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Member since: Wed Oct 7, 2015, 08:51 AM
Number of posts: 2,208

Journal Archives

Is Hawai‘i an Occupied State?

"As the campaign for full independence gains momentum, a new view of Hawaiian history is taking hold.

Over the summer, the US Department of the Interior held a series of hearings inviting Native Hawaiians to comment on the formation of a federally recognized nation. The hearings confirmed what many Hawaiians already knew: opposing camps have formed in the debate over Hawaiian sovereignty. One side views federal recognition as a pragmatic alternative to the status quo. The other side, at first thought to be a marginal segment of the movement, seeks the full independence that Hawai‘i had in the nineteenth century. Surprisingly, after decades in which the federal recognition advocates represented the mainstream, the voices for full independence seized the spotlight. The overwhelming response at the hearings to the question of federal recognition was “a‘ole”: no.
Mainstream media coverage was misleading too. By focusing on the tone rather than the content of the comments at the hearings, commentators missed the real story, which was that a major shift in Hawaiian political will had occurred. In a community known for its divisiveness, the emergence of the independence movement as a viable force is quite stunning. Under the radar, a new view of Hawaiian history is taking hold."



Many people just don't know that Hawaii was annexed by the US only back in 1898 -- that's pretty damn recent.

Icahn launches super PAC with $150 million, biggest one-time injection

Source: Reuters

Billionaire investor activist Carl Icahn tweeted on Wednesday that he is forming a Super PAC with an initial commitment of $150 million, representing the biggest one-time injection of money in the history of such political action committees.

Icahn, who supports presidential candidate Donald Trump, said he is targeting "inversions," which occur when a company changes its domicile, often outside the United States, to take advantage of lower tax rates elsewhere.

"Right now, as we speak, there are many companies planning to leave this country," Icahn said in an interview with CNBC. "It's so simple to do something about it, it's a no-brainer."

Icahn said on CNBC that the incentive for companies to leave the U.S. via inversion deals could be eliminated by legislation allowing big companies to repatriate funds held offshore at a discounted tax rate - an approach also favored by Trump.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/21/us-usa-election-icahn-idUSKCN0SF2AK20151021

Citizen's United continues to haunt us. Tell me again how we are not an oligarchy.

When I was reading this article, I was saying ok... he's targeting inversions... ok... till I came to this: Icahn said on CNBC that the incentive for companies to leave the U.S. via inversion deals could be eliminated by legislation allowing big companies to repatriate funds held offshore at a discounted tax rate - an approach also favored by Trump.

Sure, that's the solution, more tax breaks for the 1%. /sarcasm

Harper’s harm to Canadians will linger long past election

"... In his exploitation of fear and prejudice, Harper’s aim was to turn neighbours against one another and earn votes along the way. Thankfully, his efforts in the latter endeavour were for naught. But he has managed to open a Pandora’s box of hatred that has turned parents against children and vice versa. His tactics have seeped into the most sacred structures of our society and, in many cases, poisoned the most important corners of our lives. "



And that goes double for "political discourse" here at home -- the Republicans and their corporate owned media has used fear and racism as a wedge election after election. Trump being just the latest case in point.

Sadly, because of our gerrymandered House of Representatives, I don't see the hate-mongerers being tossed out of office here in the US any time soon.

Bank of Canada downgrades outlook again as oil shock lingers

Source: The Globe and Mail

The Bank of Canada is downgrading its economic outlook again as the country continues to grapple with the “complex” aftershocks of lower prices for oil and other commodities.

As expected, the central bank kept its key overnight lending rate unchanged at 0.5 per cent Wednesday, following two surprise rate cuts earlier this year.

After flirting with a recession early this year, the Canadian economy will grow just 2 per cent in 2016 and 2.5 per cent in 2017, the bank said in latest monetary policy report, also released Wednesday. That’s down from previous forecasts of 2.3 per cent and 2.6 per cent.

Lower oil prices are continuing to sap business investment and put a dent in the value of Canadian exports, overwhelming improvements elsewhere in the economy. And the bank warned that the two-track economy will persist longer than expected, in spite of the positive effects of earlier interest rate relief and the cheaper Canadian dollar.

Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/interest-rates/bank-of-canada-downgrades-outlook-again-as-oil-shock-lingers/article26901121/

Canada's economy is collateral damage caused by Saudi Arabia flooding world oil markets with vast amounts of cheaper to produce oil.

Speculation concerning the Saudi's motives include: putting the US shale oil industry out of business, inflicting economic pain against producers like Russia and Venezuela at the US's behest, maintaining world market share against ALL oil producing nations.

And its not like this is a good thing for the environment, there is more oil selling cheaper than it has in years undercutting any efforts to curtail fossil fuel use. It's a global warming bonanza -- if you like global warming.

Russian jets join efforts in Indonesia to fight forest fires

Source: The Toronto Star

PALEMBANG, INDONESIA—Two Russian jets that can drop 12.5 tons of water arrived on Sumatra island Wednesday to help douse Indonesia’s massive forest fires that have spread smoky haze over parts of Southeast Asia.

The amphibious planes, leased by Indonesia’s government and sent by Russia’s Emergencies Ministry, can suck 13,250 litres (3,500 gallons) of water from a river or sea in seconds. Similar planes helped extinguish fires on Sumatra and Borneo islands in 2007.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the two Beriev Be-200 planes landed in Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra province. The Russian jets will be deployed to fight the fires soon.

Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and Japan are among the other countries that have sent aircraft, firefighters or chemicals and experts to help fight the forest and brush fires that have raged for months.

