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Showing posts from May 2, 2018

Today's Trumpery

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



Democrats need to stop believing this myth about Trump's base, CNN [Good advice for Democrats, but this tends to bolster Piketty's case. See the study itself here: Status threat, not economic hardship, explains the 2016 presidential vote.]

Trump Deletes Nine Tweets While Attempting to Spell "Subpoena", New Yorker [Borowitz, on point as usual: Speaking to reporters later in the morning, Trump called the word "subpoena" "disgraceful" and said that it had treated him "very unfairly," but stopped short of threatening to fire it from the dictionary.]
Trump policy taking aim at Planned Parenthood threatens to have devastating ripple effects. Think Progress
Santorum: Trump ‘says things that don't comport with the facts’, The Hill [What a shock! Yet this had to be pulled out of him like a rotten tooth.]
Trump claims immunity, asks court to toss foreign payme…

Will Afghanistan’s cycle of violence ever end?

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[Good short overview - albeit a depiction of a depressingly stymied geopolitical position of multiple proxy wars - from the Afghani perspective, via my friend Richard. *RON*]
Haroun Mir, Asian Times, 2 May 2018


It has been four decades since the communist coup in Afghanistan on April 27, 1978, which was followed by the Soviet invasion of the country in December 1979, triggering an upheaval that had bloody and disastrous consequences for Afghans as well as for the region and beyond.

Peace in Afghanistan has become a puzzle because all attempts since the Geneva Accords signed on April 1988 between Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the United States and the former Soviet Union serving as guarantors, have failed so far.

By 2001, Afghanistan’s old social and political structures considered the bedrock of stability during the 40-year reign of King Mohammad Zaher Shah (1933-1973), were completely destroyed and the country became a pariah state facing an immi…

Hundreds of Canadians die every year because they can’t afford medication: nurses’ union

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[Government says 'Hmm, dead voters or spend money? Wait a minute! Rich people can afford it. Not in the public interest.' "Now we know that our system is also costing lives each and every day while worsening the health of tens of thousands every year ... It’s disturbing to think about how many lives could have been saved if this policy was changed 40 years ago. It’s definitely going to be in the tens of thousands." *RON*]

Leslie Young, Global News, 1 May 2018


A new report by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions estimates that hundreds of Canadians die every year because they are unable to afford their prescription medication.

The report estimates that a lack of prescription drug coverage contributes annually to:
370-640 premature deaths due to ischemic heart disease270-420 premature deaths of working-age Canadians with diabetes550-670 premature deaths from all causes among working-age Canadians Because these groups may overl…

Canadians' $2 Trillion Of Household Debt Casts Shadow Over Economy

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[For decades now, our governments pushed easy-money policies, egged on by the banksters, making it as easy as possible for everyone to pile on the debt, both for homes and credit cards. They even said it was our civic duty to go out and spend, spend, spend. Now they are on their moral high horse and saying that it is our lack of self-control that is harming the economy. And while they're at it: Hooray Pipelines! *RON*]

Andy Blatchford, Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 1 May 2018


OTTAWA — Canadians have amassed a $2-trillion mountain of household debt that's casting a big shadow over the timing of the Bank of Canada's next interest rate hike, governor Stephen Poloz said in a speech Tuesday in Yellowknife.

To Poloz, the "sheer size'' of debt burden also means its associated risks to endure for a while, although he's optimistic the economy can navigate them.

The debt pile, he said, has been growing for three decades i…

Three facts you Need to Know about Inequality and Populism

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[Piketty makes a simple point, but it rings true. Between an upper-class, highly-educated Brahmin Left and a 1%er, business-favoring Right, who speaks for the Average Joe? Piketty's answer: Populists. *RON*]

Sophie Hardach, World Economic Forum / Eyewitness News, 2 May 2018
World Economic Forum | about 5 hours ago

Why are democracies around the world failing to curb rising inequality? What explains the ascent of populist parties and politicians? In a recent paper, French economist Thomas Piketty argues not only that inequality and populism are linked - but that both can be explained by dramatic shifts in the traditional two-party system that favour different elites.

Citing historical data from France, Britain and the US, Piketty suggests that left-wing parties, which used to attract and represent less educated voters, are now more associated with highly educated voters. Right-wing parties, on the other hand, have consistently attracted and repre…

Dead Zone In The Arabic Sea Expanded To Twice The Size Of Scotland Since The ’60s Due To Climate Change

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[Here is a map I found of global oceanic dead zones. What is that red marker just by Vancouver??
*RON*]
Erin VanDyke, Canadian Homestead, 1 May 2018




Back in the 1960s, researchers have learned of the Dead Zone in the Arabic Sea, found in the Gulf of Oman, a water area which is virtually lacking oxygen, totally. Due to piracy and the constant geopolitical tensions surrounding the region, it has not been analyzed since then and therefore it has been difficult to predict the effects of climate change and man’s harmful activities in recent decades.

However, research published last Friday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters revealed a dramatic increase in the size of this dead zone. A situation worse than previously expected that threatens marine life and which might become a serious environmental problem, according to The Independent.

A research team led by Bastien Queste of the University of East Anglia, in Norfolk, in the UK, immersed two …