We'd Like to See You: Greetings from the Salish Sea to Crowley Maritime Corp.

Letter to the Crowley Tugboat Corporation

by Ingmar Lee - 10,000 Ton Tanker


December 29, 2016

Hello, I am writing from near Bella Bella, BC, Canada, on the British Columbia Central Coast Inside Passage. Recently, an American ATB tugboat, the "Nathan E Stewart" (NES) and its petroleum tanker-barge, " DBL 55" ran aground and sank near here, causing a significant slick, and resulting in a more than $100 million 'clean-up' effort that continues to this day.

Since the grounding, and sinking of the NES, the Texas-based Kirby Corp. which owns the vessels, has had its "special waiver" privileges - which allowed its Alaska-bound ATB tankers to travel without Canadian Pilots aboard via the BC Inside Passage - revoked, and, as we understand it, its regular petroleum-traffic business up our coast has been replaced by the Crowley tugboat, "Washington."

 

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Keeping Syria Whole: Peace Depends on National Integrity

There Will Be No Partition of Syria

by Sharmine Narwani - RT


December 29, 2016

East Aleppo is liberated, and regime-change has lost its luster. It's no surprise Syria’s foes are ready to promote the next big goal: partition.

Like most Syrian conflict predictions, of which few have materialized, the ‘partition’ of Syria is not going to happen.

In February, when East Aleppo was still bulging with Western-trained, Al Qaeda-allied militants, Syrian President Bashar Assad was asked the question:

 

“Do you think that you can regain control over all Syrian territory?”


Well, yes, said Assad: “This is a goal we are seeking to achieve without any hesitation. It makes no sense for us to say that we will give up any part.”

Western politicians were having none of that.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook 2016 Year- Ender Extravaganza Dec. 28, 2016

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

 

December 28, 2016

 

che koko

Welcome to GR's Year Ender/Holiday Special. Here's a look behind the curtain of the award-winning Gorilla Radio program.

Happy New Year's to one and all!

1:00:00    2:00    (Fire This Time - Grant Wakefield bg) Welcome to GR, etc. Yes it's that time of year again, wherein we leave the well-worn Gorilla Radio format to celebrate guestless the ending of the long year past, and look forward with hope and trepidation to what the New Year promises. I'll play music, perhaps read a story, and otherwise fart and tap dance for your amusement and educational edification. 

Listen. Hear.

But before getting to any of all that, it's become a tradition here over the last decade or so to begin the show with our good friend Ini Kamoze, and though the day be passed, all his Christmas wishes. Take it away Ini!

1:02:00    4:00    Ini Kamozie - All I Want for Christmas - Putumayo's Christmas Around the World

 

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NEWS FLASH: Corpo News Broken and the Murdo Fixers Are On the Job

2016: The Year the Media Broke

by Craig Murray


December 21, 2016 

Rupert Murdoch’s bid for a full takeover of Sky TV demonstrates graphically that the extreme concentration of media ownership has not yet run its course. It also yet again underlines the extent to which the Leveson Inquiry was barking entirely up the wrong tree. There is no question to which the correct answer is increased government control over free speech. Any inquiry into the media should look first and foremost at its highly concentrated ownership and how to instill more pluralism. It is probably now too late to expect that a vibrant, diverse traditional media is achievable.

We can however be cheered by the continuing decline of the political influence of the mainstream media, as illustrated by its “Fake News” panic.

Even five years ago, if the mainstream media carried a meme that was fundamentally untrue, the chances of persuading public opinion of its untruth were almost minimal. Similarly if they wished to ignore an inconvenient truth, it would be very hard indeed to get it out to a significant number.

 

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Making the Most of a Less Resolute UN Security Council Resolution on Israeli Settlements

Palestine 2017: Time to Bid Farewell to Washington and Embrace the Globe

by Ramzy Baroud  - ramzybaroud.net


December 27, 2016

There is no doubt that the UN Security Council condemnation of Israel on Friday, December 23, was an important and noteworthy event.

