Will Scottish independence bid spur talk of Irish reunification? (in All)

The Tyee - September 22, 2014 - 5:40pm

A majority of Scots decided in the Sept. 18 referendum that they were better together with the United Kingdom than on their own.

Conor Murphy, a Member of Parliament for Armagh and Newry, dreams of the day citizens of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland get to vote on reunification. Read more ...

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No answers to shopping mall massacre

New Internationalist - September 22, 2014 - 1:04pm
One year after terrorists took Westgate, the Kenyan authorities have still failed to investigate. Why? asks Moses Wasamu.
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Climate change is harming our health

New Internationalist - September 22, 2014 - 12:28pm
Campaigners must not forget the health risks of climate change, argues George Gillett.
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Tyee Builders: Want a pair of tickets to the 2014 Land Awards, MC'd by David Beers? (in All)

The Tyee - September 22, 2014 - 12:01pm

For the second year in a row, The Tyee's own David Beers is MC'ing the Real Estate Foundation of BC's Land Awards, and we have a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky Builder. Read more ...

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What's New: Here Comes Another Corporatized Climate Summit

Socialist Project - September 22, 2014 - 2:00am
The United Nations will host dozens of governments, corporations and non-governmental organizations during a one-day Climate Summit 2014 in New York on Sept. 23, but unfortunately, according to scientists and environmentalists, the meeting will deal mainly with only one limited way of fighting climate change: carbon pricing.
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What's New: The Last Gasp of Climate Change Liberals

Socialist Project - September 21, 2014 - 1:00pm
The climate change march in New York on Sept. 21, expected to draw as many as 200,000 people, is one of the last gasps of conventional liberalism's response to the climate crisis. It will take place two days before the actual gathering of world leaders in New York called by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the November 2015 U.N. Climate Conference in Paris.
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LeftStreamed: Teachers Teaching Teachers

Socialist Project - September 21, 2014 - 2:00am
Preparing for Tough Negotiations. Q+A discussion with Helen Victoros and Jackson Potter, Staff Coordinator/Organizer with the Chicago Teachers' Union (CTU) and member of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE).
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This “Zero-Waste” Supermarket Got Rid of All Food Packaging

AlterNet.org - September 20, 2014 - 2:47pm
The Berlin grocery store is an experiment in ecoconcious consumption.

Forget plastic bag bans. Berlin is now home to a supermarket that’s gotten rid ofall disposable packaging. Original Unverpackt (“Original Unpackaged”), which opened Saturday, is more of a shop, to be exact, but its 350-some products — including from fruits, vegetables, dry grains and pourable liquids like yogurt, lotion and shampoo — are dispensed into refillable containers. (Some liquids come in bottles with deposits on them, which is already standard in Germany).

The shop, backed by crowdfunding, is a creative experiment in a new kind of shopping, one that takes the ethics of stores like Whole Foods to a new level. It sells mostly organic products, each of which is labeled with its country of origin, and eschews brand names. Sara Wolf and Milena Glimbovski, the duo behind the project, were driven by theslogan “Let’s be real, try something impossible.”

It remains to be seen if the store’s scalable — and whether it will catch on with the public. One ”group of Germans” interviewed by NPR Berlin complained that the store “looks too pretty and nice, and too bourgeois;” CityLab characterized such sentiments as reflecting a sense that “living a supposedly pared-down, less wasteful life is essentially a lifestyle hobby for people with enough spare cash to play at green dress-up.” But while many of the products offered, perhaps because they’re organic, tend to skew toward the pricier end of things, others are equivalent or cheaper than standard supermarket fare, one German newspaper reports. And a virtue of the fill-your-own-container model is that customers can purchase ingredients in exact amounts, meaning they don’t have to overspend for food they don’t need.

The environmental benefits of that model are not to be discounted, of course. Up to a thirdof the world’s food is wasted, and in developed nations, much of that waste occurs when people bring home more than they’re able to eat before it goes bad. If people are only selecting what they need, they’re less likely to throw excess food out later. In the U.S., food packaging is credited with keeping the food supply incredibly safe and extending its shelf life, which helps address the food waste problem, but it’s also a major source of waste in and of itself, constituting about a third of our municipal solid waste. Packaging also comes with safety issues of its own, stemming from the potential for chemicals to leach into food. Original Unverpackt’s strategy, which complies with Germany’s strict sanitation rules, is to require all containers brought into the store to be disinfected on-site.

