sábado, 20 de junho de 2015

IMF Violates IMF Rules, to Continue Ukraine Bailouts

Eric Zuesse

The IMF, whose bailout operations are absorbed by the taxpayers in the member countries whenever a particular bailed-out nation defaults, announced on Friday, June 19th, that it will “continue to support Ukraine through its Lending-into-Arrears Policy even in the event that a negotiated agreement with creditors in line with the program cannot be reached in a timely manner.” Though this new “Lending-into-Arrears” policy violates two IMF rules, it was justified by the IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde on the basis of the Ukrainian government’s “continued efforts to reach a collaborative agreement with all creditors.” 

In other words: a statement by Ukraine’s government that it wants to reach an agreement with its private creditors is being used by the IMF as if it were an excuse to extend into the indefinite future the IMF’s continued taxpayer-guaranteed financing of (‘lending’ to) the Ukrainian government, despite the fact that the IMF is violating two of the IMF’s own most-basic rules restricting its lending-authority — these rules are lending-restrictions whose purpose was to reduce the riskiness of the IMF’s lending, and so to minimize the amount that the IMF will be taking from taxpayers to fund its losses:

1: The IMF does not lend to nations at war — but Ukraine continues being at war against its former Donbass region despite the Minsk II ceasefire agreement; ceasefire violations, especially by the Ukrainian side, continue regularly.

2: The IMF does not lend to nations that are likely to default — but every independent source categorizes Ukraine as being virtually certain to default, and the only actual question regarding Ukraine is: when? The IMF’s answer: we’ll keep lending, building Ukraine’s public debt even higher, until our aim is achieved, and then we won’t — and that’s when the default will occur — the default will happen when we decide it will happen. It will happen when we will stop lying and saying that it won’t happen. 

The reasons for Ukraine’s actual insolvency are obvious. As John Helmer reported on 3 September 2014, “of the $3.2 billion disbursed to the Ukrainian treasury by the IMF at the start of May [in order to finance the war], $3.1 billion had disappeared offshore by the middle of August. The role of the leading Ukrainian banks, and of the Kiev officials allied with them, in arranging this was reported here.” His “here” linked to his earlier report, “Stress Test for IMF in Ukraine — Igor Kolomoysky’s PrivateBank Is the Biggest Beneficiary of the IMF’s Emergency Liquidity Assistance,” which article of his had also noted that, “According to Gerry Rice …, the spokesman for the IMF’s managing director, Christine Lagarde …, there’s no telling how much of the IMF payments will be transferred to the Ukrainian banks.” In fact, “the NBU [National Bank of Ukraine, their central bank] said it refuses to disclose what liquidity assistance it has been paying to Privatbank because ‘information on banks or customers, collected during banking supervision, is a bank secret’.” That earlier report from Helmer, in turn, linked to Helmer’s prior “Dniepropetrovsk Governor Igor Kolomoysky to Get IMF Bailout for PrivateBank,” which had opened: “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is preparing to release Privatbank, the largest commercial bank in Ukraine, from independent tests of its solvency and capital adequacy, and allow a bailout of the bank with Ukrainian public funds, backed by the IMF. The Ukraine mission of the IMF has also revealed this week that it is allowing Igor Kolomoisky …, the control shareholder of Privatbank, to direct his own audit and stress test of the bank. This is despite independent evidence of large related-party lending in which the bank has been engaged; and despite judgements recently issued in the UK courts that Kolomoisky presents evidence that is ‘false or materially incorrect’.”

I had previously reported about Kolomoysky, on 18 May 2014, which was two weeks after hundreds of opponents of the overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected President in February 2014 were burned alive, shot, and clubbed to death, in and around Odessa’s Trade Unions Building, and I headlined, “The Key Man Behind the May 2nd Odessa Ukraine Trade Unions Building Massacre: His Many Connections to the White House.” Kolomoysky had largely funded the U.S.-supported massacre in Odessa.

Moreover, as the Helmer report on 3 September 2014 (the one that I linked to) noted also: “Christine Lagarde (4), managing director of the Fund, is in other trouble. She is under investigation for a €400 million French government heist several years ago. So far she hasn’t been obliged to make public her alibi.”

Consequently, the IMF’s rules are highly flexible. Those rules actually became more flexible soon after the U.S. Administration of President Barack Obama succeeded at overthrowing in February 2014 Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych. On 23 June 2014, Brett House at QZ headlined, “A great new way for the IMF to help debt-laden countries without forcing them to default,” and he reported that, “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is considering a big shift in its lending rules.” it would permit the IMF to consider allowing “reprofiling instead of restructuring” for countries that the IMF is determined to keep going. “Creditors would be asked to defer or ‘reprofile’ their debt-service payments for a number of years, in the expectation that the country’s adjustment program would enable it to return to growth and pick up these payments at a later date.” (A subsequent IMF study showed that almost invariably, such an “expectation” turns out to have been wrong; yet the IMF continues with it. That type of “expectation” is the usual basis for “fiscal consolidation,” otherwise known as “austerity” economics.) This would enable the IMF to continue lending to the country, so that IMF member-nation taxpayers would share the burden along with private investors. Then, after default happens, those private investors will, essentially, be handed any Ukrainian public asset that wouldn’t already have been sold off in order to help fund Ukraine’s war against its former Donbass region. The defaulted government bonds become instead shares of stock in Ukrainian government assets that are sold off at pennies on the dollar. Investors are protected, while taxpayers get scalped. (Mr. House supported the change, using this argument: “The beauty of an IMF-supported debt reprofiling is that it takes the final assessment of sustainability away from the IMF staff and hangs it on the ability of a country’s reformers to convince financial markets that their public finances are sound. That’s a change worth making.” He favored anything that expedites privatizing government assets.)   

So: the IMF’s rules are, indeed, highly flexible, and one must look to whom the controlling force in the IMF is, in order to understand the IMF’s bailouts, not just in Greece but in Ukraine and elsewhere. That controlling force is the President of the United States. The IMF’s Director always receives his or her appointment only with the approval of the U.S. President. That’s the way the IMF was set up: the President has a veto, at the IMF, just as he does at Congress. And this is the reason why the IMF has always served as a handmaiden to U.S. foreign policies and priorities.

Here is a highly informative video about how the U.S. President, Barack Obama, installed the present regime in Ukraine. Subsequent confirmatory evidence is presented in text with links to sources, here and here and here. Obviously, therefore, in order for Ms. Lagarde to be able to keep her job (and its retirement perks), she must continue to please her real boss. And, in turn, Obama’s real boss is the U.S. aristocracy.

Those are some of the reasons why the founder of the ‘private CIA’ firm Stratfor said that the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych in Kiev in February 2014 had been “the most blatant coup in history.”

The massacre by Kolomoysky and the U.S.-installed Ukrainian regime, on 2 May 2014, was likewise in furtherance of that longstanding U.S. Government objective, of conquering Russia

This is the reason why the IMF has by now made unequivocally clear that, no matter how bad things get in Ukraine, its government will continue to be propped up by the West, unless and until its government violates the will of the U.S. President, as reflected and supported (whenever necessary) by the U.S. Congress.

On June 12th, Christine Lagarde issued to the press a statement: “The Ukrainian authorities have embarked on an ambitious economic program for 2015-18 aiming at deep-reaching macroeconomic adjustment and structural reforms. It includes a substantial fiscal consolidation.” The IMF always ‘recommends’ what it calls “fiscal consolidation.”

That phrase “fiscal consolidation” is economist-speak for what is commonly called “austerity,” or cuts to a government’s spending for infrastructure, public health, income redistribution downward, progressive taxation-rates, and help for the poor. The IMF already knew that what they call “fiscal consolidation” flops in every way, unless the goal is simply to increase the maldistribution of wealth (so that wealth will flow from the many to the extremely few. A massive empirical analysis of the world’s econmic data going back decades and published by the IMF in January 2013 showed that, “We find that forecasters [including the IMF’s] significantly underestimated the increase in unemployment and the decline in private consumption and investment associated with fiscal consolidation.” Since this finding contradicted standard IMF policy, the IMF’s management commissioned another study, by different ones of its empirical economists, and the resulting report was published just this month, June 2015, and it not only reconfirmed the earlier one, but it went even farther, by asserting that:

“Earlier IMF work has shown that income inequality matters for growth and its sustainability. Our analysis suggests that the income distribution itself matters for growth as well. Specifically, if the income share of the top 20 percent (the rich) increases, then GDP growth actually declines over the medium term, suggesting that the benefits do not trickle down. In contrast, an increase in the income share of the bottom 20 percent (the poor) is associated with higher GDP growth.”

This finding is the exact opposite of IMF policy (such as regarding both Greece and Ukraine). 

In other words: the West, led by the U.S. government, is committed to economic policies that redistribute wealth from the many poor to the few rich, regardless of the empirically proven falseness of the underlying theory that weath trickles down instead of percolates up. Any politician who so much as merely hints at that as being a ‘justification’ for his policies is nothing more than a liar for hire — a peddler of the worst, for the worst.

