Disaster in the "Afpak Theatre"

Surging Towards Disaster in the "Afpak Theatre"
by Tom Burghardt
On February 18, President Barack Obama ordered 17,000 additional U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan. Obama's announcement will result in a major escalation of America's bloody occupation of that war-ravaged country.

Currently, some 36,000 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan, including some 6,000 sent in early January under orders by the outgoing Bush regime. In addition to U.S. forces, 32,000 troops from other NATO countries and a mix of "private military contractors" (armed mercenaries) occupy the Central Asian nation.

When coupled with increasingly bellicose rhetoric from the Pentagon and military strikes inside Pakistan, the prospects for regional war--with incalculable risks for the people of Central- and South Asia--have put paid Obama's electoral hyperbole that his would be a "change" administration.

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Death from Above: Heli-Logging Nanaimo's Watershed

Heli-Logging Nanaimo's Watershed
by Richard Boyce
For all those interested in the survival of a watershed which provides drinking water for thousands of people, an ancient forest, and habitat for many species at risk... here is a video I shot of Island Timberlands Heli-logging on the tiny Island in the middle of Englishman River on February 15, 2009.  It is now posted on the internet for everyone to view.


p.s. Please spread this video link far and wide
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Poor and Parched, California Axes Public Sector

Gov. Schwarzenegger, is $10 billion a year enough to solve the budget crisis?  
by Robert Singer     
The California budget crisis has forced lawmakers to bring their toothbrushes and prepare for a long day as 20,000 layoff notices were set to go out to state workers Tuesday. California is also facing the most significant water crisis in its history as the drought causes the state's agriculture industry to disappear while residents continue to water grass they can’t eat or smoke and eat animal products subsidized by the California Legislature.

So instead of laying off 20,000 workers and cutting off services to solve California’s budget crisis, why not eliminate the state water subsidies that allow McDonalds and Colonel Sanders to market burgers and chicken for a dollar?
Reducing the consumption of water by the livestock industry would benefit almost every economic facet of the California economy including Central Valley farmer John Harris who said that he “laid off about two-thirds of his workforce and had stopped cultivating most vegetables in order to concentrate on permanent crops.”
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A Dozen Books Every American Should Read

A Dozen Books for Americans that Tell It Like It Is
by Sherwood Ross
If newspaper readership is plummeting, maybe it’s because readers are turning elsewhere to catch a glimpse of the causes behind the official story. Recognizing this, some book publishers courageously are using their printing presses to bring interpretive reporting to the reading public.
Here are a dozen books Americans need to read as they paint a realistic picture of how our government’s policies are inflicting needless suffering at home and globally.
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Steve Irwin Boarded in Hobart: Australian Gov't Supporting Japanese "Research" Whale Slaughter

Australian Federal Police Seize Whale War Videos
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Steve Irwin arrived in Hobart, Tasmania at 1700 Hours on February 20th. The ship was met at dockside by a party of Federal Australian Police officers who boarded the Steve Irwin with a warrant.

The warrant authorized the seizing of “all edited and raw video footage, all edited and raw audio recordings, all still photographs, Producer’s notes, Interview transcripts, production meeting minutes, post production meeting minutes as well as the ship’s log books, Global Positioning System records, Automatic Radar Plotting Aid, Purchase records, receipts, Financial transaction records, Voyage information and Navigational plotted charts.”

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Haiti: We Must Kill the Bandits!

The Dirt on Haiti
by Kevin Pina
Independent filmmaker and journalist, Kevin Pina, brings us "the dirt on Haiti" in his latest compelling documentary Haiti: We Must Kill the Bandits about US and Canada's political agenda in Haiti and UN violence against Haitian civilians.  For more information, call  250-478-6906.

Saturday February 28, 2009
7:30 pm
David Strong Building Room C103,
University of Victoria
Sponsored by Victoria Students for a Democratic Society, UVic Student Against War, Central American  Support Committee, and the Victoria Peace Coalition. Cross-Canada tour organized by Canada Haiti Action Network.  
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Canada: End the Net Threat, Tell the CRTC NON!/NO!

