Behind the Gaza Blockade

Gaza: Beyond the blockade
Sameh Habeeb reports on the humanitarian crisis taking place inside Gaza's sealed borders

It has been almost four weeks since Israel decided to completely seal the borders of the Gaza Strip. While Israel has maintained a partial blockade ever since Hamas took power in June of 2007, this is the first time that the Israeli government has elected to stop foreign journalists from entering the Palestinian territory. 
On Monday, a small number of trucks bringing much-needed fuel and other supplies were permitted to enter for the first time since the full blockade began on November 5th, but within hours the gates had been sealed shut once again in response to rocket fire emanating from inside Gaza. In our conversation with Sameh Habeeb, via phone from inside Gaza City, we hear first hand of the devastating influence that the blockade is having on the lives of those trapped inside the Gaza Strip.
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Canada's Slaughter of the Unicorn

The Canadian Slaughter of the Unicorns
commentary from Captain Paul Watson
efore reading this, please understand that I write this essay with a smoldering rage deep within my heart. Canada, my country, a nation in which my family has resided since 1648 has just committed one of the most savage and disgraceful crimes against nature imaginable, and once again they have spilled innocent blood into the sea and filled the air with the screams of the most gentle and social of animals - this time it is the Narwhal, the unicorn of the sea.

The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans is the most evil, insidious, incompetent and dangerous bureaucracy in Canada. Nothing in our oceans is safe from the cold, calculating, greed motivated bureaucrats that control Canada's most destructive governmental department.

What they have done in the past with the destruction of the fisheries, the slaughter of the seals, the damage to marine eco-
systems and their abuse of the laws of the nation has been trumped this week with their decision to murder 500 trapped and defenseless Narwhals.
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Arresting Vancouver's "Contractor Cop" Creep

Pivot calls for private security ban
ancouver - Pivot is calling for a ban on private security patrols in public space, and is asking the City of Vancouver to revoke public funding to Business Improvement Associations to pay for private security guards.
The organization is calling for the $1.8 million spent annually by BIAs on private security to be redirected instead into outreach and support services for homeless people.
Pivot's new report "Security before Justice" finds that the poorer you are, the more likely you are to be interrogated, harassed or experience violence at the hands of private security guards. The study, based on surveys and focus groups with over 160 residents of the Downtown Eastside, revealed that homeless people have more frequent and more problematic interactions with security guards than people who are housed.
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Walking on the Moon with Anwar

An Unforgettable Moment

PARALLEL in the MAKING? I have looked for a historical parallel to Sadat’s stepping on Israeli soil to make peace and found none. It could even be compared with the first steps of man on the moon. When I told this to Anwar Sadat, he laughed: The moment the door of your airplane opened, all Israelis held their breath.
I live on a main street in Tel Aviv, and at that moment I looked out at the street below. It was totally empty. Nothing moved, except one cat which was probably hurrying home to the television. Thirty-one years have passed from that moment, one of the greatest in Israeli lives.
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Friedman's Sermon from the Mount

Blaming 'The Stupids' for the Financial Disaster: Thomas Friedman’s Sermon From The Mount of the NYT Op-Ed Page
by Danny Schechter
The Stupids are back. You remember that fictional family who appear in series of books portrayed as incompetent to the point of confusing the most simple concepts and tasks. The books were themselves denounced as irresponsible and inspired films which were dismissed as stupid plus.

But now the Stupids seems to have inspired a column by none other than Thomas Friedman of the not your father’s New York Times. In a new column by this best selling hero of all serious media, we finally have a easy to read explanation of the financial crisis—namely the nerds on Wall Street were just plain dumb, or to use an overused term, “stupid.”

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The Private and Profitable World of Corporate Spying

Thick as Thieves: The Private (and very profitable) World of Corporate Spying
by Tom Burghardt
When Comverse Infosys founder and CEO Jacob "Kobi" Alexander fled to Israel and later Namibia in 2006, the former Israeli intelligence officer and entrepreneur took along a little extra cash for his extended "vacation"--$57 million to be precise.

According to investigative journalist James Bamford's exposé of the National Security Agency, The Shadow Factory, Alexander was facing a thirty-two-count indictment by the Justice Department "charging him with masterminding a scheme to backdate millions of Comverse stock options ... that allowed Alexander to realize $138 million in profits--profits stolen from the pockets of the company's shareholders."

When the scandal broke, one former colleague told The New York Times, "The one thing about Kobi is that he did have a sense of entitlement," said Stephen R. Kowarsky, who was an executive at Comverse from 1985-97. "Most people are a little bit shy or self-effacing about asking for something, but not Kobi. It was easy for him to say, 'I want that. I deserve that.'"