Whoever controls the West, and especially the U.S. federal government, pursues these policies — wealth-redistribution from the many poor to the few rich — regardless of what the empirical data show, and regardless of the rhetoric of political leaders in ‘democratic’ countries (such as the United States) that “reducing inequality” of both wealth and income is a goal (of the U.S. government). It’s not; to the exact contrary: the enormous loading up on debt by the U.S. Treasury and U.S. Federal Reserve and ultimately by U.S. taxpayers, is part of the plan; and such debt-buildup even finances things like the ethnic cleansing that Ukraine is perpetrating against its former Donbass region to get rid of the residents there, 90%+ of the voters there having voted for the man whom Obama overthrew and replaced.

U.S. foreign policy is not in the interests of the American public. (The State Department aren’t. The ‘Defense’ Department aren’t. The CIA aren’t.) It’s a private matter, controlled by the aristocrats who, as a result of their private deals, place their ‘public servants’ in office, in their ‘democracy,’ even if it’s dictating to the entire world (excepting perhaps Russia, China, and the other BRICS countries).


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of  Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

IMF Violates IMF Rules, to Continue Ukraine Bailouts

Is Cuba on the verge of reopening an embassy in the U.S.?

(The Canadian Press/Peter Mullaly)

(The Canadian Press/Peter Mullaly)

Peter Mullaly noticed changes in a stately mansion up the street from the White House.

The ceilings were repainted. The gold trim was shinier. The floors were repaired. And there appear to have been renovations in the back, behind the grand columned entrance and marble staircase.

He believes these herald a moment in history: the reopening of a Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C., after a 54-year hiatus.

That suspicion is based on more than a mere hunch.

Mullaly runs a flagpole business. He started it a dozen years ago with a wheelbarrow, an old shovel and a pickup truck and has grown into several states and worked on various government buildings.

The Cubans got in touch with him early this year, after the surprise announcement that diplomatic ties were being restored with its old Cold War nemesis the United States.

The Cubans wanted bids for a pole at the property on 16th Street—the former Cuban embassy which was shuttered in the 1960s, then reopened as a de-facto Cuban interests office in 1977.

They told Mullaly that full-fledged embassies could soon return to Washington and Havana. Of course, embassies need flags and poles to fly them from. And thus began the most exciting project in the history of Eastern Shore Flagpoles, the business Mullaly runs with his wife.

After a meeting at the building, he was put on standby: “They said, ‘If we give you the go-ahead we need this done within three days,”’ Mullaly recalled in an interview.

He was called back a couple of weeks ago.

The U.S. government had dropped Cuba from a list of terrorism sponsors, a key demand for further detente. The big announcement is expected soon.

There was speculation the reopening might be announced last month but the lead American diplomat on the file, Roberta Jacobson, said there were still details to be worked out: “We’ve gotten closer each time we talk,” she added.

A few days later, Mullaly got the go-ahead.

“They said, ‘Okay, we’d like to install the pole,”’ he said.

“They sounded very excited. And I was excited to be a part of it. I think it’s a wonderful thing. … They were some of the nicest people I have worked with.”

On a Monday earlier this month, he dug the foundation. On Tuesday, he did the brick work and installed a light at the base. And on Wednesday, with the help of a truck, Mullaly and two employees raised a flagpole outside the future Cuban embassy to the United States.

A few Cuban officials monitored the work. That crowd grew to about 30 or 40 people, with some people snapping photos.

“It was a proud moment,” Mullaly said. “It was an honour to be part of it.”

The actual flag—featuring blue and white stripes, a red triangle and a white star—will be hoisted whenever the embassy reopens—perhaps as early as next month.

The Obama administration says it plans to notify Congress first and give lawmakers the required 15-day notice. Some Republicans may try to stall the process, with talk of bills to deny funding for a Havana embassy.

If this whole process has created work for Mullaly, it’s taking some away from Martin Dahinden.

He’s the new Swiss ambassador to the U.S. Part of his job is to play a protective role for the Cubans working in the building on 16th Street.

Because the Cubans don’t work in a recognized embassy, the Swiss occasionally help them with things like procuring diplomatic licence plates.

Dahinden was briefed on his Cuban responsibilities before he arrived for his new posting which officially began in mid-November. A few weeks later, he got a call informing him that the U.S. and Cuba were set to make a historic announcement.

He was delighted.

“It was good news,” Dahinden said in an interview in his office.

The Swiss role itself wasn’t especially complicated.

Certainly nothing like in the cloak-and-dagger days of the Cold War, when the Swiss acted as go-betweens during the Cuban Missile Crisis and after the Kennedy assassination.

Secretary of State John Kerry has thanked the Swiss for their help over the years, and everyone is now looking ahead.

“Our mandate will disappear,” Dahinden said. “It won’t be necessary any more.”

Is Cuba on the verge of reopening an embassy in the U.S.?

The hard-to-swallow truth about vitamin pills

Tom Merton/Getty Images

Tom Merton/Getty Images

More than half a Canadian race frequently uses vitamins and minerals in sequence to stay healthy, according to Health Canada. Yet many are expected not wakeful that high doses of many common vitamins can boost a risk of cancer or death.

“Vitamins have turn synonymous with health, yet there’s this fake thought that, if a small bit is good, a lot has to be better,” says Dr. Tim Byers, associate vanguard during a Colorado School of Public Health. Byers challenged this thought recently during a American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting. “We now have approach justification that a lot is not better. In fact, a lot is worse and can emanate health problems,” he said.

There is no doubt a physique needs a smallest volume of vitamins to duty normally. Deficiencies in vitamin C can lead to scurvy, and unsound vitamin D can means a bony deformities of rickets in children, yet these diseases are frequency seen in Western countries nowadays, interjection mostly to widespread improvements in nutrition.

Related: Vitamin Determination: An oilman becomes a health caring renegade

There are some current clinical uses for vitamin therapy, such as folic poison given in pregnancy to forestall neural tube defects, or vitamin K given prophylactically to forestall hemorrhagic illness in newborns. Vitamin B12 is a diagnosis for patients with attribution anemia, and iron supplements are mostly given to patients with iron deficiency.

But many people who take vitamins don’t have any of these medical problems. In fact, many of them are totally healthy and take vitamins not to provide sickness, yet to forestall it. So a initial doubt Byers asked himself when he set out to hearing 30 years’ value of investigate conducted on vitamins and cancer was: Can vitamins indeed forestall disease? He presented his commentary during a American Association for Cancer Research meeting.

The 1996 Physicians’ Health Study, he forked out, found there’s no justification to uncover that beta-carotene (the dietary form of vitamin A) prevents cancer. In 2009, a Physicians’ Health Study II found that vitamin C and vitamin E had no protecting effect, either. The hearing of a array of trials, specifically, in women, again showed no advantage for tens of thousands of patients over 10 years. Study after investigate showed that vitamins C, D and E did not reduce a risk of cancer.

But dark in a mass of information that Byers presented during a discussion are worrying signs that vitamins competence indeed boost people’s cancer risk. Two other vast randomized trials found that high doses of beta-carotene increasing a risk of lung cancer in both masculine and womanlike smokers. Another hearing that complicated 35,000 organisation in Canada and a U.S. found a couple between high doses of vitamin E and prostate cancer in men.

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 during 8.39.03 PMMoreover, a commentary from these several studies were reviewed by a Cochrane Collaboration, an general organisation of researchers, who, after examining a data, found no justification to support a use of vitamin therapy, and advanced that there seemed to be an increasing risk of failing with beta-carotene and vitamin E supplements. That position was after echoed by a U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

“After so many trials and so many studies, we consider we can be unequivocally assured that these compounds are not carrying many advantage and are expected doing harm,” says Dr. Eliseo Guallar of Johns Hopkins University. But Guallar believes many of a risk is due to a use of supraphysiological doses, or doses above and over what a physique indeed requires.

Water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C and a B-complex vitamins, will simply be filtered by a kidneys and upheld in a urine, once a blood levels arise above a certain threshold. Fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E and K, might poise some-more of a problem, accumulating in a soothing tissues of a physique and potentially causing toxicity during aloft doses.

“Most [vitamin E] supplements are 400 IU, that is 20 times what we get with diet,” Guallar explains. That is also 20 times some-more than we might unequivocally need. Research he conducted with other colleagues during Johns Hopkins showed that a risk with vitamin E followed a dose-response pattern, where a risk usually became manifest during these aloft doses. In other words, people holding aloft doses have a larger risk of dying.

Byers agrees that a regard with supplements is a dose. “My problem is a people holding handfuls [of vitamin supplements], or a manufacturers that are putting impossibly high doses into singular pills in a totally unregulated way,” he says.

