Don't Ask, Don't Tell: A Culture of Sexual Assault

Culture of Unpunished Sexual Assault in U.S. Military
by Dahr Jamail - Inter Press Service
Sexual assault of women serving in the U.S. military, while brought to light in recent reports, has a long tradition in that institution.

Women in America were first allowed into the military during the Revolutionary War in 1775, and their travails are as old. Maricela Guzman served in the Navy from 1998 to 2002 as a computer technician on the island of Diego Garcia, and later in Naples, Italy.
She was raped while in boot camp, but was too scared to talk about the assault for the rest of her time in the military.

In her own words she, "survived by becoming a workaholic. Fortunately or unfortunately the military took advantage of this, and I was much awarded as a soldier for my work ethic."
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Enhance This! Canadians Cold on High Tech. Border Licenses

EDL ‘Oopsies’ Around Canada
by Christopher Parsons
Both Ontario and Manitoba have  declared their interest in EDLs (Enhanced Driver's License). Both are running into problems. In Ontario’s case, it appears as though there is some confusion about whether or not the province can actually deploy the licenses in time to meet the June 1, 2009 Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) deadline - after this date, Canadians will need to use either an EDL or passport to cross a land border into the US.
While the Sun is reporting that the deadline won’t be meant by the Ontario provincial government, and the Star is saying that Minister Bradley thinks that only “some” applicants will get the licenses in time, CTV is noting that Bradley insists that the licenses will be available in time to meet the WHTI deadline. No one totally agrees on what is going on in Ontario concerning the EDL roll-out. They can all agree, however, that EDLs are terribly expensive: whereas a passport will cost $87, and Ontario EDL will run you $115.
An affordable ’solution’ to border travel indeed…
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Firing Ken Lewis

Fire Ken Lewis
by Brave New Films
The economic crisis is out of control, as Bank of America and the corrupt corporate elite continue to wage class warfare. It's time we hit back hard. It's time we fire CEO Ken Lewis.
Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters; our good friends at SEIU have been courageously leading this fight. We need to follow their lead and encourage everyone to demand the resignation of Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis. After all, Lewis works for us now. Tens of billions of our taxpayer dollars went toward bailing out Bank of America, but what have we received in return? More predatory lending, billions wasted on exorbitant salaries and executive bonuses, and corporate lobbying against Employee Free Choice.

Watch the video narrated by former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, and see for yourself why we must fire Ken Lewis.
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A Different Spring: Obama's two 100 Days

Barack Obama tells a Denver audience what he would do in his first 100 days
posted to Youtube May 28, 2008 

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Another Letter to the Ministers not Responsible

Dear Minister of Fisheries, the Honourable Gail Shea and Premier Gordon
by Alexandra Morton
I am writing to you again, as I have every week since the middle of February, to ask that you apply three sections of the Fisheries Act to the industrial salmon feedlots. I have not received a reply. The U.S. Organization Trout Unlimited has sent their own letter to you with 360 signatures on it.

They write:

"[W]e can no longer stand by and watch silently as this new salmon crisis unfolds.  We have begun to call on our legions of advocates to voice their support for the protection of British Columbia¹s wild salmon and steelhead stocks before it is too late."

Premier Campbell 13,094 people have signed letters to you on this issue but there remains confusion over your position on salmon farms.  You have suggested on your website that you do not intend to attempt to regain control of fish farms following my constitutional challenge which removed salmon farms to the Federal government. However, you have joined the Norwegian fish farm corporation Marine Harvest in their appeal challenging this BC Supreme Court decision. Your actions contradict your words.
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Gordon Campbell's Rose-Coloured Province

Vision of B.C.'s Future: Gordon Campbell's Rose-Coloured Province
by BCLiberalsBS
BC Premier Gordon Campbell shamelessly spews a string of lies about the future while holding his grandchild. 

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Phoney Greens Sow Confusion Before B.C. Poll

Answer of the Save Our Rivers Society to the so-called
“white paper”put out by The BC Citizens for Green Energy
The BC Citizens for Green Energy (BCCGE) are shills for Private Power producers and have just issued an unbelievable statement about the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in response to what Save Our Rivers Society has been saying on the subject.
The statement says, in essence, that there is nothing in NAFTA that would compel BC to permit the export of water (Save Our Rivers Society has never said there was); that nothing in NAFTA forces BC to permit continued use of Crown land beyond the termination of a lease (Save Our Rivers Society never says there was); that NAFTA panels are reluctant to find government legislation to be an expropriation of an investment and are reluctant to award substantial damages if such happens, (Save Our Rivers Society has offered no speculation as to what NAFTA panels might or might do but raises risks of what they might do, risks that prudent and democratic governments ought to consider and advise the citizens about. We do not raise these capriciously but based on what experts in the field tell us.)
In fact, instead of leaping to conclusions based upon an expert who supports them, SORS uses expert opinion to call attention to all risks that should be acknowledged and dealt with.
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Obama in Two-Dimensions

Obama's 100 Days: The Mad Men Did Well
by John Pilger
The BBC's American television soap Mad Men offers a rare glimpse of the power of corporate advertising. The promotion of smoking half a century ago by the “smart” people of Madison Avenue, who knew the truth, led to countless deaths. Advertising and its twin, public relations, became a way of deceiving dreamt up by those who had read Freud and applied mass psychology to anything from cigarettes to politics.
Just as Marlboro Man was virility itself, so politicians could be branded, packaged and sold.

