Man Bites Dog: Bush Comparisons Offensive to Fido

by Jack Random
hen I first heard the story of Iraqi journalist Muntathar al Zaidi yelling, “This is a goodbye kiss, you dog!” while throwing a pair of shoes at our beloved president I was incensed. I have lived long enough to know there are no bad dogs, only bad human masters.  Therefore, what was meant as a supreme insult to our lame duck president was in fact an insult against all members of the canine species. The more I considered it, however, the more I came to understand how appropriate the insult might have been.  It is a question for historians to decide:  Was George W. Bush truly responsible for the catastrophic policy blunders of his presidency or was he simply a victim of greedy and power hungry masters?

Muntathar al Zaidi did for the Iraqi people, particularly the dead and dispossessed, what rapper Kanye West did for the African American community and the people of New Orleans.  He spoke for those who cannot speak, who have no forum or cannot risk losing what little they have for themselves or their families. For those who say Zaidi’s impassioned protest was an act of cowardice, think again. 
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Vancouver Extreme Weather Shelter Info: Dec. 21, 2008

Vancouver BC
F.Y.I. If you can. get the word out on the street in Vancouver
Please help get this word out into the street for tonight.
As well First United Church 320 East Hastings and the newest shelter 1435 will be open tonight.
Both of these will be shopping cart friendly.
1435 Granville (almost under the bridge) will be dog friendly.

Saturday, December 20th

Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society (1607 E. Hastings St; #604-251-4844 – 7:00 pm)

Covenant House *** 16-22 yrs. *** (575 Drake St; #604-685-7474 – Intake: 9:00-11:00 pm)

Gathering Place (609 Helmken St; #604-665-2391 - midnight)

Powell Place *** Women Only*** (329a Powell St; #604-606-0403 - 11:30 pm)

Salvation Army Belkin House (555 Homer St; #604-681-3405 - 11:30 pm)

St. Mark’s Extreme Weather Shelter (1805 Larch St; #778-990-1401 - 9:30 pm

                                                        Intake closes at 11:00 pm)

Sunday, December 21st

10th Avenue Alliance Church  (10th & Ontario – 10:00 pm)

Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society (1607 E. Hastings St; #604-251-4844 – 7:00 pm)

Covenant House *** 16-22 yrs. *** (575 Drake St; #604-685-7474 – Intake: 9:00-11:00 pm)

Gathering Place (609 Helmken St; #604-665-2391 - midnight)

Powell Place *** Women Only*** (329a Powell St; #604-606-0403 - 11:30 pm)

Salvation Army Belkin House (555 Homer St; #604-681-3405 - 11:30 pm)

St. Mark’s Extreme Weather Shelter (1805 Larch St; #778-990-1401 - 9:30 pm

                                                        Intake closes at 11:00 pm)

Monday, December 22nd

10th Avenue Alliance Church  (10th & Ontario – 10:00 pm)

Covenant House *** 16-22 yrs. *** (575 Drake St; #604-685-7474 – Intake: 9:00-11:00 pm)

First Baptist Church (969 Burrard St – 10:00 pm)

Powell Place *** Women Only*** (329a Powell St; #604-606-0403 - 11:30 pm)

Salvation Army Belkin House (555 Homer St; #604-681-3405 - 11:30 pm)

Salvation Army Harbour Light (119 East Cordova St; #604-646-6800 – 11:30 pm)

St. Mark’s Extreme Weather Shelter (1805 Larch St; #778-990-1401 - 9:30 pm

                                                        Intake closes at 11:00 pm)

Thank you all, yet again, for your tremendous cooperation and all your hard work. Please read the message from BC Housing’s Michael Anhorn, which will be forwarded by separate e-mail.

Grant Gayman

Vancouver EWR Coordinator

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Dear Georgia Straight: About that Haiti Article

Hello Georgia Straight Editor
by Haiti Solidarity BC
I congratulate you and your feature writer Roberta Staley for reporting on the deplorable conditions in Haiti today in this  week's issue ("Haiti's Road to Ruin").  I do wish the writer had probed more deeply her suggestion that foreign interference shares some blame for the situation.

Over the past thirty-two years, the Haitian people have fought courageously to establish progressive government that would tackle the country's poverty and underdevelopment. First they overthrew the U.S.-backed Duvalier family dictatorship in a popular uprising in 1986. Then they elected socially progressive governments three times--in 1990, 1995, and 2000. The 1990 and 2000 governments were overthrown by force and violence, with indispensable international backing and bankrolling.