The formula of these trials have been seen for diseases besides cancer, as well. In 2013, a array of articles in a Annals of Internal Medicine showed that daily multivitamins did not reduce people’s risk of building heart illness or Alzheimer’s. It led Guallar and a array of other colleagues to write an editorial in a same emanate titled, “Enough is enough: Stop wasting income on vitamin and vegetable supplements.”

For well-nourished adults, Guallar says, vitamins are, during best, ineffective. “I wish we had a sorcery tablet that could diminution disease,” he says, “but these vitamins are not that pill.”

The hard-to-swallow truth about vitamin pills

Putin wants to sit with G7 leaders again

(Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo around Associated Press)

(Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo around Associated Press)

Russia appears to be angling to make it a G8 once again and President Vladimir Putin suggests it’s something Prime Minister Stephen Harper will only have to accept.

“I don’t wish to provoke anyone, though if a United States says Russia should be returned to a G8, a primary apportion will change his opinion,” Putin told The Canadian Press during a assembly with a heads of universe news agencies during a St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Russian officials forsaken hints all day Friday that a understanding competence be a works for Putin to attend a subsequent limit after blank dual uninterrupted meetings.

Following a final entertainment of leaders in Germany during a commencement of June, Harper done it transparent he didn’t wish Putin behind during a list since he doesn’t share a values of a group.

“I came of a view, some time before a allege of Ukraine, that his participation during a list of a G7 was not productive—in fact was stopping a kinds of discussions, a kinds of co-operation we could be carrying on a extended operation of general issues,” Harper pronounced during a end of a limit in Schloss Elmau, Germany.

As late as a month ago, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov downplayed a significance of a Group of Eight mercantile powers as an “informal club.” However vocalization during his signature mercantile forum on Friday, Putin went on during length about how honour on a general theatre was critical to Russia.

Washington’s position is unclear, though carrying Russia resume a chair would symbol an critical unfreeze in general family after months of Cold War-like tongue over Ukraine.

It would also paint a tiny personal annoyance for Harper, who has been among Putin’s many outspoken critics.

It came during a same time as Putin changed to expostulate a crowd among European countries as he called on a West to gaunt on Ukraine to honour all of a inner domestic reforms in a assent settle sealed in Minsk.

The mercantile courtship of Greece—significant for a oneness of a European Union—became an open courtship with an coming and debate by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during a forum.

Putin’s remarks about Ukraine came opposite a backdrop of uninformed fighting in eastern regions and a imminent renovation of general sanctions, that have dealt a physique blow to a Russian economy.

He brushed off a gloomy economy, revelation a mercantile forum that a conditions for Russia has “stabilized,” though he after combined that sanctions strike Europe as tough as Moscow and a detriment of tens of billions in mercantile expansion hurts a whole universe economy.

Instead of publicly signalling conciliation, Putin demanded Washington and other western nations, including Canada, vigour a supervision in Kyiv to “fully implement” a settle sealed final winter.

In particular, he wants to see a betrothed inherent renovate that would give rebel regions some-more autonomy.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has done it transparent there will be no reforms as prolonged as Russia keeps infantry in his country.

His comments were echoed in a write review with Harper on Friday.

“Both leaders concluded that a Putin regime’s charge and ongoing defilement of a Minsk agreements contingency be met with continued resolve, including by a focus of mercantile sanctions,” pronounced Stephen Lecce, a orator for Harper.

Canada, along with a U.S. and Britain, is scheming to broach fight training to a Ukrainian army, though a western allies have stopped brief of providing weapons to a embattled country.

It became transparent that European solidarity—the pivotal to progressing sanctions—was display signs of enormous underneath a weight of a probable Greek default.

Tsipras delivered a transparent vigilance in front of a general business assembly that his nation is prepared to welcome Russia—something that will boost regard his financially-strapped nation is laying a grounds for an exit from a EU.

A renovation of European sanctions is approaching in late June. In a past, Greece has described a sanctions process “economic warfare.”

No singular nation is authorised to mangle a sanctions regime,

The remarks were done in allege of an puncture assembly called by a EU for subsequent week, where attempts will be done to strech a bailout understanding for Greece.

Russia has signalled over a final few days that it’s prepared to yield some form of financial support to Greece, Officials pronounced Friday no such ask was done when Putin met with Tsipras.

Putin wants to sit with G7 leaders again

Paying a premium for green in England - World

Paying a premium for green in England

sexta-feira, 19 de junho de 2015

Jeb Bush dismisses his church’s stance on climate change — why not gay marriage?

Dreher, of course, makes an excellent point — especially on the marriage front, where Bush has been consistently anti-gay for his entire political career. As governor of Florida, Bush vigorously supported his state’s ban on gay adoption, preferring to leave children orphaned than to let them be adopted by a gay couple. He unwaveringly defended Florida’s same-sex marriage ban, informing one gay man who wished to get married that the “institution of marraige [sic] is under attack in our society and needs to be strengthened.” And he has championed anti-gay “religious liberty” laws, asserting that homophobic businesses should receive a special right to discriminate against gay couples.

How does Bush choose which Catholic dogma to observe and which to ignore? Oddly enough, the candidate seems to follow Catholic teachings when they align with the Republican Party — and dismiss them when they don’t. Bush may have a serious, sincere reason for opposing marriage equality. But until he explains what that is, his justification for disadvantaging gay people looks like little more than a pious patina over raw animus.

Jeb Bush dismisses his church’s stance on climate change — why not gay marriage?

It sure looks like the Pacific trade pact sucks. Why is Obama so hot for it?

On Thursday, The House of Representatives provided just barely enough votes to give a green light to the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, aka the TPP, aka the top-secret 12-nation trade agreement that seemingly everyone hates — except for President Obama, a few hundred Republicans, some free-trade-minded economists, and the business establishment.

The House approved giving Obama something called “fast track” authority, which means that once the treaty is concluded, Congress will get to vote it up or down, but not break it into little pieces. The vote represented a sharp double-back for TPP, whose fate had been imperiled by a bipartisan rebellion against fast-track authorization in which minority leader Nancy Pelosi participated.

There is a bright side to all of this. Obama has finally gotten Democrats and Republicans to collaborate across the aisle! But there are also a lot of questions. Why, exactly, is Obama so ardent about the TPP — so much so that he’s made it a top priority of his second term? Is it, as The Economist argues, a vital way to get in on that 40 percent of global economic output that its Pacific Rim members represent? Or will it empower multinational corporations at the expense of working people — and, as many environmentalists fear, put a potent weapon in the hands of overseas firms that want to blow up U.S. regulations that protect the planet?

Writes William Finnegan in the New Yorker:

Maybe it’s a better agreement — better for the American middle class, for American workers — than it seems in the leaked drafts, where it appears bent to the will of multinational corporations. John Kerry, the Secretary of State, and Ashton Carter, the Secretary of Defense, co-authored a column on Monday in USA Today arguing, in evangelical tones, that the TPP will usher in a glorious new era of American-led prosperity, a “global race to the top” for all parties. Meanwhile, the AFL-CIO sees only a race to the bottom. Organized labor, by all accounts, plans to punish any elected Democrat who supports the TPP, or even supports fast-track for Obama, in the next campaign. It’s difficult, again, to evaluate the agreement when we can’t see it. And it will be difficult for Congress to do its job if its members can’t study each part of the many-tentacled TPP on its merits, but must simply vote yes or no on the whole shebang.

Seriously. Why? The TPP has more enemies than the corpse in an Agatha Christie novel, despite the fact that, except for a few leaked chapter drafts, not many people even know what’s in it. Tea Partiers hate the TPP. The Congressional Black Caucus – usually Obama’s most loyal constituency – is opposed to it. People who care about fair use, intellectual property, privacy, and freedom of information are against it.

The draft of the agreement is reportedly 800 pages long, and the only people who have been able to read it besides those who negotiated it are senators and representatives, who can only read it in a guarded basement room under the Capitol, and only if they promise not to take notes. Wikileaks, meanwhile, is trying to crowdsource a $100,000 bounty to pay anyone who leaks the full text of the treaty.

Environmental groups are especially against the TPP for two reasons. One: A leaked chapter suggests that the environmental section of the agreement is incredibly weak. Two: It opens the United States to arbitration hearings that would allow companies in TPP’s member countries to sue American cities and states over environmental regulations when a company thinks they’re bad for business.

Just 28 Democrats out of the 188 currently in the House backed giving the president the fast track authority he seeks – the majority of the votes came from Republicans. Now, because the House passed a different version from the one the Senate already approved, the Senate gets another crack at it, most likely next week.

It sure looks like the Pacific trade pact sucks. Why is Obama so hot for it?

The “secret science committee” behind the pope’s encyclical

Sick of conference about a pope’s encyclical? How about the “400-year-old collective […] that operates as a pope’s eyes and ears on a healthy world,” a.k.a. a “secret scholarship committee” behind that encyclical?

