Putting the Frame on Hezbollah

Hezbollah doesn’t attack America, it’s the other way around

by Sharmine Narwani - The Sandbox


November 7, 2017

Western-backed militants are in retreat, Bashar al-Assad remains president, Hezbollah has stretched its wings regionally, Israeli power is in decline, and Iran is on the rise. Not a pretty result for Washington’s multi-billion dollar investment in the Syrian conflict, especially if it was intended to change the map of the region to favor U.S. interests.

The Trump administration is therefore moving to hit its regional adversaries on alternative, non-military fronts—mainly, employing the sanctions tool that can cripple economies, besiege communities, and stir up public discontent.

The first step was to decertify the nuclear agreement struck between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1), which would open up a pathway to further U.S. sanctions against Iran.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Pablo Ouziel, Chrissy Brett, Camille Labchuk, Janine Bandcroft Nov. 2nd, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


November 2, 2017

 

Spain's constitutional crisis geared up last week with the unilateral declaration of independence issued from the separatist Catalonia government of Carles Puigdumont.

Predictably, Madrid made good on it's threat to turf out the regional government, and went further: arresting those in the pro- Independence leadership that hadn't already slipped out of the country, banning the independence movement outright, and taking over Catalunya's media, police, and government bureaucracy.

The lament going up today in Spain is for the death of democracy, a haunting reminder of the country's not so distant fascist past.

 

Listen. Hear.

 

Dr. Pablo Ouziel is a Post-Doctoral fellow at UVic whose project in progress is, ‘Towards Democratic Responses to the Crisis of Democracy in Spain: Forms of Participatory and Representative Civic Engagement.’

Pablo Ouziel in the first half.

And; the Pop-Up Prayer Vigil encampment has moved along to Saanich. The ongoing homelessness camp and protest site has been on the move weekly, spending the last few weeks at various locations in Oak Bay; much to the consternation of local authorities, residents, and an increasingly hostile local media. Chrissy Brett is spokesperson, and self-described "head cat herder" for the Vigil/Protest movement. I spoke with her a few days ago about what they hope to accomplish.

Chrissy Brett keeping a vigil for homelessness in the second segment.

And; activist efforts to ban the capture and incarceration of whales and dolphins scored a major victory in Vancouver earlier this year when City Council voted to ban the practice, despite intense lobbying by the Vancouver Aquarium and its industry allies. That victory wasn't the end of the struggle, nor even the beginning of the end; but perhaps it was, as Winston 'the Whale' Churchill would say, "the end of beginning" of the campaign to stop world-wide the obviously barbarous practice of cetacean imprisonment.

Camille Labchuk is Executive Director of Animal Justice, an organization dedicated to looking out for the legal interests of animals, exposing cruel and systemic practices creating animal suffering both in the wild and in agriculture, and seeking meaningful policy changes to redress those practices.

Camille Labchuk and whales (and dolphins) for the saving in the final segment.

And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin. But first, Pablo Ouziel and Spanish democracy's dark night of the soul breaking on an uncertain morning.

 

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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/

 

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Pablo Ouziel, Robert Hunziker, Janine Bandcroft October 26th, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


October 26, 2017

Right now, as night falls in Spain the future of the country is shrouded in uncertainty. The referendum on independence that began October, and deemed "illegal" by the federal government, has predictably proven divisive, with each of the main players involved, Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, and Catalonia's regional president, Carles Puigdemont showing little appetite for compromise.

Rajoy promises to dissolve Catalonia's parliament, and reschedule elections, while unilateral secession is Puigdemont's only arrow in the quiver.

 Dr. Pablo Ouziel is a Post-Doctoral fellow at UVic whose project in progress is, ‘Towards Democratic Responses to the Crisis of Democracy in Spain: Forms of Participatory and Representative Civic Engagement.’

Pablo Ouziel in the first half.

 

 

Listen. Hear.

 

And; beyond the partisan barbs, it's safe to say Donald Trump is no ecological defender. Surrounded already by climate change deniers and petroleum industry insiders in hiring Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA however, the former real estate tycoon and media phenomenon sent a particularly loud and clear message to businesses big and small: "Damn the enviros, full speed ahead!"

Robert Hunziker is an environmental journalist whose climate clarion calls appear in numerous journals and multiple languages around the World and across the internet. He’s also appeared in a variety of electronic media to talk about global climate change, written extensively about the ongoing aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and penned numerous articles on the ever-quickening polar ice melt.

In his recent article, 'Mr. Toxicity Zaps America' Hunziker reports Environmental Protection Agency head, Scott Pruitt "nixed his own agency’s proposal of 2015 to ban the toxic chemical chlorpyrifos, an insecticide that attacks the nervous system of pesky insects, as well as pesky and non-pesky people..."

