News for progressives

Moveable Feast Cafe 2018/03/20 … Open Thread

2018/03/20 02:30:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of
Categories: News for progressives

Why we don’t respect the West anymore (MUST READ!)

by Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT TV channel and MIA “Russia today” translated by Scott source: Essentially, the West should be horrified not because 76% of Russians voted for
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Syrian War Report – March 19, 2018: Eastern Ghouta Battle Enters Final Phase, Afrin Falls On March 18, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) established full control over the city of Afrin. The city had been the main stronghold
Categories: News for progressives

We must act fast to stop the threat to groundwater aquifer in Ontario

Rabble News - Tue, 2018-03-20 07:49
Mark Calzavara

The world's purest groundwater is under threat again -- this time from a gravel pit expansion in the Waverly Uplands, the recharge area for a pristine aquifer in Simcoe County, Ontario. Dufferin Aggregates has applied for a 10-year permit to take water at Teedon Pit, which is located just east of the lands that almost became Dump Site 41 back in 2009. That landfill proposal was defeated at the 11th hour, and there is very little time left to stop this current threat.

Expanding the Teedon Pit means cutting down the trees, stripping away the soil, and scooping out the gravel and stone that together make up the "filter" that keeps the groundwater so pure. The company intends to store asphalt and other construction materials on the site, increasing the risk of contamination to the aquifer, and extract millions of litres of water every day in order to wash the gravel. Tell the Ontario government to reject this 10-year permit application and protect this critical aquifer recharge area forever.    

The Teedon Pit is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinabe people of Beausoleil First Nation. Dufferin Aggregates and the provincial government are both required by law to consult with Beausoleil First Nation over the project, but they have not done so. Anishinaabe women (Kwe) are responsible for protecting water and in 2009, a group of Anishinaabe women started the month long blockade of construction of Dumpsite 41 which was the turning point in defeating that landfill. Last November, the women led nearby communities on a two day sacred Water Walk to the Teedon Pit.   

The aggregate industry has long had a free reign in Ontario. The regulations governing quarries and gravel pits are badly skewed in favour of the industry, and communities have little influence in the approvals process. But when we all pull together, we can stop the worst of them. Just a few years ago, Council of Canadians supporters helped to stop the proposed megaquarry near Shelburne, which would have destroyed thousands of hectares of prime farmland as well as the headwaters of several important rivers.

Together, we can do it again!      

Please take a moment to send this email comment to the Ontario government's Environmental Registry before April 23. We will also make sure it goes to Premier Wynne and the Simcoe County Council. 

This article originally appeared on The Council of Canadians blog

Image: Council of Canadians

Like this article? Please chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Categories: News for progressives

U of Waterloo students protest lack of mental health support

Rabble News - Tue, 2018-03-20 05:00
March 19, 2018EducationStudents walk out to protest lack of mental health supportNo degree is worth the loss of another student, say U of Waterloo students following latest suicidemental healthUniversity of Waterloomental health activism
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"No Patients Have Experienced Symptoms Of Nerve Agent Poisoning In Salisbury"

There have been some interesting developments in the alleged poisoning case of the British-Russian double-agent Sergej Skripal and his daughter. The British governments standing on the issue is getting worse as more inconsistencies and doubts on its statements come to...
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Afrin week 8: Kurdish stubbornness spells their doom

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog It’s been 8 weeks since Turkey together with its jihadist forces launched operation Olive Branch to clear the Afrin region of US-backed Kurdish
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The British Spy Skripal hoax

by Scott Humor In regards to the British government-staged hoax around the persona of retired British spy Sergey Skripal: If TV police dramas told us anything it’s the principle of
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We are bad, bad Russians!

I friend sent me the link to this Twitter based video.  I have no idea who did it or who posted it.  But I found it here: so here
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A Curious Incident

By Sushi for the Saker Blog A famous Sherlock Holmes story contains the following dialog between Holmes and Detective Gregory. Gregory: “Is there any other point to which you would
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Maria Zakharova debunks British lies (MUST WATCH!)

There is no overstating my gratitude to Eugenia who did an “emergency translation” of this crucial statement on Sunday instead of enjoying a much deserved, and much needed, day of
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The outcome of the election in Russia explained in simple, plain, English

Here are the preliminary results with only 76% of the votes counted (but the outcome is already obvious) explained in simple, plain English: 1) Putin easily wins by a landslide
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Weekly Review And Open Thread 2018-11

The last week at Moon of Alabama was heavy on 'Novichok'. But that story it is only one act in a much larger play. Mar 11 - Syria - The Fall Of Two Cities This morning Afrin fell to the...
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Inequality-redistribution in Canada update

Progressive economics forum - Sun, 2018-03-18 13:56

Two years ago I posted my first guest blog focused on income inequality, specifically how changes in Canada’s redistribution over the last three decades have increased after-tax income inequality, and how these changes compared to OECD trends. The figures and analysis in this post update the earlier blog, based on the most recent OECD data to 2015. I also look at the market inequality-redistribution relationship and find that Canada is the only country that combines low market inequality with low redistribution.