Russian crew members walk on the tarmac in front of a Beriev Be-200 amphibious firefighting jet at the haze-blanketed Sultan Mahmud Baddarudin II Airport in Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia. Two Be-200 aircrafts leased by the Indonesian government have arrived on Sumatra island to help douse the massive forest fires that have caused widespread haze in parts of Southeast Asia.

Read more: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/10/21/russian-jets-join-efforts-in-indonesia-to-fight-forest-fires.html

Yeah, obviously I am a Putin lover trying to humanize the demonic Russkies. lol

Seriously, I am trying to defuse the constant fear and war mongering in the corporate media that seems hell bent on restarting the cold war -- or worse.

America ponders Justin Trudeau’s victory and ogles photos of him shirtless

"Americans’ first reaction to Canada getting its first new prime minister in 10 years: Googling and ogling shirtless photos of the new prime minister.
On a slow U.S. news day, the victory of a handsome and liberal political heir with a history of sporadic half-nakedness generated a rare wave of media coverage that ranged from sober policy analysis to fawning fluff. Even mainstream outlets could not resist a little beefcake.
Under the headline, “Meet Justin Trudeau: Canada’s Liberal, Boxing, Strip-Teasing New PM,” NBCNews.com posted a photo of Trudeau flexing his biceps. The attached article: a light-on-policy explainer that included four sentences on Trudeau’s biceps tattoo."


obviously an older pic... check the hair. lol

Justin Trudeau boxes at a training facility in his riding during a campaign stop in Montreal last month.


Justin Trudeau is actually a decent regular-guy boxer. He won a celebrated charity match against a conservative Canadian Senator a few years back. Maybe that's where the bicep flexing pic is from. Best wishes to him and the new Liberal majority government coming in Canada.

Third Russian air strike on Syrian rebel group kills leader

Source: Reuters

Russian air strikes in Syria's Latakia province killed a rebel commander and four other fighters from a group armed by President Bashar al-Assad's foreign enemies, a spokesman for the group said on Tuesday.

The attack on Monday evening marked the third time Russian war planes have targeted the First Coastal Division group since Moscow began its air strikes in support of President Bashar al-Assad on Sept. 30, the group's spokesman Fadi Ahmad said.

He said a further 15 civilians had been killed in the air strike in Jabal Akrad, a rural, mountainous area in the province. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights earlier put the death toll at 45 rebels and civilians.

The First Coastal Division is one of several groups that have received foreign military support including U.S.-made anti-tank missiles, the most potent weapon in the rebels' arsenal. The group, which fights under the umbrella of the "Free Syrian Army", confirmed the death of its chief of staff, Basil Zamo, formerly a captain in the Syrian military. Ahmad said a fighter trained in the use of the anti-tank TOW missiles had also been killed. The Russian jets had struck one of the group's headquarters, and then struck the same target again after rescue workers had arrived on the scene.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/20/us-mideast-crisis-syria-latakia-idUSKCN0SE0M420151020

Continued military actions are not the answer. They are the problem.

Civilian casualties will continue to climb until all sides stop thinking they can achieve a military "solution". Clearly, neither Assad, ISIS, nor US-backed moderate Islamist will get the clear-cut victory they each desire.

Once again, its time for compromise and serious peace talks.

Grad students fight back at Yale: “I’m trying to support myself and my son - but it’s not working"

“I should not have to fight for Yale to respect me but I will keep fighting until they do.”

That’s what Grant Mao, a Chinese citizen, who claims his struggles with depression precipitated his expulsion from the university last April, told the New Haven Register during a recent on-campus demonstration in support of graduate student-employees’ right to form a union. Mao told the Register that the university’s administration “did nothing” to help him with his illness, but was quick to inform him that his health insurance was no longer valid — and that he had 15 days to leave the country. “I’m fighting because I want to get reinstated,” Mao said, “but also because I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

According to graduate student-employees and organizers, Mao’s story is not unique. And the allegedly brusque manner with which the administration treated him is, they say, not unusual, either. That’s one of the reasons why those urging Yale to recognize its graduate student-employees’ union are calling on the university to stop an anti-union campaign intended to “intimidate and confuse” graduate school faculty and students, and to agree to a neutral — or “no intimidation” — vote.



I am always shocked when stories like this surface about liberal institutions like Yale University. My friends in New Haven say its not just grad students and adjunct profs getting the short shrift from Yale, but it's their entire hourly-wage support staff too.
Make me shake my head.

Jay Carney: Corporate Mouthpiece now? Apparently.

Amazon Still Pretty Angry About That New York Times Story

Jay Carney offers detailed response to front-page story -- two months later.

Two months after the New York Times published a damning investigation into its workplace culture, Amazon is fighting back.

In a blog post on Medium published Monday morning, Amazon spokesperson Jay Carney claims that the Times' reporters Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld failed to check the accuracy of the anecdotes in the piece.

"Had the reporters checked their facts, the story they published would have been a lot less sensational, a lot more balanced, and, let’s be honest, a lot more boring," he writes. "It might not have merited the front page, but it would have been closer to the truth."

The Times' executive editor, Dean Baquet, tore apart Carney's post in his own blog on Medium. Kantor and Streitfeld spoke with more than 100 current and former Amazon employees, Baquet said. Nothing in Carney's latest response refutes their claims, he writes, adding, "This story was based on dozens of interviews. And any reading of the responses leaves no doubt that this was an accurate portrait."



OMG, it's the actual Jay Carney defending Amazon's horrendous workplace conditions? OK, I give up. Apparently almost everyone sells out to our Corporate Overlords.

Amazon spokesman and former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

Saw a bumper sticker today...

Made me laugh -- then think. lol It said:


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