The Evening Blues - 9-18-15
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features The Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Enjoy!
James Brown - Papa's got a brand new bag
“The real difficulty is with the vast wealth and power in the hands of the few and the unscrupulous who represent or control capital. Hundreds of laws of Congress and the state legislatures are in the interest of these men and against the interests of workingmen. These need to be exposed and repealed. All laws on corporations, on taxation, on trusts, wills, descent, and the like, need examination and extensive change. This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations.”
-- Rutherford B. Hayes
News and Opinion
September 17 marks the fourth anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, which inspired a new generation of American dissidents and a global wave of protest against economic inequality.
Stirred by the Arab Spring, the occupiers rallied an intergenerational, multiracial, cross-class coalition against the power of the wealthiest 1 percent, behind the banner of “We are the 99 percent.” Their message struck a chord with millions fed up with the trickle-down economics that had failed to deliver on its promise of prosperity, and the top-down politics that had failed to live up to the promise of democracy.
Yet, from Lower Manhattan to Ferguson, Missouri, and from Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter, such nonviolent movements continue to be met with paramilitary tactics and military-grade weaponry meant to maintain “law and order” at any cost. Targeted for arrest, assault and detention, young activists have been equated with criminals, dissidents with domestic terrorists.
This equation has not made us any safer. In fact, there is a growing body of evidence that such tactics lead to more violence, not less, in our streets. A forthcoming study of 192 Occupy protests by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute for Data Science finds that protest violence tends to be provoked by aggressive police tactics — not the other way around. By contrast, when police stand down, protests tend to persist, but with lower rates of arrest and a lower incidence of violence.
The fever that gripped the U.S. following the attacks of September, 11, 2001 demonstrated that manufacturing a shared enemy did little to create a deeper commonality of interests amongst nominal citizens. Whatever one may think about the specifics of the attacks— the motives of the attackers, their choice of targets or the veracity of official explanations, it would have required a full scale assault by an established military to destroy as many lives and communities as American born and bred bankers did through predatory mortgage lending in the housing boom and bust. And as much as official apologists would like to deny it, this destruction is wholly in keeping with the market outcomes that now constitute the base credo of the market-state.
The paper-thin bravado that sent heavily armored children and young adults to slaughter innocents in Afghanistan and Iraq for the benefit of Bechtel, Northrup Grumman and Exxon Mobil found its domestic truth in the quivering puddles that had supported the wars suddenly wondering how they were going to feed themselves and their children with their jobs outsourced and their homes in foreclosure. ...
After eight years of alleged economic ‘recovery’ the pre-existing lines of social division are once again being clarified as class, race and geography separate the recovered from those left behind. Recent data from the Census Bureau [see link for graphs -js] illustrates the ongoing downward trajectory of real (inflation-adjusted) household incomes for all but the richest. This is more than simple ‘income inequality,’ it is evidence that very particular class interests are being served by the political establishment. The incomes and wealth of the richest have been recovered through official policies with little regard for the other 99.97% of the population. ...
National Democrats have been pushing the storyline of economic recovery even as major American cities are being torn apart by engineered economic devastation. Households have seen the largest and most sustained decline in incomes since the Great Depression as millions of prime-age workers sit idle, excluded from meaningful employment. National and international banks, Wall Street, sit on untenable levels of bad ‘assets’ that would (mechanically) decline in value if interest rates were ever raised. The social cruelty of the recovery meme lies in the destitution of those excluded from it along the axes of class and race. ...
Eight years of selective economic reporting have succeeded in shifting the grounds of discourse from wholesale replacement of the established order to tinkering around the edges.
In his testimony to Congress yesterday, Gen. Lloyd Austin, the commander of Centcom, admitted that the US-trained New Syrian Force (NSF) rebels amount to only four or five existing fighters in Syria. While it’s been no secret the “create a new rebel faction” strategy failed, and officials are confirming planned changes.
