Passing: Fidel Castro
by Victoria Friends for Cuba
November 26, 2016
Friends; the news that our beloved friend Fidel Castro at 90 years of age passed away at 10:29 on Friday, Nov. 26 leaves us and so many others around the globe with great sorrow and sadness.Although his physical presence may not be among us any longer his teachings with his examples of building a better life on our planet for everyone everywhere will remain with humanity for a long time to come. His love for building a world without hunger, wars, injustice, sickness, ignorance or any kind of oppression and dedicating his whole life to it has really been incredible to witness.
Such a great leader, a great revolutionary, a great teacher, a great man, humanity will always look up to.
In the coming days many tears will fall from everywhere for such a man who did so much with so little for the Cuban people and for so many others in poorer countries around the globe. His determination to achieve the impossible will in no doubt keep giving strength and direction to so many of us in the struggle to build a better world for years to come.In honour of such a great man this is definitively a time for all of us to renew our commitment to defend what he stood for and the legacy that Fidel leaves to all mankind.
Viva Fidel! Viva Cuba! Ever Onward to Victory!
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque
25 November 2016
OK, I guess I’d better come clean. It seems that I must be a paid agent of the Kremlin. After all, I write for CounterPunch Magazine — for money! I used to write regularly for Truthout.org — for money! I’ve contributed articles to the Baltimore Gazette. I’ve often quoted and linked to stories from the Black Agenda Report. I’ve regularly quoted and linked to articles by prize-winning AP/Newsweek reporter Robert Parry for years. According to the Washington Post, all of this makes me either a paid Kremlin propagandist or a Kremlin dupe. There is no other alternative.
And who says this? A collection of completely anonymous “experts” from a group no one has ever heard of until it materialized for the Post article. The group, PropOrNot, put out a list of publications and websites that are “outlets for Russian propaganda,” a list that included all the venues named above, as well as several others which have been long-time critics of various aspects of American foreign policy.
These were all mixed in with obvious propaganda mills and clickbait factories (of whatever provenance).
The story is a smear piece just like Tailgunner Joe and Roy Cohn used to make. It makes a direct equation between dissent and treason, using the crudest, stupidest kind of cod-reasoning: if you have criticized a policy or action that Vladimir Putin has also criticized at some point (even if the reasons for your critique might differ wildly from his), then you are automatically a Russian agent or a “useful idiot.” That’s it. That’s the sole binary in our political world, according to new McCarthyism: either you must accept everything the US government says and does at face value, believe it implicitly and support it whole-heartedly, or else you’re a traitor acting on behalf of the Russkies — or you might as well be.
American Tax Office (IRS) Goes After American Cryptocurrency Traders at Coinbase
by Richard Kastelein - Blockchain News
November 24, 2016
Motherboard is reporting that the US Internal Revenue Service is seeking the personal data of all U.S. Coinbase users who transacted between 2013 and 2015 that a Coinbase spokesman said the exchange site was “very concerned with the indiscriminate breadth of the government’s request.”
Coinbase, which is headquartered in San Francisco, California, is a company which facilitates transactions of digital currencies like bitcoin and Ethereum. Two and a half weeks ago, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed paperwork in federal court (California Northern District Court, Case No. 3:16-cv-06658-JSC) requesting John Does, United States persons who, at any time during the period January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2015, conducted transactions in a convertible virtual currency as defined in IRS Notice 2014-21.
Here, based on the IRS’s experience, U.S. taxpayers have made use of virtual currencies to evade the reporting and payment of taxes. See Utzke Decl. at 30, 34. As described above, Senior Revenue Agent Utzke is aware of three instances of U.S. taxpayers using virtual currency transactions to conceal income, two involve Coinbase.Add a comment
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque
24 November 2016
This article has been making the rounds in UK political circles. It’s a piece from Politics.co.uk by Chaminda Jayanetti: “Britain will betray itself for Trump’s coins of silver. British values are being forgotten in the hunt for trade deals.”
I must say, when I read such formulations, my guard goes up immediately. “British values are being forgotten?” Um, which British values are being forgotten, even “betrayed”? The values displayed in Iraq? The values displayed in Yemen? The values displayed in years of austerity budgets, endorsed by the electorate in 2015? The values displayed in Brexit? The values displayed in decades of arms deals and war profiteering? The values displayed in the revolving door between corporate power and government service, year after year after year, guaranteeing contracts and sweetheart deals for some of the most avaricious, amoral firms on the planet?
