“Strontium-90 Levels Spike Alarmingly”- Multiple Alarms Set Off at Fukushima Plant
AFP, Feb 22, 2015 (emphasis added): Sensors at the Fukushima nuclear plant have detected a fresh leak of highly radioactive water into the sea… [with] contamination levels up to 70 times greater than the already-high radioactive status seen at the plant… TEPCO said its emergency inspections of tanks storing nuclear waste water did not find any additional abnormalities… It was not immediately clear what caused the original spike… “With emergency surveys of the plant and monitoring of other sensors, we have no reason to believe tanks storing radioactive waste water have leaked… We are currently monitoring the sensors”… The latest incident, one of several that have plagued the plant in recent months, reflects the difficulty in controlling and decommissioning the plant… TEPCO has not been able to effectively deal with an increasing amount of contaminated water…
Open letter to P.M.
February 18, 2015
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Dear Prime Minister:
Many Americans love Canada and the specific benefits that have come to our country from our northern neighbor’s many achievements (see Canada Firsts by Nader, Conacher and Milleron). Unfortunately, your latest proposed legislation—the new anti-terrorism act—is being described by leading Canadian civil liberties scholars as hazardous to Canadian democracy.
Austerity or prosperity
Imagine for a moment two societies living side by side. One has discovered the wheel and uses it. The wheel makes life easier for workers and boosts the economy for everyone. Prosperity reigns. The society next door is well aware of the wheel and watches as its neighbours move inexorably ahead, becoming wealthier, more efficient and healthier while creating more leisure time for cultural activities.
But the ones who reject the wheel aren’t those who do the work in this society. Those who refuse it are the governing elite, the priests, the official advisors and scribes who have incorporated a moral objection to the wheel into the state religion.
Use of the wheel is thus proscribed by faith, not reason. All practical arguments in its favour are rendered useless.
While Canada is not exactly a next door neighbour to Norway and other Scandinavian countries, there is no excuse for not knowing and emulating the proven success of those nations. What’s their open secret? Replace the wheel in this story with robust government engagement in the economy and you have pretty much all you need to understand about why Norway, Sweden and Denmark are doing so well economically and socially. And why Canada is destined for inexorable decline.
Ontario audit throws cold water on federal-provincial love affair with P3s
In her annual report in December, Ontario’s auditor general (AGO), Bonnie Lysyk, exposed the extraordinary waste and financial sham pervasive in public-private partnerships (P3s)—projects her office estimates to have cost the province $8 billion more than if they had been publicly financed and operated. That is the equivalent of $1,600 per Ontario household, or close to what the provincial deficit will be this year.
Canada’s Opposition Parties Acquiesce to Government’s Draconian “Anti-terror” Bill
Canada’s opposition parties have signaled that they will mount no serious opposition to the Conservative government’s latest “anti-terror” bill—legislation that would dramatically expand the powers of the national security apparatus and attack core democratic rights.
The Liberals, who polls indicate are the best positioned to unseat the Conservatives in the coming federal election, have announced they will vote in favour of Bill C-51 even if the government rejects the various amendments they intend to propose. The trade-union based NDP, the current official opposition, has thus far refused to say whether it supports or opposes the legislation. Like the Liberals, what criticisms it has made have been confined to the lack of “oversight mechanisms.”
Under Bill C-51, the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS), the country’s premier spy agency, is to be empowered to use illegal means to “disrupt” purported threats to Canada’s national security, a major shift from its current role as an intelligence-gathering agency. “Disruption” techniques could include breaking into homes, interfering with bank accounts and other personal data, and intercepting mail and other packages.
The globalist plan to incrementally merge the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a North American Union has been ongoing for years. While at times, the agenda appears to have seemingly stalled, current efforts to expand the trilateral partnership show that it is alive and once again gaining steam. With NAFTA as the foundation, the renewed push for deeper North American integration continues on many different fronts.
The Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), recently issued the report, Made in North America: a new agenda to sharpen our competitive edge. The CCCE is one of Canada’s most influential corporate lobby groups, with many of their proposals shaping the country’s domestic and foreign policy priorities. Throughout the years, they have pushed for deeper continental integration.
Canada’s economy is increasingly at the mercy of a risk-averse, inept corporate elite addicted to government tax breaks. They are enabled by an ideologically addled government which is incompetent.
It is a deadly combination — a dumb and dumber team dragging us backwards at a time when the world is hoping there won’t be another economic collapse.
Recent media reports reinforce what we have known for decades about the Canadian corporate elite. One highlighted Canada’s dismal performance when it comes to research and development, the other our pathetic efforts at broadening our markets for exports. More and more evidence piles up that we are de-industrializing — reminding me of the Star Trek episode where the whole crew starts devolving. Captain Picard is destined to become a pygmy marmoset. I wonder what the end point for Canada might be?