Didn’t consider so. Here’s the dip from Bloomberg:

The Pontifical Academy has about 80 members, all of them allocated for life. Scientists accost from many nations, religions, and disciplines, which today embody astronomy, biochemistry, physics, and mathematics. Members pursue a systematic issues they reason many critical to society, though Vatican interference. Unlike a National Academy of Sciences, that is financially eccentric from a U.S., a Pontifical Academy relies on a Vatican to keep a lights on.

The full academy meets each dual years and is mostly postulated an assembly from a pope. In a stretches between a biannual sessions, scientists reason workshops and furnish reports on whichever topics they determine are many critical for a pope to understand.

And they’ve been disturbed about climate change for utterly some time:

Academy events have addressed a basis of meridian change going behind during slightest to Oct 1980. That’s when Italian physicist Giampietro Puppi addressed a academy during a weeklong seminar on energy.

“The introduction into a atmosphere of an additional volume of particulates and gas, as a outcome of fuel burning,” pronounced Puppi, an academy member from 1978 until his death, in 2006, “represents in a middle term, decades to centuries, a many critical emanate and a one of biggest regard on a tellurian scale.”

Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a meridian scientist during a Scripps Institution of Oceanography, has been a member of a academy given 2004. He told Bloomberg that a organisation is totally secular: “Not all of them even trust in a god. They are there for pristine systematic excellence, and they are not co-opted by any country. They’re not co-opted by a United Nations.”

In April, a academy invited religious leaders from all over — Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, and other Christians — to a Vatican for a conference on meridian change. Here’s some-more from Bloomberg:

They listened from Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen, who popularized a idea that tellurian attention has shoved a universe into a new geological proviso — a “anthropocene,” or in plainspeak, “the tellurian age.”

And they listened Jeffrey Sachs, inclusive author and Columbia University economist, contend that “we can still, though only barely,” equivocate wickedness levels that lead to dangerous meridian change risk.

But a pope doesn’t necessarily take recommendation from the committee, Werner Arber, a Nobel-winning molecular biologist and a boss of a Pontifical Academy of Sciences, told Bloomberg. If he doesn’t “appreciate” their work, he’s giveaway to flattering most omit it.

In an email to Bloomberg, British astronomer Martin Rees, who has been on a cabinet given 1990, wrote that “the Vatican is as ambiguous to me as to you!” But he combined that this encyclical is enlivening — it could have an impact in the building universe and “maybe also in your Republican Party.”

Yeesh. That’s embarrassing. And also, unfortunately, flattering sad thinking.

The “secret science committee” behind the pope’s encyclical

Hope Solo's 'freaking huge' performance - World

Hope Solo's 'freaking huge' performance

quinta-feira, 18 de junho de 2015

Gender inequality in the sciences? It’s still very present in Canada.

A Monday Oct. 8, 2001 print from files of Dr. Tim Hunt, leader of a Nobel Prize for Medicine, in a laboratory in London. The Nobel Prize-winning British scientist has apologized Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015, for observant a difficulty with girls operative in scholarship labs is that it leads to regretful entanglements and harms science. Tim Hunt done a comments during a World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea, according to assembly members. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

A Monday Oct. 8, 2001 print from files of Dr. Tim Hunt, leader of a Nobel Prize for Medicine, in a laboratory in London. The Nobel Prize-winning British scientist has apologized Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015, for observant a “trouble with girls” operative in scholarship labs is that it leads to regretful entanglements and harms science. Tim Hunt done a comments during a World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea, according to assembly members. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

Last week, Nobel laureate Tim Hunt done some ridiculous remarks to a organisation of scientists and journalists: “Let me tell we about my difficulty with girls. Three things occur when they are in a lab. You tumble in adore with them, they tumble in adore with we and when we impugn them, they cry.” Unsurprisingly, a comments were not good received, and within a week he had quiescent from a series of distinguished positions in a U.K.

Related: Why there are too few women in STEM

The comments triggered an general contention about a status, diagnosis and knowledge of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). While we like to consider that gender inequality in STEM is out-of-date and that as a multitude we’ve done good advances in equal opportunities, a numbers don’t always tell a same tale.

The law is, in Canada during least, really small has changed.

Still underrepresented

Despite an boost in women with STEM degrees, a commission of women operative in a fields has hardly altered in roughly 30 years. In 1987, 20 per cent of a STEM workforce was women. Today, it is 22 per cent.


Still underpaid

In 1997, women in STEM were paid 15 per cent reduction than their masculine coworkers. Things have improved, though on normal they are still paid

7.5 per cent reduction today. Here’s how they transport in a opposite fields:


Gender inequality in the sciences? It’s still very present in Canada.

The pope’s climate change encyclical, in tweets

Today, a Vatican expelled a pope’s encyclical on meridian change. Don’t have a time or appetite to ride by scarcely 40,000 difference on a requirement to a universe and a poor? Luckily, Pope Francis is holding forgiveness on those of us with squalid courtesy spans and tweeting adult a storm. Here’s what a pontiff had to say:

Preach! The pope shows no pointer of negligence down, so we will keep updating this essay until he finishes tweeting a whole encyclical. Someone take divided a pope mobile before Francis gets a bad box of corpus hovel syndrome.

The pope’s climate change encyclical, in tweets

One benefit to California’s drought: Cleaner beaches

Yo, dudes and dudettes, it’s time to start getting amped, not aggro, about California’s ongoing drought. Here’s a deal: Less sleet means that reduction gnarly charge water flows behind into a ocean. So don’t be a paddlepuss, a water’s indeed utterly nice.

The Los Angeles Times has a story:

California’s slow drought has continued to have during slightest one china lining: cleaner H2O along a coast, according to a new report.

Water peculiarity along Southern California’s seashore softened final year amid a record-low rainfall mostly since reduce amounts of charge runoff flowed down to a area, according to a annual Beach Report Card expelled Wednesday by Heal a Bay, an environmental group.

Ninety-four percent of Los Angeles County’s beaches – prolonged among a many soiled in a state – perceived A or B grades for a jammed summer months, according to a report. That commission was adult 4% from final year’s news and adult 10% for a county’s summer normal for a final 5 years. …

The heading means of H2O wickedness in internal beaches is storm-drain runoff, issuing untreated to a seashore and mostly infested with engine oil, pesticides, yard waste, animal rubbish and other pollutants.

Drought, schmout, bruh.

One benefit to California’s drought: Cleaner beaches

Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si” encyclical expresses moral obligation to fight climate change

This story was originally published by Huffington Post and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

In a highly anticipated papal letter released June 18, Pope Francis called on Catholics worldwide to make safeguarding the environment and battling climate change an urgent and top priority of the 21st century.

In the lengthy treatise, more broadly addressed to “every person” who lives on Earth, the pope lays out a moral case for supporting sustainable economic and population growth as part of the church’s mission and humanity’s responsibility to protect God’s creation for future generations. While saying that there were natural causes to climate change over the Earth’s history, the letter also says in strong words that human activity and production of greenhouse gases are to blame.

The draft text of the encyclical, titled “Laudato Si’” (“Be praised”), was leaked June 15 by the Italian magazine L’Espresso in what Vatican officials called a “heinous act.”

Already buzzed-about in Catholic and political circles before the leak, the pope’s global call on the environment generated strong reaction this week, with everyone from theologians to aspiring presidential nominees chiming in.

“I hope I’m not going to get castigated for saying this by my priest back home, but I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope,” GOP presidential hopeful and Catholic Jeb Bush said at a campaign event this week in reaction to the pope’s views on climate change policy. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), also a Catholic, has spoken out against the pope as well, saying the pontiff shouldn’t meddle in scientific matters.

The encyclical, Francis’ first since becoming pope in March 2013, is considered the highest form of teaching a pope can give, and was officially released after months of edits in the halls of Vatican City and anticipation in Catholic universities and churches around the world.

While it is not considered an infallible teaching, it is “the most authoritative type of statement issued by a pope short of something declared to be infallible,” said Christopher Vogt, chair of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at St. John’s University in New York. “This will put the issue on the agenda. It’s hopeful that the pope is naming the environment not just as a technical question of what’s happening to the earth, but as a moral issue.”

This is not the first time Francis or church leaders have spoken in strong terms about the environment — the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released a “plea for dialogue” on climate change in 2001 — though the encyclical is the first to address climate change in such an official manner from the church’s highest leader.

Throughout papacies, encyclicals have focused the church’s influential attention on major global issues, including industrialization and labor abuse (Pope Leo XIII’s “Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor” in 1891), the Cold War and nuclear arms (Pope John XXIII’s “Peace on Earth” in 1963), and population growth and the rejection of artificial birth control (Pope Paul VI’s “Humanae Vitae” in 1968).

The current pope’s predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, released three encyclicals during his nearly eight-year papacy that elucidated his views on the virtues of love, hope, and “charity in truth.” While a fourth encyclical, “Lumen Fidei” (The Light of Faith), was published under Francis in the first months of his papacy, it was largely the work of Benedict.

