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Saviolo

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Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 04:34 PM
Number of posts: 275

Journal Archives

Americans have no idea where their oil comes from, in one chart

From a story on Vox: http://www.vox.com/2014/4/21/5636522/americans-oil-imports-chart-middle-east-canada

You can hardly blame Americans for believing that the vast majority of our oil imports come from the Middle East. Ever since the 1973 oil crisis, when Middle Eastern countries refused to sell oil to the United States as punishment for backing Israel in that year's Arab-Israeli war, the American political conversation has dominated by calls for "weening ourselves off of MidEast oil." What most Americans don't know is that we've mostly succeeded.

The University of Texas, as part of its annual energy poll, asked Americans where they think US oil comes from. A staggering 58 percent of Americans think that our top source of foreign oil is Saudi Arabia and another 15 percent say it's Iraq — nearly three quarters of Americans. Meanwhile, only a tiny share — 15 percent of Americans — think we get most of our oil imports from Canada or Mexico. But the truth is almost the exact opposite: we get far more oil from our North American neighbors than we do from the Middle East:


Can we talk about a Maximum Wage?

As long as we talk about minimum wage which will never affect the rich CEOs and captains of industry, they'll be able to keep saying how bad of an idea it is. It'll never even touch them in any way. So, what we need to discuss then, is a Maximum Wage.

The CEO of a company can make no more than a certain multiple of the lowest paid employee. Including benefits, stock options, bonuses, etc... the top brass can only make a certain multiple of the lowest wage they're willing to pay.

I suspect that we'll see a couple of things happen. Either the CEOs will start wanting to raise minimum wage to maximize their own salaries, or we'll see companies starting to make bumper profits when they aren't being dragged down by onerous bonuses and CEO salaries.

Just spitballing, here. Until there is something that affects those with the money, nothing will change.

Tories torch and dump centuries of priceless, irreplaceable environmental archives

I'll x-post this to the environment group, too. And General Discussion if people think it's worthwhile.
From BoingBoing:
http://boingboing.net/2014/01/04/canadian-libraricide-tories-t.html

From the article:
Back in 2012, when Canada's Harper government announced that it would close down national archive sites around the country, they promised that anything that was discarded or sold would be digitized first. But only an insignificant fraction of the archives got scanned, and much of it was simply sent to landfill or burned.

Unsurprisingly, given the Canadian Conservatives' war on the environment, the worst-faring archives were those that related to climate research. The legendary environmental research resources of the St. Andrews Biological Station in St. Andrews, New Brunswick are gone. The Freshwater Institute library in Winnipeg and the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland: gone. Both collections were world-class.


Honestly, this may be some of the worst news I've heard in a long time out of Ottawa. How did they decide that they could do this? How did committee discussion and group action lead to this information being irrevocably lost forever? It's baldly obviously why this is a good idea for the Harper gov't. Without the historical data to put the current environmental conditions in context, it's easy for them to continue to deny global climate change and continue to support the wealthy corporations whose best interests are served by loose and weak environmental regulations.

Time for Harper to leave the house. It would be great to see the Conservatives destroyed as they were in 1993.

TYT: Bill O'Reilly on Income Inequality

It's apparently all gibberish to him:

Daniel Dale has served Rob Ford with papers for libel

The article from the Globe:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/toronto-star-reporter-to-sue-rob-ford-for-libel/article15932345/

Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale has served Mayor Rob Ford with a libel notice over comments the mayor made during a televised interview earlier this week.

Mr. Dale published a statement Thursday saying he served the notice against both the mayor and Vision TV – which aired the broadcast – as the first step of a defamation lawsuit. He’s asking the mayor to retract the “false insinuation that I am a pedophile,” the statement said.

Star editor Michael Cooke told The Globe Thursday that the newspaper’s lawyers are at City Hall, serving the mayor. A process server delivered the legal document to the mayor inside his office about 5:30 p.m. The lawyer for Mr. Dale, Iris Fischer, said Mr. Dale now has six weeks to serve a statement of claim.

In his statement, Mr. Dale said that, at first, he was reluctant to sue. “I didn’t want to complicate my happy life,” he wrote. “I’m a non-confrontational guy, and I just wanted to write articles and go home.” But he said what changed his mind was the mayor’s “persistence” in repeating the claims in subsequent interviews. “I can’t tolerate it. I won’t tolerate it,” he wrote.


Nice to see someone actually holding Rob ford up against his lies, even for a second. I'm sure the mayor will be apoplectic over this. He seems to become furious any time someone does the slightest push back against him. Ford's threats of legal action against other councilors have all proved empty this far, so we'll see how he reacts when someone puts their money where their mouth is.

