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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

Can the courts liberate the Bank of Canada?

by JBB last modified Apr 18, 2015 11:13 AM
Murray Dobbin | A small Toronto think-tank has been winning court battles that would oblige the government to borrow money from its own bank rather than impoverishing itself in the interests of finance capital.

The link address is: http://rabble.ca/columnists/2015/04/can-courts-liberate-bank-canada

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The New World Disorder

by JBB last modified Apr 18, 2015 11:04 AM
They Knew Exactly What They Were Doing | by Tariq Ali | CounterPunch

The link address is: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/17/the-new-world-disorder/

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The Inadequacies of Liberalism

by JBB last modified Apr 18, 2015 11:02 AM
The Centrality of Socio-Economic rights for Marxism and the Catholic Social Justice Tradition | by Edward Martin and Mateo Pimentel | CounterPunch

The link address is: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/17/the-inadequacies-of-liberalism/

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Electricity Privatization: increasing rates worldwide

by Graham H. Cox last modified Apr 16, 2015 08:54 AM
It is not just in Ontario that privatization has lead to increased costs. Examples from around the world show partial and whole privatization of electricity assets lead to rate increases.

Even efficiency claims made by those promoting privatization are now rejected.  There is little peer-reviewed evidence that privatization leads to increased efficiency or quality of services. Where there have been increases in efficiency it has come at the expense of high quality jobs with savings going directly to the company profits instead of to rate payers.

United Kingdom

In the UK, electricity was privatized in the 1990s through a variety of IPOs and direct sales as the Conservative government was ideologically against public ownership. Research by campaigning organization We Own It and Corporate Watch UK have shown that electricity bills increased 20% in real terms over a six year period between 2007 and 2013 in Britain. Energy bills in the UK are $292 higher today because of privatization. Calculations

Australia

A similar situation to the UK played out in Australia in the 1990s. When two states in Australia privatized their electricity systems prices increased and services quality declined. In one state, the first eight years of privatization saw rates rise 40% — faster than all other publicly owned electricity in Australia — to become the most expensive power in the country.

In 2002, South Australia paid 30 per cent more than their publicly owned power in neighboring states. Private industry found that their prices had increased by 25 per cent above inflation rates..

Opposition to continued privatization of power in Australia remains sky-high. Over 67% of Australians are opposed to plans for partial privatization that are similar to the Ontario Liberal’s plan for Hydro One.

United States of America

One of the largest federally owned public electricity companies in the USA, the Tennessee Valley Authority, rejected plans in 2013 to privatize. The privatization proposal came from the Obama administration to generate money for the federal government — just like in Ontario. However, Democrats and even normally pro-privatization Republicans united against the sale of the New Deal era company because privatization would have lead to increased rates for businesses and consumers.

Nigeria

Increased prices because of privatization are not just a industrialized world issue. UK private energy companies promoted privatization in Nigeria as a way to invest in renewal of aging electricity infrastructure. However, when Nigeria privatized its electricity system to UK companies in 2013, prices increased between 25% and 88%. .

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The Crimes of Others

by JBB last modified Apr 14, 2015 05:12 PM
Noam Chomsky on Russia, the US media, and the stories told to justify American militarism.

The link address is: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/04/noam-chomsky-interview-united-states-imperialism/

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The Americas Summit on the Border of an Imperialist Abyss

by JBB last modified Apr 14, 2015 05:08 PM
by Chris Gilbert | MR Zine | The US's pincer movement attempts to neutralize Cuba and the Colombian insurgency and leave Venezuela completely exposed. This should prompt Latin American leaders to confront imperialism's plans by strengthening continental integration and fortifying their own social bases.

The link address is: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2015/gilbert140415.html

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Marx in Soho comes to Fredericton April 30, May 2

by Graham H. Cox last modified Apr 13, 2015 06:10 PM
Resident Citizens' Press contributor Jeffrey Bate Boerop will be taking on the role of Marx in Howard Zinn's acclaimed “Marx in Soho” at Saint Thomas University's Black Box Theatre in Fredericton New Brunswick. If you're in the area between April 30 and May 2, you should check it out.
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John Oliver misses the mark in Edward Snowden interview | What's Left

by Editors (What's Left) last modified Apr 13, 2015 02:15 PM
Last week television host and comedian John Oliver sat down with Edward Snowden to discuss surveillance and the media's coverage of Snowden's revelations that the US, UK, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand governments have been collecting and analyzing pretty much every single piece of electronic text, audio, and video communication. While Oliver was right to point out the need for an educated debate on the merits and dangers of comprehensive state surveillance, his criticisms of Snowden's actions missed the mark on several fronts.

First, he failed to acknowledge that an educated debate requires an educated public, and that this would not have been possible before Snowden's leaks since no one understood what these governments were up to.

Second, Oliver's attempt to highlight the futility of Snowden's actions by interviewing people and asking them if they know who “Edward Snowden” is misses the point that this isn't and shouldn't be about Snowden.

Third, Oliver's attempts to blame Snowden for the way in which the leaked documents are being presented by the media is a red herring. Snowden provided the documents to trusted media outlets specifically so that they could decide how to present them. Oliver should be aiming his criticism at the media's coverage of the unfolding story, not Snowden. Perhaps Oliver is right and there hasn't been enough “dick pic” reporting – but there certainly has been now.

More: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Government Surveillance

More: Why John Oliver can't find Americans who know Edward Snowden's name (it's not about Snowden)

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