“This is a truly extraordinary document, for it places the world’s largest Christian church at the forefront of efforts to save and protect the environment after decades of turning a blind eye to environmental degradation in the Christian West. Liberation theology’s call to build the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth can only be realized if our planet is inhabitable,” said R. Andrew Chesnut, the chair of Catholic Studies and a Professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. “While some continue to debate whether Francis is the ‘red pope,’ this groundbreaking encyclical establishes him as the undisputed ‘green pope.’”

“Laudato Si’” is considered in part to be a curtain-raiser on the pope’s pilgrimage to the United States in late September, during which he’s scheduled to address a joint session of Congress and, separately, the United Nations General Assembly. The highlight of the pope’s trip will be the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, where the city is preparing for millions of pilgrims to visit. Before the U.S., Francis will also travel to Cuba. The letter’s release gives it several months of lead time on a major United Nations climate change conference that will take place in late November and early December in Paris.

American church officials have prepared for months for the encyclical’s call, with church bulletins and suggested homily topics on the environment printed and ready across the country. A “One Earth, One Human Family” march is being held in Rome on June 28, with churches being asked to ring their bells at noon in commemoration. In cities where scientists have predicted some of the worst outcomes of climate change and rising sea levels, such as Miami, bishops are preparing aggressive campaigns to get congregants and political leaders to heed the pope’s call.

Still, it’s unclear exactly what effect Francis can have on global debates over climate change, especially in the U.S., where there is a strong current of opinion against the climate change science and some American bishops are more conservative than their global counterparts. A HuffPost/YouGov poll last month found that while 82 percent of Americans in general and 84 percent of Catholics said humans have a “moral duty to protect the environment,” only 52 percent of the general population and the same percentage of Catholics said climate change is caused by humans.

Regarding their everyday lives, 57 percent of Americans said they would not “take environmentally friendly actions like recycling and saving water” more often because of the pope’s encyclical, compared to a quarter of Americans who said they would. The responses were slightly better for Catholics: 43 percent said they would be more likely to be more environmentally friendly after a papal encyclical, while 40 percent said the pope’s words would not change how they act.

While Francis himself has garnered wide support in the Vatican for taking on climate change and is continuing in the tradition of previous popes (Benedict was also dubbed the “green pope” for his calls to protect the environment), the encyclical brought criticism from conservative Catholics before its release. The day before Rome’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences held a summit on climate change in April, two American groups opposed to the environmental movement hosted a press conference in the city to speak out against the cause.

“Humans are not causing a climate crisis on God’s Green Earth — in fact, they are fulfilling their Biblical duty to protect and use it for the benefit of humanity,” Joseph Bast, president of the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, said in a statement released April 24, before the group’s Rome event with Cornwall Alliance, a Virginia-based organization that also advocates against the widely agreed-upon science on climate change.

“Though Pope Francis’s heart is surely in the right place, he would do his flock and the world a disservice by putting his moral authority behind the United Nations’ unscientific agenda on the climate,” the statement said.

The next week, Cardinal Peter Turkson, who leads the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, spoke at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences summit, where U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon also keynoted.

“This is an all-embracing moral imperative: to protect and care for both creation, our garden home, and the human person who dwells herein — and to take action to achieve this,” said Turkson, who worked on drafting the encyclical. He said wealthy countries “are morally obligated to push forward and find solutions to climate-related change and so protect the environment and human life. They are obliged both to reduce their own carbon emissions and to help protect poorer countries from the disasters caused or exacerbated by the excesses of industrialization.”

Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si” encyclical expresses moral obligation to fight climate change

'I want to inspire these kids' - World

'I want to inspire these kids'

Can a party for women, and by women, make it in Britain?

Debbie Toksvig

Debbie Toksvig

At a annual World of Women Festival during London’s South Bank Centre this past March, Catherine Mayer, a American-born publisher and new biographer of Prince Charles, stood adult in a assembly during a QA event and done an brusque critique that would change a face of British politics.

The panelists had been deliberating a subject all too informed in contemporary feminist circles: Frustration during a delayed gait of amicable swell when it comes to women achieving equal illustration in council and elsewhere (if swell continues during a stream pace, it would take roughly a entertain of a century for women MPs to equal 50 per cent of a British House of Commons and roughly 80 years to tighten a compensate gap). Mayer suggested that maybe what British women unequivocally indispensable was their possess party—one that would attract attention, take votes and change a debate, many in a approach a Green Party has forced many of a mainstream domestic parties to turn some-more environmentally friendly, or a approach a worried UKIP celebration pushed immigration to a forefront of a domestic discuss in a final U.K. election. The panelists applauded a thought and a assembly roared their approval. Then Mayer joked that anyone who was for a thought should come accommodate her following during a bar.

And they did.

In a days following, Mayer rang her friend, Sandi Toksvig, a Danish-British comedian and presenter of a Politics Quiz, a renouned diversion uncover on BBC Radio 4. She told her about her “crazy idea” and was gay to find that Toksvig “had been meditative along a same lines. The rest is history—or positively looks like it will be.”

In usually over 3 months given then, a Women’s Equality Party has gained poignant traction in mainstream Britain. In April, Toksvig quit her pursuit in sequence to combine on a celebration full-time. Her stream pretension is “MC” and Mayer is president—they have no grave celebration leader. Although there still is no approach to indeed turn a card-carrying member as a organisation (which goes by a acronym “WE”) has nonetheless to grasp central celebration status, a celebration has garnered over 30,000 “likes” on Facebook and determined 41 branches opposite a country, stretching from Southampton to Glasgow. According to a Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore, a member of a steering committee, a response has been astonishing. “In a initial week that a website went up, we had 3,000 emails. we haven’t had to go around vagrant for help. Lots of people, high-profile and otherwise, have usually been entrance to me and saying, ‘What can we do?’ ” Last weekend, a Times columnist and author Caitlin Moran (the undoubted Mick Jagger of British feminism) tweeted her pure support for a party, dogmatic it “a non-shit UKIP.”

Related: Read a twin of a Maclean’s row about women in Canadian politics

Earlier this month, Women’s Equality hosted their initial fundraiser during Conway Hall in London, that sole out in a day. Four hundred people—nearly all women, with a smattering of men—paid $50 any to watch Toksvig perform a stand-up set on a story of women’s equality. Afterward, Mayer and Toksvig summarized a party’s simple platform, that is to concentration on equal illustration for women in politics, business and education, as good as equal diagnosis of women in media, equal parenting rights, equal compensate and an finish to assault opposite women.

The celebration will have a central launch subsequent September, and there have been clever rumours that Toksvig will announce her bid for London mayor on or around that time. “I can’t be worse than Boris,” she joked during a fundraiser, serve fuelling a speculation.

In an interview, Mayer tells Maclean’s that a celebration aims to run possibilities in a 2020 choosing and that it is indeed not a single-issue celebration notwithstanding a single-issue name. “We will foster a objectives with a laser-like concentration and win since we are building a broadest of support bases,” she said. “We aim to galvanize people—yes, really many including men—from all walks of life, ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, beliefs and experiences, since equivalence is improved for everyone.”

There are other examples of identical parties around a world. Sweden’s Feminist Party, for instance, has one member in a European Parliament and usually 5 per cent of a vote, though has “significantly shifted a inhabitant discourse,” Moore notes. In 2014, a Women’s Equality Party was launched in New York, founded, infrequently enough, by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Organizers are fervent to advise that a WE is non-partisan, unconditionally thorough and has no alliances with any of a vital domestic parties, though naturally not everybody is gay by a idea. There has been eye-rolling from a approaching socially regressive corners and Toksvig told an assembly during final month’s Hay on Wye festival that “the trolls are out,” spewing abuse opposite her and a celebration on amicable media.

Kate Maltby, a blogger for a Telegraph, claimed a thought would “ruin feminism” as she knew it, and endanger a enrichment of women’s rights by fragmenting a British citizens even further. “Moore’s prophesy of a vital feminist celebration in Parliament is a pardonable fantasy,” she wrote, “but what creates it a calamity for me is a glance of a universe in that feminists don’t worry to join a genuine parties.”

But Moore, for her part, is unfazed by such criticism. The genuine issue, she says, is greasing a wheels of amicable progress, that have been creaking along for decades on a issues she’s many ardent about. “We can’t wait for a complement to adjust itself; it’s holding too long. We have to pull it, and if we have to do it a usually approach a vital parties understand—by holding their votes—then that’s accurately what we’ll do.”

Can a party for women, and by women, make it in Britain?

They may be dynastic. But let’s not dismiss Clinton or Bush.

 Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Here is something we competence not know about Jeb Bush: His initial name is unequivocally an acronym. He was innate John Ellis Bush.

And something we positively did know: His father, George H.W. Bush, was boss of a United States, as was his comparison brother, George W. Bush. This week, Jeb announced he’s anticipating to get into a family business, as well. “I am a claimant for a boss of a United States,” he told a narrow-minded throng in Florida, where he was a two-term governor. As a contender for a many critical pursuit in a world, Bush has many to suggest him, utterly from a Canadian viewpoint. Yet his name approval and famous family legacy—so mostly an advantage in politics—may infer to be his biggest liability.