Canada supported the second overthrow, in February 2004, contributing 800 soldiers to the dirty deed. It also joined in the ban on foreign aid that followed the second election to the presidency of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2000. That ban was accompanied by a fierce propaganda war falsely accusing Aristide's government of human rights violations. The true story was that Aristide was unwilling to sacrifice the population's urgent needs to the demands of the foreign financial institutions and agribusinesses that bleed Haiti dry.
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Selling In: The Great Green Cred War

Selling Out or Joining In: Survey Underscores NGO Ambivalence About Corporate Partnerships
by National Public Relations
While a majority of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) welcome collaboration with the private sector to achieve mutual objectives, most see such engagement as a less-than-ideal solution that could threaten their independence and legitimacy as ‘watchdogs’ of corporate performance on social and environmental issues.

This is one of the major findings of a survey of the NGO sector released today by NATIONAL Public Relations entitled Spanning the Great Divide: A Report on the Relationship Between Canadian NGOs and Corporations. 21 NGOs participated in the research.
As the social and environmental causes championed by NGOs emerge as mainstream public concerns, these groups have faced increased pressure to partner with corporations to meet their funding needs.

“There is a global trend towards more engagement between NGOs and corporations, which is being driven by public demand for action on such issues as climate change and pollution,” says John Crean, National Managing Partner, NATIONAL Public  Relations.
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Of Hope and Change

Waves of Hope and Change
by Mickey Z.
It’s holiday season in Manhattan and despite the economic downturn, there seems to be no shortage of well-dressed humans cavorting, laughing, and spending freely. Walking among them, a homeless man begs for money—shaking his tattered coffee cup (adorned with images of Greek architecture) to rattle the few coins therein. A veteran of the first Gulf War, this man is no longer concerned with yellow ribbons. Right now, he’d settle for a scrap of food and a dry pair of shoes.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night and nearly 400,000 experience homelessness over the course of a year. Forty-five percent of America’s homeless veterans suffer from mental illness and half have substance abuse problems. According to the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients, veterans account for 23% of all homeless people in America.
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Lee Zaslofsky, Janine Bandcroft December 22, 2008

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook
This year's Xmas celebration is unlike its predecessors in that I'll be joined by a guest in the first segment to discuss an issue too important to leave to the new year. Many Canadians are too young to remember a time when this country still retained a semblance of independence from the diktats of the United States, and possessed still an iota of dignity. Those days are sadly behind us now, and nowhere is that abrogation of national will more obvious than in the shameful desertion of the principles we pronounce as essential to our country: Peace and Justice.
While winter storms buffet Canada from coast to coast, and Canadians are caught up in the holiday season, Stephen Harper's shadow government, unchecked by parliamentary process or the press, conspires with the criminal regime south to evict the American men and women of conscience who refused orders they partake of the slaughter of innocents in Iraq and Afghanistan, seeking instead sanctuary in this "peace-loving" Canada. Even as the halls are decked in reverent remembrance of the 'Prince of Peace,' that man Stephen Harper and his evangelical fellows profess allegiance to, the true lambs of the global orgy of blood and violence are to be secreted out of the country and delivered to the altars of Babylon.

Lee Zaslofsky is the National Coordinator of the War Resisters Support Campaign in Canada. An American war deserter, Zaslofsky dodged the Vietnam War, coming to Canada with more than 50,000 of his compatriots in the 1960's and seventies. Lee Zaslofsky in the first segment.

And; Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of the good goings-on this holiday week, and to keep us conscious of the ongoing shelter emergency in Victoria and beyond. All that, and some holiday year end musings by yours truly. But first, Lee Zaslofsky and stopping Canada's deplorable Christmas deportations.
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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Fighting Within: An Interview with Sid Shniad

Fighting Within: An Interview with Sid Shniad
by Gilad Atzmon
Recently I have been corresponding with Sid Shniad,1 a founding member of Canadian Independent Jewish Voice (Canadian IJV).2 Those who are familiar with my writing are well aware of the fact that I am highly critical of any form of Jewish political activism, for I consider it to be a racially orientated discourse.
Yet, as much as I am interested in elaboration on the issue, a true dialogue with Jewish political activists is pretty much impossible. Jewish political ethnic campaigners and political activists have much to lose. They are fully aware of the categorical contradiction between the aim for universal values and tribal activism. They have much incoherence and inconsistency to hide.

Sid, however, was different, though we do not agree on many things, we have managed to keep an open and fruitful dialogue. He was very helpful and addressed each issue in a very positive manner.
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German Spooks Seek to Plug Wikileaks Dike

Wikileaks Threatened with Criminal Prosecution by the BND
by Tom Burghardt
he global whistleblowing website Wikileaks has been threatened with criminal prosecution by the head of Germany's spy agency Ernst Uhrlau, President of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), if they do not remove all "files or reports related to the BND". According to a Wikileaks press release, "the spy chief claims to have already engaged the BND's legal machinery."