Pay Employees a Living Wage
Pickets, strikes, and protests are slated to sweep across the United States on Black Friday. (Photo: TwitPic/@WorkingAmerica)
“Last year Walmart made $16 billion in profits. The company’s controlling family, the Waltons, is the richest family in America with nearly $150 billion in wealth. That is more than the total wealth of 43% of American families combined.”
Walmart won’t pay its employees enough to afford Thanksgiving dinner, so they’re holding food drives for their employees. Seriously. It’s been reported that an Oklahoma City Walmart set up bins for underpaid associates to donate canned goods to other underpaid associates.
s most Americans, if not the financial media, are aware, Quantitative Easing (a euphemism for printing money) has failed to bring back the US economy.
So why has Japan adopted the policy? Since the heavy duty money printing began in 2013, the Japanese yen has fallen 35% against the US dollar, a big cost for a country dependent on energy imports. Moreover, the Japanese economy has shown no growth in response to the QE stimulus to justify the rising price of imports.
Despite the economy’s lack of response to the stimulus, last month the Bank of Japan announced a 60% increase in quantitative easing–from 50 to 80 trillion yen annually.
The globalist controlled Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) have called on the U.S. to work more closely with Canada and Mexico to build a new North American partnership for the future. The pivot to North America would focus on greater trilateral cooperation in areas such as energy, economic competitiveness, border management, law enforcement and continental perimeter security. Throughout the years, the incremental steps towards a North American Union have been used to further chip away at the sovereignty of all three NAFTA countries.
How do corporate attorneys sleep at night considering that with the power of their large corporate clients, they often crush the freedoms of workers, consumers and small communities who are trying to break out of a complex web of shackles?
These highly paid power lawyers expertly weave an intricate system of controls into one-sided contracts enforced by laws garnished with the muscle of big business to wear down all but the most intrepid shoppers.
I am not only referring to the mass marketing scams, crams, deceptions and hidden frauds.
Working Canadians, from blue collar workers to middle class professionals to hamburger flippers are facing the worst economy insecurity, most stressful working conditions, the slowest increases in real income and the most cynical anti-worker governments literally since the 1930s. At the same time the 1% and the powerful corporations which make them rich have not been so privileged in terms of wealth, income and political power since the pre-crash 1920s.
Yet in those days when there was virtually no state protection for workers, unions were illegal, police were more brutal and economic security for many non-existent there was a level of militancy, courage, social solidarity and sheer determination that was at once stunning and inspirational. It terrified that day’s 1% and following the depression and war it brought the only concessions to workers capitalists have ever agreed to.
The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) – the corporate lobbyist in Washington, D.C. for the disintegrating atomic power industry – doesn’t have to worry about repercussions from the negative impacts of nuclear power. For nuclear power is a government/taxpayer-guaranteed boondoggle whose staggering costs, incurred and deferred, are absorbed by American taxpayers via a supine government regulatory and subsidy apparatus.
So if you go to work at the NEI and you read about the absence of any permanent radioactive waste storage site, no problem, the government/taxpayers are responsible for transporting and safeguarding that lethal garbage for centuries.
Here’s a dirty little secret you won’t see in the daily papers: corporations conduct espionage against US nonprofit organizations without fear of being brought to justice.
Yes, that means using a great array of spycraft and snoopery, including planned electronic surveillance, wiretapping, information warfare, infiltration, dumpster diving and so much more.
The evidence abounds.
Asignificant systemic change is now a mathematical fact. Corruption, greed and economic inequality have reached a peak tipping point. Due to the consolidation of wealth, the majority of the population cannot generate enough income to keep up with the cost of living. In the present economy, under current government policy, 70% of the population is now sentenced to an impoverished existence.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the evidence.
“Hillary works for Goldman Sachs and likes war, otherwise I like Hillary,” a former Bill Clinton aide told me sardonically. First, he was referring to her cushy relationships with top Wall Street barons and her $200,000 speeches with the criminal enterprise known as Goldman Sachs, which played a part in crashing the U.S. economy in 2008 and burdening taxpayers with costly bailouts. Second, he was calling attention to her war hawkish foreign policy.
Last week, Hillary-The-Hawk emerged, once again, with comments to The Atlantic attacking Obama for being weak and not having an organized foreign policy. She was calling Obama weak despite his heavy hand in droning, bombing and intervening during his Presidency. While Obama is often wrong, he is hardly a pacifist commander. It’s a small wonder that since 2008, Hillary-The-Hawk has been generally described as, in the words of the New York Times journalist Mark Landler, “more hawkish than Mr. Obama.”