True, the United Nations’ main chambers (the Security Council and the General Assembly) and its various institutions, ranging from the International Court of Justice to the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, have repeatedly condemned the Israeli occupation, illegal Jewish settlements and mistreatment of Palestinians.

In fact, unlike the December 23 resolution 2334, the past UN condemnations were far stronger - for some resolutions did not just demand an immediate halt of illegal Jewish settlement construction, but the removal of existing settlements as well.

 

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Getting Around Putin's Investment Ban

Alexei Mordashov Prepares $400 Million Dollar Takeover of Canadian Goldminer – Hit and Run for Kremlin Foreign Investment Ban

by John Helmer - Dances with Bears


December 22, 2016

Moscow - Alexei Mordashov (lead image, top left), the mining and metals oligarch, promised President Vladimir Putin (centre) that in future he would stick to investing in Russia. “We did a great deal of work abroad,” he told the President, “but came to the conclusion that our future lies primarily in Russia, in the Russian market, and our production here is most efficient. We sold the North American division and are focusing almost entirely on our Russian assets.” That was on January 19, 2015.

Mordashov was back in front of Putin at the Kremlin this week, tellinghim on December 19: “I would also like to ask you not to reduce the level of your cooperation.” What Mordashov didn’t tell Putin was how much he has invested in Canadian goldmining over the past year, and how much more, according to Russian and Canadian sources, he is planning to invest next year. That may come to $400 million if a gold prospect in French Guiana, owned by a Canadian mining company, turns out to be El Dorado when a report Mordashov is preparing on the exploration results and gold value is due to be released next March.

The gold prospect, called Montagne d’Or (“mountain of gold”), is currently believed by its licence-holder Columbus Gold and its promoters in the North American mining market to be “one of the highest-grade open pit gold projects in the Americas.”

 

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Rupee a la Modi: India's Radical Demonetisation Experiment

Demonetisation: The Sultan Of Sophistry

by Satya Sagar - CounterCurrents


December 7, 2016

It is early winter and a thick, grimy fog, black and white tinged with grey, hangs over Delhi much of the day. Morning visibility is bad, clears up a bit with a dull sun in the afternoon, before darkness descends again on the city.

A month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his demonetisation policy, the gloomy weather in the national capital describes quite well the mood of the people here. Sullen but not angry, worried but not yet panicked, uneasy about the future but focused for the present on solving daily problems.

And yet somewhere deep down there is a growing feeling that we are witnessing the twilight of the Indian Republic – at least as we have known it for over six decades- a sovereign, federal, democratic nation, which with all its flaws, stumbles along intact. Few fully understand the real implications of 86% of the Indian currency disappearing overnight but there is foreboding it is a sign of many more drastic events to come.

If something as fundamental as money in a system can be so casually overturned what guarantee is there that you or your family will be safe tomorrow? Why should any of India’s various regions and states take orders from Delhi and its upstart Sultan of Sophistry anymore?

 

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Palast's Sense of a Snow Job: Chasing a Stolen Election

A Note in the Snow

by Greg Palast


December 18, 2016

Last week, I flew to Detroit with my team at the request of a major west coast publication. When I landed, they got cold feet; assignment cancelled. Without funding to continue, I should have headed home. But I was getting tips of nasty doings with the ballots in Motown.

So I tucked my long-johns under my suit, put on my fedora, and headed out to meet the witnesses, see the evidence and film an investigative report on the Theft of Michigan.

 

I could get the evidence that Trump’s victory was as real as his tan.

With almost no sleep (and no pay), my producer David Ambrose and I put together an investigative film—and donated it, no charge, to Democracy Now! and several other outlets.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Eric de Place, Ken Boon December 21, 2016

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


December 21, 2016

Late last month, the federal Liberals okayed the Kinder Morgan TransMountain Pipeline. The contentious project would see a new pipeline built from the Tar Sands of Alberta, across the Rockies and the breadth of B.C. to Burnaby. From there, diluted bitumen would be shipped to offshore refineries, primarily in Asia.

