling of the least healthy fetuses" resulting in a "horrifyingly large" increase in fetal deaths and miscarriages. The paper estimates that among the babies conceived from November 2013 through March 2015, "between 198 and 276 more children would have been born had Flint not enacted the switch in water," write health economists Daniel Grossman of West Virginia University and David Slusky of Kansas University.

In April 2014, Flint decided to draw its …

Proportional Representation Offers BC Stable Government and Pragmatic Legislation

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[The toxic and ideological first-past-the-post system needs to be replaced. If you have the time, do what you can to drum up support for the "Yes" vote in the 2018 referendum. A far better suggestion I heard was to implement proportional representation immediately, use it in one election, then vote on whether to retain it. *RON*]
Devon Rowcliffe, The Tyee, 22 September 2017
“I believe power-sharing is best for our democracy and province, and that’s why I want to see proportional representation implemented.” — B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan.

Let’s face it: the first-past-the-post voting system that we use provincially and federally here in Canada is outdated, confusing and no longer fit for purpose. It fosters toxic, adversarial politics. And it’s a relic from the past — Canada remains the last developed democracy on Earth to not adopt any form of proportional governance.

But that’s about to change.

Last year, the voters of Prince Edward Isla…

J&J Was Alerted to Risk of Asbestos in Talc in ’70s, Files Show

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[J&J faces 5,000+ lawsuits. They have been found guilty in some cases, and in one case had to pay out almost a half billion dollars in damages to a woman dying of ovarian cancer. Documents unsealed in suit show traces of carcinogen in the talc mine. J&J claims that it’s tests going back to 1972 find no traces of asbestos. *RON*]
Jef Feeley, Margaret Cronin Fisk & Jared S Hopkins, Bloomberg, 22 September 2017

Johnson & Johnson trained its employees to reassure anyone concerned about whether the company’s talcum powder contained asbestos that the cancer-causing substance “has never been found and it never will’’ in its iconic baby powder, according to an undated memo unsealed in a lawsuit against the drugmaker.

But plaintiffs say other unsealed documents indicate that J&J has known for decades that its talc products include asbestos fibers and that the exposure to those fibers can cause ovarian cancer. The talc used by J&J t…

'Unfit' Uber stripped of London license, CEO tweets 'pls work w/us'

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[The so-called Sharing Economy, for which Uber is poster-child, is simply a neoliberal means of increasing the rapid and rampant crapification of labour until self-driving cars take over and throw even these peons out of work. *RON*]
Costas Pitas, Reuters, 22 September 2017

LONDON (Reuters) - London deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service on Friday and stripped it of its license to operate from the end of next week in a major blow to the U.S. firm and 3.5 million users in one of the world’s wealthiest cities.

Graphic: Uber stripped of London license -

In a break with the startup’s usual combative tone, Uber’s new Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi asked London to please work with the ride service. He told employees the company needed to act with integrity but that he did not believe Uber had done everything it was accused of in London.

Uber [UBER.UL], which has 40,000 drivers working in the capital, also said it would contest th…

BCUC asks BC Hydro to fill information gaps on Site C

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[Work continues at full blast, with plans to speed it up, despite the uncertainties the BCUC report introduces. This article fails to address the issue that the project is not needed in the first place. Other than the sheer amount of obfuscation and lack of due diligence on the part of Hydro (they failed to assess geothermal, biomass, solar and battery storage alternatives before going ahead), the key points are still that: a) cancelling the project would save $1.6 billion compared with continuing it, and b) though they claim they can still complete the project successfully, they have burned through half their contingency fund by 2 years into this 8 year project. See also: What That 205-Page BCUC Report on the Site C Dam Actually Said; and Rush review on Site C digs up a myriad of mysteries. *RON*]
Nelson Bennett, Business in Vancouver, 21 September 2017
The Site C dam on the Peace River could meet its 2024 in-service date on time, even with a …