Stars and Bars: Go Tell it on the Mountain

Go Tell It On the Mountain
by Chris Floyd   
I'm on the road, in a strange country; by all appearances, a fragile, brittle, frightened land, where the natives must be told every day -- and preferably every hour -- by every means possible how wonderful they are, how good, how righteous, how deserving and important, how unquestionably, uncritically, purely and simply (oh so simply) special they are in every way.
 
A land where cleavage-popping babes adorn forty-foot billboards for bail bonding companies. Where pasty realtors and corn-starched pols gather to pledge allegiance to the Confederate flag, and cranky predestinarians sketch flowcharts of salvation on basement whiteboards in the wee hours of the night.
 
A land where fine dining establishments politely ask patrons to check their weapons at the door, and thunka-thunka country hunks lob self-regarding bombast through the wastelands and broadbands of suburbia. A land scoop-gutted, a land of simulacra , of empty gesture and thin masquerade. A land where only weather, only nature in its patches and adaptations, only the grass and earth that enclose the heartrendered dead can still convey the tang of deep reality that once flourished here. I am at present lost in such a country.
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Fish Farm 'Aquaculture-cide'

Aquacultural Revolution: Science vs. Salmon Farms
by Damien Gillis
The jig is up on this industry.  Years of PR spin, political influence, and denial of science have led to this moment. Our wild salmon and everything that depends upon them are suffering unacceptably from the impacts of open cage salmon farming on our coast. It is time that we pull our collective heads out of the sand and say "enough is enough."

Despite the unfortunate outcome of our recent provincial election (with the exception of the vast majority of coastal ridings that voted against the Campbell Government), we face an unprecedented window of opportunity to force the giant Norwegian corporations that dominate this industry to fundamentally change their business or leave our province and wild salmon alone.  A mountain of published science, a landmark legal victory, the assertion of indigenous title and rights, and a much-weakened industry - due to gross environmental mismanagement of their Chilean operations and the global economic downturn - have all contributed to this opportunity.
 
 
 
The future of wild salmon and the ecology and people of BC depend on us standing up together to demand the changes that science tells us we need to make before it's too late. We must choose between open cage salmon farms or wild salmon - and we must choose and act quickly. 
 
Please forward this video and message widely.


 
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Finding a Hole, Digging a Pit

The Pit
by Peter Ewart
Economically speaking, we have fallen into a pit. We may not fallen as deeply as some other countries, at least not yet, but we are still in the depths – make no mistake about it.
 
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This downturn we are in, as myself and others have been saying for several years now, is not the usual kind. There will be stock market rallies, there will be so-called “green shoots,” but these are all within the overall context of this economic “pit.” We will be stuck in it for a long time yet. And, even when we get out, the world will be a dramatically changed place, both economically and politically.
 
Recently, Barry Eichengreen, and Kevin O’Rourke, prominent American and English economist respectively, provided an update to an earlier article in which they compared the economic figures of the current “downturn” with those of the Great Depression of the 1930s (see notes at bottom).
 
Using graphs, these economists track the two downturns in regards to “world industrial output”, “world stock markets”, “volume of world trade” and so on. What the graphs show is that the current downturn tracks as bad, or in some countries, worse than the Great Depression. This does not necessarily mean that we are going to end up with a depression of that scale, but it does mean, at the very least, that we are heading into an unusually long and deep trough.
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Son of Bear Mountain: New Monster Development Lurches Forward in Langford

Skirt Mountain: New Monster Development in Langford Lurches Forward Local group calls for a halt, citing abuse of process and environmental damage
by VIC FAN
Over the past two years, Langford City Council and Skirt Mountain developers have carved out an appalling legacy that includes the destruction of million-year-old caves, terraforming wildlife habitat into golf courses, a river of toxic orange sludge flowing downhill from Len Barrie's mansion, repeated threats to sue their critics, a reprimand from the BC Civil Liberties Association, public intimidation by gangs of abusive thugs, and an army of Special Forces police attacking a small tree-sit camp.
 
Environmental Group Charge Langford Deputy Mayor Denise Blackwell and Council Ignored Due Process in Latest Development Bid
 
Anyone who values free speech, civil society, environmental protection, native heritage, and intelligent urban planning is urged to speak out for an end to this insanity.

On Monday, June 15, Langford City Council is set to give final approval to South Skirt Mountain, a new monster condo development adjacent to Bear Mountain Resort, Goldstream Provincial Park, Florence Lake and the TransCanada Highway. Four developers plan to build 2800 condos along the new Bear Mountain Parkway above the half-built Spencer Interchange. A local environmental group, Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network (VIC FAN), is preparing to file a petition in BC Supreme Court to overturn the development bylaw.
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Peruvian's Protecting the Amazon Attacked

Canada must halt free trade agreement with Peru
by Council of Canadians
Indigenous communities in Peru have been holding peaceful protests since April 9 to condemn new laws that would allow for the rapid industrialization of the Amazon rainforest. These laws were put in place by the Peruvian government to further facilitate its proposed free trade agreements with Canada and the United States.

