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Topics - Boom Boom

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USA / Uranium mining on tribal lands
« on: October 15, 2013, 11:52:01 AM »
June 2013: America's Secret Fukushima Poisoning the Bread Basket of the World
Early in the morning of July 16, 1979, a 20-foot section of the earthen dam blocking the waste pool for the Church Rock Uranium Mill in New Mexico caved in and released 95 million gallons of highly acidic fluid containing 1,100 tons of radioactive material. The fluid and waste flowed into the nearby Puerco River, traveling 80 miles downstream, leaving toxic puddles and backing up local sewers along the way.
Although this release of radiation, thought to be the largest in US history, occurred less than four months after the Three Mile Island partial nuclear meltdown, the Church Rock spill received little media attention. In contrast, the Three Mile Island accident made the headlines. And when the residents of Church Rock asked their governor to declare their community a disaster area so they could get recovery assistance, he refused.
This poisoning of the people in the Navajo and Great Sioux Nations has been going on for decades and has had serious effects on their health. Even today, it is unknown what the full effects are and what the impact is on the rest of the nation and world because the contaminated air and water are not limited by borders.
Most Americans are unaware of the story of uranium mining on tribal lands because it is a difficult story to accept. It is a story that includes the long history of human rights abuses by the United States against native indians and recognition of the full costs of nuclear energy - two stories the government and big energy have suppressed.
(more at the link)

USA / Same sex marriage can continue in California; DOMA struck down
« on: June 26, 2013, 10:50:03 AM »
The appeal for Prop 8 was struck down by SCOTUS an hour ago; earlier DOMA struck down 5-4 by SCOTUS. It's a big deal.
"...People in California can marry the person they love".  :applause

Technology & Science / New storage breakthrough on DVD
« on: June 20, 2013, 11:01:32 PM »
More data storage? Here’s how to fit 1,000 terabytes on a DVD
We live in a world where digital information is exploding. Some 90% of the world’s data was generated in the past two years. The obvious question is: how can we store it all?
In Nature Communications today, we, along with Richard Evans from CSIRO, show how we developed a new technique to enable the data capacity of a single DVD to increase from 4.7 gigabytes up to one petabyte (1,000 terabytes). This is equivalent of 10.6 years of compressed high-definition video or 50,000 full high-definition movies.  :o

Canada / "Quebec values"
« on: June 19, 2013, 11:27:43 AM »
from  The Marois government, identity secularism and 'Quebec values'
I haven't seen any discussion of the topic here on the Lower North Shore, so I wonder if we're just being left out?  I didn't even know there was this discussion until I read it on rabble.
Bernard Drainville, the minister of Democratic Institutions in the Parti québécois government, announced May 22 that the Charte de la laïcité, or Charter of Secularism, promised by his party in last year's general election, would become a Charte des valeurs québécoises, or Charter of Quebec values, and be tabled as a government bill this fall. What does this shift in the government's rhetoric mean, and how should the left react?

Environment / Electric cars, bikes, etc....
« on: June 08, 2013, 03:33:15 PM »
I'm hoping to get an electric-powered bicycle someday, something that won't bother my advanced arthritis.
Meanwhile, I saw this article, which sounds neat:
Rennholz Vehicle Concept :: Powered by Bosch (Cordless Drill)

Environment / Water Rights, Export, and Ownership
« on: April 16, 2013, 11:34:33 AM »
Nestlé chairman says water is not a human right
In a candid interview for the documentary We Feed the World, Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck makes the astonishing claim that water isn’t a human right. He attacks the idea that nature is good, and says it is a great achievement that humans are now able to resist nature’s dominance. He attacks organic agriculture and says genetic modification is better.
Nestlé is the world’s biggest bottler of water. Brabeck claims – correctly – that water is the most important raw material in the world. However he then goes on to say that privatisation is the best way to ensure fair distribution. He claims that the idea that water is a human right comes from “extremist” NGOs. Water is a foodstuff like any other, and should have a market value.
He believes that the ultimate social responsibility of any Chairman is to make as much profit as possible, so that people will have jobs.
And just to underline what a lovely man he is, he also thinks we should all be working longer and harder.
Consequences of water privatisation
The consequences of water privatisation have been devastating on poor communities around the world. In South Africa, where the municipal workers’ union SAMWU fought a long battle against privatisation, there has been substantial research (pdf) about the effects. Water privatisation lead to a massive cholera outbreak in Durban in the year 2000.
The Nestlé boycott
Nestlé already has a very bad reputation among activists. There has been a boycott call since 1977. This is due to Nestlé’s aggressive lobbying to get women to stop breastfeeding – which is free and healthy – and use infant formula (sold by Nestlé) instead. Nestlé has lobbied governments to tell their health departments to promote formula. In poor countries, this has resulted in the deaths of babies, as women have mixed formula with contaminated water instead of breastfeeding.

USA / Boston Marathon - explosions
« on: April 15, 2013, 03:55:02 PM »
Two explosions rocked the end of the Boston marathon downtown an hour ago. No explanation yet as to the cause of the explosions - all major networks are covering this now. Downtown core is on lockdown, six injuries reported so far. Marathon halted a mile from the explosions.
Update: Two confirmed dead, now 110 injured. Obama Press conference coming up at 6:10 pm from Washington.

