B.C. Poll: Endorsement from the Wild Lands

Endorsement from the Wild Lands
by Ingmar Lee
Hi all; I'm so utterly disgusted with electoral politics in BC, and am aghast that anyone could even think of voting NDP or Liberal, or even worse, advocate for either. I'm also disgusted by the Green Party, which should focus on consolidating its core constituency, which is all of us, instead of dumbing down its message to cater to the mediocre environmental illiterates of the middle-class, and the perpetuation of BAU. The BC Green Party will always get more-or-less 15% of the vote no matter what they say, so why don't they articulate the environmental high-bar and advocate unflinchingly, radically for the real Green progress that is required?

We should just accept the fact that the horrible, farcical, corrupt political system that we are stuck with will never, ever be a vehicle through which the massive change that is required in this world can be effected, and therefore environmental, human-rights, poverty activists should accept that their campaigns will just have to work around the system.
 
We're in an all-out global emergency and we do not have time for all this BS. Many of us live as outcasts, or even outlaws from BAU [business as usual] anyway, and I believe that environmentalists have a responsibility to self-sufficiency and should work independent from the corporate-dominated "official" system.
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Clinton Pleased with Rebranded War on Terror as Collateral Count Grows

Killing Them Softly with Air Strikes
by TRNN
Still another US air strike killing dozens of civilians in Afghanistan, still another promise by the Pentagon to "investigate", while in Washington President Obama hosts the AfPak summit with "Af" Hamid Karzai" and "Pak" Ali Zardari. Obama's surge in Afghanistan will ensure a steady supply of "collateral damage", even though sane military voices condemn "democracy at gunpoint" and Taliban "tacticians" mock Gen. David Petraeus' counterinsurgency tactics. The Bush "war on terror" has been rebranded as "overseas contingency operations" (OCO) by the Obama administration. Pepe Escobar argues everything remains the same, but with a new twist: Washington selling OCO in AfPak to US public opinion not as an American war - but as a Pakistani war.
 
 
Pepe Escobar on how the rebranded "war on terror" is being sold as a PAKISTANI war
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Eco-Capitalism and the Great Pacific Trash Vortex

Life Among the Eco-Capitalists: A Revolution Takes Hold in New Jersey
by Sander Hicks - AlterNet
Somewhere between California and Hawaii is a big plastic trash dump floating in the ocean. Twice the size of Texas, it's known as the "Pacific Trash Vortex."  

Spiral-shaped currents concentrate thousands of acres of non-biodegradable plastic waste. Birds and fish that get tangled up in the mass die with stomachs full of plastic. High-speed, high-tech modern life is not exactly working in sync with Mother Earth here. Maybe that's why the global ecosystem is on the verge of collapse. But don't get bummed out! The Pacific Trash Vortex is one of the many things that inspires Tom Szaky (pronounced "Zackie"). He's the scruffy 30-year-old CEO and founder of America's most kick-ass green company.

TerraCycle makes good-looking products out of garbage. It sells hip messenger bags made out of printed vinyl salvaged from billboards, with a neat seatbelt clasp. It keeps millions of nonrecyclable Oreo wrappers out of landfills by making them into 30,000 kites, which are then sold to Wal-Mart, of all places. Someone can do something with all that plastic.
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Every Day Doomsday in D.C.

Secretary Doomsday and the Empathy Gap: The Everyday Extremism of Washington
by Tom Engelhardt
A front-page New York Times headline last week put the matter politely indeed: "In Pakistan, U.S. Courts Leader of Opposition." And nobody thought it was strange at all.

In fact, it's the sort of thing you can read just about any time when it comes to American policy in Pakistan or, for that matter, Afghanistan. It's just the norm on a planet on which it's assumed that American civilian and military leaders can issue pronunciamentos about what other countries must do; publicly demand various actions of ruling groups; opt for specific leaders, and then, when they disappoint, attempt to replace them; and use what was once called "foreign aid," now taxpayer dollars largely funneled through the Pentagon, to bribe those who are hard to convince.

Last week as well, in a prime-time news conference, President Obama said of Pakistan: "We want to respect their sovereignty, but we also recognize that we have huge strategic interests, huge national security interests in making sure that Pakistan is stable and that you don't end up having a nuclear-armed militant state."

