Homegrown Security in Post-Modern America

The Department of Homegrown Security
by Chip Ward
Common to sudden catastrophes is the shock of finding the world upside down. The water is suddenly on top instead of under; the rumbling earth swallows houses and spits out lava; the mud wall slides down from above; the flames roar up; the wind spins; the tower topples. In an instant, everything is broken and nothing works. What you relied upon is gone.

The destruction of the World Trade Center towers was that kind of deep disturbance, even if it was man-made. The shock of 9/11 was so profound that we thought it would define the twenty-first century, and even now it's hard for any event to match the immediacy, the drama, the sheer horror of that single autumn day. When the smoke cleared we learned that we had never really been quarantined from the epidemic of planetary violence that, until 9/11, was always "over there." Suddenly, the shocking violence most of us only witnessed on our television screens had blown back to our very doorstep. Our world shifted over night. Fear reigned. It became our ideology. It became their means of controlling us. It was called "homeland security."

In the second big shock of the young century, seven years later, Wall Street collapsed. Although a few wise voices had warned us it could happen, we didn't see that one coming either. If 9/11 put an American sense of physical safety to flight, the meltdown of casino capitalism took away our economic security.
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Gaza Caravan Readies for Libya Crossing

Convoy Update - 23 .30 (GMT) Thursday 26th February 2009
by vivapalestina.org
The mood today was of relief. After a marathon drive through Algeria and further south in Tunisia, the convoy has been relaxing today in good standard hotels in the city of Gabes.
Please check out the excellent pictures here from the crossing into Algeria and beyond from photographers Younes Oubaiche and Alaeddine Bouimout of the newspaper ECHOROUK daily and Aouni from Bir El Arch.

They are enjoying nice food and the facilities of the hotel complex including swimming pools. Some are sleeping, the others are taking strolls on the beach to walk off those stiff legs and muscles.

The Tunisians have shown their hospitality by offering free fuel, servicing and repairs to the vehicles and accommodation. The alarm clock will go off at 06.00am when the convoy will head for the border with Libya. It is anticipated that they will cross into Libya sometimes during the day.
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Hidden News Radio

The Hidden News
by VPC
Host Mehdi Najari will talk to independent filmmaker and journalist Kevin Pina on the fifth anniversary of the overthrow of the elected government in Haiti.
Mehdi's second guest is Ray Zimmerman of Sea to Sea Greenbelt Society who will talk about the Western Forest Product subdivision applications west of Sooke and the BC government's disregard for the Regional Growth Strategy.

and on cable 104.3
Fridays 9 am
CFUV 101.9 FM in Victoria

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Why Vegan: Knife and Forking the World to Death

Why Vegan?
by Janine Bandcroft
It was 1987, and I was a first year student at De Anza College in California when my environmental/social justice awakening began. Their Liberal Arts degree program got me thinking about evolution, ancient history, and the magical ecological processes of planet Earth. 
With other concerned students and supportive professors we launched the Green Future Club, hosted a Rainforest Awareness Week, and established an on-campus recycling project that exists to this day.  I gave up my traditional Alberta-raised, British parent-influenced meat-centric diet, learned to soak beans and spice tofu, and reveled in my new 'direct action' veggie lifestyle.

Years later, still studying, still living in poverty, I was searching for affordable accommodation in Victoria. I found an opportunity with a compromise attached - the animal rights occupant insisted on a vegan flat-mate.  What the heck, I thought, it's time for the next phase of my personal evolutionary growth.  Who knew the rather enormous learning curve involved in living without any animal products at all!  I'm now adept at reading labels, scanning websites for hidden animal products in products from soap to dental floss to beer and wine.  I've never been physically healthier, or more spiritually self-satisfied.  
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Gaza Convoy - Safely Into Tunisia

Convoy Update 22 .00 (GMT) Wednesday 25th February 2009 - SAFELY INTO TUNISIA
by vivapalestina.org
Early this evening the convoy crossed into Tunisia to the tears and cheers of the massive Algerian crowds who waived them off at the border crossing. The Algerian consul as well as some officials wished them all the best for the remainder of their long journey.

The convoy will not be travelling via Tunis. The next stop for the night will be in GAFSA (click) where hotel accommodation has apparently been arranged. They are driving under police escort and everyone is doing well, reflecting on crossing Algeria - the second largest country in Africa.

I have just received a first-hand account of the massive public support the convoy received from its crossing the borders to the town of Gafsa where people have lined the streets and greeted the Viva Palestina convoy with cheers, flags, water, juice, dates, food...

Even at this time of the night, the town is buzzing as it receives the heroes who are a symbol of hope to a just cause.

The next stop will be the borders with Libya unless the convoy decides to take a well deserved day off.

Farid Arada 
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Breaking the Banks

It's Time to Break up the Big Banks
by Mike Whitney
Timothy Geithner is putting the finishing touches on a plan that will dump $1 trillion of toxic assets onto the US taxpayer. The plan, which goes by the opaque moniker the "Public-Private Investment Fund" (PPIF), is designed to provide lavish incentives to hedge funds and private equity firms to purchase bad assets from failing banks.
It is a sweetheart deal that provides government financing and guarantees for illiquid mortgage-backed junk for which there is currently no active market. What's got Geithner worried, is the fear that the public will see through this latest boondoggle and set off a political firestorm. If that happens, the markets will go into a swan-dive and Geithner's career at Treasury will come to an abrupt end.

