Tuesday, April 10, 2012

News Hash April 10, 2012

Figured I should drop by and post some... stuff. You know, for the fun of it!

Okay, let's start today with the difference between climate and weather, trends and vagaries...



How about the difference between people who put effort into thought and conservatives? No really. Here's a link to a study by an esteemed publication of original empirical papers in all areas of personality and social psychology (most of it hidden behind a subscription wall) but details of experiments and parameters are there as well as the conclusions, which are unmistakeable: "...when effortful, deliberate thought is disengaged, endorsement of conservative ideology increases."  Being a conservative is a "no-brainer," as they say.

So if there's a modern day conservative traipsing by this blog it's a good bet he's/she's got a ready snarky retort to the study's conclusions. A lazy, unoriginal comeback. The other kind of riposte takes time and cognition. Maybe it's because they're in a rush to destroy the world or repeal the 20th century... whichever comes first.

Here in Canada, the Tories shamefully have no youth employment strategy in tough times and they are killing a program that had helped train 35,000 young participants in the Katimavik program over the years. This program helped to develop work, life and leadership skills, fostering community development and civic engagement. Those things are only important to Conservatives when they're blustering on the campaign trail apparently. If you want to learn more and maybe support Katimavik, go here, and here to sign the Change.org petition.

Peter McKay says the flap over the price of the Stealth F-35's is merely an "accounting issue." I'd call it bald-faced lying and politicking. Tom-ato, tom-ahto.

His position is far easier to understand than that of the Canadian media. I've been reporting on my little radio show for months now the figures the Auditor-General presented and they could be found on-line. The Americans are selling this jet world-wide to their allies and in a very public fashion the per-unit costs of the F-35's were increasing - this Globe and Mail story has them up at a brand new estimate of $166 million per jet - the tories you'll recall insisted the price would be $75 million per.

All you had to do was multiply to know that we were getting spin as opposed to the real price tag. It didn't take a lot of digging is what I'm saying and yet the Tories get away with claiming otherwise all through the May 2011 election? (If it doesn't cost you votes you got away with it!) Where was the media to hold their feet to the fire on the actual facts and figures? Back in March of 2011 the PBO reported the price tag would likely be $28.5 billion, so none of the Auditor-General's report should come as a surprise.

An important study that underlines the reason for the Occupy Movement,  according to a study published this month by University of California economist Emmanuel Saez, in 2010, 93% of income growth in the US went to the wealthiest 1% of American households, while everyone else gets to fight over the proverbial crumbs and table scraps that makes up the 7% that's left over. From Crooks and Liars here's Bernie Sanders talking about those ridiculous numbers  and what he and other progressives see as a misnamed Jobs Bill that represents yet more deregulation of Wall Street. And we know how well that always works out, right?



Over at Slate, a terrific explainer from Mathew Iglesias on why it's time to panic about the state of the Eurozone's finances again. The  sovereign debt crisis has returned and now, "...ground zero is Spain rather than Italy..." In short, it's a mess and the austerity measure implemented so far have made things worse.

And one last story to point you to because you can't really blog all the wankery going on and have a life, from a well-sourced diary over at dailykos.com a story about how Monsanto, "... the biotech behemoth has threatened to sue the state of Vermont if it presses ahead with the signing of the Vermont Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act (H. 722), a bill that would make Vermont the first of the United States to require labeling of genetically engineered food." They are not interested in letting the free market decide what it wants. That's Monsanto's job.

Marilyn McCoo live on Soul Train, singing holy heck out of a Bacharach/David tune. She is wonderful!




Cheers!

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