To the extent that this statement was commented on, it was praised here for its restraint and good sense. Yet, thought about a moment, what the president actually said went something like this: When it comes to U.S. respect for Pakistan's sovereignty, this country has more important fish to fry. A look at the historical record indicates that Washington has, in fact, been frying those "fish" for at least the last four decades without particular regard for Pakistani sensibilities.
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Lockheed Martin and Promises to "Master the Internet"

Spying in the UK: GCHQ Awards Lockheed Martin £200m Contract, Promises to "Master the Internet"
by Tom Burghardt
The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the National Security Agency's "kissin' cousin" across the pond, has awarded a £200m ($300m U.S.) contract for an internet panopticon. American defense and security giant Lockheed Martin and BAE subsidiary Detica (yet another firm specializing "in collecting, managing and exploiting information to reveal actionable intelligence"), snagged the contract The Register and The Sunday Times revealed May 3.

According to The Register the new system, called Mastering the Internet (MTI) "will include thousands of deep packet inspection probes inside communications providers' networks, as well as massive computing power at the intelligence agency's Cheltenham base, 'the concrete doughnut'."

Lockheed Martin and Detica aren't talking and have referred all inquiries on the MTI contract to GCHQ. ComputerWeekly however, reported May 6 that Detica, a firm with close ties to MI5 and MI6, "has data mining software that can detect links between individuals based on their contacts with sometimes widely separated organisations."

The magazine revealed in 2007 that the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) "has outsourced its data mining operations to Detica, a specialist IT company. Its NetReveal software applies social network analysis to huge amounts of data to identify, understand, and evaluate higher-level networks of potentially collusive individuals and organisations."
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Wrongfully Convicted

Wrongfully Convicted
By Tim Pheotist
Do you feel like you’re living life on parole these days?

Reading the newspaper – watching the news – it’s almost like daily visits to a probation officer where one might be repeatedly reminded of one’s transgressions and directed never to even think about repeating the offense.
 
What’s the offense?
 
Living off the earnings of honest labour. How do you plead?
 
You’ve committed no crime, of course. You are wrongfully accused.
 
But you’re forgetting that a new crime has been invented. The crime?
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Save our Rivers, Save our Salmon

Vote to Protect Wild Salmon on May 12
by Save Our Rivers Society and Watershed Watch Salmon Society
Save Our Rivers Society and Watershed Watch Salmon Society are pleased to present this 3 minute preview of an upcoming documentary on the weight of scientific evidence against open-cage salmon farming.

Over the past several months producer Damien Gillis has been traveling up and down the coast, interviewing some of Canada's top 
fish biologists to share with the public the enormous threats to wild salmon from industrial feedlots jamming our ecologically sensitive coastal waters. 
 
Experts such as Alexandra Morton, Otto Langer, Drs. John Volpe, Gordon Hartman, and Craig Orr, First Nations leaders and eco-tourism operators all voiced their grave concerns about the industry - and our governments' failure to protect wild salmon from sea lice and myriad other impacts from farms.  The video is a reminder of the importance of our upcoming election on May 12 - an opportunity for all British Columbians to vote to protect wild salmon. 
 
 
 
See the Video!
 
 
 
We need to send a clear message that open-cage salmon farming cannot be allowed to continue killing wild salmon, the lynchpin of our ecosystems, coastal economies and communities.
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Iraq: Groundwork Laid for Renewed Chaos

Laying the Groundwork for Violence
by Dahr Jamail  | T r u t h o u t
Throughout history, those who collaborate with the occupiers of their country tend to end up hung out to dry, or dead. The occupation of Iraq is no different - collaboration and the poison fruits that come of it are on full display for the history books once again. Only now, the rapidity with which this is happening is staggering.

On May 5, the Iraqi military killed Basim Mohammed and detained his brother. Mohammed was a member of the Sahwa, the 100,000-strong Sunni militia composed mostly of former resistance fighters that the US created in order to use them to battle al-Qaeda in Iraq, as well as paying them off to draw down the number of attacks against occupation forces.

The Sahwa, who were supposed to be given government jobs either in security or in civil services, have been betrayed. Instead of being given the promised jobs, they have been consistently targeted by the Iraqi military, and at times the US military, which has left them vulnerable as well to attacks from al-Qaeda. As a result, they are walking off their security jobs for lack of pay, and have largely ceased their military operations against al-Qaeda. The predictable result is what we have been witnessing over the last months - a slow but steady increase in the number of attacks against Iraqi and US forces and a dramatic rise in the spectacular car bomb attacks in largely Shia areas that kill scores at a time.
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Death from the Air: Canadian Forces Lobby for Bombers

Action Alert: Stop CF-18 warplanes from being deployed to Afghanistan
by Ceasefire.ca
As you may have heard on the news, up to 100 Afghan civilians are feared dead as a result of U.S. air strikes. Now, I am writing to alert you of a potential major escalation of Canada’s war in Afghanistan: Canadian fighter-bomber warplanes.

