Langford: Why the Mayor, Deputy, and Chief Planner Should Step Down

Are Langford Officials Biased? - Why the mayor, deputy mayor, and chief planner should step down, and why everyone else should speak up
by Zoe Blunt
On April 6, Langford City Council is expected to adopt a development re-zoning bylaw for South Skirt Mountain, located between the new interchange on Highway 1 and Bear Mountain Resort.
Langford Mayor, Stew Young: Conflicted?
Four landowners propose to build roads and condo towers with 2800 units adjoining Goldstream Provincial Park to the west and Florence Lake to the east. North of the interchange, a half-built road (Bear Mountain Parkway) zig-zags up South Skirt Mountain to Bear Mountain Resort.

In their haste to approve this development, we submit that Langford's mayor and council have acted in bad faith, ignored due process, and disrespected procedural fairness. In addition, their application for a federal grant for the road and the interchange appears to violate the Community Charter, which prohibits municipalities from giving cash grants and other handouts to private companies.
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Who Will Foot the Bill for America's Moral Bailout?

America Is in Need of a Moral Bailout
by Chris Hedges (Truthdig)
In decaying societies, politics become theater. The elite, who have hollowed out the democratic system to serve the corporate state, rule through image and presentation. They express indignation at AIG bonuses and empathy with a working class they have spent the last few decades disenfranchising, and make promises to desperate families that they know will never be fulfilled. Once the spotlights go on they read their lines with appropriate emotion. Once the lights go off, they make sure Goldman Sachs and a host of other large corporations have the hundreds of billions of dollars in losses they incurred playing casino capitalism repaid with taxpayer money.  

We live in an age of moral nihilism. We have trashed our universities, turning them into vocational factories that produce corporate drones and chase after defense-related grants and funding. The humanities, the discipline that forces us to stand back and ask the broad moral questions of meaning and purpose, that challenges the validity of structures, that trains us to be self-reflective and critical of all cultural assumptions, have withered. Our press, which should promote such intellectual and moral questioning, confuses bread and circus with news and refuses to give a voice to critics who challenge not this bonus payment or that bailout but the pernicious superstructure of the corporate state itself. We kneel before a cult of the self, elaborately constructed by the architects of our consumer society, which dismisses compassion, sacrifice for the less fortunate, and honesty.
The methods used to attain what we want, we are told by reality television programs, business schools and self-help gurus, are irrelevant. Success, always defined in terms of money and power, is its own justification. The capacity for manipulation is what is most highly prized. And our moral collapse is as terrifying, and as dangerous, as our economic collapse.
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How Canada Shows Support for War Resisters

How we show our support for War Resisters
Hi everyone; so much is on the line right now for war resisters, particularly 3 of the families in Toronto. Kimberly Rivera and her family face deportation on March 26, next Thursday. Patrick Hart and family is awaiting an order to depart any day now. Jeremy Hinzman and family are waiting for a judgement from the Federal Court.

Please continue calling and writing to the government to demand their respect of international law, Canadian parliament and Canadians regarding the War Resister issue. Our fellow campaigners in Toronto have been doing a phenomenal job of keeping these folks and their issue in the spotlight and not letting Immigration Minister Kenney rest. Please follow this link for excellent coverage of their efforts this week:
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A Judicial Document

A Judicial Document
by Uri Avnery
The most important sentence written in Israel this week was lost in the general tumult of exciting events. Really exciting: In a final act of villainy, typical of his whole tenure as Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert abandoned the captive soldier, Gilad Shalit. Ehud Barak decided that the Labor Party must join the ultra-right government, which includes outright fascists.

And this, too: the former President of Israel was officially indicted for rape.

In this cacophony, who would pay any attention to a sentence written by lawyers in a document submitted to the Supreme Court? The judicial debate concerns one of the most revolting laws ever enacted in Israel. It says that the wife of an Israeli citizen is not allowed to join him in Israel if she is living in the occupied Palestinian territories or in a “hostile” Arab country.
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Stick Your Damn Hand in It!

STICK YOUR DAMN HAND IN IT: 20th Birthday of the Exxon Valdez Lie
by Greg Palast - March 23, 2009
"Gail, Please! Stick your hand in it!"
The petite Eskimo-Chugach woman gave me that you-dumb-ass-white-boy look.
She stuck it in, under the gravel of the beach at Sleepy Bay, her village's fishing ground. Gail's hand came up dripping with black, sickening goo. It could make you vomit. Oil from the Exxon Valdez.  It was already two years after the spill and Exxon had crowed that Mother Nature had happily cleaned up their stinking oil mess for them. It was a lie. But the media wouldn't question the bald-faced bullshit. And who the hell was going to investigate Exxon's claim way out in some godforsaken Native village in the Prince William Sound?
So I convinced the Natives to fly the lazy-ass reporters out to Sleepy Bay on rented float planes to see the oil that Exxon said wasn't there.
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Hey, Hey, O-Bomb-A: How Many Kids Today?