Robert Hunziker and the EPA's number one "toxics defender" in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will bring us the Left Coast Events bulletin at the bottom of the hour. But first, Pablo Ouziel, perched atop the peak of Spain's tipping point.

 

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.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: https://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/

 

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Tears, Smears, and the War on Truth: Hillary's Accounting of It

Clinton, Assange and the War on Truth

by John Pilger - CounterPunch


October 20, 2017

On 16 October, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation aired an interview with Hillary Clinton: one of many to promote her score-settling book about why she was not elected President of the United States.

Wading through the Clinton book, What Happened, is an unpleasant experience, like a stomach upset. Smears and tears. Threats and enemies. “They” (voters) were brainwashed and herded against her by the odious Donald Trump in cahoots with sinister Slavs sent from the great darkness known as Russia, assisted by an Australian “nihilist”, Julian Assange.

In The New York Times, there was a striking photograph of a female reporter consoling Clinton, having just interviewed her. The lost leader was, above all, “absolutely a feminist”.

The thousands of women’s lives this “feminist” destroyed while in government — Libya, Syria, Honduras — were of no interest.

 

Photo by Kyle Taylor | CC by 2.0


In New York magazine, Rebecca Traister wrote that Clinton was finally “expressing some righteous anger”. It was even hard for her to smile: “so hard that the muscles in her face ache”. Surely, she concluded, “if we allowed women’s resentments the same bearing we allow men’s grudges, America would be forced to reckon with the fact that all these angry women might just have a point”.

 

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The EPA's Toxic Defender

Mr. Toxicity Zaps America

by Robert Hunziker - CounterPunch


October 20, 2017
 

America’s all-time-leading heartless anti-science zealot EPA Administrator Scott “Mr. Toxicity” Pruitt, as of March 2017, nixed his own agency’s proposal of 2015 to ban the toxic chemical chlorpyrifos, an insecticide that attacks the nervous system of pesky insects, as well as pesky and non-pesky people (the Nazis invented it for germ warfare). It’s sprayed on crops of foodstuff that ends up in grocery stores.

All of which brings to mind, how in the world does the Trump group, from A-to-Z, remain in power one of the great enigmas of all time. By all appearances, so far nobody has the backbone, the guts to throw’em in the gutter, back to their lifeblood.

Chlorpyrifos is no longer patent protected. It is now the active ingredient in dozens of pesticide products made by companies such as Bayer and BASF. More than 80,000 people submitted comments to the EPA urging the agency to ban chlorpyrifos from use on all crops immediately. (Source: EPA Urged to Ban Widely-Used Pesticide Chlorpyrrifos, Environment News-Washington, DC, Jan. 5, 2016)

 

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Get Ready for the "Ayatollah Hackola" Narrative

First Russia, Now Iran: Cyberespionage Accusations Fit A Changing Agenda

by Whitney Webb  - MintPress News

October 19, 2017

 

No concrete evidence was used to attribute the hack to Russia in June, just as no concrete evidence has been made available to attribute the hack to Iran now. However, the assignment of blame to these nation states coincided with other geopolitical issues pitting Russia and Iran against U.K. or U.S. interests.

 

On October 13, President Donald Trump – as anticipated – decertified the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear accord, despite the fact that Iran was in full compliance with the agreement. Trump’s unilateral decision to put the survival of the deal in jeopardy was met with strong opposition by European leaders — including Germany, the United Kingdom, and France, whose leaders issued a joint statement condemning the move.

Interestingly, a day later, accusations conveniently emerged blaming the Iranian government for a June cyberattack that had targeted numerous U.K. politicians. The attackers allegedly sought to gain access to accounts of some members of parliament — all of which were protected by “weak passwords — and were successful in some instances.

The evidence for blaming Iran was based solely on an “unpublished assessment by British intelligence” that was reported on by The London Times, though they merely disclosed the existence of the report and did not read it. Thus, its contents are unknown, as are its reasons for blaming the Iranian government.

Despite that, the Times called the hack “Iran’s first significant act of cyberwarfare on Britain.” It also noted that the Trump administration “is likely to seize on the attack as proof that Mrs. May and other signatories to the deal are being naive in their dealings with Tehran.” 

 

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Losing the Weinstein Plot

Harvey Weinstein and the politics of Hollywood 

by Jonathan Cook


18 October 2017

There is something truly exasperating about digesting the steady flow of horror stories relating to Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

In part, of course, it is because the reports that Weinstein allegedly raped and sexually assaulted women over decades are deeply disturbing.

In part, it is because one can be certain that there are still young aspiring actresses desperate for a big break who are being exploited by the Hollywood system – both in “casting” sessions and in the movies they must make to get noticed.

But most of all, these stories are exasperating because the women who are speaking out – and one senses they are still just the tip of the iceberg – and the journalists who are feeding off their revelations are drawing precisely no political conclusions from these incidents.

