Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Dan Leger points to the Lac-Mégantic rail explosion as an all-too-vivid example of the intersection of privatized profits and socialized risks: Are we tough enough on corporations that destroy, burn and kill? What’s happening at Lac-Mégantic suggests we aren’t. There’s a scramble on now to stop the company ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Stephen Beer argues that the UK’s Labour Party should take the lead in arguing for a financial transactions tax oriented toward reducing inequality: The banking sector is incorrigible. It cannot alone reform itself or repair its relationship with the rest of society. For example, just before his ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Saturday reading. – Rick Salutin writes about the need for the labour movement to better promote its contribution to the general public – and my only quibble is that I’d prefer to see a focus on what still can be (and needs to be) done rather than past victories: (W)hy don’t ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Bill Gardner discusses the effect of inequality and poverty starting at birth: There are three important facts packed into this slide. First, the lines stack up in order of increasing age, meaning that older people reported worse health than younger people. Second, all the lines slope downward, meaning that the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Duncan Cameron discusses how the G20 is dancing around the problem of corporate tax evasion. The Economist issues a call to action against offshoring. And David Atkins points out what’s more likely needed to deal with a global problem which can be exacerbated by just a few ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Jim Stanford discusses the OECD’s findings that job protection actually improves better employment outcomes – while “flexible” labour markets serve only to ensure less opportunity for workers. And Sid Ryan makes the case for premiers to reject a low-wage agenda. – Oil spills are happening all over the ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on what the Cons’ response to the Lac-Mégantic rail explosion says about their wider concern (or lack thereof) for the safety of Canadians. For further reading…– My earlier posts addressing Con-style arguments from Andrew Coyne are here and here.– Andrew Griffith’s book excerpt on the difference between political and official decision-making is here, and ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Upworthy and the Equality Trust both provide fascinating examples of greed in action. – Rank and File discusses the relentless wage-slashing that has led to a perpetually smaller number of workers with sole responsibility for dangerous cargo, while Leo Panitch makes a similar point. And in a guest ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Murray Dobbin writes about the crisis of extreme capitalism: (T)he “free economy” romanticized by Friedman and his ilk is anything but. Completely dominated by giant corporations whose wealth outstrips all but the richest nations, economic freedom does not exist for anyone else, including the vast majority of businesses ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Robert Reich asks a few impertinent (but important) questions about plutocratic encroachment on the U.S.’ political system. – Catherine McKenna explains why it’s important to try to make a difference in our political system. But Chris Cobb reports on what happens to those who try under the ...

Accidental Deliberations: On selective endpoints

Shorter Andrew Coyne: If you ignore the actual recent rail disaster that blew up a town, there’s little apparent risk of rail disasters. So let’s keep assuming the likelihood of future disasters is trivial. Now, some observers might ask how consistent a particular event is with a set of assumptions about the probability of that ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – The Globe and Mail weighs in on the Lac-Mégantic tragedy by pointing out that we should be far more concerned about public safety than technical defences and excuses. Saskboy notes that as soon as a corporation’s business choices lead to a massive public disaster, the result is a ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Martin Lukacs offers up the definitive response to the Lac-Mégantic rail tragedy: The deeper evidence about this event won’t be found in the train’s black box, or by questioning the one engineer who left the train before it loosened and careened unmanned into the heart of this tiny ...

Accidental Deliberations: On glibertarianism

One of the more obvious points of convergence in political thought over the past 70-80 years is the greater appreciation of systemic complexity – the recognition that different decisions by many types of actors may collide in unpredictable ways, with the results potentially far outweighing the perceived impact of any single action and reaching people ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Ethan Cox discusses how the Lac-Mégantic tragedy was a predictable – if not inevitable – outcome of a self-regulated (or un-regulated) rail system: Prior to, during, and after the process of deregulating railroads, there were strident warnings issued by the most credible and well-positioned experts and organizations in ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – George Monbiot rightly challenges the attempt of corporate interests and their political sock-puppets to demonize anybody concerned about our planet’s future: Exotic invasive species are a straightforward ecological problem, wearily familiar to anyone trying to protect biodiversity. Some introduced creatures – such as brown hare, little owl, ...

Things Are Good: California High Speed Rail is Green

Trains are way more efficient than cars and trucks when it comes to transporting people and goods, yet in North America, trains are often shunned for more wasteful transportation systems. This negative attitude towards sustainability is changing, notably California citizens voted for a high speed rail line in the state. Opponents to economic and environmental ...

Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review: May 1, 2012

Tuesday, May 1 saw more debate on a couple of relatively non-contentious bills – along with a prime example of the Cons’ blinkered focus on mandatory minimum sentences. The Big Issue In continued debate on the Lucky Moose self-defence bill, the NDP pointed out some of the ways the legislation could have been improved if ...

Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review – April 5, 2012

Thursday, April 5 was the final sitting day in the House of Commons before a two-week Easter break. And the debate was much less sharp than in previous days, as the primary bill up for discussion was supported by all parties. The Big Issue That bill was S-4, a bill on railway and transportation issues ...

DeSmogBlog: Coal Train to Boardman: EPA Warns of "Significant" Public Health Threats in Northwest Coal Export Proposal

110326007Paul_K_Anderson_Coal-copy1.jpg As demand for coal in the United States has cooled off in recent years, coal mining companies have been scrambling to deliver their dirty loads to customers abroad. But what does this mean for communities along the transportation routes, particularly at the ports and export terminals where the coal is offloaded from trains and ...

DeSmogBlog: Warren Buffett Exposed: The Oracle of Omaha and the Tar Sands

Warren Buffett Barack Obama.png On January 23, Bloomberg News reported Warren Buffett's Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), owned by his lucrative holding company Berkshire Hathaway, stands to benefit greatly from President Barack Obama’s recent cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.  If built, TransCanada's Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline would carry tar sands crude, or bitumen (“dilbit”) from Alberta, B.C. ...

Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review: November 18, 2011

Friday, November 18 saw two pieces of legislation discussed. And the contrast couldn’t have been much more stark between an opposition effort to develop better legislation, and a government focused on nothing more than sticking to talking points regardless of whether they made the slightest sense in context. The Big Issue The main topic of ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links

Assorted content for your evening reading. – Mitchell Anderson wonders whether weeding out corporate psychopathy might be the key to a more equal and sustainable economy. – But judging from the crumbs being tossed at Ontario’s poor (in the wake of gigantic corporate tax cuts), the problem looks to extend somewhat beyond corporations alone. And ...

Accidental Deliberations: Parliament In Review: October 19, 2011

Wednesday, October 19 saw plenty of discussion of the Cons’ legislation to undermine the Canadian Wheat Board – both in the second-reading debate on the bill, and assorted procedural moves surrounding the legislation. The Big Issue Not surprisingly, Pat Martin was at the centre of the Wheat Board debate – challenging Gerry Ritz to present ...

Accidental Deliberations: Parliament In Review: September 30, 2011

The Harper Conservatives’ choice to talk about everything but the economy continued on September 30, with the day’s debate taken up by the Cons’ anti-refugee bill as well as a first look at the latest incarnation of Senate reform. The Big Issue Let’s give top billing to Senate reform, if only because Tim Uppal’s introduction ...