Russia is consistently portrayed in the Western media as the “aggressor” amid the ongoing Ukrainian conflict, however, it is clear through overt moves by NATO’s proxy regime in Kiev, that attempts are being made to intentionally provoke, not defend against Moscow’s ire.
The New York Times, in a recent article admits that the military campaign Kiev is carrying out against its own citizens in eastern Ukraine is overt brutality carried out by literal flag-waving Nazis, with the all but stated goal of provoking a Russian invasion.
During Cold War One those of us in the American radical left were often placed in the position where we had to defend the Soviet Union because the US government was using that country as a battering ram against us. Now we sometimes have to defend Russia because it may be the last best hope of stopping TETATW (The Empire That Ate The World). Yes, during Cold War One we knew enough about Stalin, the show trials, and the gulags. But we also knew about US foreign policy.
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein
As the world struggles with how to deal with the slow motion apocalypse of global climate change it becomes more and more apparent that we are trapped in “the kind of thinking” that got us here. While I don’t want to wear out Einstein’s quotability his other little piece of wisdom that we need to keep top of mind is this:
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
Our failure of imagination regarding the ever-increasing production and use of fossil fuels will, over time, kill billions of us and irreversibly change all life on the planet.
In June, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) published a report, War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing, which provides a chilling account of the role of the US military in arming “paramilitary police” squads throughout the country.
SWAT teams are now routinely deployed for regular police work—including the serving of warrants for nonviolent offenses. Raids by SWAT teams, typically carried out in the dead of night, often involve the use of military stun grenades, the wanton destruction of property, the killing of household pets, and, with increasing regularity, the deaths of “suspects” and their family members, including children. More than one hundred and twenty such raids take place in America every day.
For years Stephen Harper often seemed at war with his own government, so consistently critical were reviews by its various independent oversight agencies. It seems that at least one “independent” body, the Parliamentary Budget Office, is now a little more PMO-friendly. A recent report from the PBO’s new chief Jean-Denis Fréchette declared that thanks to the incredible generosity of the federal government, “Canadians” have an extra $30 billion in their pockets — money “saved” due to Conservative tax cuts. The figure includes reductions in personal income tax of $17.1 billion and the federal share of revenue loss GST/HST of $13.3 billion.
That’s almost $1,000 per person.
Isn’t that nice.
We Have an Anti-imperialist Obligation to the People of Haiti
This month marks the 10th anniversary of the UN’s military occupation of Haiti. This article was first published February 9, 2014.
We are coming upon the 10th anniversary of the February 29, 2004 coup in Haiti that was orchestrated by imperialism against the labouring classes and the democratically elected government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. According to journalist and writer Yves Engler:
On Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2003, Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government organized the “Ottawa Initiative on Haiti” to discuss that country’s future. No Haitian officials were invited to this assembly where high-level US, Canadian and French officials decided that Haiti’s elected president “must go”, the dreaded army should be recreated and that the country would be put under a Kosovo-like UN trusteeship.
Wall Street’s big banks and their financial networks that collapsed the U.S. economy in 2008-2009, were saved with huge bailouts by the taxpayers, but these Wall Street Gamblers are still paid huge money and are again creeping toward reckless misbehavior. Their corporate crime wave strip-mined the economy for young workers, threw them on the unemployment rolls and helped make possible a low-wage economy that is draining away their ability to afford basic housing, goods, and services.
Meanwhile, Wall Street is declaring huge bonuses for their executive plutocrats, none of whom have been prosecuted and sent to jail for these systemic devastations of other peoples’ money, the looting of pensions and destruction of jobs.
So, what do we have here? In Libya, in Syria, and elsewhere the United States has been on the same side as the al-Qaeda types. But not in Ukraine. That’s the good news. The bad news is that in Ukraine the United States is on the same side as the neo-Nazi types, who – taking time off from parading around with their swastika-like symbols and calling for the death of Jews, Russians and Communists – on May 2 burned down a trade-union building in Odessa, killing scores of people and sending hundreds to hospital; many of the victims were beaten or shot when they tried to flee the flames and smoke; ambulances were blocked from reaching the wounded. Try and find an American mainstream media entity that has made a serious attempt to capture the horror. 1
Scattered All Over Japan
We reported in May 2011 that authorities knew – within days or weeks - that all 3 active Fukushima nuclear reactors had melted down, but covered up that fact for months.
The next month, we reported that Fukushima’s reactors had actually suffered something much worse: nuclear melt-throughs, where the nuclear fuel melted through the containment vessels and into the ground. At the time, this was described as:
The worst possibility in a nuclear accident.