Just a reminder as to why Rob Ford is actually dangerous (it's not the crack!):

A repost here from my discussion on the Canada board, because of the attention the Rob Ford story is getting internationally. I realize everyone's laughing at his antics, but there's a lot more at stake here in Toronto than comments about smoking crack and having enough to eat at home.

Please see here: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2012/07/13/mayor_rob_ford_silently_votes_against_every_community_grants_program_again.html

This article from July notes that Rob Ford votes against just about every community grant that crosses his desk. Not because the city is going to provide those services and he's afraid of being double-charged, but because he doesn't figure the poor and the sick deserve to be helped.

From the article:

Mayor Rob Ford has continued his annual tradition of voting against every one of the city’s community development grants programs.

The six programs would have sailed through council unanimously on Friday, without a vote, had Ford not placed a “hold” on the items in order to vote against them. He lost the votes 34-1, 34-1, 33-1, 34-1, 35-1, and 35-1.


This is before all of the crack scandal broke, and before all of the chaos surrounding it muddied the water. Hint, everyone, it's -not about the crack!- That's really just a symptom of the bigger problem that Rob ford doesn't care about the city of Toronto as people, only as wallets. That's why he always refers to the citizens of Toronto as taxpayers, and not as citizens.

More from the article:

Rob Ford is an ardent advocate of small government. As a lone-wolf councillor, he railed against grants on the council floor and on talk radio, characterizing them as “free money” given by taxpayers to community groups running ineffective or odd programs that don’t deserve city support.

Councillor Shelley Carroll, an opponent, said Ford was “cowardly” for not explaining his votes. She also argued that his stance is at odds with his political philosophy. The community groups, she said, offer important services the city therefore doesn’t have to provide at a higher cost.

“This is contracting out, in a sense, and I do not know why that wouldn’t be attractive to someone like the mayor,” she said.

Ford voted the same way on the grants programs last July, also in silence. He lost 43-1 in votes on four programs, 42-2 on the fifth, and 41-3 on the sixth. He also lost 37-1 last July in a vote on anti-HIV/AIDS grants. He supported an HIV prevention grant this week.



Rob Ford is the very picture of wealthy white privilege. He has his, and why should the poor get a dollar from the all-important taxpayer? But he's very good at optics. The very communities he's voting against helping love him because he shows up in his SUV dropping toys off at a fundraiser, or he'll very vocally help one or two high profile people affected by his own new policies to show, yes, he really does care.

It's complete bullshit. He has no interest in helping people less fortunate in the city of Toronto. He'd have every poor person who's ever touched a crack pipe imprisoned, while in his own world, the past is the past, and why should he apologize for something he can't change?

Just a reminder as to why Rob Ford is actually dangerous (it's not the crack!):

Please see here: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2012/07/13/mayor_rob_ford_silently_votes_against_every_community_grants_program_again.html

This article from July notes that Rob Ford votes against just about every community grant that crosses his desk. Not because the city is going to provide those services and he's afraid of being double-charged, but because he doesn't figure the poor and the sick deserve to be helped.

From the article:

Mayor Rob Ford has continued his annual tradition of voting against every one of the city’s community development grants programs.

The six programs would have sailed through council unanimously on Friday, without a vote, had Ford not placed a “hold” on the items in order to vote against them. He lost the votes 34-1, 34-1, 33-1, 34-1, 35-1, and 35-1.


This is before all of the crack scandal broke, and before all of the chaos surrounding it muddied the water. Hint, everyone, it's -not about the crack!- That's really just a symptom of the bigger problem that Rob ford doesn't care about the city of Toronto as people, only as wallets. That's why he always refers to the citizens of Toronto as taxpayers, and not as citizens.

More from the article:

Rob Ford is an ardent advocate of small government. As a lone-wolf councillor, he railed against grants on the council floor and on talk radio, characterizing them as “free money” given by taxpayers to community groups running ineffective or odd programs that don’t deserve city support.

Councillor Shelley Carroll, an opponent, said Ford was “cowardly” for not explaining his votes. She also argued that his stance is at odds with his political philosophy. The community groups, she said, offer important services the city therefore doesn’t have to provide at a higher cost.

“This is contracting out, in a sense, and I do not know why that wouldn’t be attractive to someone like the mayor,” she said.

Ford voted the same way on the grants programs last July, also in silence. He lost 43-1 in votes on four programs, 42-2 on the fifth, and 41-3 on the sixth. He also lost 37-1 last July in a vote on anti-HIV/AIDS grants. He supported an HIV prevention grant this week.