Bush is selling himself as a moderate, courteous Republican claimant who can enlarge a party’s seductiveness to constraint those uncommitted electorate who elite Barack Obama over Republican nominees John McCain and Mitt Romney in a final dual elections. He advocates inhabitant preparation standards, accepts meridian change and believes in formulating a pathway to citizenship for bootleg immigrants. All are heresies among a Tea Party wing of a Republican party. Bush even delivered partial of his debate in Spanish, profitable loyalty to informative farrago in an increasingly polarized nation. (Though, to be fair, he’s pro-gun and opposes same-sex marriage, so it’s not as if he’s repudiated a whole Republican platform.)

Bush’s centrist proceed is a distributed risk, utterly given a Byzantine U.S. primary routine required to win a presidential nomination. He’s polling utterly feeble in Iowa, for example, where impassioned positions go over good and a initial of a votes will be hold early subsequent year. And he has left copiousness of room for competitors with some-more strident views. Nevertheless, Bush has argued that a viable Republican hopeful contingency be prepared to “lose a primary to win a ubiquitous [election] though violating your principles.” This bucks required knowledge that says Republican possibilities contingency pitch tough to a right to constraint a primary stage, afterwards hook behind to a centre during a inhabitant campaign. Whether he can say his optimistic, middle-of-the-road viewpoint when early earnings infer unsatisfactory stays to be seen; still, it’s enlivening to see a Republican claimant dedicate to a center belligerent during this theatre of a process.

Related: Why Donald Trump’s presidential debate might not be a sum joke

Beyond a event to retreat a crippling breach afflicting American politics, several other factors make Bush an appealing probability for Canadian spectators. He’s an unapologetic disciple of giveaway trade and a believer of a Trans-Pacific Partnership, a large Asian giveaway trade understanding that’s essential to Canadian interests. And he can see opposite borders, when it comes to appetite policy. “With North American resources and American ingenuity, we can finally grasp appetite confidence in this nation,” he pronounced in his candidacy debate this week, a transparent anxiety to Canada’s plenty oil supplies. Perhaps Keystone XL will get built after all.

Of course, a biggest articulate indicate for any intensity Bush candidacy is not his process vision, though a probability he could finish adult confronting Democrat Hillary Clinton in a 2016 presidential election—two storied final names going head-to-head for dynastic superiority. For many, a probability of a Bush vs. Clinton rematch has been met with ennui, annoy and derision. “Not another Bush. Please,” snapped a satirical Washington Post editorial cartoon. The many formidable questions Bush has rubbed so distant impute to his brother’s argumentative advance of Iraq. Clinton contingency also expel off slow passion toward her purpose in Bill Clinton’s presidency.

Related: American politics? They’ve spin a family affair.

Yet tired over informed names and a associated explain that American politics humour from a skip of newness skip a some-more distinct point: Each intensity claimant is a mature, entirely shaped particular with his or her possess prolonged list of accomplishments, delicately thought-out positions and low seductiveness in process matters. Both have their eyes on a domestic centre. Neither should be discharged out of hand, simply since his or her father, hermit or father has already filled a position. In fact, there’s many to be pronounced for a prolonged origin any has perceived during a chair of power, generally given a unsatisfactory opening of Obama, who presented himself to electorate as a uninformed face and pitch of hope, afterwards spent many of his dual terms hamstrung by an intransigent Washington. Experience will matter many more, this time around.

Of course, conjunction Bush nor Clinton has nonetheless warranted a right to paint their particular parties subsequent year. “Not a one of us deserves a pursuit by right of resumé, celebration seniority, family or family narrative,” Bush pronounced on Monday, referring to a Bush family legacy. “It’s nobody’s turn. It’s everybody’s test, and it’s far-reaching open—exactly as a competition for boss should be.”

So here’s anticipating a 2016 presidential choosing will be focused on building consensus, charity concede and reclaiming a domestic center ground. And might a best male or lady win.

They may be dynastic. But let’s not dismiss Clinton or Bush.

Tell us, Stephen Poloz: What do you really think?

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail/CP

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail/CP

You have to give Bank of Canada administrator Stephen Poloz credit. On a doubt of Canada’s frothy housing marketplace and sky-high domicile debt levels, he’s been zero if not consistent. Pretty many from his initial statements as administrator in 2013—that’s about $100,000 ago in genuine estate appreciation terms—through to final week when a bank expelled a latest financial complement review, Poloz has walked a tightrope between revelation that towering residence prices and debt levels poise a risk to a economy, and assuring Canadians that a odds of a pile-up is indeed flattering low. Poloz was during his sunniest when he testified recently to a financial cabinet in Ottawa—“We don’t trust we’re in a bubble,” he told a fabricated MPs, observant he sees no signs of a suppositional activity that typically characterizes a bubble, like people shopping mixed houses to flip them. “We have in fact been building houses unequivocally many in line with demographic direct in Canada, so there’s no excess.”

So here’s a doubt that might sound mean, though isn’t meant to be: When Poloz says these things, is he only perplexing not to weird us out, or does he unequivocally trust what he’s saying?

Related: Our QA with Stephen Poloz on jobs, debt and a economy

After all, it’s one thing for an ink-stained good-for-nothing like yours truly to pile-up on about a hazard of a housing crash. It’s another thing wholly when you’re a one with a energy to set seductiveness rates and single-handedly vanquish a nation’s home-ownership dreams. Poloz has schooled all too good a weight of his difference (atrocious, anyone?) and in a certainty diversion like genuine estate, where prices are hold aloft wholly by a eagerness of a subsequent customer to play along, a pile-up warning runs a risk of apropos self-fulfilling.

Related: Inside a crazy universe of rise genuine estate

The fact is, we’ll expected never know accurately what Poloz thinks about Canada’s housing market. This being Canada, there’s no clarity during a executive bank about discussions that start behind sealed doors. It’s a opposite story in a U.S., where, after a five-year delay, transcripts of Federal Open Market Committee meetings—where U.S. seductiveness rates are set—are expelled to a public. And reading transcripts from those serene days of a decade ago, before a U.S. crash, dual things spin straightforwardly apparent that might lend some discernment to Poloz’s situation—U.S. Federal Reserve officials were indeed disturbed about causing alarm. But during a same time, they truly and deeply believed it would all spin out only fine.

In early 2004, as American residence prices roared aloft and there came apocalyptic warnings from some buliding about a existence of a bubble—accompanied, of course, by strident denials from banks, many economists and a debt and genuine estate industries—Ben Bernanke (then still a administrator before he became Fed chairman) addressed a problem of what to tell a American people. “One’s desire is to answer by portrayal a soothing design so as not to means nonessential open concern,” he pronounced during one Mar meeting. “On a other hand, financial conditions do change, and it’s a common shortcoming both to guard those changes and to promulgate truthfully to a open what we see.”

To paraphrase, don’t weird people out, though be honest if a conditions turns bad. It was a indecisive point, however, since as a transcripts from 2004 to when housing prices started to dump in 2006 show, it was infinite to those in a room that a low and long-lasting housing pile-up could indeed occur. A march of reports and experts explained divided high residence prices and debt levels with many of a same arguments we hear currently in Canada—yes, prices are approach adult compared to rents, though a research is built on injured data; debt levels are high, though so are residence prices, that minimizes a risk; America’s demographics support a boom; and afterwards a classic: There’ll be a soothing landing.

Last year a economist Paul Krugman offering one of a best explanations I’ve seen nonetheless as to because froth are so tough to spot, until they pop. A entirely arrogant bubble, he offered, is “a healthy large lie—that is, a distortion so brazen nobody will trust that anyone would brave to invent it.” Like, for instance, a idea that bungalows in Toronto and Vancouver can frequently and briskly sell for good over $1 million in a republic where a inflation-adjusted median incomes for people are some-more or reduction where they were during 4 decades ago.

Poloz might truly trust that, though you’ll substantially never know possibly way.

Tell us, Stephen Poloz: What do you really think?

Should I be drinking local or sustainable beer?

Q. Living in Chicago and perplexing to be eco-friendly, we always buy internal beer; we have lots of options (Half-Acre, Revolution, Goose Island, etc.). However, on a behind of a New Belgium lorry (with a Colorado permit plate), we saw a explain that their breweries are now run on 100 percent breeze energy. Which is greener: splash brewed on breeze appetite that is trucked 1,000 miles to a consumer, or splash brewed on spark appetite with minimal ride needed?

Evan K.

Chicago, IL

A. Dearest Evan,

Advertisers have a unaccompanied approach of portraying splash drinking: Grab a pint and unexpected you’re smiling and surrounded by friends, substantially on a beach or along a towering stream, really accompanied by women in bikinis. You usually never see people enormous open a cold one on a cot in their sweatpants to watch The Big Bang Theory, do you? Nor do we ever see environmentally unwavering drinkers obscure over a impact of their suck of choice. Neither one creates for voluptuous advertising, we suppose.