According to those officials, they intend to totally abandon the “rebel” conceit and stop having the NSF fight against ISIS as a distinct force, and will instead load them down with US communications equipment and have them gather intelligence and pick targets for US airstrikes. ...
The other major change is to once again scale back the number of forces they intend to train. Initially this was tens of thousands, but was reduced to 5,400 earlier this year. Now, officials say, they will scale it back to about 500 total, which might be attainable at some point, though it is still a hundredfold increase from what’s left of the faction. ...
This is likely to once again raise talk of the proposal, championed primarily by Gen. David Petraeus, to ally with al-Qaeda and treat them as the “pro-US” faction inside Syria, despite them being anything but pro-US. Given the poor track record the US has of picking “winners” in Syria, it remains to be seen if al-Qaeda will even accept the offer.
Typical of the incoherence now common among U.S. foreign policy pundits discussing the Syrian crisis is Jeffrey Lewis, who took to the pages of the prestigious journal Foreign Policy to venture his opinion. He started out reciting the usual “group think” narrative about the need to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and denounced Russia’s President Vladimir Putin for stepping up support for the Syrian military in the face of gains by Sunni terror groups.
But Lewis, who is billed as an arms-control specialist at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California, then admitted that he doesn’t have a clue what to do, which at least is an improvement over all the other “experts” who say the U.S. must do something – anything! – to counter Russian intervention.
Lewis begins his article with a lot of scary talk about satellite photos confirming that Russia is expanding an air base near Latakia with the goal of increasing military aid to the evil Bashar al-Assad so as to give his doddering regime another lease on life. ...
Lewis then accused Moscow of preventing a U.S.-favored regime change that would somehow please “moderate” Syrians so much that they would rally and defeat Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. That notion of an easy and seamless “regime change” is one of the favorite fantasies of neoconservatives and liberal interventionists who were equally confident that they could neatly transform Iraq by installing think-tank favorite Ahmed Chalabi to replace Saddam Hussein.
But now with the Russian intervention in Syria, at least Lewis and his fellow pundits have an excuse for why their best-laid plans didn’t work out this time. It’s Putin’s fault!
Saudi King Salman decided that a 10-vehicle motorcade in Washington, D.C., was too small for his needs, so his people rented 400 black Mercedes S-class automobiles to make it bigger. There was no place to put them all, so the White House housed them at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland until they were needed. Wall Street Journal correspondent Carol Lee snapped a picture. Salman was in D.C. earlier this month for a meeting with President Obama. To house his retinue, he rented the entire Four Seasons hotel in Georgetown. The lavish hotel evidently wasn’t decorated up to his standards, so gold furniture and red carpets had to be wheeled in to spruce it up. ...
In Yemen, where the monumental vanity of the Saudi regime caused it to interfere and invade, conditions are far less opulent. UNICEF said in August that 10 million children need urgent humanitarian assistance. “Ten million children” is an abstraction, hard to understand. Instead think about one child crying all night in pain or hunger and multiply the sound 10 million times. ...
As Barack Obama met the Saudi king, scores of protesters stood in front of the White House with signs and banners. ... The demonstration took place at a time when an effort has started to end the 70-year U.S.-Saudi alliance. A new website was unveiled with that demand on its home page. ... The site links to a simple petition that says: “The U.S. has spent trillions on military forces in the Persian Gulf. Washington supports tyrannical regimes, wars and cruel occupations without making us safe. Close the U.S. bases and bring the fleet home NOW.”
That phrase “spent trillions” may be surprising. It’s well known that the U.S. sells the regime immense amounts of weapons. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Reuters that Obama and Salman had discussed “fast-tracking of the release of American military technology and weapons systems” at their White House conclave. Arms sales bring in money to the U.S. (or at least to merchants of death who own U.S. weapons factories). However, there’s also the cost to U.S. taxpayers that for some reason is rarely mentioned. Back in 2011, Princeton University professor Roger Stern estimated that since the time of Jimmy Carter the U.S. had spent more than $8 trillion on military measures in the Gulf. An earlier study by the University of California at Davis said that if there was no oil in the Persian Gulf, “defense expenditures might be reduced in the long run by roughly $27-$73 billion per year [in 2004 dollars].” Military bases, soldiers, sailors, contractors, weapons system, fleets, CENTCOM—they’re all financed by a flood of dollars. Without the Saudi-U.S. alliance, there could be an enormous peace dividend. ...