Figure 1 presents market and after-tax income Gini coefficients for Canada and selected OECD countries. Market income is before taxes and government cash transfers, while after-tax income is after such taxes and transfers. The Gini coefficient varies from 0 to 1.00, with higher values representing higher inequality. Figure 1 includes data on the USA, the four larger Nordic countries (“Nordics-4”): Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) and the other eight OECD countries for which data are available from the mid-1980s (“Other OECD-8”: Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand and UK). I have annotated Figure 1 to explain these inequality-related concepts and data. Focusing on the last few years (readers can refer to the earlier blog for a longer-term analysis), Figure 1 shows a general continuation of recent trends. Market inequality in the Other OECD-8 and Nordics-4 has continued to increase, while the long-running economic expansion in the USA appears to have finally (and perhaps only temporarily) paused the long-term increase in market inequality in that country. Canada continues to have relatively low market inequality and average after-tax inequality.


Figure 2 shows the percentage point difference between market and after-tax income Gini coefficients and reflects the extent to which Governments reduce market inequality by taxes and cash transfers. The Nordics-4 have traditionally had the highest level of such redistribution, currently lowering inequality by about 50% more than Canada does. Over the last decade Canada and the USA have had about the same low levels of redistribution (the two lowest among the OECD).


Figure 3 shows the political-economy outcome of the market inequality-redistribution relationship. For each of the 14 OECD countries listed above, Figure 3 includes average market inequality plotted against average redistribution (as measured above). Figure 3 appears to include three distinct “clusters” of countries:

  • Low market inequality with medium redistribution, including Denmark, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
  • Low market inequality with medium redistribution, including Australia, Japan and New Zealand
  • High market inequality with high redistribution, including Finland, France, Germany and Italy.

These three clusters include a total of eleven countries, leaving three “outliers” that do not belong to any particular cluster. Canada is one of these outliers, being the only “low inequality / low redistribution” country. Others are the USA (high market inequality with low redistribution) and the UK (high market inequality with medium redistribution).

Each country’s inequality-redistribution outcome is the result of a series of complex national political-economy interactions. The cluster analysis in Figure 3 shows, however, that international and regional influences also matter. It is perhaps not surprising that Australia and New Zealand are in the same cluster, as is Japan. The “Nordic” cluster (including Netherlands but excluding Finland) could also be expected given proximity and historical ties. France and Germany being in the same cluster is also consistent with this hypothesis. That the UK is an outlier is perhaps not surprising (e.g. Brexit, etc.). The USA has always followed its own path and therefore is also a high inequality / low redistribution outlier.

Which brings us to Canada, another outlier, the only low inequality/low redistribution country. It has maintained Nordic-type levels of low market inequality via the public provision of universal human-capital-enhancing programs (e.g high quality health care, education, etc.), while implementing only USA-type levels of redistribution. Current political battles and outcomes related to the minimum wage, taxes and social assistance indicate that market inequality-reducing measures (e.g. minimum wage, etc.) continue to be more politically-feasible than those that increase redistribution and reduce poverty outcomes (e.g. more progressive taxation, increased social assistance, etc.). While fighting to maintain and expand universal social programs, progressives should work harder to prepare the political ground for Canada to increase redistribution, especially for when market inequality increases.

Categories: News for progressives

Guardian Rips-Off Goebbels - Fascist Propaganda For Better Anti-Russian Smears

Just recently the Rothschild organ The Economist depicted the Russian president Putin as a dangerous octopus. bigger The idea was not original at all. Russia has been the favored target of this denigrating comparison for more than a century. The...
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Russian MoD warn: US is preparing a chemical false flag attack in Syria to justify US attack

Today, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy and spokesman of the Russian Defence Ministry Major General Igor Konashenkov held briefing in
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Russia’s Long Road Toward Resurgence (MUST WATCH documentary)

SouthFront produced another masterpiece: a documentary entitled “Russia’s Long Road Toward Resurgence“.  You can think of it as a “crash course in modern Russian history”.  I would have a few
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Russia’s Reaction to the Insults of the West is Political Suicide

by Peter Koenig for the Saker blog The onslaught of western Russia bashing in the past days, since the alleged poison attack by a Soviet-era nerve agent, Novichok (the inventor
Categories: News for progressives

Homelessness and employment: The case of Calgary

Progressive economics forum - Sat, 2018-03-17 20:42

I’ve just written a blog post about homelessness and employment, with a focus on Calgary (where I live and work).

Points raised in the blog post include the following:

-Persons experiencing homelessness usually have poor health outcomes, making it especially challenging to find and sustain employment.

-There are several non-profits in Calgary that assist persons experiencing homelessness to find and sustain work.

-Persons finding the most success in those programs tend to be relatively healthy (compared with their peers) and be between the ages of 25 and 60.

-In some cases, persons experiencing homelessness are overqualified for jobs.

-There is some evidence that subsidized housing can improve employment outcomes.

The link to the full blog post is here.

Categories: News for progressives


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