Right now, the military is engaging in a lobbying campaign to have a squadron of our CF-18 Hornet fighter bombers deployed to Afghanistan. The planes would be used to attack suspected insurgents and to fight with Canadian and U.S. troops engaged in search and destroy missions. But they will also kill untold numbers of Afghan civilians in these attacks.

The deployment of CF-18 fighter bombers would be a major increase in our combat role in Afghanistan, and should be opposed by Canadians. Please send your letter to Prime Minister Harper right away. Bombing runs by similar warplanes used by the United States and other Western forces have killed hundreds of civilians, including women and children. As well, U.S. pilots have already killed five Canadian soldiers.
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Clinton's Lost Promise

Clinton’s Unpromising Start
by Ramzy Baroud
Incongruous. One can hardly think of a more suited term to describe the new US administration's approach to peacemaking in the Middle East. Though there is little evidence that previous US administrations had genuinely attempted to play a balanced role in forging a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians, many hoped -- and a few still hope -- that Barack Obama's administration would bring about new standards.

However, if recent comments made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suffice as a general indication of the administration's Middle East policy, then little change is on the horizon.

Clinton told US legislators 23 April that the key to peace between Israel and the Palestinians was Tehran; that without getting tough on Iran, Israel could not be expected to pursue peace with the Palestinians. "The two go hand in hand," she emphasised. What a baffling approach to peacemaking. In order for peace to prevail, Israel should engage Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority in "discussions" aimed at inspiring the isolation of Iran, for reasons entirely pertinent to US interests and Israeli "security".
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Army Experience: Teaching Kids Killing is Fun!

Army Experience Center bows to protest
by John Grant - Veterans For Peace Chapter 31, Philadelphia
The $12 million marketing experiment in brand-selling the US Army to Philadelphia youth and adults at the Franklin Mills Mall was forced to shut down for the afternoon on Saturday, May 2nd. Over two hundred protesters -- many from Washington DC, New York and other out of town locations -- expressed their outrage at tax dollars being spent to seduce teenagers to join the Army with violent video games and human-target shooting simulators.

Protesters gathered at Saint Luke's United Church Of Christ a mile south of the Franklin Mills Mall on Knights Road in Northeast
Philadelphia. There were speeches by Gold Star mother Sue Niederer and others, plus the reading of an eloquent Criminal Complaint
directed at both the Army Experience Center and the Simon Property Group, the owner of the Mall that rents space to the Army next to the mini Las Vegas game emporium Dave & Busters. The Army Experience Center features dozens of video stations available to young teenagers to play a host of violent video games like "America's Army," which comes in various versions, all designed around a mission that involves simulated first-person shooting with an automatic weapon directed at human targets.

Members of Philadelphia VFP Chapter 31 were joined by VFP members from the Long Island chapter, in the photo below in front of Dave & Busters. VFP members Phil Reiss and Louise Legun from Lehigh Valley were there, as was Ann Wright and VFP Board Members Elliot Adams and Patrick McCann. VFP member Bill Perry was there with his Delaware Valley Veterans For America group. At least two IVAW members were part of the march.
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How Wall Street Is Fighting Back And Winning

Wall Street on the Warpath to Stop New Regulations
by Danny Schechter
Dick Durbin knows his way around the Senate. He’s been there a long time, long enough to know how things really work. Over the years, the man from Illinois has come to realize that it’s not the elected officials who are in charge. Last week, he said it was the bankers “who run the place” acknowledging that Senators may be in office, but not necessarily in power.

Usually, the people who pull the strings stay in the background to avoid too much public exposure. They rely on lobbyists to do their bidding. They prefer to work in the shadows. They may back certain politicians, but coming from a world of credit default swaps as they do, they hedge their bets by putting money on all the horses.

They have so much influence because they have been reengineering the American economy for decades through “financialization,” a process by which banks and financial institutions gradually came to dominate economic and political decision-making. Kevin Phillips, a one time Reagan advisor and commentator, says our deepest problem is “the ascendancy of finance in national policymaking (as well as in the gross domestic product, and the complicity of politicians who really don’t want to talk about it.”

Curiously, despite the journalists like Bill Moyers and Arianna Huffinton who have been blowing the whistle on the role of the “banksters” in our political life, criticizing the Republicans and Democrats who deregulated the financial system, this issue seems to float above the heads of most of the public, much of the press, and even the activist community more drawn to punishing the torture inflicted on a few by a former Administration than the economic duress being imposed on the majority of Americans by a minority of the super rich.
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