Showing posts from February 19, 2018

Today's Trumpery

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

Gloria Copeland (wife of televangelist Kenneth Copeland) is Donald Trump's spiritual advisor
Chinese and US officials scuffled over 'nuclear football' during 2017 Trump visit – report, The Guardian

Appeasing the Trigger Gods, New York Times [See also: Rapid fire rifle device on special offer in salute to Trump. A Presidents' Day sale offers 10% off bump stocks using the coupon code MAGA]

'How dare you': Shooting survivors on collision course with Trump, CTV News [Also: Parkland High School Shooting Survivor Emma Gonzalez’s Powerful Speech Demanding Gun Control]

Idaho is making a radical healthcare change that 'transparently violates federal law' — and it leaves Trump with a dilemma, Business Insider

Tools of Trump’s Fixer: Payouts, Intimidation and the Tabloids, New York Times

Trump’s Scheme to Carve Up Palestine, Defend Democracy Press

“Blockchain” Stocks Completely Disintegrate

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[Hear that loud 'pop' in your wallet? That's the free market doing what it does best - blowing bubbles. To some extent, Richter is dislocating his shoulder patting himself on the back here, but I think he deserves it. It's a little disappointing to see what Eastman Kodak has come to in this world. By the way, Richter posted another good one on Valentine's Day: Big Reset Looms for Corporate Credit Market. *RON*]

Wolf Richter, Wolf Street, 18 February 2018

Black Friday for them. Meet the OTC’s “skull and crossbones.”

I’ve never seen a sector skyrocket and totally collapse this fast – in four months – as these newfangled “blockchain stocks.” Now they’re surrounded by debris and revelations of scams. These fly-by-night or near-failure outfits used the hype of “blockchain” and the whole media razzmatazz about cryptocurrencies to manipulate up their stocks, sometimes by several thousand percent in a matter of days.

I vivisected som…

Is This New Tar Sands Technology a Game Changer for Exporting Canada's Bitumen?

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[An interesting development that leaves me with sharply mixed feelings. It could reduce the drive to have the TransMountain Pipeline or, at least, lower its usage. But it would ultimately make it easier to transport bitumen and, unless 80% of the tar sands bitumen is left in the ground, none of Canada's climate goals will be met. By the way, the original article embeds the following video that, for some reason, wouldn't download for me: Justin Trudeau May Look Pretty in a Kayak, But He’s No Climate Saint. *RON*]

Justin Mikulka, DeSmog Blog, 18 February 2018

A new technology has the potential to transform the transportation of tars sands oil. Right now, the already thick and slow-flowing oil, known as bitumen, has to be diluted with a super-light petroleum product, usually natural gas condensate, in order for it to flow through a pipeline or into a rail tank car.

However, scientists at the University of Calgary's Schulich School of En…

The Balance of the Federation: Canada 1870 to 2016

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[An interesting piece, although it comes to a pessimistic conclusion about the role of municipal governments in Canada. In recent years, municipalities have come to the fore in protests against oil and gas developments in many parts of British Columbia. *RON*]

Livio Di Matteo, Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, 17 February 2018

My contribution to Maclean’s 2018 Chartapalooza was a plot of the federal government’s share of total government expenditure in Canada since 1870. The chart showed that until World War I, with the exception of the period marked by the building of the federally subsidized CPR, the federal share of total government spending in Canada was approximately 40 percent. After the peak of over 70 percent reached during World War I, the federal share came down quickly but went up again during the Depression era and soared during World War II reaching over 90 percent. The federal share of spending came down more gradually after World Wa…

Money Laundering In B.C. Real Estate: Attorney General Vows To Probe 'Disturbing Allegations'

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[David Eby says the province will "determine the scope of this issue." On the one hand, it's good that they're looking into this. On the other, I am disturbed that BC has openly allowed houses to be bought and owned by numbered corporations for forever and a day, yet our government only now claims to discover 'disturbing allegations' about this. This has been a common theme in the press for a decade now. Too coy by far, David Eby. See also: 'Corrupt Elite' Laundering Money Through Canadian Real Estate: Report, and Money Laundering Is Inflating Canadian Real Estate Prices. *RON*]

Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 18 February 2018

VICTORIA — British Columbia's attorney general says he's deeply troubled by reports of money laundering and criminal activity in the real estate market.

David Eby has issued a statement saying the government takes reports of money laundering through real estate very seriously.

The com…

Tech Dealers Now Trying to Save the Tech “Addicts” They’ve Created

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[You and your eyes are the product that's being sold. The new Center for Humane Technology aims to lead the fight against society’s obsession with the Web, apps and social media—using the Web, apps and social media... What is the business model? Pure philanthropy, or will they sell user data as well? They have a Facebook page, for Pete's sake! The article on Freedom of Thought mentioned here sounds good, but is buried behind a pay-wall.


Larry Greenemeier, Scientific American, 19 February 2018

A group of former Silicon Valley insiders recently issued a stark warning to the app-and update-obsessed public: Social media, the Web, mobile apps and other technologies developed to “monetize our attention” are “now eroding the pillars of our society,” according to the Center for Humane Technology. The new organization’s goal is to push tech companies to create products that benefit society, rather than simply manipulating people’s behavior…