The Utter Stupidity of the New Cold War
by Gary Leupp - CounterPunch
January 10, 2017
It seems so strange, twenty-seven years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, to be living through a new Cold War with (as it happens, capitalist) Russia. The Russian president is attacked by the U.S. political class and media as they never attacked Soviet leaders; he is personally vilified as a corrupt, venal dictator, who arrests or assassinates political opponents and dissident journalists, and is hell-bent on the restoration of the USSR.
(The latter claim rests largely on Vladimir Putin’s comment that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was a “catastrophe” and “tragedy”—which in many respects it was.
Photo Jedimentat44 | CC BY 2.0
The press chooses to ignore his comment that “Anyone who does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart, while anyone who wants to restore it has no brain.” It conflicts with the simple talking-point that Putin misses the imperial Russia of the tsars if not the commissars and, burning with resentment over the west’s triumph in the Cold War, plans to exact revenge through wars of aggression and territorial expansion.)
What Is a Country For? Fighting for the Good Life in Trumplandia
by Rebecca Gordon - TomDispatch
January 10, 2017
Many of the folks I know are getting ready to play serious defense in 2017, and they’re not wrong.
Before we take up our three-point stance on the national line of scrimmage, however, maybe we should ask ourselves not only what we’re fighting against, but what we’re fighting for.
What kind of United States of America do we actually want? Maybe, in fact, we could start by asking:
What is a country for? What should a country do? Why do people establish countries in the first place?
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Cashless is Not Casteless
by Satya Sagar - CounterCurrents
January 9, 2017
A Cashless, Corruption-free, Cow-friendly India that also Cares for the Poor. As the Narendra Modi regime shoots forth silken promises like buttered popcorn from a hot oven – it is time to remember India’s long history of using colourful fiction to rip-off the public and carry out caste oppression.
Let me explain. For over a millennium one of the recurring debates among Indian philosophers was whether this world was real or a mere dream. To be more precise,the claim was, we are all part of Maha Vishnu’s dream as He sleeps peacefully on a giant serpent, with a lotus blooming from His navel.
Paradoxically though, those who preached most passionately that our senses mislead us and everything around was Maya or an illusion, went on to corner the largest chunk of material reality.
US Report Still Lacks Proof on Russia ‘Hack’
by Robert Parry - Consortium News
January 7, 2017
Repeating an accusation over and over again is not evidence that the accused is guilty, no matter how much “confidence” the accuser asserts about the conclusion. Nor is it evidence just to suggest that someone has a motive for doing something. Many conspiracy theories are built on the notion of “cui bono” – who benefits – without following up the supposed motive with facts.
But that is essentially what the U.S. intelligence community has done regarding the dangerous accusation that Russian President Vladimir Putin orchestrated a covert information campaign to influence the outcome of the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election in favor of Republican Donald Trump.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, following address
to UN General Assembly -Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)
Just a day after Director of National Intelligence James Clapper vowed to go to the greatest possible lengths to supply the public with the evidence behind the accusations, his office released a 25-page report that contained no direct evidence that Russia delivered hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta to WikiLeaks.Add a comment
More Clapp-trap: Senate Hearing on Russian Election Mischief Again Fails to Prove Anything
by Dave Lindorff - This Can't Be Happening
January 6, 2017
The Russian hacking hysteria in the US media, and among parts of the public -- especially liberal Democrats -- is becoming increasingly embarrassing.
National Security Director James Clapper(l): Would you
trust this man to house-sit (or fix your computer)?
Over and over we have been told that the government, whether in the form of the departing President Obama or unidentified “intelligence sources” cited in news reports, or statements by private security contractors with their vested interest in trying to show how vulnerable America’s (and the Democratic Party’s!) servers are, that they have solid evidence that the Russians hacked DNC emails and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s emails, only for it to turn out to be more of the same innuendos, circumstantial “evidence,” suspicions, and inevitably ridiculous and embarrassing errors (like the Washington Post’s breathless and false story  that the Russians had hacked the Vermont power grid and could shut off the heat during a cold snap).
January 5, 2017
They could be found on the outskirts of Sirte, Libya, supporting local militia fighters, and in Mukalla, Yemen, backing troops from the United Arab Emirates. At Saakow, a remote outpost in southern Somalia, they assisted local commandos in killing several members of the terror group al-Shabab. Around the cities of Jarabulus and Al-Rai in northern Syria, they partnered with both Turkish soldiers and Syrian militias, while also embedding with Kurdish YPG fighters and the Syrian Democratic Forces.
Across the border in Iraq, still others joined the fight to liberate the city of Mosul. And in Afghanistan, they assisted indigenous forces in various missions, just as they have every year since 2001. For America, 2016 may have been the year of the commando.
In one conflict zone after another across the northern tier of Africa and the Greater Middle East, U.S. Special Operations forces (SOF) waged their particular brand of low-profile warfare.
“Winning the current fight, including against the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and other areas where SOF is engaged in conflict and instability, is an immediate challenge,” the chief of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), General Raymond Thomas, told the Senate Armed Services Committee last year.
by Tom Engelhardt - TomDispatch
January 3, 2017
Know thyself. It was what came to mind in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory and my own puzzling reaction to it. And while that familiar phrase just popped into my head, I had no idea it was so ancient, or Greek, or for that matter a Delphic maxim inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo according to the Greek writer Pausanias (whom I'd never heard of until I read his name in Wikipedia). Think of that as my own triple helix of ignorance extending back to... well, my birth in a very different America 72 years ago.