Breaking the U.S. alliance with the Saudis would also free Americans from the stain of being partners with a hideous human rights abuser, nicknamed the Kingdom of Horrors. Its executions by decapitation often occur in public spaces for public edification (or gruesome amusement). In a new report, Amnesty International says at least 175 people were executed by the Saudis between August 2014 and June of this year. The list of crimes that result in capital punishment is long and includes drug offenses, witchcraft and sorcery. Its farcical ban on female driving is well known, but its fanatical devotion to “female modesty” practically knows no bounds. In 2002, morality police blocked a rescue of girls in a school fire because the girls were “not wearing the headscarves and abayas [black robes]”. Fifteen burned to death in the school.
Omar Shakir, an attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights who has worked on Guantanamo Bay prisoners’ cases, made his first trip to the military prison this month. He shared what struck him most about going to Guantanamo to meet with two prisoners, Ghaleb al-Bihani and Zaher Hamdoun. ...
Shakir described how the men’s faces lit up as they talked about things most humans take for granted, like fresh air, travel, family, and friends.
Worst of all, Shakir said he could not get the image of the men in shackles out of his head.
Prisoners remain “shackled, even though the vast majority of them have not been charged with a crime and have in many cases been told they’re cleared for release,” Shakir explained. ...
Shakir reflected, “I can’t imagine spending over a decade in a cell not only not knowing when you might leave that cell but also knowing that you have no control over your fate, and that your fate is in the hands of political figures that not only don’t know anything about you but, in fact, have assumed things that have no basis in reality.”
“If only those politicians and people saw the men I met, they would be free tomorrow,” he concluded.
A commander of the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) ruled out a unilateral ceasefire on Thursday and accused the Turkish government of pursuing war to gain more votes.
Hundreds have been killed in almost daily bloody clashes between the PKK and security forces in the largely Kurdish southeast since a long-standing ceasefire and peace overtures fell apart in July.
With an election looming in six weeks, Ankara says the militants must put down their weapons and return to their camps in northern Iraq before it will halt operations and restart peace talks.
"A ceasefire can only be mutual," PKK field commander Murat Karayilan told the Firat news agency, which is close to the group, in an interview. "Our experience teaches us that positive outcomes cannot be achieved through unilateral ceasefire." ...
In a June general election, the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) passed the 10 percent election threshold for the first time and gained 80 seats in Turkey's 550-seat parliament, depriving the ruling AK Party of its overall majority for the first time since it came to power in 2002.
"Even if we stop, AKP will not," Karayilan said. "They will continue war as long as the war conditions are in their benefit. The conditions for a mutual ceasefire don't seem possible before Nov. 1."
As night fell on Thursday, hundreds of migrants continued to trek through near-pitch black turnip and cornfields between Serbia and Croatia, desperately seeking a new route west, even as Croatia attempted to seal its borders to more arrivals.
Throughout the day, buses carrying people from Syria, Afghanistan, and other poor and war-torn countries stopped just shy of the Serbian border where Croatian officials waved arrivals through the back-route between the two countries, without checking documents.
More than 11,000 people have made this crossing since Hungary closed its border with Serbia with a barbed wire fence on Tuesday, the vast majority using the illegal passage between checkpoints with the seeming blessing of the overwhelmed Croatian authorities. ...
Croatia cannot and will not accept the burden of thousands of migrants any longer, nor register, or accommodate them, Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said on Friday. ... "We cannot register and accommodate these people any longer," he told a news conference. "They will get food, water and medical help, and then they can move on. The European Union must know that Croatia will not become a migrant 'hotspot'. We have hearts, but we also have heads." ...