What More in the Name of Love?
by David Swanson
United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), the largest coalition of peace groups in the United States, is organizing a national march on Wall Street on Saturday, April 4, to "End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Address the Economic Crisis by Cutting Military Spending." A separate coalition is organizing marches on Wall Street on April 3 and 4 with a very similar message. And our brothers and sisters in Europe will be traveling to Strasbourg on April 4 to protest NATO's activities on its 60th birthday.

If there is a day for mass action in the United States for peace and justice, April 4 is it. And if there is a place for it right now, it's Wall Street. April 3rd is a Friday, so more robber barons will be at "work" that day, but April 4th is a Saturday, so more of the robbed will be off work and able to take part. April 4 is also the anniversary, not only of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, death in 1968, but of his speech exactly one year earlier at Riverside Church in New York City in 1967.

This was the speech in which King powerfully opposed the U.S. war in Vietnam and argued that domestic problems in the United States, including poverty, could never be solved as long as we continued with such wars and with the investment of so many of our resources in militarism.
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American Raj: Liberation or Domination? Discuss Among Yourselves

A Review: American Raj:  Liberation or Domination? – Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World, Eric S. Margolis
by Jim Miles
In a wide-ranging and thorough overview of essentially the Middle East, but also the rest of the Muslim world, Eric Margolis’ recent work American Raj should become a first source of information on current events in the Muslim world. 
It is not encyclopaedic in trying to fit in all the details about people and events, and other works dig deeper into specific areas and ideas, but it is comprehensive, covering all the main themes, ideas, places, and personalities that have shaped the area over the last century.  
More importantly as compared to a more narrow focus, Margolis shows the linkages and cross-currents between events that are often seen as disparate unrelated items in the west – other than being classified as “terrorist.”
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Sunday Night at the Movies: Zeitgeist

Sunday Night at the Movies: Zeitgeist
by Zeitgeist
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The Crash of France's Nuclear "Success"

The Crash of France's Nuclear Poster Child
by Harvey Wasserman
The myth of a successful nuclear power industry in France has melted into financial chaos. With it dies the corporate-hyped poster child for a "nuclear renaissance" of new reactor construction that is drowning in red ink and radioactive waste.

Areva, France's nationally-owned corporate atomic façade, has plunged into a deep financial crisis led by a devastating shortage of cash. Electricite de France, the French national utility, has been raided by European Union officials charging that its price-fixing may be undermining competition throughout the continent. Delays and cost overruns continue to escalate at Areva's catastrophic Olkiluoto reactor construction project in Finland. Areva has admitted to a $2.2 billion, or 55%, cost increase in the Finnish building site after three and a half years. The Flamanville project---the only one now being built in France---is already over $1 billion more expensive than projected after a single year under construction.

In 2008, France's nuclear power output dropped 0.1%, while wind generation rose more than 37%.
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Jen Moore, Mary Foster, Splitting the Sky, J9 Mar. 23, 2009

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook
This week: journalist Jen Moore and the evil Canada's mining corporations do in Latin America; Mary Foster of the People's Commission Network and the strange case of Abousfian Abdelrazik; indigenous activist, Splitting the Sky and Calgary's George W. Bush welcoming committee; and, Victoria Street Newz publisher Janine Bandcroft on the city's continuing shelter crisis.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site,
Check out the GR blog at:
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Monday 12:30pm: Vancouver action to protest ban on anti-war MP

Defend Free Speech, Lift the Ban on George Galloway
Please join us if you can:  Monday, Mar. 23, 12:30 pm at 300 W. Georgia, in front of the detention centre and offices of Immigration Canada, at the corner of Hamilton behind the downtown VPL.
This will be a press conference, but we are calling for people to come down and show their opposition to this outrageous decision by Jason Kenney and the Conservative government. There will be speakers from StopWar, CESAPI and several other groups.
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New York City Meltdown: With a Whimper, Not a Bang… the Old Neighborhood Empties

Economic Dirty Bomb Goes Off in New York: With a Whimper, Not a Bang… the Old Neighborhood Empties
by Tom Engelhardt
A block from my apartment, on a still largely mom-and-pop, relatively low-slung stretch of Broadway, two spanking new apartment towers rose just as the good times were ending for New York. As I pass the tower on the west side of Broadway each morning, one of its massive ground-floor windows displays the same eternal message in white letters against a bright red background: "Locate yourself at the center of the fastest expanding portion of the affluent Upper West Side."

Successive windows assure any potential renter that this retail space (10,586 square feet available! 110 feet of frontage! 30 foot ceilings! Multiple configurations possible!) is conveniently located only "steps from the 96th Street subway station, servicing 11 million riders annually."

Here's the catch, though: That building was completed as 2007 ended and yet, were you to peer through a window into the gloom beyond, you would make out only a cavernous space of concrete, pillars, and pipes. All those "square feet" and not the slightest evidence that any business is moving in any time soon. Across Broadway, the same thing is true of the other tower.
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