The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Further Reading: May 4, 2018

Once again, articles I’ve been reading which you might wish to as well.

First, the Canadian experience with public/private partnerships building schools.

Even the KPMG Value for Money report on the Saskatchewan P3 schools shows the traditional build model is less expensive on all accounts (construction, procurement, financing). The one exception is KPMG’s addition of $150.4 million in “retained risks” slapped onto the cost of the traditional build model. These “risks” are not actual costs incurred, but rather an imaginary number pulled out of the air. It is only because of these theoretical risks the government claims the P3 model is cheaper.

We can look to other provinces for more evidence P3s are costlier. In 2014, the Conservative government of Alberta cancelled plans to build 14 schools with the P3 model to save $14 million. The New Brunswick auditor general found two P3 schools cost $1.7 million more than publicly delivered and maintained schools. In 2014, Ontario’s auditor general reviewed 74 P3 projects and found there was “no empirical data” to support the P3 model, and that they cost $8 billion more than if they had been publicly financed and operated.

Well, ouch. But remember, the private sector is always more efficient!

Seems farmland bird populations in France have dropped by a third over the past fifteen years due to pesticides and intensive farming, and the rate of loss is speeding up. Biologists are warning of the land turning into dessert. Ha! Our politicians and biotech firms would never allow or do such a thing!

It seems that the fascist right in the US has, for the moment, basically been crushed. (And punched, rather a lot.) A detailed state of play.

And in your “Peons? Who needs peons?” news, the Chinese military is testing unmanned tanks. Apparently they may start testing AI driven tanks soon. While I rather don’t expect Skynet, the less our lords and masters need humans as enforcers, the less chance they will be overthrown if they get (even more) out of hand. But, hey, I’m sure it’ll be okay. They’d never use that stuff on their own citizens or in aggressive war.

Well, that’s what I’ve been reading. What have you been reading that you think others should read as well?

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  1. marku52

    In other news, the FDA found glyphosate in virtually everything. But for some reason, saw no need to alert the populace…..

  2. Tom


    Monsanto is a company that needs to be broken up and made a public utility with its CEO and Board of Directors thrown in prison.

    Farming needs to go back to organic multi-culture small farms and the fast food industry taxed out of existence for fueling the methane growth due to the drive for ever larger cattle herds to feed the burger additiction.

  3. someofparts

    Somebody figured out the neoliberal endgame – a global organization for finance to put it beyond the control of individual nations.

  4. Gathering in groups that wear similar clothes and beating up people you disagree with is ANTI-fascism now? What a world.

  5. Tony Wikrent

    Abraham Lincoln and the Tariff

    Almost everything most people think they know about USA economic history is just plain wrong.

    Especially the worship of Adam Smith.

  6. As this thin layer of gases enveloping the only rock we know of we can live on/in continue to grow ever more toxic the central to northern migrations will be unlike anything seen since the Neanderthal. It’s already happening in Eurasia, where the “civil” wars are as much about water as religious idiocy, or oil. It may be beyond our comprehension. We are distracted by the politics, bloodshed and War, but the migrations out N Africa and the Middle East are drought related.
    Last time atmospheric carbon dioxide was this high humans didn’t exist.

    So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and Megyn Kelly crotch-shots Now On MSNBC! Kool-Aid and turn off the television, climate change is happening …

    Scientists have never observed so little ice in the Bering Sea in spring:

    In the middle of February, one-third of the ice covering the Bering Sea off Alaska’s West Coast vanished within a week when an enormous pulse of heat swept over the Arctic. Scientists were stunned.

    This rapid meltdown precipitated a record-shattering decline in Bering Sea ice through the winter and into spring.

    February and March ice levels were as low as far back as scientists can reconstruct, dating back more than 160 years. Now, the ice is almost entirely gone – just 10 percent of normal levels as of the end of April.
    As with the Neanderthal, if not assimilated you will be overwhelmed.

  7. Hugh

    P3s are cons. The rich pay most of the income taxes and own most of the corporations that pay corporate taxes, because, let’s face it, they have almost all the money. Most P3s shift the burden for spending off taxes and on to regressive fees and tolls, which most of the rest of us pay. P3s are the blueprint for Trump’s moribund infrastructure program, –so not surprised. When you hear P3, think upward wealth transfer.

  8. RWood

    …it’s clear that the late-capitalist evisceration of civil society has also eviscerated, on a broad scale, the individual’s sense of self-worth.

    Rose Chernin, for example, who was a Communist organizer in the Bronx, observed that
    This struggle of people against their conditions, that is where you find the meaning in life. In the worst situations, you are together with people. If there were five apples, we cut them ten ways and everybody ate. If somebody had a quarter, he went down to the corner and bought some bread and brought it back into the council. Life changes when you are together in this way, when you are united. You lose the fear of being alone… In those years I was happy.

    I recall the Calvin and Hobbes strip in which, while sitting in front of a TV, Calvin says, “I try to make television-watching a complete forfeiture of experience. Notice how I keep my jaw slack, so my mouth hangs open. I try not to swallow either, so I drool, and I keep my eyes half-focused, so I don’t use any muscles at all. I take a passive entertainment and extend the passivity to my entire being. I wallow in my lack of participation and response. I’m utterly inert.”

    The necessity is to act directly contrary to every norm of privatization, which is always in the interest of reactionaries.

    Chris Wright

  9. ponderer

    The Fascist Right, never really was. In Charlottesville depending on the estimates 4 or 5 k people showed up from as far away as Canada. The population of the South is 114 million. The South isn’t running over with Nazis, but it is being overrun with retired Yankee. The only plantations I see in this area are full of them. Those would be the 8000 sq ft. houses where “the help” is from Mexico and most of the “slave” work is done in India, Mx or back up North by union members who will never get the kind of retirement they are paying for (UAW). I do get a kick out of seeing Blue hairs driving Ferrari’s (slowly).
    I sat next to some gentlemen who were apparently the designated layoff men for different business. At least 2 were former automotive. I couldn’t finish my lunch listening to them brag over shutting down factories and destroying lives. They did have “big black security guards classified as HR” so at least they weren’t racist.

  10. “… turning into dessert.” So what’s the main course?

  11. “Fists clenched and snarling, the leftists and the fascists goaded each other into throwing the first punch. Scuffles broke out, and then a brawl.” This is so cute.

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