Over 30,000 Indigenous protesters have blocked roads, rivers and railways to force the repeal of these new laws, which would make way for intensified oil, mining, logging activities and massive agricultural projects, and to demand that they be consulted on all development planned on their land.

But at dawn on Friday, June 5, 600 Peruvian police in helicopters and on foot opened fire on protesters blocking a road near Bagua in the Peruvian Amazon. Conservative estimates indicate that 60 Indigenous and police have been killed. Police are accused of burning bodies then hiding them in the river and of removing the wounded from hospital to hide the real number of casualties.

Should Canada really be signing a free trade agreement with the Peruvian government when this is how they respond to legitimate protests against oil, mining and forestry projects that threaten to displace local and indigenous communities and further despoil Amazonian ecosystems?

Many of our elected Members of Parliament seem to think so.
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Obama's War: Loosing the Manhunters

Obama Looses the Manhunters: Charisma and the Imperial Presidency
by Tom Engelhardt
Let's face it, even Bo is photogenic, charismatic. He's a camera hound. And as for Barack, Michelle, Sasha, and Malia -- keep in mind that we're now in a first name culture -- they all glow on screen.

Before a camera they can do no wrong. And the president himself, well, if you didn't watch his speech in Cairo, you should have. The guy's impressive. Truly. He can speak to multiple audiences -- Arabs, Jews, Muslims, Christians, as well as a staggering range of Americans -- and somehow just about everyone comes away hearing something they like, feeling he's somehow on their side. And it doesn't even feel like pandering. It feels like thoughtfulness. It feels like intelligence.

For all I know -- and the test of this is still a long, treacherous way off -- Barack Obama may turn out to be the best pure politician we've seen since at least Ronald Reagan, if not Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He seems to have Roosevelt's same unreadable ability to listen and make you believe he's with you (no matter what he's actually going to do), which is a skill not to be whistled at.
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Israel and Obama's Stealth Strategy

Severing the Bonds that Shackle: Stealth Strategy in Cairo
by William A. Cook
Consider the potential consequences of Obama’s speech in Cairo last week.
 
 
Set aside the complaint that he offered no actions to correct the crisis; ignore the fact that he did not repudiate the absolute bond that tethers United States policy to that of Israel; avoid his silence regarding the racist urgings of Lieberman and the arrogance of Netanyahu as they dictated foreign policy for the U.S.; and forego any latent desires to have heard criticism of U.S. complicity in the 60 years of occupation as the people of Palestine lost all but 22% of their homeland to the Zionist forces controlling Israel.Consider instead the possibility that Obama, without fanfare or hint of change, struck out on a new stealth strategy toward reconciling the crisis in Palestine.

What if Obama’s intentions have been carefully thought out over a prolonged period of time, before he won the Presidency, before he decided on his Cabinet, before a continuation of the plans was forced on him that merely extended the failures of the past to bring resolution to the conflict but furthered the interests in Israel as it continued to take absolute control of all of Palestine by occupation, coercion, and land theft, with the intent of forcing no other resolution than “conditions on the ground” dictated, leaving only three bantustans and the Gaza strip.
 
What if he understood that no man can win the Presidency without the support of AIPAC and the Jewish lobbies it supports and had, therefore, to devise a means to resolution that could enunciate absolute support for Israel’s security yet find a way to bring an end to the occupation letting the Palestinian people establish their own state.

What if he knew that the only means to that end was to sever the bonds that shackle the United States to Israel by forcing deliberations out of the back rooms of the White House and the Knesset into the open air of world scrutiny. What if he sensed that the only way to bring the reality of the situation to the American people would be to force the controlled main stream media to cover the crisis realistically.
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Janine Bandcroft, Ian McAllister June 15, 2009

This Week on Gorilla Radio
by C. L. Cook
This week on GR, environmental activist and wild lands defender, Ian McAllister of Pacific Wild.org on British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest, and Victoria Street Newz publisher and activist, Janine Bandcroft getting ready for the 20th Pastor's for Peace Caravan to Cuba.
 
 
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, www.pacificfreepress.com.
 
Check out the GR blog at:http://GorillaRadioBlog.blogspot.com
 
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State Violence on the "Fantino" Skyway Bridge

Fantino's Skyway Bridge Blood Bath to Get Even with Mohawks - Is martial law here?    
by MNN
Commissioner Julian Fantino of the Ontario Provincial Police has a longstanding personal grudge against the Mohawks of Tyendinaga.  He wanted to show his power and what he'll do to anybody who stands up to fascism.  The OPP struck suddenly early Thursday morning on June 11th.    No news coverage.  No pictures.  It was calculated to splatter blood everywhere to send a message on how he will treat Mohawks, Indigenous or anyone who wants to demonstrate peacefully.  The premeditated plan was to hurt people, draw blood and wash it down quickly. 
 
