The Zombie System: How Capitalism Has Gone Off the Rails (5)

Six years after the Lehman disaster, the industrialized world is suffering from Japan Syndrome. Growth is minimal, another crash may be brewing and the gulf between rich and poor continues to widen. Can the global economy reinvent itself?

A new buzzword is circulating in the world’s convention centers and auditoriums. It can be heard at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund. Bankers sprinkle it into the presentations; politicians use it leave an impression on discussion panels.

The buzzword is “inclusion” and it refers to a trait that Western industrialized nations seem to be on the verge of losing: the ability to allow as many layers of society as possible to benefit from economic advancement and participate in political life.

The term is now even being used at meetings of a more exclusive character, as was the case in London in May. Some 250 wealthy and extremely wealthy individuals, from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt to Unilever CEO Paul Polman, gathered in a venerable castle on the Thames River to lament the fact that in today’s capitalism, there is too little left over for the lower income classes. Former US President Bill Clinton found fault with the “uneven distribution of opportunity,” while IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde was critical of the numerous financial scandals. The hostess of the meeting, investor and bank heir Lynn Forester de Rothschild, said she was concerned about social cohesion, noting that citizens had “lost confidence in their governments.”

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See Also:

#1 — Migrant criminals cost taxpayer over £1bn every year

#2 — EU has no right to demand even more of our money

#3 — Italy’s in terminal decline, and no one has the guts to stop it

#4 — Russians flock to EU shops

#5 — EU leaders seek last-minute climate deal

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Charen: Obama’s Empathy Problem

Can you walk out on the messiah? Appearing at a campaign rally for gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown in Maryland on Sunday, President Obama sought to capture the magic that had electrified audiences in 2008 and, to some considerable degree, even in 2012. Obama isn’t doing much stumping this year. He limits his campaigning mostly to fundraisers. This is the year, after all, when Democratic candidates are announcing how important it is in our system of government to have honest disagreements with the president. They’re hastening to say that they would be tougher than he is on the Islamic State. They are declaring that a travel ban from West Africa is only common sense. It’s the year when some have discovered a sacred Constitutional right to keep silent about whom they voted for in 2008 and 2012.

Maryland is an exception. It’s about as safe a Democratic state as you can find, and the president was welcomed. The audience at the rally was largely African-American. And yet, according to Reuters, “a steady stream of people walked out of the auditorium while he spoke . . . and a heckler interrupted his remarks.”

Could it be that even loyal Democrats — even those who want to see Obama in the flesh — feel that they’ve heard it all before? Their actions send a clear signal: We think you’re a historical figure worth laying eyes on, but your words no longer interest us.

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Malkin: The Hunter Biden Chronicles

Everything you need to know about Beltway nepotism, corporate cronyism, and corruption can be found in the biography of Robert Hunter Biden. Where are the Occupy Wall Street rabble-rousers and enemies of elitist privilege when you need them? Straining their neck muscles to look the other way.

The youngest son of Vice President Joe Biden made news last week after the Wall Street Journal revealed he had been booted from the Navy Reserve for cocaine use. His drug abuse was certainly no surprise to the Navy, which issued him a waiver for a previous drug offense before commissioning him as a public-affairs officer at the age of 43. The Navy also bent over backward a second time with an age waiver so he could secure the cushy part-time job.

Papa Biden loves to tout his middle-class, “Average Joe” credentials. But rest assured, if his son had been Hunter Smith or Hunter Jones or Hunter Brown, the Navy’s extraordinary dispensations would be all but unattainable. Oh, and if he had been Hunter Palin, the New York Times would be on its 50th front-page investigative report by now.

Despite the disgraceful ejection from our military, Hunter’s Connecticut law license won’t be subject to automatic review. Because, well, Biden.

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Brian Bowman becomes Winnipeg’s new mayor

WINNIPEG – One of the unlikeliest runs in this city’s political history was capped Wednesday as voters vaulted Brian Bowman, a virtual unknown a matter of months ago, into the mayor’s chair in a stunning comeback that left a frontrunner staggered.

Bowman, who trailed former MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis by 18 points in a Probe Research poll released less than a month ago, surged ahead in the campaign’s final weeks and seized the momentum and ultimately the mantle from Wasylycia-Leis, who was a clear favourite in her second go on the mayoral campaign trail.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do on behalf of Winnipeggers,” Bowman said at his campaign party at the Inn at the Forks.

Bowman garnered 111,504 votes, or 47.54%, to Wasylycia-Leis’ 58,440 (24.92%), a shocking decimation of the woman who was thought to be the one to beat.

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Blatchford: Nathan Cirillo killed performing most eternal, soldiery duty — standing guard over one of his own

He was such a modern young guy, Nathan Frank Cirillo, yet he died performing a task that is both so eternal and so soldierly, standing guard over one of his own.

Cpl. Cirillo, just 24, was the soldier killed at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa Wednesday.

He and Cpl. Brandon Stevenson, who was unhurt, were the honour guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

While they carried weapons, they weren’t loaded, as is — or perhaps was — the tradition for those chosen to represent their regiments in the nation’s capital.

In the tomb an unidentified Canadian was ceremonially re-buried in 2000, his remains exhumed from a graveyard near Vimy Ridge in northern France, where he had fallen 97 years ago in the ferocious battle that is widely credited with giving Canada a glimpse of her potential greatness independent of Britain.