In fact, the Weinstein story perfectly illustrates how politically disempowering identity politics can be. Certainly, there can be no doubt that Weinstein, who has admitted that he abused his position with many women, while denying many of the actual reports of sexual misconduct, exploited his power. It should hardly surprise us that a rich man who had the ability to give desperate young women a shot at stardom preyed on them. The Hollywood employment system is capitalism in microcosm, at its rawest and most naked.


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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Greg Palast, Amy Lubik, Christina Nikolic October 19th, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


October 19, 2017

"They saw it coming!" and yet the masters of Puerto Rico's debt allowed the island's infrastructure to deteriorate so far, Hurricane Maria merely provided the coup de grace. Now, a month after that devastating storm, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, "unincorporated territory of the United States," shattered in every sense, is ripe for the vulture's picking.

It's 'disaster capitalism' in its purest form, leveraging catastrophe to privatize and monopolize essential services, while gorging on aid money provided ostensibly to ease the people's suffering. And it's those people, says my first guest, the ones who's needs are most dire, who'll pay dearest.

Listen. Hear.

Investigator, journalist, author, and filmmaker, Greg Palast has reported from the jagged edge of the news on both sides of the Atlantic for the better part of two decades, breaking stories for BBC flagship news program, Newsnight and The Guardian newspaper in Britain, and filing stories with the Nation Magazine and Rolling Stone stateside.

His books, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, Armed Madhouse, and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy have all resided on the New York Times' bestseller list, while Vultures' Picnic was named Book of the Year by BBC Newsnight Review. His latest documentary film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits is newly recut, and can be got through his website, Gregpalast.com.

Greg Palast in the first half.

And; the election of a new government in British Columbia hasn't eased fears of expanded Liquid Natural Gas, or LNG, mining in the province. LNG means "fracking", or hydraulic fracturing, the environmentally detrimental method currently used to extract hydrocarbons locked in rock formations beneath the surface; and, the newly ensconced NDP government is curiously quiet about the future of this most fractious industry.

In the dying days of BC's recent elections, a group of health professionals concerned an issue posing such deleterious environmental and human health effects was not getting the media coverage it deserved rallied supporters to make of it an election issue.

Amy Lubik holds a PhD in cancer research, and is a member for the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Public Health Association of BC and Bridge for Health Coop. Amy mobilized along with the BC chapter of CAPE, or the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment last April in an operation hoping to deliver a moratorium on Fracking in BC.

Following up with Dr. Amy Lubik and FRACTURED BC: Fracking, Site C, Health and Human Rights in the second half.

And; Victoria-based horticultural guru and green entrepreneur, Christina Nikolic will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with this week's installment of the Left Coast Events bulletin. But first, Greg Palast and Puerto Rico's vultures.

 

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live Thursdays, 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and streaming at: cfuv.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/ and @Paciffreepress on Twitter.
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Su Rynard, Pablo Ouziel, Kathy Kelly, Janine Bandcroft October 12, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


October 12, 2017 

 

We're living today in Rachel Carson's fabled "tomorrow."

Fifty-five years after her harbinger book, 'Silent Spring' warned of the inevitable end our industrial creation would bring to the natural world around us, the proofs of Carson's prognostications are clear to all but the most obtuse, or willfully blind observors. But even these may notice the silence where birdsong used to be.

Su Rynard is an artist and filmmaker whose work has screened at festivals and in galleries in Canada, the US, and Europe. She's the recipient of numerous awards for her documentaries and received the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize for her debut feature film, Kardia.

 

Listen. Hear.

 

Her recent documentary, The Messenger is an environmental tour de force that like Rachel Carson's work implores we see clearly now what we sacrifice before it disappears entirely.

Su Rynard in the first segment.

And; Catalonia president, and Catalan independence leader Carles Puigdemont addressed parliament Tuesday regarding his party's plans for the future of Spain's restive Catalunya region. Nearly two weeks after the referendum on separation deemed illegal by Madrid overwhelmingly endorsed leaving Spain Puigdemont, who had threatened to unilaterally declare the wealthiest of the country's regions a new nation, backpedaled slightly, "suspending" for an unspecified time his promise to unilaterally declare independence to allow for negotiation.

When, where, what, and with whom he plans to negotiate was not made clear; so for now, Catalonia waits for Madrid. Dr. Pablo Ouziel is a Post-Doctoral fellow here at UVic,whose project in progress is, 'Towards Democratic Responses to the Crisis of Democracy in Spain: Forms of Participatory and Representative Civic Engagement.' He's a Spanish national, and more poignantly, Catalan.

Pablo Ouziel and Catalunya waiting to exhale in the second segment.