What sharp deadly instruments did they use to draw so much blood?   Where have they hidden them?

Dissent has been outlawed in Ontario.  They don't want a public inquiry.  They want the OPP to be exonerated.  The cops came from outside the area so the locals could not recognize them.  They could be special forces or commandos trained to maim and inflict injuries that terrorize the victims.  This is worse than being tasered or beaten by a baton.  Their orders came from some outside agency untraceable to politicians or Parliamentary scrutiny.  
 
Did it come from the Pentagon or Camp Petawawa or Fort Drum in NYS?  Are elite soldiers using us to train on how to strike quickly and leave without a trace?     
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Vancouver 2010 and the Coventry Declaration: "RCMP: Play Fair!"

Coventry Declaration approved by Play the Game delegates
by Play the Game
The Coventry Declaration was approved by conference delegates at Play the Game 2009, the sixth world communications conference on sport and society. The declaration calls upon the Canadian Government and Olympic authorities and to state their commitment to ensuring all Canadians and those visiting Canada will have their fundamental right to security of the person and freedom of expression protected as guaranteed by Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The audience at Play the Game was taken by surprise in the last session of the conference when the Canadian professor Chris Shaw revealed that he had experienced trouble entering Britain on his way to speak in Coventry. Upon his arrival Chris Shaw was held back by British authorities and questioned for an hour about the purpose of his visit.

Chris Shaw, who works as a professor of ophthalmology at the University of British Columbia, has written the book “Five Ring Circus: Myths and Realities of the Olympic Games” in which he questions the value of hosting Olympic events such as the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver in Canada.
 
In the subsequent debate, his compatriot and investigative reporter Laura Robinson added that in the first week of June, Chris Shaw had been confronted by two police offers in Vancouver who questioned him about his book, presumably because they found parts in it that they did not like. Chris Shaw confirmed this incident.

This led Laura Robinson to suggest that a declaration in favour of the legal right of Chris Shaw and anybody else to speak freely about the Vancouver Olympics.
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Pandemic: British Columbia and Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus

How Long Can B.C. Avoid ISA?
by Alexandra Morton
Dear Editor; Mary Ellen Walling has tried to make light of the risk of ISA virus entering BC waters.
 
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I would like to ask the BC salmon farmers to stand behind this statement and test every one of their fish farms today for the Infectious Salmon Anemia virus and report back to the BC public.

This seems a small request given the scope of impact of this virus in Chile.  ISA virus, like bird and swine flu, is easily tracked and if it does arrive we will know where it came from and who brought it here.  The fish farm industry published several articles earlier this year on the high risk of this Global epidemic coming to BC: “How long can B.C. avoid ISA?”  ISA (Intrafish Jan 12, 2009)

“Far from coming under control the virus continuously alludes preventative measures, passing through the safety net of the most stringent control measures in the world. Aquaculture Fish Jefo Nutrition Inc. Fish Vet Group “  (The FishSite attached)

This prompted me to write the Minister of Fisheries requesting the BC border be closed to import of farm fish embryos (eggs).  The Minister erroneously responded that ISA does not travel in the eggs (see attached), when scientific publications are showing the opposite http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19034606

If DFO is not going to take steps to protect the eastern Pacific from this virus, it will have to be up to the fish farmers.  I would suggest it would be cheaper for the industry to make the tests now, destroy any infected stocks, and close the border immediately than to risk being found responsible for an epidemic that could alter this coast forever.  If neither DFO nor the fish farmers are going to do this I invite the BC public to contact me and we will test for this virus ourselves.


Standing by,

Alexandra Morton  
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Gaza, a Boy, and a Leg

A Boy and an Artificial Leg: A Gaza Story
by Ramzy Baroud
His room is ready; the walls have fresh paint and my kids prepared a basket of chocolates and other treats to place beside his bed. They hung a poster on his door that has been decorated with colored pens and glitter that says “Welcome Shobhi!” I have taught them that “Sobhi” actually means the “morning light”, and that during his visit, he will not be treated as a visitor, but as a brother. They have compiled a list of fun places to visit, parks, the beach and maybe a ferry ride.

Two weeks ago, my family, after months of anticipation, were scheduled to be the host family for a very special and unusual exchange program for kids from Gaza to visit the US. Our host child, Sobhi was schedule to arrive on May 30th.

My family was excited and a little nervous, I noticed my wife taking every opportunity to share the news of the arrival of our special visitor. We call Sobhi’s family from time to time, realizing that sending a child off to a foreign land to live with a strange family can be unsettling for a parent. But I think our occasional conversations are putting everyone at ease.
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