First 100 Days: Obama's and Our Rendezvous with Destiny

The First Hundred Days or the Last Hundred Days? Obama's Rendezvous with Destiny -- and Ours
by Ira Chernus
Looking back on Barack Obama's first post-election interview with "60 Minutes," no one should be surprised that he admitted he's reading about Franklin D. Roosevelt's first hundred days in office. In fact, the president-elect -- evidently taking no chances -- is reportedly reading two books: Jonathan Alter's The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope and Jean Edward Smith's FDR. As he told "Sixty Minutes," his administration will emulate FDR's "willingness to try things and experiment… If something doesn't work, [we're] gonna try something else until [we] find something that does." That's one reason Obama, like FDR, has claimed that he wants advisors who will offer him a wide variety of viewpoints.

Not too wide, however. In his first hundred days, Roosevelt made it clear that he -- like Obama -- considered himself a reformer, but distinctly not a radical. He certainly didn't intend to use the economic crisis of 1932 to create a society of full economic equality and social justice. He just wanted to make sure that every American had at least a bare minimum of economic security.
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Screwing Democracy with With Shot or Shell or Modular Crowd Control

With Shot or Shell or Modular Crowd Control Munitions...The New Generation of "Non-Lethal" Weapons
by Mike Ferner
T
he Army Times reported on September 30 that a combat brigade, about 4,000 troops, which could be called on for “civil unrest and crowd control,” had been assigned inside the United States for the first time since Reconstruction.  

Civil libertarians reacted immediately, noting the Posse Comitatus Act  prohibits federal military personnel from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States.  Peace activists condemned the decision as well.  “It is a sad day for America when our government is preparing to protect itself by using the military on its own citizens,” Michael McPhearson, Director of Veterans For Peace, said in response to the news.
 
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Jon Elmer, Janine Bandcroft Dec. 8, 2008

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook
Canada's Governor-General, Michaella Jean acceded to Stephen Harper's request she prorogue parliament, shutting down the institution for the first time in this manner in the country's history. Harper asked for the cessation of the normal operations of the government due to the vote of non-confidence scheduled for today and  expected to bring down his nascent administration.
 
 
A coalition of the Liberals and New Democratic Party, bolstered by a letter of understanding issued by the Bloc Quebecois, promised they would form a new government following the release of Harper's faux, or mini-budget last week. Harper's announced intentions to scrap funding of poltical parties, and erase pay equity legislation for women were just two articles the opposition could not stomach, but what about those other abominable policies supported by both the Liberals and Tories?
 
Jon Elmer is a Canadian freelance photojournalist and the creator of the news websites, FromOccupiedPalestine.org and JonElmer.ca. Jon has lived in, and reported from Occupied Palestine, and he's the single-most often featured guest to Gorilla Radio. Jon Elmer and a look at the abyssmal Canadian government policies no-one would end the government to stop.

And; Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of the good goings-on around the south island in the coming week, and to keep us posted on the State of the Shelter Emergency currently unfolding on Victoria's streets. Janine Bandcroft in the second segment.

And; I'll visit some of the past week's stories as posted on my website, Pacific Free Press.com. But first up, Jon Elmer and a greater lack of confidence in Canada's global policy positions. 
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Harper's Mulligan Second Chance for New Canada

Harper Checkmated?
by David Orchard
At the Prime Minister’s request, the newly minted 40th parliament of Canada has been prorogued, closed until January 26th, creating a situation unprecedented in Canadian history — a government has avoided defeat by dismissing the nation’s lawmakers.

Over the next seven weeks, we will see a wave of propaganda and mobilization, amply funded, from the Conservative Party attacking the opposition leaders. This spending will take place outside the election writ period and thus, like the attacks on Liberal leader Stéphane Dion over the past two years, will be subject to no spending limits whatsoever.

At the end of January, on the date that he has chosen, Mr. Harper will meet Parliament and present a budget.

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Olmert: Settler Violence "Pogrom"

Olmert: Settler Violence "Pogrom"
by C. L. Cook
O
utgoing Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert calls last week's violent settler attacks against Palestinian civilians remininscent of a pogrom. The Thursday attacks in the West Bank city of Hebron were expected following an Israeli military eviction of squatters claiming a Palestinian building last week.
 
 
 
 
Commenting to public radio on video released of some of the attacks, Olmert said:

"As a Jew, I was ashamed at the scenes of Jews opening fire at innocent Arabs in Hebron. There is no other definition than the term 'pogrom' to describe what I have seen. We are the sons of a nation who know what is meant by a pogrom, and I am using the word only after deep reflection."

 
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Israel's Remote Control Killers

Blowing Away Palestinians with Remote Control Guns
by IDF (courtesy Ha'aretz)
The Israel Defense Forces has found a way to target Gaza Strip ‘terrorists’ from kilometers away, with just three pushes of a button. It may look like a video game, but it’s actually a new system called “The Seer Shoots,” which has entered operation in recent days on the Gaza Strip border. Several of these domes were recently installed along the Israel-Gaza border. But you won’t find the shooter inside, but rather in a virtual battleground, operating a heavy machine gun from a kilometre away.
 
 
 
 

Three days ago, Israeli air strikes killed two teenage Palestinian boys, while Israel increases its criminal siege into the Gaza Strip.
 