Threat to Canada's Internet
by Bob Hackett
A handful of companies are threatening to change the way Canada's Internet works. They want to replace the open network Canadians enjoy today with a discriminatory or "gatekeeper network" -- where they decide which content and services get the fastest access to our homes.
They want to take away access to the open Internet. You can help stop this encroachment on our right to open communication by taking a second to send the CRTC a message.

Submissions made to the CRTC before the FEBRUARY 23rd DEADLINE will be considered in the "traffic management" hearings held later this year.
More info below....

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Managing People and Hating Humans

"Post-human Resources" - Why Do We Hate Humans So Much?
by DDJango
There is no phrase in biz lingo more insidious, odious, and degrading than "human resources". Every company has a department with that title (or outsources its functions). Such departments used to be called "Personnel" or "Employment". Pretty neutral and innocuous, I think.
Then, I guess, somebody came up with the bright idea that putting "human" in the title modernized the concept and/or made it more, well...  "humane".
Just the opposite, I'm afraid. It's that concept of "resource" that really singes my socks.
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Viva Gaza! MP George Galloway Condemns British Police for False Arrest of Gaza "Caravanistas"

Galloway Condemns Lancashire Police Action over Gaza Aid Convoy: Expresses Grave Concern over Damage to Community Relations
by Viva Palestina
George Galloway MP, the leader of the 110 vehicle British aid convoy currently in Morroco and bound for Gaza, this afternoon spoke of his anger at the high profile Lancashire Constabulary police action which led to the arrest of nine innocent men who were bound to join the Viva Palestina convoy last Friday.
Six of the nine were released without charge some days ago and are now heading for Tunis in three vehicles laden with humanitarian supplies for the people of Gaza. But three more were detained in custody for almost a week before being released without charge this afternoon.
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New Afghanistan Nightmare Commences

A New Afghanistan Nightmare Commences
by Ramzy Baroud
When US envoy to Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke met with Afghanistan’s ‘democratically’ installed President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on February 14, he may have just learned of the historic significance of the following day. February 15 commemorates the end of the bloody Russian campaign against Afghanistan (August 1978-February 1989).

But it is unlikely that Holbrooke will absorb the magnitude of that historic lesson. Both he and the new US President Barack Obama are convinced that the missing component for winning the war in Afghanistan is a greater commitment, as in doubling the troops, increasing military spending, and, by way of winning hearts and minds, investing more in developing the country. That combination, the US administration believes, will eventually sway Afghans from supporting the Taliban, tribal militias, Pashtun nationalists and other groups. The latter is waging a guerilla struggle in various parts of the country, mostly in the south, to oust Karzai’s government and foreign occupation forces.
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Investigating Bush Crimes

Investigating Bush's Crimes
by Scott Horton
When the Obama transition team opened a questions referendum on its popular change.gov website in December, one issue quickly soared to the top. "Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor (ideally Patrick Fitzgerald) to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?"
And when Obama stepped to the microphone at his first presidential press conference, the question came again, this time with reference to a Congressional call for a truth commission. Obama's response: "My view is also that nobody is above the law, and if there are clear instances of wrongdoing, that people should be prosecuted just like any ordinary citizen; but that generally speaking, I'm more interested in looking forward than I am in looking backwards."
The answer was a slight variation on the theme he has struck consistently since the final days of his campaign. But what does it mean with respect to the criminal accountability of Bush-era policy-makers?
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In a Pig's Eye: Making Silk from an Economic Sow's Ear

The Sow’s Ear & the U.S.
by Diane Walsh and Tim Pheotist
Read the paper. Watch the news. A new, progressive, U.S. President brings his country and the World into the 21st century with pictures, ideas and rhetoric brilliantly matched to the moment. Yes, we live in interesting times.

Interesting Times? Doesn’t that phrase often signify less than generous intentions – as in 'curses?'

Inauguration week ran perfectly to script; parties and optimism tempered with diabolical warnings and reminders about the economic catastrophe we are enduring. Ever hopeful and newly energized we cheer on the new boss.
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