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by Editors — last modified Nov 16, 2014 01:32 PM
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox

On loss of life and public infrastructure: the Amtrak disaster | What's Left

by Editors (What's Left) last modified May 20, 2015 10:06 AM
After the deadly crash of the (publicly owned and managed) Amtrak train in the US, it was raised that it likely could have been avoided if the signaling system had not been so old. Questions about aging infrastructure and why it is not being upgraded have surfaced.

The reality is that western capitalist countries were modernized through massive pubic works programs after both world wars and then again in the 1970s before massive neoliberal privatizations and tax cuts. Unfortunately, the resulting privatized and shrunken government financing capacity meant that the state lost its ability to pay for upgrades as that money went into private profit.

The question is how many people are going to have to die from public infrastructure underfunding and privatization until we demand and end to the rip-off? Only the public sector has the ability to mobilize enough to fix the issue and this can only be done through recouping the revenue lost to the private sector.

More: In Washington, Amtrak's funding has long been under threat

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Public watchdogs bark up government’s tree on Hydro One sale | What's Left

by Editors (What's Left) last modified May 20, 2015 10:02 AM
In an unprecedented move this week, Ontario’s independent government integrity and oversight officers lambasted the government for removing public oversight from Hydro One—the province's public transmission company.

These watchdogs' basic analysis: it is not in the public interest to remove Hydro One from independent public scrutiny and oversight.

With the vast majority of Ontarians opposed to the sale and an expanding public campaign to demand consultations on the policy, which the Liberals did not campaign on, one has to wonder why the Liberal MPs would tie their boat to this Titanic failure of public policy.

If ever there is a list of people you do not want to be on the wrong side of when in government, here it is: information and privacy commissioner Brian Beamish, financial accountability officer Stephen LeClair, integrity commissioner Lynn Morrison, retiring environmental commissioner Gord Miller, French language services commissioner François Boileau and provincial advocate for children and youth Irwin Ellman.

It is otherwise known as a list of the most trusted people overseeing government.

More: Ontario watchdogs slam Wynne’s Hydro One sale

Action: Keep Hydro Public Poster

Action: Keep Hydro Public Flyer

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Stopping privatization is fighting climate change | Graham Cox

by Graham H. Cox last modified May 20, 2015 09:58 AM
Keeping climate change on the agenda between heat waves, droughts and ice storms might seem difficult as other current economic-system related tragedies take centre stage. However, we should not leave out climate change and its connection to capitalism when talking about privatizations of infrastructure and the undermining of democratic oversight and control of utilities.

Sure, capitalism and rich people investing in carbon-intensive companies are annoying, but more importantly it is the private ownership of energy production that is the real barrier to dealing with climate change.

Positive examples of what can be done through public ownership of energy are popping up all over the world. China just reduced its yearly emissions as much as all the UK emissions simply by deciding to switch its mix of generation sources. It still has a long way to go, but China was able to do this simply because state regulation and control in the sector is still dominant. Unfortunately, as electricity reform in China continues, the increase in private ownership will make the shift to greener generation more difficult.

Alternatively, looking at the expansion of public ownership of electricity utilities in South America and remunicpalization in Europe are examples for anti-privatization campaigners to emulate. For example, the end of contracts in Ontario's few private local distribution companies are coming up in 2018. Perhaps it is time to go on the offensive and call for remunicipalization of these utilities and reform the failing electricity market in Alberta and Ontario.

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Saying No to Corporate bill of rights in trade agreements made easy by online tool | EPSU #CETA #TTIP

by Graham H. Cox last modified May 20, 2015 09:47 AM
"EPSU and many unions like GdG-KMSfB were amongst the 150.000 people and organisations that participated in the EU public consultation on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in forthcoming trade agreements between the EU and the US called TTIP. We and 97% of those responding said No to ISDS in the agreement. We want the Members of the European Parliament to respect this position and express themselves in the same way. That is why EPSU and its Austrian affiliate GdG-KMSfB have engaged with the environmental organisation Friends of the Earth and with the Austrian workers' organisation Arbeiterkammer in an easy online tool to allow people in Europe to express themselves towards Members of the European Parliament."

The link address is: http://www.no2isds.eu/en/campaign

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Remembering Malcolm X on His 90th Birthday | teleSUR

by Faiz Ahmed last modified May 19, 2015 05:35 PM
Check out this video by teleSur on his life and times, political evolution, and ongoing legacy.
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Economics: The User's Guide

by JBB last modified May 18, 2015 09:09 AM
Ha-Joon Chang interviewed on TRNN. How to use economics and not be used by economists. A 6-part series.

The link address is: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=832&Itemid=74&jumival=1352

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Bill C-51 doesn't introduce disruption -- it legalizes 'dirty tricks'

by JBB last modified May 18, 2015 08:45 AM
Fred Joseph Ernst | Rabble.ca op-ed | What does the term "measures" really mean in Bill C-51? Is the Harper government just trying to cover up the potential use of disruption techniques?

The link address is: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2015/05/bill-c-51-doesnt-introduce-disruption-it-legalizes-dirty-tric

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Conservatives have 'zero tolerance' for protest of Israeli apartheid? Protest must be powerful!

by JBB last modified May 18, 2015 08:43 AM
Murray Dobbin | Far from being an expression of the "new anti-Semitism," the BDS campaign is a non-violent movement which seeks to put a high price on the violation of international law by a rogue state.

The link address is: http://rabble.ca/columnists/2015/05/conservatives-have-zero-tolerance-protest-israeli-apartheid-protest-must-be-power

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Misconceptions about Neo-Liberalism

by JBB last modified May 18, 2015 08:40 AM
Prabhat Patnaik | MR Zine | Just as one cannot get rid of neo-liberalism while retaining contemporary capitalism, likewise one cannot get rid of contemporary capitalism while retaining contemporary globalisation.

The link address is: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2015/patnaik170515.html

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Fidel Castro Ruz: Our Right to Be Marxist-Leninists | Monthly Review Zine

by Faiz Ahmed last modified May 14, 2015 04:23 PM
"The 27 million Soviets who died in the Great Patriotic War also did so for humanity and the right to think and be socialists, to be Marxist-Leninists, communists, and leave the dark ages behind."

The link address is: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2015/castro140515.html

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