I daresay both are some-more picturesque tools of a splash experience, though, during slightest for we and me (though I’m some-more expected pairing my IPA with Antiques Roadshow, law be told). we customarily like to keep things elementary with my ethanol advice, though your doubt is an engaging one, Evan: What’s beer’s biggest CO footprint? Does prolongation matter some-more than shipping?

As with so many immature issues, it’s not accurately easy to tell.

We can demeanour to several splash brands that have published life cycle analyses, or during slightest environmental reports, detailing a fee their wash take in all from flourishing a barley to disposing of a bottles and cans. New Belgium, for example, reports that many of a hothouse gas emissions are associated to a potion bottles it uses (37.6 percent), with placement accounting for 11 percent. (An earlier, some-more minute news also singled out refrigeration in sell stores as a vital source of carbon.) Heineken tells us that many of a impact comes from wrapping prolongation and ordering (35 percent), afterwards refrigeration (28 percent), with placement usually 10 percent. And Oregon microbrewery Migration found that 80 percent of a emissions came from brewery operations, essentially appetite use.

However, these are apples-to-oranges (or stouts-to-pilsners, if we will) comparisons, as they don’t array brands directly opposite any other regulating a same methodology. Beer companies change widely by distance and distribution, and even opposite beers from a same association might have opposite CO footprints. And we haven’t even talked about H2O use or rubbish yet. Frankly, perplexing to arrange out that splash to splash can make we feel like you’ve kicked behind a few too many brews already.

Your query reminds me of a bedeviling organic-vs-local question, Evan. And usually like with that one, I’m going to strech for a third option: You don’t have to go crazy selecting possibly a sustainably brewed splash or a internal one — some-more and some-more of us can find both together.

In Chicago, for example, Argus Brewery buys breeze appetite and is looking to supplement solar H2O heaters, and Revolution Brewing offers a splash done from hops grown during a city aquarium. Goose Island and Half-Acre have sealed a Natural Resources Defense Council’s Clean Water Pledge. Nearby Michigan microbrewery Brewery Vivant gets all of a appetite from renewable sources, operates out of a LEED-Silver facility, and publishes a minute sustainability news any year. Slightly over afield, Michigan’s Rockford Brewing Company and Ohio’s Forest City Brewery sealed on to a Brewery Climate Declaration, publicly committing to greening up. (Non-Windy City denizens will find juicy options on this list from all over a country, too.)

To figure out that beers best fit your immature prerequisites, we rarely suggest seeking any of your internal favorites what it’s doing to purify adult a act — bonus points for doing so publicly (thanks, Twitter!) and with groups of friends agreeable in. The some-more brewmasters hear a final for sustainably constructed beer, a reduction we’ll have to worry about trucking in a ales from opposite a country. Then buy a ones that are doing a many for a world – these guys need a support.

And when you’re imbibing, don’t forget about a large impacts from potion bottles and aluminum cans we saw in those code reports. Bike, walk, or train your approach down to that brewery and fill adult a reusable bomber (or keg, if you’re in a celebration mood) whenever we can. You’re slicing impacts from shipping and packaging, and that deserves a toast.



Should I be drinking local or sustainable beer?

quarta-feira, 17 de junho de 2015

NATO Lies to NPR

Eric Zuesse

On Jun 17th, U.S. National Public Radio (NPR) interviewed NATO’s and America’s General Ben Hodges, who is a Commanding General of a U.S. Army in Europe, that is “NATO’s many comparison land army command.” He pronounced (after 4:54 in a audio):

“This idea that somehow, Russia, we know, has no choice though to respond or that a West is being provocative, really, we don’t consider rings loyal during all. … We’re building adult on NATO’s borders. These are NATO countries, these are allies of ours, that are endangered formed on what Russia is doing on their borders, and they’ve asked for declaration that their allies are there.”

The interviewer asked, “President Putin pronounced that usually an violent chairman could suppose that Russia would unexpected conflict NATO. we mean, is NATO violent for worrying about a Russian attack?” Hodges replied (6:41):

“I consider that’s an insane question. It is totally unthinkable to me that Russia would ever invade Crimea. we mean, this was a day after a Sochi Olympics, after a Russians had spent millions and millions of dollars, and afterwards threw divided whatever goodwill they had warranted a following day by invading Crimea.”

That’s so meny lies in such a brief span, so that unpacking all of them will furnish a prolonged article; but, those lies are a mainstream perspective in America’s news media, so, here goes a existence that demolishes them:


Everything he says about what preceded Crimea’s switching behind to Russia (of that it had always been a partial until 1954) is false.

The Sochi Olympics finished on 23 Feb 2014. Contrary to what Ben Hodges says, there was no Russian advance of Crimea a subsequent day (nor indeed ever, though we’ll get to that later). According to wikipedia, which is edited by a CIA (and so it contingency be right, if not far-right — like Hodges is), the “2014 Ukrainian Revolution” started on 18 Feb 2014. This overpower of a supervision was in a one nation, Ukraine, that Zbigniew Brzezinski and others have pronounced is a many essential republic of all that contingency be incited antagonistic toward Russia in sequence for America to win opposite Russia. (Ending communism and a Soviet Union doesn’t satisfy a perfect bloodthirst of people such as Brzezinski and Hodges — and Obama: Russia contingency simply be crushed; a communist-v.-capitalist thing was usually an forgive for these psychopaths, and a usually reason given Obama in 2012 denied Romney’s “our series one geopolitical foe” remark about Russia, was in sequence to dope a citizens about Obama himself.) Thus, grabbing Ukraine is some-more critical to them (and their billionaire sponsors) than removing any of a twelve former Warsaw Pact nations that a U.S. had already brought into NATO. It’s not for what’s in Ukraine; it’s for what’s in Russia. (The Warsaw Pact itself had finished when a Soviet Union itself did, in 1991. The GHW Bush Administration betrothed Gorbachev that NATO would move “not one in. eastward,” but a U.S. constantly violates that promise, and afterwards blames Russia for responding to a brazenness, as Russia contingency do for a possess defense. If Obama and a U.S. Congress continue this, there will be a arch war.) 

What happened 5 days before Feb 23rd, on 18 Feb 2018? Here is video of it; and, as is apparent there, Putin contingency have been entirely sensitive of these rabidly anti-Russian riots in next-door Ukraine, even while he was during a Sochi Olympics. This video is from Hromadske TV. Hromadske TV was financed by 3 entities as shown in their 2014 Financial Report, a dash of that is seen here, but a assemblage of that Financial Report was afterwards private from a Web given this information didn’t fit a West’s propaganda-line. we had review that Financial Report before it was taken down. This dash published there is accurate. It shows that “Total money inflows” during a second half of 2013 were $2,576,596, of that “Individual contributions” (by Ukrainian oligarchs) were $1,135,997; “The Embassy of a Kingdom of The Netherlands” was $793,089; “The Embassy of a United States of America” was $399,650; and George Soros’s “International Renaissance Fund” was $247,860. Consequently, that ’news’ news on Hromadske adored a people who were rioting opposite Ukraine’s democratically inaugurated President, Viktor Yanukovych; and this Hromadske news said: “New call of riots tonight in Ukraine…. and a boss of Ukraine does zero about it.” It blamed Yanukovych, for those riots opposite Yanukovych. 

Here is some-more from Hromadske TV about a riots on that day, Feb 18th.

And here is a carnage on 20 Feb 2014, BBC Newsnight’s telecast about a violence.

Here is some-more of that bloodshed 20 Feb 2014, film-footage that was never telecast by BBC, their cut-outs.

Here is an eccentric video that was uploaded to a Web on 20 Feb 2014, showing a sniper reloading his rifle.

And here is Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News, simply presumption that a snipers on 20 Feb 2014 are “Police Snipers,” not U.S.-paid mercenaries who were merely dressed as if they were police.

But here is a video presenting justification that U.S.-paid mercenaries is what they indeed were.

And here is a startle that a EU’s foreign-affairs arch gifted when her possess questioner told her that this was a coup, and not indeed a series during all. (And yet, a EU went along with Obama’s sanctions.)

Well, what happened, then, on a day after a Sochi Olympics finished — a day that Hodges says that Russia “threw divided whatever goodwill they had warranted a following day by invading Crimea.”? Here is from a Guardian, stating on Monday, February 24th:

As a new regime combined a hold over energy in Kiev on Sunday, calls for secession in a pro-Russian south of Ukraine were flourishing louder.

At a criticism attended by thousands in a pier city of Sevastopol on Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, a throng voted to settle a together administration and polite counterclaim squads.

Demonstrators waved Russian flags – there was not a Ukrainian dwindle to be seen – and chanted “Russia, Russia, Russia” during a gathering.

“Sevastopol is a Russian city and will always be a Russian town. … we will never obey to those fascists in Kiev,” pronounced Anatoly, who was handing out Russian flags and declined to give his surname. “The onslaught is usually usually beginning.”