Mohammed Sawaad, a dentist from Homs in Syria, said he hoped his trek through the Croatian fields was another step towards a better life for him and his five year-old daughter. "We can either die in our beds under the bombs or die in these fields dreaming of a free future," he told VICE News. "It's not a choice, I'm not doing this for a fast car or more money, I'm doing it to survive."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today touted a “great diplomatic victory” when the IAEA voted 61-43-33 against an Egyptian resolution which would’ve expressed formal “concern” over Israel’s nuclear arsenal, and urged them to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Netanyahu said Israel had spent weeks drumming up opposition to the resolution, and had “explained” to the countries voting that the real problem in the Middle East was Iran’s civilian nuclear program, saying it would be inappropriate to even mention Israel while the Iran deal was still in place. ...
The US, Australia, and Canada were the driving forces on the “no” side of the resolution. The resolution was backed by virtually the entire Middle East, as well as Russia and China. Israel has repeatedly ruling out signing the NPT.
For Netanyahu, snipers firing live ammunition in response to rock throwing = proportionality.
The city council of Icelandic capital Reykjavik has passed a resolution banning all Israeli-made products in protest of policy in the Palestinian territories. ...
The resolution appears to be purely symbolic, since it didn't mention specific companies or products, and it's not clear if the Reykjavik municipal authorities have even had any business ties to Israeli companies – or if they've been purchasing Israeli products – so far.
The party that proposed the resolution, the Social Democratic Alliance, has a majority in the city council, but not in the Icelandic parliament. The city council has in the past adopted a resolution acknowledging the rights of the Palestinians to independence and a sovereign country of their own. It has criticized what it calls the Israeli government's "racist apartheid policy".
Presidents Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela and Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia are due to meet in Quito in a summit brokered by Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, and the head of Unasur, a regional body of South American nations. ...
The episode began on 19 August, when Maduro closed the border crossings connecting Venezuela’s Táchira state and Colombia’s Norte de Santander department, saying he wanted to stem the flow of smuggled goods from Venezuela, whose socialist government subsidises basic goods, to Colombia, where they fetch prices thousands of times higher.
Maduro blamed the Colombian smugglers for the severe shortages of items such as toilet paper, cooking oil and corn flour which have plagued Venezuela in recent years.
On 8 September he closed another major border crossing between Venezuela’s Zulia state and Colombia’s Guajira and on Monday he extended the measure south to the frontier between Apure state and Arauca. The border closures have been accompanied by the declaration of a state of exception in two dozen towns, which allow authorities to conduct warrantless searches and ban protests. ...
Maduro said he hopes the meeting would produce “a historic pact of coexistence, respect and a relationship of brotherhood, cooperation and mutual benefit”.
Relations between the two neighbors have been any but that for the past decade and a half, since Venezuela’s late president Hugo Chávez set the country on a path of “21st-century socialism”. Francesca Ramos, director of Venezuela studies at Colombia’s Rosario University, says relations have been in a “process of constant crisis” broken by “brief moments of cooperation”
Stock markets fell sharply on both sides of the Atlantic on Friday after the US Federal Reserve backed away from raising interest rates, and blamed the weaker global economic outlook.
The German and French indices both shed over 3%, while the FTSE 100 fell by 105 points or 1.7% by mid afternoon.
Wall Street then joined the selloff, with the Dow Jones industrial average dropping by 1.5% or 255 points to 16418 at the open.
Investors were disconcerted by unexpectedly dovish comments by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen on Thursday night.
“Prior to the Fed decision, markets were looking positive but they now find themselves under pressure with global growth concerns weighing on sentiment,” said FXTM research analyst Lukman Otunuga.
On the eve of his visit to the United States, Pope Francis blasted religious institutions who are exploiting tax loopholes to make money instead of helping the needy. ...
“Some religious orders say ‘No, now that the convent is empty we are going to make a hotel and we can have guests, and support ourselves that way, or make money.’ Well, if that is what you want to do, then pay taxes! A religious school is tax-exempt because it is religious, but if it is functioning as a hotel, then it should pay taxes just like its neighbor. Otherwise it is not fair business.”
