URGENT: Help Ted Rall Fight the LA Times
by Greg Palast
August 10, 2016
In July of 2015, Charlie Beck, Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, colluded with publisher of the Los Angeles Times, Austin Beutner, to terminate Ted Rall from his position as principal Editorial Cartoonist at the LA Times.
Their purpose: to censor Rall's criticism of police brutality and corruption.
Now, Ted is suing the LA Times, and needs to raise $75,000 in one week to keep the wheels of justice turning.
The LAPD and specifically Beck have been the target of numerous critical Rall cartoons since 2009. In 2015, Beck illegally passed documents to the LA Times which supposedly proved that Rall had lied about a police encounter in 2001.
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Tribute to Fidel Castro on His 90th Birthday
by Dan Kovalik - CounterPunch
August 12, 2016
On Saturday, August 13, the world will celebrate the 90th birthday of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro Ruz, the only individual ever to be acknowledged by the UN as a “World Hero of Solidarity.”
It is very hard to think of a more important world leader than Fidel. The contribution he has made to the world socialist movement, to the Third World liberation struggle and to social justice has been monumental – especially when one considers that he has been the leader of a tiny country with roughly the same population as New York City.
At the current time, the Colombian government and leftist FARC guerillas are engaged in a peace process in Havana, and are very near to reaching a final peace accord, in large part due to Fidel’s efforts.
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The battle for Aleppo and the hypocrisy of US war propaganda
by Bill Van Auken - WSWS
10 August 2016
This week marks two years since President Barack Obama initiated the latest US war against Iraq and Syria, launched in the name of combating the Islamic State militia. The American president cast the new military intervention as not only a continuation of the “global war on terrorism,” but also a crusade for human rights, invoking the threat to Iraq’s Yazidi population and insisting that he could not “turn a blind eye” when religious minorities were threatened.
The toll of this supposed humanitarian intervention has grown ever bloodier. According to a report released this week by the monitoring group Airwars to mark the anniversary, more than 4,700 civilian non-combatant fatalities have been reported as a result of the “US-led Coalition’s” air strikes (95 percent of which have been carried out by US warplanes). More innocent Iraqi and Syrian men, women and children have been slaughtered by American bombs in the course of two years than the total number of US soldiers who lost their lives during the eight years of the Iraq war launched by President George W. Bush in 2003.
All of Washington’s lies and pretexts about its latest war in the Middle East—as well as the decade-and-a-half of wars waged since 9/11—have been exploded in the course of the past several days as the US government and media celebrated purported victories by “rebel” forces in the battle for control of Aleppo, Syria’s former commercial capital. That the “rebel” offensive has been organized and led by an organization that for years constituted Al Qaeda’s designated Syrian branch, and the operation was named in honor of a Sunni sectarian extremist who carried out a massacre of captured Syrian Alawite soldiers, gave none of them pause.
So much for the hogwash about terrorism and human rights!
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This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
August 10, 2016
In an example perhaps of the accelerated times we live in, Turkey's recent "Seven Days in May" ran its course in as many hours; but what has followed the Ides of July military coup wasn't covered in John Frankenheimer's classic 1964 film.
Since the failed attempt to oust him, President Recep Erdogan has conducted a wide-ranging purge of civil and military institutions, and moved with great speed to strengthen and enhance relations with Turkey's neighbours; neighbours like Russia, Iran, and Syria.
Ostensibly, yesterday's meeting in St. Petersburg between Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin focused on repairing the rift caused by last Spring's downing of a Russia warplane over Syria, but according to my first guest, there's much more behind this link up.
John Helmer is a long-time, Moscow-based journalist, author, and essayist; the only one, his site, Dances with Bears informs "to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties." He's been working from the Russian capital since 1989, thus making him the "doyen of the foreign press corps in Russia."
The Harvard educated Helmer is a former political science professor who has served as an advisor to the governments of Greece, the United States, and in Asia. He regularly lectures on Russian topics in China, Europe, and the US, and his book titles include: 'Uncovering Russia,' 'Urbanman: The Psychology of Urban Survival,' 'Bringing the War Home: The American Soldier in Vietnam and After,' and 'Drugs and Minority Oppression.'