Here is some of a carnage from a before month, heading adult to all that, on January 21st, then January 22nd, then January 25th. As we can see, there’s copiousness of assault in it all. And it was destined opposite both Yanukovych and Russia. Crimeans, who had voted overwhelmingly for Yanukovych, and who overwhelmingly elite Russia both to this new Ukraine, and to a U.S.A. itself, really pretty felt threatened by these new, U.S.-imposed, rulers in Ukraine.

And here it is is from even earlier, 2 Dec 2013.

And here it is from many earlier, 3 Oct 2013 — that was good before wikipedia’s essay on “Timeline of a Euromaidan” even says that a demonstrations to move down Yanukovych had so many as begun.

Who orderly all of this assault for a U.S. — assault that a U.S. and EU subsequently blamed on Yanukovych, and afterwards on Putin; and, for that Obama determined and a EU supposed a mercantile sanctions opposite Russia?

Here, then, is a man, Andriy Parubiy, who had designed and led that violence; he was referred to, even by wikipedia, in this way: “From Dec 2013 to Feb 2014 Parubiy was a commandant of Euromaidan.[16] He was coordinator of the volunteer security corps [i.e.: of a mercenaries] for a mainstream protesters.[17].” In addition, there were paid ‘protesters,’ to supplement small bodies and voices to a crowds. And, “Parubiy co-led a Orange Revolution in 2004.” That was a candid CIA operation. So, Parubiy was an consultant during organizing a manoeuvre for Washington; in late 2013 and early 2014, he was doing it, nonetheless again, now distant improved than before. And he wasn’t autocratic “the police,” like Rupert Murdoch’s ‘news’ charged as carrying been a malefactors. Parubiy’s army were sharpened at, and were throwing firebombs into, first, a crowds of demonstrators, and, then, during a state confidence forces, infrequently murdering a police.

This wikipedia essay also mentions a following about Parubiy’s background, before to his being hired by a CIA in 2004:

In 1991 he founded the Social-National Party of Ukraine together with Oleh Tyahnybok;[8] the celebration combined radical nationalism and some neo-Nazi features (by a name and a “Wolfsangel”-like sign).[5][9][10] In 1998–2004 Parubiy led a paramilitary classification of SNPU, the Patriot of Ukraine.[10] Parubiy left these organizations in 2004.[9]

2004 was when a U.S. started a overthrow of Ukraine. Parubiy finally had a unite that could persevere large bucks to a fascistification of Ukraine — Parubiy’s lifelong cause. George W. Bush was a U.S. President then. Obama was picking adult from where GWB left off.

The Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine was built on a basement of a endless domestic transformation in Ukraine during World War II that sexually upheld a National Socialist Party of Germany, and that assimilated in a murder of Jews and Poles, and that adopted many of a Hitler operation’s symbolism, and hold a really similar ideology, except that they wanted to kill all Russians, even some-more than they hated Jews and Poles; given Hitler’s celebration wanted to kill all Jews, above all else. So, this was a glorious ideological credentials for a CIA that was out for American defeat of, specifically, Russia — not merely an ideological fight to finish communism (which incited out to have been fundamentally usually a ruse: the CIA is indeed a nazi operation).

The good eccentric inquisitive historian Brandon Turbeville suggested during activistpost on 9 Apr 2015 the deeper story of this Ukrainian coup, going all a approach behind to U.S. President Bill Clinton’s Administration. But this manoeuvre was shown there to have already started in a Spring of 2013 (months before a central ‘histories’ in a West contend it started), with this proclamation from a U.S. Embassy in Kiev:

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv in partnership with Microsoft Ukraine hosted TechCamp Kyiv 2.0 on Mar 1, 2013 during a Microsoft Ukraine Headquarters. TechCamps support a U.S. State Department’s Civil Society 2.0 beginning that builds a technological and digital ability of polite multitude organizations around a world.

During a full day interactive workshop, a U.S. Embassy in Kyiv interconnected leaders in a record village with polite multitude organizations to yield in-depth bearing to low-cost and easy to exercise technologies. More than 60 polite multitude leaders from around Ukraine came together to get hands-on training in a accumulation of areas trimming from fundraising regulating crowdsourcing, citizen journalism, PR collection for NGOs, Microsoft program and programs for NGOs, and more. These polite multitude organizations will be staid to use new technologies to grow their networks, promulgate some-more efficiently, and keep gait with a changing world.

To date, State Department sponsored TechCamps in Ukraine have lerned some-more than 200 polite multitude organizers from around a nation and Belarus.

So: Parubiy had lots of backing. However, he indeed substituted a government of a manoeuvre to Dmitriy Yarosh, who headed Ukraine’s other nazi party, a “Right Sector.” The reason for this is that given a Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine did not have a possess force of rarely lerned paramilitaries, Right Sector did — and Yarosh had lerned them all: he had always led them.

Here is a review that Yarosh — a tangible muscle-man of “Maidan” — had on 25 Feb 2014, in that Yarosh was vocalization secretly with Oleg Tyagnibok, who was a co-founder (with Parubiy) of a Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine, now called a “Svoboda” or “Freedom,” celebration (at a CIA’s suggestion). He was really open there about his heated nazi racism, given he was vocalization there with a associate nazi, usually from a other nazi celebration in Ukraine. (Only Ukraine has dual nazi parties.) Ben Hodges is on their side. He represents President Barack Obama. Don’t be astounded that a Black can also be a extremist fascist; in Israel, there are copiousness of racist-fascist — i.e., ideologically nazi — Jews. It’s a beliefs that won in a United States, imposed on it by a American aristocrtacy, who financial roughly all vital inhabitant politicians. The U.S. Government has been take over by them, not by a U.S. open — it’s no longer a democracy.

When this manoeuvre — that a owner of a “private CIA” organisation Stratfor once referred to as “the many blatant manoeuvre in history” — was over, a new regime was formulation to flog Russia’s navy out of Russia’s categorical naval bottom ever given 1783, that was in Crimea, that had always been partial of Russia until a Soviet tyrant in 1954 simply eliminated Crimea to Ukraine, notwithstanding a wishes of a Crimeans.


Obama himself phrased a whole ‘justification’ for his mercantile sanctions opposite Russia, on a basement of “the cast of Crimea,” around a “conquest of land.”  So, Ben Hodges is merely repeating Obama, regulating a clearer word (“invade Crimea”), in sequence to ‘justify’ American responses that are even some-more aggressive: military, not usually economic, opposite Russia. However, usually as we had headlined in that article, “The Entire Case for Sanctions Against Russia Is Pure Lies.” The existence is: “The International War-Criminal Is Obama, Not Putin.” 

If that doesn’t sound scold to you, greatfully click on a links here wherever we doubt what’s being said, and on a related sources within those related articles, and try to find a approach to refurbish from that justification a outlook that a West’s newsmedia benefaction of these matters. People shouldn’t wait until a arch fight before they start to check what a tangible contribution are. If they do that, afterwards they will simply die with their illusions (and, given those illusions have fooled so many other people). But those illusions have been imposed on them by intensely bad people (they are made illusions), and afterwards taken on those people’s supporters by their not caring adequate to examine things on their possess — not questioning in sequence to brand whom a world’s mega-criminals indeed are. What’s concerned here is not merely justice, though even survival. Of the world, as we know it.


Among a news media to that have been submitted for announcement each essay we have written, and so all of that are good wakeful of a contribution that have been documented here and in a articles that are linked-to here, are: ABC New, CBS News, NBC News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, The New York Times, the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, Independent, The Atlantic, Harper’s, The Nation, Progressive, Mother Jones, American Prospect, Foreign Policy, National Review, Forbes, BusinessWeek, New York Review of Books, Rolling Stone, Alternet, Common Dreams, Truthout, Salon, Huffington Post, Slate, and many others. If we had not formerly famous a contribution and support that has been presented here, it’s not given those news media haven’t had it presented to them; it’s given they have incited it down. If we wish to find out given they don’t tell this information, afterwards we competence wish to write to them and ask given they are gripping this information and support tip from their readers, viewers, and listeners. Are a companies’ owners, and/or large advertisers, creation that decision, so that their ‘journalists’ are mostly usually PR-spreaders, or stenographers to power?

Is this America’s ‘free press’? Is this America’s ‘democracy’? But in fact, a U.S. was recently detected to be, and prolonged to have been, a dictatorship, in that a people who are not in a richest 10% have no impact whatsoever on a nation’s policies. A brief video accurately summarized that investigate (by Gilens and Page) and explained given a commentary are that way. It’s many expected a people in a tip 0.01%, who are indeed being served by this dictatorship. But, anyway, a objectives of a bottom 90% don’t during all impact sovereign policymaking. That’s transparent from a data.

People such as Ben Hodges are placed where they are, given they offer a tip 0.01%, or maybe even less. This is given they can distortion to a open with sum impunity.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is a author, many recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of  Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

NATO Lies to NPR