The TransMountain would be a tough sell anyplace, but in eco-conscious British Columbia, where pipelines promise high risk for little economic return, it's especially fractious. Then there's the matter of just who's behind it. Despite a massive public relations campaign being waged to assuage environmental concerns, disastrous news headlines the Texas-based Kinder Morgan has generated do little to reassure nervous British Columbians.

Listen. Hear.

Eric de Place is policy director with the Washington State-based Sightline Institute, an independent, nonprofit research and communications center. He spearheads Sightline's work on energy policy, is a leading expert on coal and oil export plans in the Pacific Northwest, and is considered an authority on a range of issues connected to fossil fuel transport, including carbon emissions, local pollution, transportation system impacts, rail policy, and economics.

Eric de Place in the first half.

And; even as Mr. Trudeau's government throws open British Columbia's gates to the Tar Sands fossil fuel colossus it has gone one further, allowing the Site C mega dam proceed. Site C, listeners may recall, is the project that defies both rhyme and reason, dedicated as it is to creating power no one needs for prices no one will pay, while destroying some of the finest farm land in the province, thousands of acres of the Peace River Valley. Opposed by local First Nations, farmers, ranchers, and the environmental community, even the chair of the government's own panel, set up to rubber stamp this generational white elephant, says the deal stinks.

Ken Boon is president of the Peace Valley Landowners Association. He a Peace River Valley farmer, and his family farm was recently expropriated by the BC Hydro project for a connecting highway scheme.

Ken Boon and Site C, running a river to ruin in the Peace Valley in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus, Janine Bandcroft will not be joining us this week with her usual events line up due to lack of activity this holiday week to come. So, first up, Eric de Place and "Law-Breaking, Pollution, Cover-Ups," taking a longer look at Mr. Trudeau' favored pipeline company.

 

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/
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Making Love Out of Hate at Christmas: How Al Qaeda Became America's Heroes

An al Qaeda Christmas: the Touching Tale of How Hate Figures Became American Heroes

by Chris Floyd - CounterPunch


December 20, 2016

You’re al Qaeda. You’re being supported by the United States in your jihad to impose extremist rule on Syria, but you still have a PR problem; too many people remember all that unpleasant business from so long ago when you blew up a few buildings in the US. What can you do?

Well, first you change the name of your Syrian branch two or three times. You make sure your spokesmen — who actually get respectfully quoted in the US media! — say moderate things in English but speak with genocidal sectarian fury in Arabic.

So far, so good. But what if your new US media buddies actually got a peek at how you operate on the ground in Syria — cutting off heads, hoarding food aid, colluding with ISIS, slaughtering religious minorities, oppressing women, etc.?

That’s easy: as Patrick Cockburn noted this week, you simply make the zones you control so dangerous for reporters – killing them, kidnapping them, etc. — that they don’t go there anymore.

 

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Your Paper and the CIA

Is the CIA editing your newspaper?

by Jonathan Cook


19 December 2016

Here is a great overview by Ed Jones of why corporate media are the arch-exponents of “fake news”. The media are overwhelming owned and controlled by billionaires and gargantuan corporations, who depend on the support of other corporations for ad revenue, and employ journalists from a narrow, privileged class whose careers depend on maintaining access to elite sources.

It would be simply astounding in these circumstances if we had anything resembling a pluralistic media.

The data concerns UK outlets, but the same principles apply in the US.

 

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Reconstructing Nixon: A Liberal Legacy Undone

Nixon’s Final Defeat

by Robert Hunziker - Pacific Free Press


December 15, 2016 

Nixon’s final defeat, now underway, can only be understood in the context of a future that is currently manifest, as prognosticated by our greatest writers.

Today’s circumstances are just as overpowering as “The World State” of Aldous Huxley’s The Brave New World (1932) with its hypnopaedic education of children and discouragement of critical thinking whilst the people bathed in an abundance of material goodies.

As it goes, the future as it currently happens is immensely, greatly in harmony with Huxley’s boldest dreams with so little pushback or objection that Richard Nixon must be turning over in his grave. But, why Nixon and why final defeat?

A quickie comparison of Orwell to Huxley explains the compelling relevance of Huxley to today:

 

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance” (Source: Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death, Penguin Books, 1985).
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