John Helmer in the first half.
And; to assuage public concerns following the National Energy Board's controversial greenlighting of energy giant, Kinder Morgan's TransMountain pipeline expansion project, that would "twin" an existing pipeline, facilitating the transfer of Tar Sands bitumen from Alberta to Burnaby, the federal government struck a panel to conduct "public consultations" across British Columbia, where opposition to the plan is varied, organized, and vociferous. Now, the panel itself has become the focus of conflict of interest charges and protest.
Lynn Perrin is a Fraser Valley-based public policy analyst, environmental activist, and board member with the Pipe Up Network, an organization of "pro-information, pro-environment united people." She got involved with the proposed Kinder Morgan expansion plan when KM contractors showed up to clearcut greenspace in her neighbourhood.
Lynn Perrin and bumps in the NEB's plan to build public confidence in the TransMountain Pipeline Expansion environmental assessment process in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of good things planned in the coming week for the streets of our town, and beyond there too. But first, John Helmer and a New Byzantine Alliance on the Bosporus rocks a rollicking world order chess board.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/Add a comment
The Greatest Show on Earth: How Billions of Words, Tweets, Insults, and Polls Blot Out Reality in Campaign 2016
by Tom Engelhardt - TomDispatch
August 7, 2016
Yep, it finally happened. In early May, after a long, long run, the elephants of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus were ushered into retirement in Florida where they will finish their days aiding cancer research. The Greatest Show on Earth was done with its pachyderms.
The same might be said about the Republicans after Donald Trump’s version of a GOP convention. Many of them had also been sent, far less gracefully than those circus elephants, into a kind of enforced retirement (without even cancer research as an excuse).
Their former party remained in the none-too-gentle hands of the eternally aggrieved Trump, while the Democrats were left to happily chant “USA! USA!,” march a barking retired four-star general and a former CIA director on stage to invoke the indispensable “greatness” of America, and otherwise exhibit the kind of super-patriotism and worship of the military usually associated with... no question about it... the GOP (whose delegates instead spent their time chanting “lock her up!”).
And that’s just to take the tiniest of peeks at a passing moment in what continues to be, without the slightest doubt, the Greatest Show on Earth in 2016.
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Erdoğan’s Coup: Purging Domestic Critics, Gaining External Allies
by James Petras - ICH
August 07, 2016
“President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan prepared a list of targets for arrest even before the coup (sic) was launched” - European Commission official on Turkey (FT 7/19/2016).
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The Elective Affinities of Hillary Clinton
by Luciana Bohne - CounterPunch
August 5, 2016
God has not been preparing the English-speaking and Teutonic peoples for a thousand years for nothing but vain and idle self-contemplation and self-admiration. . . . He has made us adept in government that we may administer government among savage and senile peoples.”— Senator Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana, during
the US annexation of the Philippines, 1898.
A grotesque power-fest at the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia left me feeling about Hillary Clinton the way P. G. Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster felt about his Aunt Agatha—“the one who chews broken bottles and kills rats with her teeth.” There is something disquieting and secretively lascivious about her open-mouthed cackle. She doesn’t so much laugh as lusts.
She reminded me, too, of the mythical basilisk in the bestiary at the convention—the queen among the serpents.
The basilisk of legend, wearing a king’s crown on his head, is only twelve-fingers long, but his venom withers all living plants in his wake. His gaze is enough to kill, according to Pliny the Elder.
Only the droppings of a weasel have the potent odor to kill him, but it didn’t work with this basilisk. Her weasel endorsed her, embraced her, kissed her. His odor and her venom neutralized each other and merged into the unity party of the Serpent and the Weasel.
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Hiroshima: the Crime That Keeps on Paying, But Beware the Reckoning
by Diana Johnstone - CounterPunch
August 5, 2016
On his visit to Hiroshima last May, Obama did not, as some had vainly hoped he might, apologize for the August 6, 1945 atomic bombing of the city. Instead he gave a high-sounding speech against war. He did this as he was waging ongoing drone war against defenseless enemies in faraway countries and approving plans to spend a trillion dollars upgrading the US nuclear arsenal.