Cause we're all in this together / Hospitals
« on: April 10, 2013, 02:35:05 PM »
The TV news folks have been running articles and online comments about the quality of hospitals - CBC says 25% of hospital employees would not recommend their own hospital, citing lack of cleanness and other factors.
1.  I don't like the Sept-Iles (Quebec) hospital because it is extremely NOT user friendly for the hard-of-hearing: patients are called over the shrill, tinny  intercom to come to their appointments. Anytime I've been to the Sept-Iles hospital, I have to get their social worker to sit as my hearing guide for me. It's also in a difficult location - no stores or restaurants nearby. I think their food is from the 1950s. Bland. Same in the hospital restaurant. It's like a trip through time back to 1955.
2. I refuse any longer to be sent to the St. Anthony (Newfoundland) hospital because it is filthy. It's about 80 - 100 years old and needs to be renovated. The meals were okay.
3. I DO like the Blanc Sablon (Quebec) hospital because it's clean, I know a few of the staff personally (they're from the coast where I live and used to work), and the meals are superb. The hospital sadly is limited in scope - it only does minor surgery - and patients with extreme needs are sent elsewhere. This is the cleanest and best-run hospital I've ever been in. A shame it's so small.
ETA: Rate My Hospital - CBC News

Work, Employment, Money / Air Canada
« on: April 03, 2013, 01:27:26 PM »
I can't find a thread on BNR dealing with the Air Canada strike last year (or the year before?) where Lisa Raitt issued a back-to-work order against the various AC unions.
I thought Air Canada was crying the financial blues - and just today I saw on my Facebook feed a Twitter tweet saying Air Canada is offering 25,000 free round trips anywhere in Canada to it's Twitter followers.
Dunno if it's a legit tweet - I'll post the screen shot here if anyone wants to see it - but how could AC do this while crying the financial blues???  :confused

Politics / BQ Leader pushes for end of Clarity Act
« on: January 28, 2013, 08:04:40 PM »
BQ leader Daniel Paillé was on CTV's Power Play this evening being interviewed by Don Martin, and says the BQ want the Clarity Act formally and finally  rescinded, because it just doesn't work for Quebec. Something about 1,023 people who have to approve the application of it in the final analysis. I don't have the exact quote, but something about all the MPs, Senators, and provincial counterparts have to see it through.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair denounces Bloc bid to repeal Clarity Act
NDP will oppose Bloc bill that takes aim at Clarity Act
The introduction of a bill that has no chance of passing may be its first shot in flushing out the views of the NDP on whether it backs its own Sherbrooke Accord or supports the Clarity Act.
(link removed because the original article has been replaced by a story on Trudeau)
NDP proposes to replace Clarity Act

Provincial Elections / Ontario Liberal Leadership
« on: January 26, 2013, 11:40:44 AM »
From a friend: "Sandra Pupatello doesn't give me the warm fuzzies at all."  :))
Kathleen Wynne is pretty good, but methinks she is in the wrong party - should be in the ONDP.

Canada / NAFTA, FIPA - the ongoing sellout of Canada
« on: December 05, 2012, 10:09:07 AM »
David Suzuki: Are we trading away our rights and environment?


Treaties, agreements and organizations to help settle disputes may be necessary, but they often favour the interests of business over citizens. With Canada set to sign a 31-year trade deal with China, a repressive and undemocratic country with state-owned corporations, we need to be cautious.
Should we sign agreements if they subject our workers to unfair competition from lower-paid employees from investor nations, hinder our ability to protect the environment or give foreign companies and governments excessive control over local policies and valuable resources? Under some agreements, basics like protecting the air, water and land we all need for survival can become difficult and expensive.
One recent case could put Canada on the hook for $250 million. Quebec has put a hold on fracking pending a study into the environmental impacts of blasting massive amounts of water, sand and chemicals into the ground to fracture rock and release gas deposits. A U.S. resource company plans to sue Canada under Chapter 11 of NAFTA, claiming compensation for the moratorium’s damage to its drilling interests. Similar disputes have already cost Canada millions of dollars.
Ontario also wants assurances that fracking is safe before it allows the practice. That province is facing costs and hurdles because of another conflict between trade and environment. Japan and the European Union filed a complaint with the WTO, claiming a requirement under the Ontario Green Energy Act that wind and solar projects must use a set percentage of local materials is unfair.

Weather / Dancing away December's blues
« on: December 04, 2012, 08:43:13 PM »
Forecast for tonight is clear with temps of 4C /34F - makes me think we might, just might, with any luck at all, have a repeat of the winter of 2009/2010 when we had our warmest winter on record, and just two or three days of snow for the entire season. I didn't even put my snow tires on. No snow on the ground yet, and it's December 4 - normally we have our skidoos out by mid-November.
ETA: saw on CBC that southern Ontario is setting records for high temps in December today.
ETA: Environment Canada's Seasonal Forecast for December-January-February suggests a warmer winter than normal for all the way from Newfoundland right to southern Ontario.


Canada / Residential Schools - the continuing sad story
« on: December 04, 2012, 04:23:19 PM »
RCMP files, records of missing children, graves may never surface if Ottawa wins battle with TRC
O’Driscoll’s statement also said that “Canada aims to disclose all of its remaining documents relevant to the TRCs mandate by Jun 30, 2013.”
It appears that the department’s stated time-frame will wreck havoc on the TRC’s final report. One of the central volumes of the report, which deals with the legacy of residential schools and draws on all the other sections of the final document, needs to be completed by May 2013.
It will take about a year to finalize, translate and publish the TRC’s final report.
The TRC’s mandate expires July 1, 2014.

  Petition:  Anticosti Island, natural world heritage treasure, threatened by oil and gas companies!
email our MP Jonathan Genest-Jourdain:
email our MNA Lorraine Richard:
Please respond - Anticosti is close to me, and it's an incredible place.


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