If nothing else, the shop presents a thought-provoking model for consumption that recalls the store, opened by ex-Trader Joe’s president Doug Rauch, that deals exclusively in expired foods. As Jonathan Bloom, whose explored food waste in the book “American Wasteland,” commented to Salon of that venture, “we are well overdue for some new ideas.”

 

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What's New: People's Climate March FAQ

Socialist Project - September 20, 2014 - 12:00pm
Why now? Aside from the fact that in the next few decades scientists estimate millions are going to die from disease, natural disasters, overheating, and carbon emission pollution, the People's Climate March is intended to pressure world leaders ahead of the United Nations (UN) climate summit on September 23.
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Can the court force this Six Nations child back to chemo?

Two Row Times - September 20, 2014 - 11:13am

Late Friday, Two Row Times learned that the CAS and McMaster Children’s Hospital are seeking a push from the courts to forcibly return Jada Johnson into chemotherapy. The 11-year-old female from Six Nations was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in August.

Initially the CAS did inform the child’s mother Deneen Hill, that they had no issue with her decision to seek a holistic hybrid method of Ongwehowe Onongwatri:yo and other alternative therapies as treatment for Jada. This form of treatment will also be monitored by doctors.

However now sources say an unnamed third party is involved in bringing the CAS to court to order the child be put back into chemotherapy.

The post Can the court force this Six Nations child back to chemo? appeared first on Two Row Times.

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What's New: A new model of multi-issue social justice organizing in Oshawa

Socialist Project - September 20, 2014 - 11:00am
On this week's episode of Talking Radical Radio, organizers Tiffany Balducci and Jim Freeman talk about We Are Oshawa, a new organization working on multiple social justice issues in a small Ontario city. Oshawa is a city of just over 150,000 people on the north shore of Lake Ontario, east of Toronto.
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What's New: Are You Ready to 'Disrupt'?

Socialist Project - September 20, 2014 - 2:00am
On Sunday night, a new documentary film highlighting the intertwined story of the climate crisis and the growing social movement which has grown in response to it was released online for national screenings that took place in people's home and public meeting spaces.
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Fraternity Dosed Women With Date-Rape Drugs Based on Color-Coded Hand Stamps, Say Cops

AlterNet.org - September 19, 2014 - 7:44pm
Police say that the Tau Kappa Epsilon is under investigation after four people were dosed with "date rape" drugs and hospitalized.

The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee’s chapter of the fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) is under investigation after four people were dosed with a so-called “date rape” drug.

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, police raided the fraternity house on Tuesday. In the wake of a raucous Friday night party at the house, three women and one man were hospitalized with symptoms of extreme intoxication and disorientation.

One student has been arrested in connection with the alleged druggings, which were administered on the basis of color-coded hand stamps. All of the women who were drugged had red X’s on the backs of their hands, which were given to them by the party’s doorman.

Police were called three times on Friday night to Sandburg Residence Hall between midnight and 1:33 a.m.. Each time, they found female students unable to stand or walk, all of whom had red Xs on their hands from the same TKE party.The one male student who was taken to the hospital had drunk from a drink given to one of the women with a red X.

The Journal-Sentinel reported that the police incident reports from Friday night said that emergency personnel were attempting to come to the aid of a second woman at Sandburg who could not walk or speak clearly when they spied a male student vomiting into a garbage can and struggling to stand.

The student told officers that he had also been drinking at the TKE party and had consumed part of a female friend’s drink.

At around 1:20 a.m., police arrived at the fraternity house, where they found a large group of students drinking in the basement, all underage. Several “large piles of vomit” and a copious number of empty alcohol containers dotted the lawn and covered the interior floors of the building.

Around this time, the residence hall called police again reporting that a female student was showing signs of having been drugged. Her hand bore a red X, as well.

The UW at Milwaukee TKE chapter was investigated three times in 2013 for sexual assaults, but no charges were ever filed. Facebook postings reportedly discussed the members’ tendency to “roofie” women before Friday night’s party.

A “roofie” is a powerful dose of narcotics slipped into someone’s drink designed to render them unconscious. Originally the word referred to the hypnotic sedative drug Rohypnol, which produces unconsciousness, blackouts and paralysis when mixed with alcohol.

Now a “roofie” can be any chemical compound that renders the victim unconscious and pliable, including substances like the nausea drug phenobarbital or the chemical Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB).

One of the women who was treated over the weekend reportedly rushed the bar at the party and poured out several drinks before she blacked out. She was ejected by fraternity members and said that she had a “weird feeling and sensation prior to blacking out.”