An apology would have been as useless as his speech. Empty words don’t change anything. But here was one thing that Obama could have said that would have had a real impact: he could have told the truth.
He could have said:
“The atom bombs were not dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ‘to save lives by ending the war’. That was an official lie. The bombs were dropped to see how they worked and to show the world that the United States possessed unlimited destructive power.”
There was no chance that Obama would say that. Officially, the bombing “saved lives” and therefore, it was worth it. Like the Vietnamese villages we destroyed in order to save them, like the countless Iraqi children who died as a result of US sanctions, the hundreds of thousands of agonizing women and children in two Japanese cities remain on the debit side of the United States accounts with humanity, unpaid and unpunished.
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A Preview of The Coming War on China: Noted journalist John Pilger talks about China, Okinawa, and U.S. policy in Asia
August 04, 2016
John Pilger is a world-renowned journalist, documentary filmmaker and author. He has twice won Britain’s highest award for journalism. His films have won television academy awards in Britain and the US. Two of his films, on Cambodia and East Timor, are rated with the most important of the 20th century. The Coming War on China is his 60th film.
-Daniel Broudy: You’re now finishing up work on your latest project the title of which, it seems, can also trigger feelings of considerable dread. The Coming War, maybe you’d agree, is pretty heavy. Can you describe the impetus for this particular look at world events, especially as you see them unfolding in East Asia?
John Pilger: The film picks up the theme of much of my work. It will set out to explain how great power imposes itself on people and disguises itself and the dangers it beckons. This film is about the United States—no longer sure of its dominance—rekindling the Cold War. The Cold War has been started again on two fronts—against Russia and against China. I’m concentrating on China in a film about the Asia-Pacific. It’s set in the Marshall Islands where the United States exploded 67 atomic bombs, nuclear weapons, between 1946 and 1958, leaving that part of the world gravely damaged—in human and environmental terms. And this assault on the Marshalls goes on. On the largest island, Kwajalein, there is an important and secretive US base called the Ronald Reagan Test Facility, which was established in the 1960s—as the archive we’re using makes clear—“to combat the threat from China.”
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Palestinians inside Israel are under attack
by Jonathan Cook - The National
1 August 2016
Was it meant as an epic parody or an insult to his audience’s intelligence? It was hard to tell. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to social media to apologise for last year’s notorious election-day comment, when he warned that “the Arabs are coming out to vote in droves” – a reference to the fifth of Israel’s population who are Palestinian.
In videos released last week in English and Hebrew, Mr Netanyahu urged Palestinian citizens to become more active in public life. They needed to “work in droves, study in droves, thrive in droves,” he said. “I am proud of the role Arabs play in Israel’s success”. Pointedly, Ayman Odeh, head of the Palestinian-dominated Joint List party, noted that 100,000 Bedouin citizens could not watch the video because Israel denies their communities electricity, internet connections and all other services.
Swiftly and predictably, the reality of life for Israel’s 1.7 million Palestinians upstaged Mr Netanyahu’s fine words. In a radio interview, Moti Dotan, the head of the Lower Galilee regional council, sent a message to his Palestinian neighbours:
“I don’t want them at my [swimming] pools.”
Sounding like a mayor in the southern United States during the Jim Crow-era, he added: “Their culture of cleanliness isn’t the same as ours. Why is that racist?”Add a comment
In news of the Orwellian world we live in
by Mazin Qumsiyeh - qumsiyeh.org
August 4, 2016
But how do we keep sanity?
The key is to focus on the positive locally. Think globally and act locally is still good wisdom.
For every person who sells his soul to the devil, there is a person acting in good conscience to help make this a better world. For every person who is corrupt, there is a person working hard with good work ethics. For every free loader, there is a volunteer. For every dishonesty there is someone honest who calls it out.
I know because I interact with dozens of people daily of different backgrounds.
Who Leaked the Damning DNC Emails? What Difference Does It Make?
by Gary Leupp - CounterPunch
August 2, 2016
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