 
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British Columbia: Killing Wildlife to "Save" Wildlife

B.C. Government Killing Wild Horses and Wolves to Save Caribou
by Valhalla Wilderness Watch
The Vancouver Sun newspaper has learned that the BC Ministry of Environment has been paying aboriginal people to kill wild horses in the Chilcotin area of BC to use as bait to trap wolves. It's part of a program to increase the population of endangered mountain caribou. In addition, the Ministry of Forests has been paying aboriginal people to round up wild horses alive, to be sold at auctions where they are bought by slaughterhouses. The purpose is to clear the range for the ranchers' cattle.

Aboriginal people are divided on the issue.  Some say they've always rounded up wild horses and they need the money from selling them. But do the taxpayers of the province and the nation want to pay them to do that?
 
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Trumping the Market: God Responsible for Meltdown

Donald Trump Blames Crisis on Divine Intervention: As the Job Losses Mount, the Government’s Bailout Flounders/Fails
by Danny Schechter
It
has taken a while for the stars to align and the truth to come dripping down. Now we know who caused the financial crisis: GOD DID IT. Just as Jerry Falwell saw a divine hand behind 9/11, our golden boy icon of Capitalism By My Rules, Mr. “You’re fired” Donald Trump, has now unearthed the secret,  blaming the recession on the ONE above.

The Donald came up with this conspiracy—along with the not totally unreasonable assertion that the banks engineered the disaster—in a lawsuit filing offering a reason for not paying on a big construction loan from a German Bank for a skyscraper he was building in Chicago. He cites an Act of God -- “unlikely events,” clause in his contract to justify not paying.
 
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Harper's Coup d'Etat

Harper's Coup: Power Grab in Ottawa
by Mike Whitney
O
n Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper suspended Canada's parliament to avoid a challenge from opposition parties that were planning to oust him from power. The 3-party coalition--the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois---decided to remove Harper because of his strong opposition to a stimulus package that was designed to minimize the effects of the financial crisis. They also opposed his "proposed elimination of subsidies for political parties, a three-year ban on the right of civil servants to strike, and limits on the ability of women to sue for pay equity."  Governor General Michaelle Jean helped Harper to hang on by using her constitutional authority to close the legislature for seven weeks. Now the country is in a furor.
 
 
 
 
Harper is a far right conservative ideologue who served as president of the National Citizens Coalition (NCC), a conservative think-tank and advocacy group. The organization opposes national healthcare but supports privitization and tax cuts. It has 40,000 members but the names are kept confidential. It's motto is "more freedom with less government."
 
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On the Trail to a Rove Trial: Siegelman Appeal Argued

Siegelman Appeal Argued this Week
by Scott Horton
I
n 1798, the Federalists decided to silence an outspoken Democratic Congressman, Matthew Lyon, by prosecuting and imprisoning him. But the effort backfired. Lyon was reelected from prison, and in 1800 he cast from his prison cell the decisive vote ending the rule of the Federalists and starting the first administration of the Democratic Party, under Thomas Jefferson. The Federalist’s grip on power was shattered and they soon disappeared from the political scene altogether. The Lyon prosecution was viewed by American historians as the most outrageous political prosecution in the nation’s history… until the Bush Justice Department’s prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don E. Siegelman, that is.

On December 9, Siegelman argues his case to the Court of Appeals in Atlanta, before a panel consisting of three judges, each appointed by a Republican president and two with solid G.O.P. partisan credentials to boot. As the hearing date approaches, the Department of Justice has filed papers in which it advises the court that, bowing to public skepticism over its conduct and Congressional demands, it has reopened an inquiry into jury misconduct in connection with the case. Previously the Department brushed away its own internal documentation of the misconduct, essentially saying that it chose to believe its chief prosecutor, Louis Franklin, and not the records and testimonial evidence of his own staff which directly contradicted him. The Justice Department has thus maneuvered the appeals court into an extremely awkward position. How do they proceed to deal with an appeal focusing on allegations of jury misconduct when the Justice Department admits that it improperly withheld vital evidence of the misconduct, and is still, as the hearing date approaches, trying to form its own view as to whether misconduct which would mandate dismissal of the case occurred?
 
One possible outcome would be for the judges to remand the matter for a proper investigation, which to be credible could only occur under judicial supervision. But then they would face another dilemma: the district court judge who would receive the remand is himself at the heart of the accusations of misconduct.
 
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The Separatist Threat: It's Not Just the Economy Stupid

The Separatist Threat: It's not just the economy stupid
by Bill Henderson
I
f there is one thing that all the participants and commentators of the constitutional crisis agree upon it is that the deteriorating economy requires attention from government. Where you are on the political spectrum and how the economic downturn is effecting you personally determines what you think government should be doing for Canadians. Various types of government stimulus are possible - What should our government do? What's the plan?

But the economy is just one of a multiplying series of crises that each need urgent action from governments. The economy is just our major preoccupation. Overwhelming preoccupation with the need for government action on the economy is clearly interfering with government action on climate change, peak oil, the global food crisis, ecosystem and biodiversity loss, and the deteriorating international rule of law (aggression, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, failed states, etc.).
 
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