Rob Ford is the very picture of wealthy white privilege. He has his, and why should the poor get a dollar from the all-important taxpayer? But he's very good at optics. The very communities he's voting against helping love him because he shows up in his SUV dropping toys off at a fundraiser, or he'll very vocally help one or two high profile people affected by his own new policies to show, yes, he really does care.

It's complete bullshit. He has no interest in helping people less fortunate in the city of Toronto. He'd have every poor person who's ever touched a crack pipe imprisoned, while in his own world, the past is the past, and why should he apologize for something he can't change?

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford "crack video" is real

Police Chief Bill Blair is holding a press conference about it, now. They've announced that they have the digital file that is consistent with the descriptions released in the media (indicated The Toronto Star and the Gawker stories about this).

What it does -not- contain is, apparently, anything that the police want to use to press charges against Rob Ford himself. They've released the entire warrant (redacted) regarding the investigation into the drug ring, including Rob Ford himself, and his friend and occasional driver Alexander "Sandro" Lisi.

So, now it's the waiting game for us in Toronto. Do we finally get to dump this right-wing buffoon of a rich privileged mayor, or will he hang on, and remain in charge until the end of his tenure? He's been a disaster in many ways for Toronto, and his entire term has been plagued with controversies.

I made a post in the Canada discussion group with links to a lot of the emerging stories, please check out here:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10872607

All the right wingers saying that it was a left-wing media conspiracy, that there was no video, that we'd do anything to get Ford out of office... well, here's vindication. The video is real, and the police have it.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's alleged crack video intensified investigation

Bill Blair is giving a press conference at this time. So far he has announced that the infamous "crack video" is in the possession of the Toronto Police, and that the emergence of the video caused them to intensify their investigation into drug-related activities of Rob ford's friend and occasional driver Alexander "Sandro" Lisi. The police have also released the search warrant that was spawned by the "crack video." The document is here:
http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/news/pdf/brazen-ito-redactions.pdf

Lots of stories emerging all at the same time right now in Toronto and Canadian media.

From the CBC:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/rob-ford-alleged-crack-video-intensified-police-probe-1.2303146

Toronto Star:
http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2013/10/31/rob_ford_video_scandal_police_chief_bill_blair_to_speak_about_investigation.html
and
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/10/31/rob_ford_crack_cocaine_scandal_police_photographed_mayor_in_multiple_meetings_with_alleged_drug_dealer.html

(right wing) Toronto Sun:
http://www.torontosun.com/2013/10/31/lisi-court-documents-expected-to-show-mayor-rob-ford-link

Local news CP24:
http://www.cp24.com/news/police-obtain-video-of-ford-that-is-consistent-with-reports-blair-says-1.1521449

It has nothing to do with what's good for the people

... it has only everything to do with ideological purity.

I've brought this up before on my journal, but right now, I feel like it bears repeating. The word "Orwellian" gets tossed around a lot, usually in the context of a surveillance state, or in terms of the thought police. I always feel like that's a simplistic reading of 1984, and that the true core of that novel is O'Brien's speech near the end of the book when Winston is in his office.

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were- cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.


We can point to the NSA wiretaps, CoIntelPro, gov't shutdowns, changing the meanings of words, etc... and say that they are Orwellian, but what I fear most is the attempt at ideological purity, mostly seen on the right and far right. The main purpose is to impose that will on the people. Another quotation from 1984:

The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy — everything.


All you need to do is point yourself towards Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck in order to see all of these things. The general attention span of the TV public makes it hard to have a more nuanced discussion, so all they can jam into that time are the simple jingoistic buzzwords of fear, hatred, rage, and triumph.

The emperor hasn't had clothes for a long time now. Things are changing. Unrest is bubbling up from beneath the surface and showing up here and there. Occupy Wall Street. The riots in Greece. The riots in Brazil. The G20 protests. The Arab Spring. But things are going to get worse before they get better. We need to keep the conversation open and make sure that people are informed. Remember that reality has a well-established left-wing bias!

The far right Tea Partiers really are only in the game to win it. Their ideology isn't to win to help people, it's only to win because they have to win. The greatest thing about progressives is that we all tend to be progressive in our own ways. There are so many different ways to go forwards. The opposite is not true, the far right can all be regressive in the same way, and that is why it's easier for them to frame the us vs. them. We need new strategies to educate and inform. It's like the episode from The Newsroom where Will and Mac tried so hard to get the new debate format. Of course it was doomed, because they couldn't use their talking points. We all need to beg for that level of discourse, and people who are willing to hold people to a real answer.

More random ramblings that I just need to get off my chest.
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