This statement from the leader of the Catholic Church is part of his continuing call for the Church to set an example and create change in what he has continuously referred to as a “bad and unjust economic system,” that continues to maximize profits at the expense of the masses.
Bruce Dixon from Black Agenda Radio weighs in on #BLM and CampaignZero activist Deray McKesson:
What does it mean when Yale Divinity School bestows $40K on former Teach For America alum, #BlackLivesMatter activist and CampaignZero honcho Deray McKesson for two days of guest lecturing on “Transformational Leadership in the #BlackLivesMatter Movement?” It's not complicated. It simply means that Mr. McKesson exemplifies the kind of “transformational leader” whatever that means, that our elites have decided to laud, to prop up and to place in front of us. It certifies that Deray is their kind of leader, offering their kind of leadership. ...
Deray McKesson is the kind of slavish “thought leader” whose tweets have likened the privatization of education via the wave of unaccountable charter schools forced upon parents and communities across the country, to the free breakfast for children programs of the 1960s Black Panther Party. But what should one expect from a “transformational leader” spit out by Teach For America, a corporate funded outfit that specializes in replacing experienced black teachers with younger and usually whiter temps, who either go on to careers in banking, law and finance, as consultants to the testing and school privatization industry, or as school administrators devoted to running public schools more like businesses. ...
The bottom line is that corporate shot callers at Yale are gifting Deray McKesson because he's their kind of leader, of their kind of movement, a movement based on what the owners of Twitter, Facebook and the like want us to call social media, but which are really online corporate marketing tools. Deray can probably use the money, having left his six figure a year job in the Minneapolis school system, the kind of school administration gig Teach For America grads who stay in education typically end up with. ...
McKesson is the latest in a long line of black “leaders,” so-called movement leaders who emerge not from the people's struggle, but from the gut of their corporate sponsors, leaders put in place by our rulers to speak not for us but to us, with their sponsors' mouths.
Say what you like about President Bill Clinton – and many things have been said about him over the years, flattering and otherwise – but one thing is certain: he isn’t cheap. On Thursday he travelled to Chicago to headline two fundraising events for his wife Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign where top donors were required to bundle $50,000 each for the privilege of hearing him speak.
Not that the main donors hosting the event – billionaire JB Pritzker, entrepreneur Matt Moog, venture capitalist Howard Tullman and other members of Chicago’s business elite – would have balked at having to raise such a sum. ...
The question now is to what extent Clinton’s Chicago jaunt was a taste of things to come – will we now begin to see him more regularly on the campaign trail? Hillary Clinton could certainly do with some help from somewhere. She continues to suffer from the long-running sore created by her choice to set up a private email server when she was US secretary of state.
Despite the effort her campaign team has invested in humanizing her and making her appear approachable – Scooby-Doo van, late-night talkshows and all – her poll ratings in crucial early caucus and primary states have steadily declined in recent weeks. Most worryingly, her support levels are heading earthward even among the demographic she has most passionately embraced in the 2016 race – Democratic female voters.
GOP presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina put forward an ambitious plan for expanding the U.S. military during the Republican debate Wednesday night. One thing she didn’t mention: How much her plan would cost.
The answer: more than $500 billion—on top of the more than the $5 trillion the Pentagon plans to spend over the next 10 years.
“We need the strongest military on the face of the planet, and everyone has to know it,” Fiorina said Wednesday night, offering specifics about what that would mean under her presidency.
She said she wants 50 Army brigades, 36 Marine battalions, between 300 and 350 naval ships, and an upgrade of “every leg of the nuclear triad.” These numbers seem to be pulled straight from a report released by the conservative Heritage Foundation this year. The conservative think tank says a U.S. military of this size is necessary so that it has the ability to fight and win two major wars at the same time.
Who these wars would be against is unclear. Fiorina did not specify in Wednesday night’s debate either why she thinks the military needs to super-size. To take on China? Invade Iraq again to fight the Islamic State? She mentioned deploying more troops to Europe to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin, but made no mention of a land war with him.