Details of the plan remain sketchy, but the PPIF will work in concert with the Fed's new lending facility, the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF, which will start operating in March and will provide up to $1 trillion of financing for buyers of new securities backed by credit card, auto and small-business loans. In contrast, Geithner's financial rescue "partnership" will focus on cleaning up banks balance sheets by purging mortgage-backed securities. (MBS)
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Our Sacred Rivers: British Columbians Fight to Save Our Rivers

Save British Columbia's Rivers
by Save Our Rivers
Save Our Rivers Society is pleased to present a new three-minute video by filmmaker Damien Gillis, Watershed Election - click here to view video  narrated by Official Spokesperson Rafe Mair, which summarizes for all British Columbians the critical battle now raging over our rivers and historic public power system.
The video, entitled "BC's Watershed Election," is designed to introduce to a broader audience, across BC's multi-cultural communities, the until-recently secretive push to hand over BC's most valuable assets - our rivers and energy security - to some of the world's biggest corporations.  The video will soon be available with subtitles in multiple languages on SaveOurRivers.ca. 
It features high-definition footage shot all around the province over the past year by filmmaker Gillis - to show fellow British Columbians our spectacular wild places at risk from this program, and those already being decimated by the construction of large, environmentally destructive private river power projects.
Save Our Rivers Society Declares May 12, 2009 "BC's Watershed Election" - Watch Video Below!
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Israel Poised to Finish Palestinian Ouster

Israel in 1948
In their first test of strength with the ‘natives’ in 1948, the Zionists had gained control of nearly four-fifths of Palestine, expelled most of the Palestinians from these territories, and repulsed the combined forces of five Arab proto-states. Yet, the Zionists were not about to rest on their laurels: their interests did not lie in making peace with the Arabs. The events of 1948 had demonstrated what they could achieve; with minor losses of their own, they had obliterated Palestinian society and handily beaten back the Arabs.

This was a historic moment, a messianic moment, that would be seen by many as the fulfillment of ancient prophecies. This was no time to seek peace by making amends to a weak, defeated enemy. Their stunning military victory would only encourage the Zionists to aim for their maximalist goals, which now appeared attainable. The Zionists would augment their numbers, expand their territory, and strive to become the dominant power in the Middle East.
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Obama Channels Bush on Afghanistan

The Slow Pullout Method
by Norman Solomon
Hours after President Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress, the New York Times printed the news that he plans to gradually withdraw “American combat forces” from Iraq during the next 18 months. The newspaper reported that the advantages of the pullout will include “relieving the strain on the armed forces and freeing up resources for Afghanistan.”

The president’s speech had little to say about the plans for escalation, but the few words will come back to haunt:
“With our friends and allies, we will forge a new and comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan to defeat Al Qaida and combat extremism, because I will not allow terrorists to plot against the American people from safe havens halfway around the world. We will not allow it.”
Obama didn’t mention the additional number of U.S. troops -- 17,000 -- that he has just ordered to Afghanistan. But his pledge that he “will not allow terrorists to plot against the American people” and his ringing declaration, “We will not allow it,” came just before this statement: “As we meet here tonight, our men and women in uniform stand watch abroad and more are readying to deploy.”
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Mexican Indigenous Leaders Disappeared

Indigenous Leaders Disappeared
by Jane Jones
Dear friends and allies; on behalf of the team that constitutes Tlachinollan, I am writing to ask for your help with an Urgent Action for RAUL LUCAS LUCIA and MANUEL PONCE ROSAS, two Indigenous human rights defenders and leaders of the Organization for the Future of the Mixteco People

(OFPM) - which works in coordination with the Organization of the Me Phaa Indigenous People (OPIM) - who have been disappeared since February 13th.
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America's Torture Legacy

Propelling Prisoners' Heads into Concrete Walls
by David Swanson
Propelling prisoners' heads into concrete walls by means of towels wrapped around their necks, savage beatings with fists and rifles that left prisoners crippled, hanging prisoners by the arms with their arms strung up behind them, depriving prisoners of sleep for weeks on end, which has been thought the worst torture possible for 500 years, causing prisoners to freeze -- sometimes to death, and waterboarding are but a partial list of the torture methods ordered by America's highest officials.
In the "Preliminary Memorandum of the Justice Robert H. Jackson Conference on Federal Prosecutions of War Criminals," law school Dean Lawrence Velvel, the founder of the Jackson Conference, details the full spectrum of tortures performed in wholesale combinations -- not one torture by itself -- on detainees around the world.
His Preliminary Memorandum is a precursor to a formal legal complaint to be filed with the Justice Department this spring.

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Land to the Tiller, Forests to the Communities

Land to the Tiller, Forests to the Communities
by Peter Ewart & Dawn Hemingway
In this first of a three-part series of articles, we will be discussing some ideas about how to renew rural and northern communities in British Columbia that are caught in the midst of an unprecedented economic downturn in forestry and other industrial sectors.

It has been like watching the slow motion destruction of an office tower. First one floor gives away; then another and another, each section inexorably pulling down the rest, until there is only a giant cloud of dust and heaps of tangled concrete and steel girders remaining.  So have gone many banks, hedge funds, and insurance companies in the U.S. and other countries in the world during the current financial crisis. And so have many big corporations in industrial sectors such as auto, forestry, steel, and retail.
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