Anyway, the simple point is that I didn’t know myself half as well as I imagined. And I can thank Donald Trump for reminding me of that essential truth. Of course, we can never know what’s really going on inside the heads of all those other people out there on this curious planet of ours, but ourselves as strangers? I guess if I were inscribing something in the forecourt of my own Delphic temple right now, it might be: Who knows me? (Not me.)
This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
January 2, 2017
Happy New Year to all following the western, or Gregorian calendar. It's important to remember, time is relative and calendars mutable; like other things we may regard as solid, (say economic systems) nothing is changeless, nor eternal.
Take India's rupee; late last year, prime minister Narendra Modi launched, depending upon your point of view, an either visionary, or draconian demonetization program aimed, he says, at "black money, terrorism, and tax evasion." His critics however wonder if there's not more behind the unprecedented move to take both the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, workhorses of the nation's currency accounting for more than 85% of cash transactions, off the street and onto a controlled grid.
Satya Sagar is a journalist and public health worker whose clarion English language articles on demonetization, 'Death by Demonetisation' and 'Demonetisation: The Sultan of Sophistry' have appeared on this side of the World via the Kerala-based news website, CounterCurrents.org, among other places.
Satya Sagar in the first half.
And; it's not only India witnessing an economic paradigm shift. Across the planet, Bitcoin and its many imitators, had been received as both a halyard of hope to rescue upward mobility for the embattled middle and working classes, and harbinger of an impending doom, promising chaos by delivering the economy into the hands of internet fraudsters and shadowy networks of web gangsters.
Though the early application of cryptocurrencies had problems, the implementation of a more sophisticated Blockchain 2.0 database insures a more secure regimen. But, there's more to ushering in a new age of money than ones and zeroes, what's needed too is a social and necessarily political framework, a context from which the new system can operate. That's were the Blockchain Party comes in.
Richard Kastelein is a media and technology activist, educator, and entrepreneur. He's the publisher and editor-in-chief of Blockchain News, a co-founder of Blockchain Partners, director of The Hackitarians Foundation, and now moves into the political sphere with BCP, the Blockchain Party.
Richard Kastelein and bringing new politics to the new money 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 some of the good things the coming week promises on in and around the streets of our town, and beyond there too. But first, Satya Sagar and putting an biometric thumb in the eye of India's financial system.
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/
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The War Against Alternative Information
by Rick Sterling - Consortium News
January 1, 2017
The U.S. establishment is not content simply to have domination over the media narratives on critical foreign policy issues, such as Syria, Ukraine and Russia. It wants total domination.
Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of United States to UN, Security Council meeting on Syria, Sept. 25, 2016. Power advocates escalating U.S. military involvement in Syria. (UN Photo)
Thus we now have the “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act” that President Obama signed into law on Dec. 23 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017, setting aside $160 million to combat any “propaganda” that challenges Official Washington’s version of reality.
Eternal Hostility: a New Year’s Resolution
by Kathy Kelly - Voices for Creative Non-Violence
January 1, 2017
This New Year’s Eve, 750 heavy wooden crosses were distributed to a gathering of Chicagoans commemorating the victims of gun violence killed in 2016. Rev. Michael Pfleger and the Faith Community of St. Sabina Parish had issued a call to carry crosses constructed by Greg Zanis. The crosses, uniform in size, presented the name and age and, in many cases, a facial photo of the person killed.
Some who carried the crosses were relatives of the people killed. As the group assembled, several sobbed upon finding the crosses that bore the names and photos of their loved ones.
One of more than 750 crosses carried in a
Chicago rally commemorating homicide
victims on New Years Eve - Photo: Ed Juillard
Those carrying the heavy crosses along Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile” of high end shops and restaurants knew that other arms than theirs were aching…aching with longing for loved ones who would never return. In 2016, more people were killed in Chicago by gun violence than in New York City and Los Angeles combined. The number killed represented a 58% increase over the number killed in 2015. “How could this happen?” – was the question asked on the front page of the Chicago Tribune.
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Exit Obama in a Cloud of Disillusion, Delusion and Deceit
by Craig Murray
December 31, 2016
I had promised myself and my family that on this holiday I would do nothing but relax. However events have overtaken my good intentions. I find myself in the unusual position of having twice been in a position to know directly that governments were lying in globe-shaking events, firstly Iraqi WMD and now the “Russian hacks”. Anybody who believes the latest report issued by Obama as “proof” provides anything of the sort is very easily impressed by some entirely meaningless diagrams.
William Binney, who was Technical Director at the NSA and actually designed their surveillance capabilities, has advised me by email.
It is plain from the report itself that the Russian groups discussed have been under targeted NSA surveillance for a period longer than the timeframe for the DNC and Podesta leaks. It is therefore inconceivable that the NSA would not have detected and traced those particular data flows and they would be saved.
In other words, the NSA would have the actual hack on record, would be able to recognise the emails themselves and tell you exactly the second the transmission or transmissions took place and how they were routed. They would be able to give you date, time and IP addresses.
Details Still Lacking on Russian ‘Hack’
by Robert Parry - Consortium News
December 29, 2016
Amid more promises of real evidence to come, the Obama administration released a report that again failed to demonstrate that there is any proof behind U.S. allegations that Russia both hacked into Democratic emails and distributed them via WikiLeaks to the American people.
The New York Times, which has been busy flogging the latest reasons to hate Russia and its President Vladimir Putin, asserted,
President Obama in the Oval Office
“The F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security released a report on Thursday detailing the ways that Russia acted to influence the American election through cyber-espionage.”
But the actual report fell far short of “detailing” much at all about how the disclosures of the Democratic National Committee’s manipulation of the primaries to hobble Sen. Bernie Sanders and the contents of Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street speeches ended up at WikiLeaks and ultimately became available to American voters.
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