Where she’d get the money to do all of this is also unclear.
Though polls in the early battleground states of Iowa and New Hampshire show the Democratic presidential candidate surging ahead of his main rival, former front-runner Hillary Clinton, Sanders is lagging in the American South. A recent YouGov/CBS News poll showed Clinton with a 23-point lead on Sanders in South Carolina; a survey by Public Policy Polling earlier this month in the same state had Clinton with 54 percent to 24 percent for Joe Biden and 9 percent for Sanders. ...
The Sanders campaign "plans to pour resources into South Carolina to improve his standing with black voters in the state," The Hill reported Friday:
"We’re hiring half the state of South Carolina. Unemployment will go down," quipped a campaign official. "We’re going to mount a very strong grassroots campaign and have young African-Americans knocking on doors in African-American communities."
If the experiment proves successful in South Carolina, the campaign will next target Georgia, which has a relatively young and educated black electorate.
The Sanders campaign points to survey data showing their candidate fairing better among black voters in California and believe his traction in that state is more representative of his potential appeal in minority communities.
"We have an agenda that makes sense to all Americans, but to be honest with you, it makes more sense for the African-American community because of the economic problems facing that community in terms of higher unemployment, lower wages, a harder time sending their kids to college," Sanders said Saturday in South Carolina. "I believe once the African-American community becomes familiar with it, there will be a lot of support."
With a call to "end the private prison racket in America," a group of progressive lawmakers on Thursday introduced a bill that seeks to subvert the reigning "pro-incarceration agenda" by banning private prisons, reinstating the federal parole system, and eliminating quotas for the number of immigrants held in detention.
"It is morally repugnant and a national tragedy that we have privatized prisons all over America," said Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of the legislation's lead sponsors along with Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), and Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.). "We cannot fix our criminal justice system if corporations are allowed to profit from mass incarceration. Keeping human beings in jail for long periods of time must no longer be an acceptable business model in America."
With the ultimate goal of reducing the inmate population in federal, state, and local facilities, the Justice Is Not For Sale Act (pdf) would, according to a fact sheet:
- Bar federal, state, and local governments from contracting with private companies starting two years after the bill is passed;
- Reinstate the federal parole system to allow "individualized, risk-based determinations regarding each prisoner and restore fairness in the system;"
- Increase oversight to prevent companies from overcharging inmates and their families for services like banking and telephone calls;
- End the requirement that Immigration and Customs Enforcement maintain a level of 34,000 detention beds; and
- End immigrant family detention.
Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig, the newest candidate to enter the race for the Democratic nomination, is bracing himself to be excluded from the party’s first debate next month because he has been left out of national polling.
To qualify for the debate Democratic candidates must earn at least 1% in three national polls in the six weeks before the debate. But Lessig, a political neophyte running a single-issue campaign based on campaign finance reform, said he can’t possibly compete if he is not being counted.
“There’s a catch-22 to the process,” Lessig said, adding: “It’s only fair to apply that standard if it’s actually being tested.”
Unlike the other five Democratic candidates who are routinely polled along with Vice-President Joe Biden, who is still contemplating entering the race, Lessig said he has only been included in one national poll so far – a September survey by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) that found 1% of likely Democratic primary voters supported the Harvard professor. The first debate is scheduled for 13 October in Nevada.
The Evening Greens
Indonesian authorities are cracking down on companies believed to be responsible for massive fires that have left a choking haze over much of the country and some of its Southeast Asian neighbors.
Fires are burning in six provinces, shrouding the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan in acrid smog and blowing northward into Malaysia and Singapore. Nearly all are believed to have been set deliberately to clear land for palm oil and paper and paper plantations, a longstanding but widely criticized practice. ...