It is more than 100 days since Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. The “Obama brand” has been named “Advertising Age’s marketer of the year for 2008”, easily beating Apple computers. David Fenton of describes Obama’s election campaign as “an institutionalised mass-level automated technological community organising that has never existed before and is a very, very powerful force”.
Deploying the internet and a slogan plagiarised from the Latino union organiser César Chávez – “Sí, se puede!” or “Yes, we can” – the mass-level automated technological community marketed its brand to victory in a country desperate to be rid of George W Bush.
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Important White-People Artifacts Found

White-People Artifacts May Delay Skirt Mtn Development
by Forest Action
It seems the proposed South Skirt Mountain development is on hold (for a week or more, maybe) as contractors map and survey the steep bluffs on the western edge of the hill for the wreckage of a 1967 plane crash.

WTF Langford? got the tip from alert observers who spotted the consultants skulking through the bush near the gravel pit north of Amy Road. Today, Ross Crockford confirmed that the area is listed as a provincial heritage site.

Last year, Crockford, a contributor to Victoria Boulevard magazine and other fine local journals, visited the crash site and interviewed the families of the two men who were lost. The report and photos are posted on his blog, Unknown Victoria.
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Going Backwards in Baghdad

And So It Goes...
by Dahr Jamail | t r u t h o u t
Last week found Iraq swimming in blood once again. Attacks last Thursday brought the worst violence Iraq has seen in over a year, with at least 96 Iraqis killed and 157 wounded in two massive suicide bombings.
In Kut, southeast of Baghdad, a girl cries after her mother was killed
in a US military raid. (Photo: AP)
Over 35 bombings have rocked Baghdad this month alone. There appears to be no end in sight for the escalating violence. For an Obama administration that plans to keep at least 50,000 US troops in Iraq indefinitely, look no further for a justification in doing so.
On Friday, further slaughter assaulted Iraq, with 93 killed and another 163 wounded as the attacks continued unabated. Saturday was a light day, with "only" 15 Iraqis killed and 22 wounded, while Iraqi security forces reportedly defused 20 bombs and two booby-trapped cars in Baghdad. Meanwhile, violence most likely related to the growing battle between government forces and the Sahwa, who are stepping up attacks against government and US forces, continues.
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Obama at 99: The Ambiguity of Dissent

99 DAYS OF OBAMA: The Ambiguity of Dissent
by Jack Random
I began writing the political commentaries in earnest in the year 2000 when Republican operatives used staged protests and Machiavellian legal maneuvers in the theft of a presidential election.  (How strange that an administration begun by circumventing the democratic process would soon lead us into war on the pretense of championing democracy in the Middle East.)  I was compelled to write.  Words flowed onto the page in horror and outrage and they never stopped for eight long years.  

Now we are officially in the age of Obama.  Tuesday marks the 99th day of the Obama administration, one day short of the media’s traditional grading period – a tradition founded in the administration of Franklin Roosevelt.  

The tradition of dissent goes back much further to the founding of the nation and the first amendment of the Bill of Rights.  Dissent is the heart of democracy and its defense is every democratic government’s most solemn responsibility.  

It is ironic that a government which sought to suppress dissent, that accused its critics of appeasing the enemy, that painted its opposition in the colors of treason, that in fact arrested, detained and defamed dissidents for opposing its oppressive policies, should have brought forth a tidal wave of dissent that expressed itself on the internet, on the streets of protest and eventually on the editorial pages of newspapers and in the commentaries of talking heads.  
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American Torture: No News is New News

Terror and Torture
by Jim Miles
The current media frenzy concerning Obama’s coming release of more information on U.S. torture between 2000 and 2005 is a political storm conveniently kept out of context.  There are two aspects to the context that are missing.  
First, this is not new information and well before current events erupted into the news, the case has been made all along that the Bush administration in general – Bush and Cheney, their political advisors and legal representatives – are all complicit in contravening the Geneva Conventions on torture and the treatment of prisoners of war.  
Secondly, terror and torture go hand in glove, the two are fully related and have been used by the U.S. and its proxies in many different contexts around the world – and are still doing so as Obama has put an end to torture at Guantanamo, but has not denied renditions to friendly torturers elsewhere.

The spin-doctors in the White House are no longer allowing the use of the term “war on terror” although the facts of the war have not changed.  
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