Which "values," precisely, will be "betrayed" when UK elites cozy up to Trump? When can we do away with these childish categories at last – "British values," "American values," etc.?
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What Should Palestinians Expect – Can Trump Be Any Worse?
by Ramzy Baroud
November 23, 2016
Fear and trepidation are slowly building up, as US President-elect, Donald Trump, is fortifying his transitional team with people capable of bringing about a nightmare scenario, not only for Americans but for the rest of the world, as well.
For Palestinians, however, the signs are even more ominous. From former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani, to Republican leader Newt Gingrich, the Trump team is filling up with dishonorable men who have made careers out of pandering to Israeli interests and unabashedly discounting Palestinian rights.
Trump Israel point person,
While Gingrich had claimed in 2011 that Palestinians are ‘invented’ people, Giuliani, according to Jewish News Service “is fondly remembered in the Jewish community for expelling Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chief, Yasser Arafat, from a United Nations concert at Lincoln Center in 1995.” Considering earlier statements made by Trump himself last May - that the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in the Occupied West Bank 'should keep moving forward' - to more recent comments by Trump’s point person in Israel, Jason Greenblatt, that the illegal colonies are 'not an obstacle to peace', it is fairly certain that the Trump administration is decidedly anti-peace and anti-Palestinians.
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US House Seeks Syria-War Escalation
by Rick Sterling - Consortium News
November 22, 2016
Late in the day, on Nov. 15, one week after the U.S. elections, the lame-duck Congress convened in special session with normal rules suspended so the House could pass House Resolution 5732, the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act” calling for intensifying the already harsh sanctions on Syria, assessing the imposition of a “no fly zone” inside Syria (to prevent the Syrian government from flying) and escalating efforts to press criminal charges against Syrian officials.
HR5732 claims to promote a negotiated settlement in Syria but, as analyzed by Friends Committee for National Legislation, it imposes preconditions which would actually make a peace agreement more difficult.
There was 40 minutes of “debate” with six representatives (Ed Royce, R-California (left); Eliot Engel, D-New York; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida; Dan Kildee, D-Michigan; Chris Smith, R-New Jersey; and Carlos Curbelo, R-Florida) all speaking in favor of the resolution. There were few other representatives present, but the House Foreign Affairs Committee stated that the resolution was passed “unanimously” without mentioning these special conditions.
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This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
November 23, 2016
In Dostoevsky's The Devils, his doomed characters, Kirillov and Shatov escape to America and are at first rejoicing in "the spiritualism, the lynch mobs, the guns, and the tramps" they find there. Soon however, they come to realize the inbred Russian morality inhibiting their ability to join fully the carnival of violence and depravity the New World offers and lament,
"[O]ne has to be born in America, or at least to live among them for many years, to reach their level."
That was in 1872, but could well have been written as Donald Trump seized the sceptre of American power two weeks ago; and, as University of Kansas Slavic studies scholar Ani Kokobobo says,
"I’ve come to realize that it’s never a good sign when real life resembles a Fyodor Dostoevsky novel."
Ted Rall is a Pulitzer Prize-finalist, journalist, prolific graphic artist and author whose books include: ‘After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You As Honored Guests: Unembedded in Afghanistan,’ ‘To Afghanistan and Back: A Graphic Travelogue,’ ‘The Book of Obama: From Hope and Change to the Age of Revolt,’ ‘Snowden,’ and his latest is, 'Trump: A Graphic Biography.'
Ted Rall in the first half.
And; in the aftermath of the Mr. T.'s astounding electoral victory a veritable "S" storm of recrimination and finger pointing has ensued. You may have experienced some of that, if having the temerity to voice the woeful moral short-comings of the democrat opposite as an enabling factor in bringing about his imminent, and unholy inauguration. You may even have said, "How much worse could he be?"
Well for all her faults on the war and Wall Street, when it comes to global climate change, Trump seems determined to emphasis the "mental" in his environmental approach.
Robert Hunziker is an environmental journalist whose climate clarion calls appear in numerous journals and multiple languages around the World and across the internet. He's also appeared in a variety of media to talk about global climate change, written extensively about the ongoing aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and his latest article, 'The Arctic Warms Up For Trump' provides a chilling preview of the end of days to come.