This week, Indonesian President Joko Widodo demanded "firm legal action" to stop the fires and prevent the same problem from recurring next year, the Indonesian news agency Antara reported. Police have arrested at least half a dozen people and identified 140 others from 17 companies as suspects in the fires, while the country's national police chief has urged the government to bar the companies from receiving new government permits. Meanwhile, thousands of government troops have been dispatched to help put out the blazes, Antara reported.
Gemma Tillack, head of the Rainforest Action Network's agribusiness campaign, said the arrests are "a very strong indication" that the president — commonly known as Jokowi — "is getting serious around enforcing the laws on banning the use of fire to clear land." ...
The use of fire to clear land is cheap, and it's grown "despite the stack of corporate commitments" to give it up, Tillack said. The resulting carbon emissions are comparable to the output of 145 typical American coal-burning power plants — and according to WRI, that's more than half of Indonesia's carbon footprint.
The prospect of a federal cap-and-trade system in Canada surfaced Thursday at a debate among three men vying to be prime minister, with Liberal leader Justin Trudeau calling an opponent's plan to implement the scheme "completely non-sensical" and "so unrealistic."
The issue took center stage when the debate moderator asked New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair about his party's previous $21 billion cap-and-trade proposal. Mulcair said his party's strategy to put a legal cap on emissions would have "no such bill," and then lambasted both the Liberals and the ruling Conservatives over their environmental records. ...
The Conservatives have previously attacked the NDP on their cap-and-trade idea, calling it a carbon tax. But though Mulcair said Thursday evening that a cap-and-trade system, not a carbon tax, is the best way to reduce emissions, the NDP hasn't yet announced how the scheme would work or how much it might cost. And when moderator David Walmsley asked Mulcair the latter question several times directly, Mulcair would not name a price. ...
"Eighty-six percent of our economy, our four biggest provinces, have actually committed to putting a price on carbon, and they've done it in different ways, which makes Mr. Mulcair's proposal so unrealistic," Trudeau said. "The idea of imposing a bureaucracy out of Ottawa, a cap and trade system on provinces like British Columbia that have already moved forward with a world renowned carbon tax that is actually working for them, is actually a completely non-sensical plan."
With little federal guidance on renewable energy and emissions reduction, the provinces have taken the lead in Canada. The Liberal leader promised to work with the provinces to reduce emissions.
When his turn came, Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn't miss a beat and again accused his opponents of wanting to implement a carbon tax.
The response of the Red Cross to wild fires that have swept across California and forced thousands of people from their homes has been condemned by locals, who have formed their own volunteer corps to help victims uprooted by catastrophe.
Viri Agopoff, a Middletown High School graduate and Calistoga resident, said she organized relief efforts after she and others concluded the Red Cross was slow to deliver assistance. “We were frustrated by the initial reaction from the Red Cross, so we are happy to help out,” she said.
Hundreds of locals from the area have come out to support evacuees forced from towns affected by the Valley Fire in northern California. By Thursday, the fire had left over 74,000 acres burned, at least three people dead and others missing. In Calistoga, thousands are waiting to return to their towns, hoping a home will still be standing.
Shortly after the evacuation occurred Saturday afternoon, Agopoff’s team set-up a Facebook page, #ValleyFireVolunteersCalistoga, prompting hundreds of locals to arrive at a nearby camp to offer their assistance early on Sunday morning.
“The Red Cross was not welcoming to people who needed help,” Agopoff alleged. “When we got here, there were no batteries, no tape, no sharpies and they were turning away donations.” Agopoff said she and others went out and bought toothbrushes and toothpaste for the evacuees when they realized little was being provided.
Also of Interest
Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.
A Little Night Music
James Brown - I Got The Feelin'
James Brown - Get up offa that thing
James Brown - Give it up or turn it loose
James Brown - Please, Please, Please
JAMES BROWN - Night Train
James Brown - Sex Machine
James Brown - Living In America
James Brown - Try Me
James Brown - That's Life
James Brown - Get on the Good Foot
James Brown - I Feel Good
James Brown - Soul Train Performances
James Brown - Every Beat of My Heart (instrumental w/JB on the organ)
James Brown & The Famous Flames