Threats against the journalists were triggered according to Wikileaks, by the publication of my article, 'The End of the Affair? The BND, CIA and Kosovo's Deep State,' (Antifascist Calling, December 7, 2008) on their website. I did not seek to become part of the story, nevertheless Uhrlau's threats cannot go unchallenged. The censorship and prior restraint he demands are toxic to a free society.
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The Ignoble Ignatieff

Good Looks, Noble Lineage, Spineless: New Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff Seems to Lack Convictions
by Linda McQuaig
As a child, Michael Ignatieff probably wouldn't have sounded unreasonable saying he wanted to be prime minister when he grew up. The newly crowned Liberal leader has always had some impressive trappings: good looks, noble lineage, verbal dexterity, an air of gravitas and an impressive CV of teaching human rights at Harvard.

His self-imposed, decades-long exile from his native land might pose a problem in some countries. But here, where our elite instills in us a sense of inferiority to great powers like the US and Britain, Ignatieff has been forgiven for finding Canada a little confining.

Still, there are some problems.
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Obama v. America's Benevolence Myth

Obama v. Washington Mythmaking
by Robert Parry
ver the years, Washington has evolved into a city of deceptions where semantics cloud reality and where a hazy mix of lies, half-truths and mythology can combine to unleash the devastating military might of the United States for no good reason.
Indeed, if there were to be a serious effort to “change the mindset” that got the United States into the Iraq War – as Barack Obama has promised – one place to start would be to force Official Washington to take a long hard look in the mirror.

During George W. Bush’s presidency alone, language has been routinely twisted to justify everything from aggressive war to torture. Those two international crimes were turned into “preventive war” and “alternative interrogation techniques.” But “preventive war” is nothing but a grotesque Orwellian euphemism, since it makes no sense to claim that you’re preventing a war by starting a war. The accurate phrase, especially in the context of the Iraq invasion, would be “aggressive war.” That phrase, however, would force an uncomfortable judgment that President Bush and many well-dressed neocons at Georgetown dinner parties were “war criminals” deserving of hanging.
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Sowing the Seed of the Crime from Which All Other Crimes Follow

House Democrats Want Bush Administration Investigated for War Crimes
by Jason Leopold
ouse Democrats sent a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey Friday requesting that he appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether White House officials, including President Bush, violated the War Crimes Act when they allowed interrogators to use brutal interrogation methods against detainees suspected of ties to terrorist organizations.

The letter, signed by 56 Congressional lawmakers, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, who is leading an investigation into the administration’s interrogation practices, says the International Committee of the Red Cross conducted an independent investigation of interrogation practices at Guantanamo Bay and “documented several instances of acts of torture against detainees, including soaking a prisoner’s hand in alcohol and lighting it on fire, subjecting a prisoner to sexual abuse and forcing a prisoner to eat a baseball.”
“We believe that these events alone warrant action, but within the last month additional information has surfaced that suggests the fact that not only did top administration officials meet in the White House and approve of the use of enhanced techniques including waterboarding against detainees, but that President Bush was aware of, and approved of the meetings taking place,” the letter, dated June 6, says. The Justice Department is reviewing the letter, a spokesman said.
However, Mukasey has defended the administration's interrogation policies, and with seven months to go before a new president is sworn into office, it appears unlikely that Mukasey will act on the Democrats' request. Earlier this year, Mukasey appointed a special counsel to investigate the destruction of videotapes showing CIA interrogators subjecting detainees to waterboarding.
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Hunting Sambo in Algiers Point: No Corrections, No Apologies

A Correction and an Apology
by Chris Floyd
In a brief post yesterday, [see below] I wrote that African-Americans were treated as second-class citizens in the United States. I would now like to apologize for making such a controversial -- and flagrantly incorrect -- statement. Obviously, I was letting my knee-jerk liberal PC prejudices run wild. For as a new article in The Nation forcefully demonstrates, African-Americans are not treated as second-class citizens in the United States; they are treated as wild animals to be hunted down and shot in cold blood.

The article is a very detailed investigation of the white vigilante groups that formed, with police approval, in the white enclave of Algiers Point in New Orleans in the days after Hurrican Katrina. Although authorities had designated the area -- which had largely escaped damage in the storm and flood -- as a vital evacuation point for those trapped in the city, a group of white residents seized the opportunity to declare open season on anyone with black skin.
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