Robert Hunziker and warming up to Trump in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us newz of some of the good goings on going in the coming week. But first, Ted Rall and Trump, fascism, and picking up where Obama leaves off.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/Add a comment
The Arctic Warms Up For Trump
by Robert Hunziker
November 21, 2016
A little over one week following the presidential election, The Washington Post carried this headline: “The North Pole is an Insane 36 Degrees Warmer Than Normal as Winter Descends,” d/d November 17th, 2016.
That headline is not tomfoolery; it is an actual, real temperature reading.
According to NovaNext, PBS, d/d Nov. 18th, 2016:
“As the Arctic settles into polar night, scientists are noticing that something has gone horribly wrong. Sea ice levels at the North Pole are at a record low- but even more startlingly, air temperatures are 36° F (20° C) higher than normal across the region.”
By any standard, the North Pole commands an all-hands-on-deck emergency alert - a climate catastrophe may be on the way. It’s bloody hot in the Arctic (in wintertime), and the repercussions are outright deadly for humanity, but Trump hasn’t even taken office yet!
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Is Canada in Trump’s Crosshairs Regarding Trade?
by Peter Ewart - 250 News
November 20, 2016
Donald Trump railed and blasted at how the “rest of the world” was getting away with murder in terms of trade with the US, a statement fraught with irony given the US’s long record of bullying other countries. The two countries he mentioned the most were Mexico and China. However, although Trump often brought up NAFTA as an object of scorn, he rarely mentioned Canada, which is odd given that Canada is deeply enmeshed in NAFTA and is America’s largest trading partner.
Does this suggest, as some politicians and pundits claim, that Canada may not be targeted as harshly as Mexico, China and other countries? Far from it. To think that way could prove naïve. Indeed, a leaked memo to CNN apparently from the Trump transition team suggests the opposite (1).
Trump’s Fascism Picks Up Where Obama’s Leaves Off
by Ted Rall
November 17, 2016
Donald Trump wants to deport three million illegal immigrants, and he’s willing to split up families to do it. Expect resistance: street protests, networks of safe houses, American citizens willing to risk prison to hide undocumented workers.
Barack Obama deported two million — more than any other president. Thousands of kids lost their parents. Yet demonstrations were few. Anglo solidarity was nowhere to be found. Same action, different reaction. Why?
As we’ve seen under Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, progressives go to sleep when Democrats are in the White House. Trump will be deplorable. But as the unrest that followed his victory signals, he’ll have a salutary effect on American politics: Liberals will resist the same fascist horrors for which they’ve been making excuses under Obama (and would have continued to tolerate under Hillary Clinton).
Ironically, their struggle will be made all the more challenging due to the fascist moves promulgated by Barack Obama, a president revered by liberals — but whose administration has been characterized by a stream of fascist policies.
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The Senseless Death of Tobeka Daki: Auctioning Health and Life to the Highest Bidders
by Fran Quigley - CounterPunch
November 17, 2016
Tobeka Daki died this week. And she shouldn’t have.
Tobeka lived in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, and was the mother of two sons. Her youngest son, Khanya, is 11 years old. In 2013, she was diagnosed with a strain of breast cancer known as HER2. There is a medicine called Trastuzumab, marketed under the name Herceptin, that is very effective at treating Tobeka’s form of breast cancer.
The groundbreaking research that led to the discovery of Herceptin was funded by U.S. taxpayers. A year’s dose can be manufactured for about $176. But Tobeka was never treated with Herceptin. The corporation that controls the medicine charges about $34,000 in South Africa for a year’s worth of doses. That cost is five times more than Tobeka’s income, which is right around the per capita average in her country. But the corporation enjoys a monopoly patent on the drug, which means they can charge whatever they wish, with no fear of a generic alternative being made available.
That company made $11.6 billion profit in 2015.
Trump’s $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan: Lincoln Had a Bolder Solution
by Ellen Brown - CounterPunch
November 16, 2016 In Donald Trump’s victory speech after the presidential election, he vowed:
We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals.
We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.
It sounds great; but as usual, the devil is in the details. Both parties in Congress agree that infrastructure is desperately needed. The roadblock is in where to find the money. Raising taxes and going further into debt are both evidently off the table. The Trump solution is touted as avoiding those options, but according to his economic advisors, it does this by privatizing public goods, imposing high user fees on the citizenry for assets that should have been public utilities.
Raise taxes, add to the federal debt, privatize – there is nothing new here.
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