And; is it possible to live unaware of our fellows' suffering amid a holocaust? History tells us, not only is it possible, but that ignorance is the necessary condition for a fully-blown human cataclysm to take hold. My third guest asks, how many of us are aware right now of the "terror faced by people in South Sudan, Somalia, northeast Nigeria, northern Kenya and Yemen[?]."

Kathy Kelly is a long-time peace and justice activist, essayist, author, and recipient of numerous awards for her peace service, including multiple nominations for the Nobel Peace prize and many more.

Kelly is co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness and Voices for Creative Nonviolence, co-authored the book, ‘Prisoners on Purpose: a Peacemakers Guide to Jails and Prison,’ and wrote, ‘Other Lands Have Dreams: from Baghdad to Pekin Prison.’ In her latest article, 'Great Hunger' Kelly reveals the current holocaust occurring beneath most of our screens.

Kathy Kelly and allowing the voices of the suffering to speak in the final segment.

And; Victoria activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottomish of the hour with the Left Coast Events bulletin. But first, Su Rynard and hearing The Messenger's song.

 

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live Thursdays, 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and streaming at: cfuv.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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Antifa's American Ploy

Antifa in Theory and in Practice

by Diana Johnstone - CounterPunch


October 9, 2017

 

“Fascists are divided into two categories: the fascists and the anti-fascists.”
Ennio Flaiano, Italian writer and co-author
of Federico Fellini’s greatest film scripts.
 

In recent weeks, a totally disoriented left has been widely exhorted to unify around a masked vanguard calling itself Antifa, for anti-fascist.

Hooded and dressed in black, Antifa is essentially a variation of the Black Bloc, familiar for introducing violence into peaceful demonstrations in many countries.

Imported from Europe, the label Antifa sounds more political. It also serves the purpose of stigmatizing those it attacks as “fascists”.

Despite its imported European name, Antifa is basically just another example of America’s steady descent into violence.

 

 

Photo by jcrakow | CC BY 2.0

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Pablo Ouziel, Dimitri Lascaris, Janine Bandcroft October 5th, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


October 5, 2017

Spain is undergoing a crisis of democracy not seen since the rise of Generalissimo Francisco Franco's fascist regime in the 1930's. Over the weekend a Catalan referendum on separation was conducted, despite being declared illegal by the federal government. Police violence and other attempts to shut down the vote have played very badly abroad, and played right into the hands of regional president, Carles Puigdemont who, rumour has it, will unilaterally declare independence next week.

Dr. Pablo Ouziel is a Post-Doctoral fellow here at UVic,whose project in progress is, 'Towards Democratic Responses to the Crisis of Democracy in Spain: Forms of Participatory and Representative Civic Engagement.' He's a Spanish national, and more poignantly, Catalan.

 

Listen. Hear.

Dr. Pablo Ouziel in the first segment.

And; if any single thing emblemizes our times it is the dizzying pace of change. Just ten days ago the World trembled at the thought of a nuclear conflagration, triggered through the volatile confluence of overblown egomania one the one hand and extreme narcissism on the other. Which of these elementary character flaws describes the leader of America and which North Korea's is both debatable, (one certainly not precluding the other) and a question wiser minds defer pondering. What's certain though is: we're living in mad days indeed.

Dimitri Lascaris is a lawyer, journalist and activist, reporting for The Real News Network. In his recently filed TRNN report, 'Mad Man vs. Rocket Man: North Korea Crisis Hits Fever Pitch' he asks "Can the generals hold the impulsive American president in check?"

Dimitri Lascaris exploring perhaps the planet's most dangerous territory, that space between the ears of Donald Trump, in the second segment.

And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottomish of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin update. But first, Yves Engler and Jagmeet Singh; new bottle for old wine, or fresh start for a stale third party?

 

 

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.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: https://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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Getting The Messenger

The Messenger

by WildWings Nature & Arts Festival


October 3, 2017

This October 12th at 7pm we'll be showing the award-winning documentary film "The Messenger", Su Rynard’s visionary film about our deep-seated connection to songbirds and threat that human activity poses to their survival, at the Nature Centre as a part of the month-long WildWings Nature & Arts Festival.

This is an essential film for anyone who cares about the environment and nature. It's not only an opportunity to see an amazing award-winning film (especially if you missed last year's showing at VIU) but also to talk together about postive local action and ongoing local successes in restoring song bird habitat and song bird recovery.

The Nature Centre film screening will be followed by a Q and A discussion with local naturalists.

 

 

 

 

 


Since its world premiere in 2015 at Toronto’s Hot Docs Film Festival, The Messenger has wowed audiences the world over at more than 30 international film festivals, receiving numerous awards, including The Best Conservation Program from Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, Best of Fest and Best Theatrical Feature, International Wildlife Film Festival plus a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Cinematography in a Feature Documentary and the Ontario Nature’s Carl Nunn Media Impact Award.

 

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