Other party-goers reported seeing vodka shots and other clear drinks that were mixed below the party’s bar and appeared cloudy.

One woman reported that female party-goers who the fraternity members found “hot” could spend $8 for an index card that gave them “all access to the house” and unlimited drinks from one of the party’s bars.The University has severed its ties with the TKE chapter until the investigation is complete. Because the fraternity house is considered a private residence, university rules and policies do not apply there.

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4 Big Activist Events for New York’s Climate Week

AlterNet.org - September 19, 2014 - 5:43pm
Where to discuss, rally and protest climate change in the Big Apple. The People’s Climate March in New York City is the centerpiece of the Big Apple's Climate Week. But in addition to the march there are several important activist events preceding it, and many events extending past Tuesday’s United Nations Climate Summit.

Some of the other events are officially sanctioned by the Climate March organizers, while others are run by other activist organizations. Many of the vigils, lectures, prayer services, and panels seem very worthwhile, and they’re listed on the Climate March’s events page and the Huffington Post has a generous listing of religious events on its site. NYC Climate Convergence will hold a series of workshops and teach-ins leading up to the march.

But we thought we’d keep it simple and list the most visible activist events in the next few days in more detail.

The New York City Permaculture Exchange Festival will take place on Saturday, Sept. 20. It’s a satellite event for the Climate March that focuses on sustainable living that will be held in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The goal of the festival is to strengthen the NYC permaculture community, and address issues such as environmental stewardship, urban homesteading, community interdependence, and environmental stewardship.

Many festival attendees will be hard at work making artwork and banners for the Climate March. You’re welcome to join other attendees in making signs while learning more about permaculture. The event will begin at noon and run to 7pm at the Old Stone House of Brooklyn, 336 3rd St., Brooklyn, NY.

Sunday’s rallies leading up to the People Climate’s March. Several pre-march rallies are scheduled to take place on Sunday morning. We’ve listed some of the most notable below, but for a full list, refer to the Climate March’s events page. Three notable events are:

  • Labor Rally for Climate Justice. Thousands of union members and labor leaders will join a rally on Broadway south of Columbus Circle at 10:45am.

  • Interfaith Religious Service and Rally. Faith leaders and groups will meet on 58th Street, between 8th and 9th avenues at 11am.

  • Scientist Rally. Scientists will be meeting up at the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History on 81st St. and Central Park West at 11am.

The People’s Climate March will take place on Sunday, Sept. 20 in Manhattan. Organizers expect more than 100,000 people for what is hoped to be the biggest demonstration event ever for climate action. There will be People’s Climate Marches in other cities across the globe, in addition to New York.

Some 1,000 organizations are either participating in the march or have endorsed it. It’s being organized by a coalition of environmental, civil rights and labor organizations including 350.org, Avaaz, the Sierra Club, Climate Justice, and Service Employees International Union.

The march begins Sunday at 11:30am. along Central Park West between 65th and 86th streets. At 1pm, the Climate Alarm will sound, followed by a moment of silence. Then the march will ring out with trumpets, bells, drums, and whistles. More than 30 marching bands will be joining the march at this time.

The march will proceed down Central Park West and go east on 59th Street and continue to wind through midtown Manhattan ending between 2:30- 5:30pm at 11th Avenue between 34th and 38th streets, near the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center. Transportation from the march’s end can be found to the west at either Pennsylvania Station or the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Flood Wall Street. On Monday, Sept. 22, a rally reminiscent of Occupy Wall Street will be staged in the city’s financial district.

Event organizers say hundreds of people from across the country have pledged to join the direct action rally, and they expect the number to grow. Flood Wall Street targets capitalism and the current global economic landscape as the chief causes of climate change.

The event begins with a 9am muster at Battery Park, where there will be music and speakers including Naomi Klein, Rebecca Solnit and Chris Hedges as well as frontline community leaders of the Climate Justice Alliance. The march to Wall Street commences at 11am and will end with a mass sit-in in the financial district at noon.

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Giorgio Mammoliti Swimming in Debt

Toronto Media Coop - September 19, 2014 - 3:00pm
Toronto Councillor's Financial Scandals Keep Adding Up

Scandal seems to be following Gorgio Mammoliti everywhere these days. 

Three days ago, it was revealed that Mammoliti was being investigated by police because of a fundraiser last May where he accepted a $80,000 gift and, according to the City Integrity Commissioner, used 2 City-paid staff to organize the fundraiser of a course of weeks.

