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Showing posts from December 1, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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Why approving Site C could sink NDP

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[Excellent article; irrefutable. But does the decision have anything to do with reality? Green MLA Sonia Furstenau, "Up until now, this has been a BC Liberal boondoggle. The cost overruns, the ballooning debt, the questionable need for such a costly project: this is the Liberals’ mistake alone. But if the government decides to continue with Site C, they will become responsible for the impacts. It will be on the shoulders of this government." *RON*]
Damien Gillis, Commonsense Canadian, 29 November 2017

It’s getting down to the wire for the NDP-led government to announce its decision on Site C Dam. The corporate media and a some big guns for labour have been making a sales push to throw the beleaguered project a lifeline, and many fear they could succeed. That would be the biggest mistake the NDP could make. They didn’t create this monster, but they will own the consequences if they keep it alive.

There are three reasons given for carry…

The End of the Social Era Can't Come Soon Enough

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[On social media, political polarization, incivility and terrorism. It seems increasingly likely that our society will one day view our infatuation with Twitter, Facebook, and the like as a passing, often destructive fad. *RON*]


Nick Bilton, Vanity Fair, 23 November 2017


Many people imagine 19th-century antebellum America as a frontier fantasia: men with handlebar mustaches sitting in dusty saloons, kicking back moonshine whiskey, as a piano player picks out tunes in the background. In reality, though, life was a little more sordid: Americans spent their time after work in fully legal heroin dens; in 1885, opium and cocaine were even given to children to help with teething. “Cocaine Toothache Drops,” which were marketed as presenting an “instantaneous cure” were sold for 15 cents a box. Today, in the midst of our opioid crisis, we hear about this past and wonder unequivocally, what the hell were they thinking?

I often wonder the same thing when I …

The Refugee Scandal on the Island of Lesbos

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[Conditions at the refugee camps are horrific and island residents are tired of being left in the lurch by Athens and the EU. "Those wishing to visit ground zero of European ignominy must simply drive up an olive tree-covered hill on the island of Lesbos until the high cement walls of Camp Moria come into view. The dreadful stench of urine and garbage greets visitors and the ground is covered with hundreds of plastic bags. Inside, you see containers meant for six people packed with 14, overflowing toilets and garbage bins that nobody empties with mothers changing their babies' diapers right next to them." *RON*]

Giorgos Christides & Katrin Kuntz, Der Spiegel, 24 November 2017


Those wishing to visit ground zero of European ignominy must simply drive up an olive tree-covered hill on the island of Lesbos until the high cement walls of Camp Moria come into view. "Welcome to prison," someone has spray-painted on the walls.…

Why a Generation in Japan Is Facing a Lonely Death

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[Japan has the most rapidly aging society on the planet. An ineffably sad story on how we die and what this tells us about how we live. "4,000 lonely deaths a week," estimated the cover of a popular weekly magazine this summer, capturing the national alarm. One of the photo captions reads, "Mrs. Ito at her husband’s family grave. Her name is already on the headstone." *RON*]

Normitsu Onishi, New York Times, 30 November 2017


TOKIWADAIRA, Japan — Cicadas, every Japanese schoolchild knows, lie underground for years before rising to the earth’s surface in summer. They climb up the nearest tree, where they cast off their shells and start their short second lives. During their few days among us, they mate, fly and cry. They cry until their bodies are found on the ground, twitching in their last moments, or on their backs with their legs pointing upward.

Chieko Ito hated the din they made. They had just started shrieking, as they al…