Sounds like business as usual to me!
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Mel Hurtig, Janine Bandcroft Dec. 1 2008

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook
This week, Canadian author, publisher, entrepreneur, Canadian economic nationalist, and social critic Mel Hurtig on the turmoil roiling the nation's capital; Janine Bandcroft brings us up to speed on good goings-on around the south island in the coming week, and introduces a new feature, State of Emergency: Bulletins from Victoria's Street.
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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Bring on the Sheep, Damn the Rams

Western Progressive Opinion: Bring on the Victims! Condemn the Fighters  
by James Petras Ph.D
e know in some detail of the willing and gratuitous support, which tens of millions of American citizens have bestowed on the White House and Congressional perpetrators of crimes against humanity.
Lebanon Summer 2006
The Clinton Administration was freely re-elected in 1996 after deliberately imposing a starvation embargo on Iraq and mounting a relentless, unopposed bombing campaign on that devastated country for four straight years, leading to the documented deaths of over 500,000 children and countless more vulnerable adults.
The majority of US citizens re-elected Bush after he launched wars which caused the deaths of over a million Iraqi civilians, scores of thousands of Afghanis, thousands of Pakistanis, and after he gave full support to Israel’s murderous attacks on Palestinian civilians and the blockade of vital food, water and fuel to the occupied territories, not to mention the frequent bombing of Lebanon and Syria, which culminated, during Bush’s second term, in the horrific Israeli bombing campaign of Lebanese cities and villages killing thousands of civilians.

We know this brutality received the unconditional support of the Presidents of the 52 Major American Jewish Organizations and their thousands of affiliated community groups (totaling over one million members). We know that for each and every Israeli assassination of a Palestinian, each dispossession of Palestinians from their land and homes and the uprooting of their orchards, vineyards and the poisoning of their wells, there is a systematic campaign here to obliterate our democratic freedom of speech and assembly – especially our right to publicly condemn Israel and expose its agents operating among US power brokers.

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Of Seals, Slaughter and Canada's Maritime "Justice"

"Canadian Justice Eh"
by Sea Shepherd Society
Canada appears to have adopted the Napoleonic Code in their dealings with organizations and individuals that threaten the sacred Canadian cultural ritual of bashing out the brains of baby seals. Not only is it a crime under the very Orwellian "Seal Protection Act" to witness, film or photograph a seal being killed, but it now appears that Canada is attempting to deliver a sentence and penalty without a trial to a party not charged with any crime.

Back in April of this year, the Dutch registered Farley Mowat Captain Alex Cornelissen, a Dutch citizen and Peter Hammarstedt, a Swedish citizen were arrested in international waters by the Canadian government and charged with the "crime" of approaching closer than a half a nautical mile to an area where sealers were clubbing and shooting seal pups on the ice.

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Sacrifice You Can't Believe In

Sacrifice We Can Believe In
by Kurt Nimmo
ecall Michelle Obama on the campaign trail back in February telling us we must “be ready to shed our cynicism” and ”roll up our sleeves” and work for the common good. “Our greatest challenge is that we have a mutual obligation to one another… We have lost sight of that because we haven’t had leadership that has asked us to sacrifice and compromise for one another.”
“Our greatest challenge is that we have a mutual obligation to one another… We have lost sight of that because we haven’t had leadership that has asked us to sacrifice and compromise for one another,” declared Barack Obama’s CFR connected wife.
Barack Obama has just under two months to go before he fills his leadership role and yet he is already making good on his wife’s call for compromise and sacrifice.

“To make the investments we need, we’ll have to scour our federal budget, line by line, and make meaningful cuts and sacrifices as well — something I’ll be discussing further tomorrow,” Obama said from a Chicago hotel yesterday.
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Kangaroos and Terror Verdicts

Kangaroo Country: "Terror" Verdict Against Charity a Bitter Fruit of Bipartisan Policy
by Chris Floyd
If the Holy Land Foundation "terrorism" case had been held in Russia, we would now be enduring a flood of thundering commentary from every leading orifice of the corporate media, denouncing yet another travesty of justice in the sham democracy controlled by the Kremlin.
Yet a decorous editorial silence covers the convictions of five charity officials whose only crime was helping needy and oppressed people through agencies used by international charities such as the Red Cross, and by the United States government itself.
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Can Obama Lead?

Learning to Lead
by Dahr Jamail
We in the United States have grown acclimatized to a system that first dehumanizes us and then inevitably feeds on our dehumanization, sucking away at our resources, our rights, and our resistance while we scamper frantically around in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.

We would like to imagine that it is our agency that drives us, and that our lives are under our control. The truth, however, is that we are the ones under control. The reason we do not notice it is that this control is masked as security, which we have been told is synonymous with freedom.
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