But the Toronto City Councillor for Ward 7 has already had a tulmutous term, bouncing back and forth as a Ford ally, having major surgery, videotaping Toronto's Dyke March and suffering a series of financial scandals in 2014 related to fundraising and campaigns.  

Documents recently obtained by the Toronto Media Co-op show that Mammoliti's financial life might be equally as tulmutuous: he is deep in debt and losing money annually.

A statement of finances from an October 2012 court filing shows that Mammoliti's financial position has deteriorated significantly since 2005.  Back then, Mammoliti had low debt and many assets, including surprisingly, $105,000 in cash in a safety deposit box. 

As of May 2012, his financial position was far, far worse. His annual income of $106,000 was being offset by annual expenses of $174,000.  Meanwhile, Mammoliti owed over $1.2 Million in debt.   He took on loans from various sources including family members, but much of this debt was related to several properties that Mammoliti owned, all of which appeared to be mortgaged more than the properties were actually worth. 

Mammoliti was also a shareholder in several companies, one of which the Toronto Media Co-op has confirmed owned rental properties where Mammoliti was the landlord. The value of these companies or their assets was not included in the court filings.

Mammoliti's property dealings were subject of intense scrutiny in 2013 when it was revealed by the CBC that the companies which own the properties received $275,000 in loans from real estate developers. The loans happened after Mammoliti had moved motions to allow billboards on their properties.  Mammoliti is listed as a 50% shareholder of the companies.

Mammoliti's financial difficulties might shed light on a number of the councillor's recent scandals involving money.

He was ordered to pay back the City of Toronto $53,000 for legal costs of a compliance audit from the 2006 election, though he later was able to negotiate a smaller settlement.  

After the 2006 election, Vote Toronto, a non-partisan community organization, argued that Mammoliti spent 447% (the most of any councillor) of his election limit by incurring costs for  fundraisers and parties not included in the limits.  According to their 2009 report, Funding City Politics, "Mammoliti reported fundraising function costs of $77,800 and reported ticket revenue at two events as $65,450".

Mammoliti was in hot water the election after in 2010 as well, when a city-commissioned compliance audit last year found that Mammoliti spent thousands of dollars more than was legally allowed.  The audit committee referred the matter for prosecution.

In late 2013, Mammoliti and councillor David Shiner were found to have been receiving below-market-value rental apartments from Greenwin-Verdiroc group at 88 Erskine Ave.  Greenwin-Verdiroc group manages several Toronto Community Housing buildings, including 4 in Mammoliti's ward.

Greenwin-Verdiroc group were also involved tangentially in Mammolitis most recent and explosive scandal.  A senior executive was found to be at the fundraiser in 2013 that has recently had Mammoliti being investigated by the police.

Two hundred guests attended the fundraiser which saw event organizers give a $80,000 gift to Mammoliti.  The integrity commissioner argued this violated the City's code of conduct and Council docked Mammoliti's pay by 3 months.  The matter has been refered to the Toronto Police Financial Crimes unit while Mammoliti has vowed to to sue council and the integrity commissioner.

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Atonhetseriyo: A series of workshops on how to live the good life.

Two Row Times - September 19, 2014 - 2:41pm

Atonhetseriyo is a series of workshops focused on practical skills and knowledge associated with socially and ecologically sustainable living, “the good life”. Hosted by Kanenhariyo Seth Lefort. Kanenhariyo (good vine) LeFort is a Kanyenkeha (Mohawk) of the Bear clan who was raised in the fishing community of Kenhteke. He current lives in the Six Nations Grand River Territory. He is a student of Kanyenkeha (Mohawk language) and is a practicing permaculture design consultant and co-founder of the Kanyenkehaka Experiential Learning Center, www.experientiallearningcenter.com. For an article with more information about the workshop series, click here. Workshops begin on Saturdays at 1pm.  Locations for workshops is the Kanyenkehaka Experiential Learning Centre (917 Sour Springs Rd, Six Nations). Workshops will vary in cost but will include food and snacks for participants, materials and specialized instruction. If you can’t afford the cost, we are open to barter, so please bring a gift. To register for the workshop please email workshops@tworowtimes.com or call the TRT office at 519-900-5535. To register for a class, please fill out the following form. Here are the current workshops that are planned. Sept 20th 1pm Orientation to the land. Introduction to the philosophy of indigenous permaculture.Understanding the application of the Two Row Wampum to relationships between Onkwehonwe and non-onkwehonwe people Sept 27th 10:30 am – noonSeed saving workshop and seed […]

The post Atonhetseriyo: A series of workshops on how to live the good life. appeared first on Two Row Times.