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Levant: Media consortium takes on Tories

When I coined the phrase “the Media Party,” I didn’t mean that the liberal groupthink in the media is a conspiracy.

It’s subconscious–it’s that journalists are a monoculture. They’re usually from the same social circles, with the same backgrounds and biases.

But a bombshell access to information document released this month shows senior executives at the CBC, CTV, Global and CityNews actually do have secret conversations, and send confidential e-mails to each other, co-ordinating and manipulating their policies.

And while they used a Justin Trudeau clip as an example, the broadcasters seek to protect all of their broadcasts from use in political ads.

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Vaughn: Getting It Exactly Wrong

FOX News is reporting that the Canadian government is responding to the terrorist attack in Ottawa by ordering all Canadian service members to avoid wearing their uniforms in public so that they do not present themselves as available targets. The order is in response to ISIS’s recent public urging to its minions in Western societies to seek out and murder military men and their families, as well as yesterday’s shooting of the unarmed ceremonial soldier at the Canadian monument paying tribute to past soldiers’ sacrifices and military achievements.

Hiding its warriors is exactly the opposite of the tactic that a nation with any sense of national fortitude, not to mention dignity, should be using when it comes under attack by terrorists. Instead of kowtowing to terrorist threats and ordering his soldiers into hiding, the Canadian prime minister should order all Canadian reserve forces onto national active duty and instruct Canada’s military command that all active-duty personnel will be required to carry a loaded military-issued weapon – at the very least a prominently displayed sidearm, either hip-mounted or in a shoulder holster.

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Coyne: Micro-terrorism emerges as new threat in wake of Ottawa, Quebec attacks

How easy it is. How easy it was. How terribly, ineluctably easy.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, authorities across the West have been bracing themselves for the second act, the big kill, the spectacular slaughter of hundreds or even thousands at a time. And though many attempts have been made, they have by and large been successfully intercepted. The worst terrorist attack on western soil since then was the London Transport bombings of 2005, which killed 56.

That threat remains. But in the interim it has been joined by a new threat. Not the macro-terrorism of our worst nightmares, carefully staged bits of Grand Guignol involving hijacked planes or dirty bombs or what have you — the kind that require money and planning and the co-ordinated movements of a number of accomplices over many months — but micro-terrorism: a couple of “lone wolves,” maybe even one, with no similar ambition or sophistication, but also less exposure to detection.

We have just seen how effective it can be. Wednesday’s mayhem in Ottawa, including the murder of a Canadian soldier, was the second such attack in less than 48 hours, following the deliberate running down of two soldiers in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.

In each case, the attacker was known to the authorities as a security risk, inspired by radical Islam. And yet they succeeded, in ways that reverberated far beyond their immediate victims.

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Morning Update October 24th, 2014 (10)

CANADA

#1 — CNews | Meet the hero who shot down Parliament Hill gunman

CALGARY – He’s being called a hero for shooting a rampaging gunman dead on Parliament Hill — and it may mark the first time Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers has ever fired a gun in the line of duty.

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CTV | Ottawa shootings involved one gunman, police say

CTV | Mother of Ottawa shootings suspect: I’m crying for victims, not for my son

#2 — CTV | Visible police presence in Toronto subway stations, government buildings

Police officers will be more visible in public spaces in Toronto in the coming days as a result of recent attacks on soldiers in Quebec and Ottawa.

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#3 — Globe | A turning point? The debate on homegrown terrorists is about to begin

The prime minister’s use of the word terrorism Wednesday night hardened the idea of what had happened in Ottawa, though everyone had been thinking about it all day. As he asserted that Canada will redouble its resolve at home and abroad, his tone suggested that he saw this as a turning point, a spur for action.

[...]

#4 — Postmedia | 11 things you need to know about Ontario’s proposed new road rules

A bill in Ontario seeks to overhaul road safety in the province, from tougher penalties for “dooring cyclists” to massive distracted driving fines.

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#5 — Sun | Family guilty of neglecting elderly woman

BARRIE, Ontario ─ The family of an elderly woman who was found filthy and starving in a dark room wept when a jury came back with a guilty verdict Wednesday.

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WORLD

#6 — BBC | Israel’s Netanyahu accuses Abbas over Jerusalem car attack

Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu has accused the Palestinian president of incitement, after an attack which killed a baby in Jerusalem.

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#7 — BBC | UNC report finds 18 years of academic fraud to keep athletes playing

Chapel Hill, North Carolina (CNN) — For 18 years, thousands of students at the prestigious University of North Carolina took fake “paper classes,” and advisers funneled athletes into the program to keep them eligible, according to a scathing independent report released Wednesday.

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#8 — Fox | Scientists describe newly discovered dinosaur as ‘one of the weirdest’, ‘pretty goofy’

WASHINGTON – Nearly 50 years ago, scientists found bones of two large, powerful dinosaur arms in Mongolia and figured they had discovered a fearsome critter with killer claws.

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#9 — DM | US airstrikes have killed 464 ISIS fighters and 57 other militants in Syria, report claims

U.S. and Arab warplanes have killed 464 Islamic State militants in Syria since they began targeting the terror group with airstrikes last month.

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#10 — WT | Backdoor gun control: D.C. sets impossible hurdles for carry permits

The District’s newly minted concealed carry laws require gun owners seeking permits to complete 18 hours of firearms training.

One problem: As of Wednesday, the day before a court-ordered deadline for the permitting process to begin, no instructors had been approved to teach the compulsory course.

[...]

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