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What's New: The class divide is clear to see over the Scottish independence referendum

Socialist Project - September 19, 2014 - 2:40pm
The energy and debate generated by the referendum was clear from the moment my train pulled up at its first Scottish stop. The sheer volume of campaign stickers tells you that this referendum has engaged and involved huge swathes people, including those who have never voted before.
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Bernie Sanders' 1987 Folk Album: White Rap Before It Had a Name

AlterNet.org - September 19, 2014 - 2:20pm
Bernie sings the blues, and more!

As Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders ponders a 2016 presidential run, reporters are digging up all kinds of tidbits from his past. Rumors about Bernie getting kicked out of Vermont communes in the early 1970s—for talking too much—might be hard to confirm. But the state’s astute alt-weekly, SevenDaysVT, has resurrected a real gem.

Did you know Bernie was a rap artist who recorded a tape cassette of five songs and B-Side conversation about personal history in 1987? This time capsule discovery, “We Shall Overcome,” is not entirely as silly as it sounds, athough no one would say that Bernie is a musical guy. But, check it out, anyway, starting with a Reggae version of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.” If Star Trek’s William Shatner can get 1.6-plus million YouTube hits for his version of “Rocket Man,” you never know.

As you would expect, Bernie also recorded an old Socialist anthem, “The Banks Are Made of Marble,” taking a gospel approach. This tack’s most charming is Bernie digressing from the lyrics and instead doing his white-guy rap that Vermonters heard in many campaign speeches. “Thoughout human history, society has been divided between the few, who have enormous wealth and enormous power, and the many who struggle each day just to survive,” he says, and keeps going, backed by the earthy Hamond organ.

Bernie’s version of Pete Seeger’s anti-war anthem, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” is a bit of an awkward march. Here, too, he employs an established songwriting tool—the escalating list sandwiched between choruses. “War—the human disease that has plagued mankind forever! Sticks and stones. Spears and knives. Guns and cannon balls. Tanks and planes. Bombs and missiles. Nerve gas. Nuclear weapons. Laser beams! When will they ever learn?”

There’s also the traditional, “Oh Freedom,” done in a gospel-blues style that is saved by local musicians who spare Bernie from singing the verses, but instead set him up to do what he does best—which is preach. “For thousands of years, in every nation on this earth, men and women have out their lives on the line, believing that freedom and human dignity were often more important than life itself,” Bernie intones. “Spartacus believed that, when he and his followers took on an entire Roman army…”

And so it goes. As a Vermont newspaper reporter at this time, I remember this project. The best part of it was the B side, where Bernie talked about how he found his identity as a Socialist. Without giving too much away, let’s just say it was a good fit for his beliefs, and perhaps a better way to stand out in a crowd than being a recording artist.

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Canada's booming cleantech sector is changing capitalism, analyst argues (in All)

The Tyee - September 19, 2014 - 2:11pm

The more than 800 companies that make up Canada’s clean technology industry, right now the fastest growing sector of the economy, represent an emerging form of environmentally aware capitalism, argues the country’s top cleantech analyst. Read more ...

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Scott Brown Spins Lies, as News That He Profits From Outsourcing American Jobs Spreads Like Wildfire

AlterNet.org - September 19, 2014 - 1:45pm
Brown pretends the paper company that employs him doesn't vaporize American jobs.

Outsourcing is one of the economic plagues of our time, costing millions of Americans their jobs. It's crushing the middle class and increasing the yawning gap between the rich and the rest. But Republican Scott Brown, currently running against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, is a big fan of outsourcing. How do we know? Because recent reports have revealed that Brown served on the board of a company that makes outsourcing American jobs in order to find cheap labor in China and other countries a key feature of its business model. Kadant, the Florida-based paper company, has paid Brown $270,000 since joining the board in 2013. Democrats and labor groups have been asking for Brown to step down.

In 2013, Kadant reported to the SEC that it employed 1,800 people worldwide, with only about 500 of them in the U.S. The same numbers were reported this year. Yet on September 8, Brown defended the company and its practices and claimed it employes 5,000 people worldwide. How did the company suddenly nearly triple its workforce? Why does he deny that the company has anything to do with outsourcing?

Listen to Brown trying to deflect criticism in a recent radio interview. It's amazing to hear Brown try to paint himself as a friend of the working American, since he has stood against raising the minimum wage and paying women fairly. Obviously, he's from the Mitt Romney school of labor appreication. But he may have a tough time sloughing off this recent revelation.

 

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