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McCain and the "Enron Loophole"

McCain Defends 'Enron Loophole'
by Jason Leopold
Sen. John McCain says he opposes the $307 billion farm bill because it would dole out wasteful subsidies, but his chief economic adviser Phil Gramm also wants to stop its proposed regulation of energy futures trading, a market that was famously abused when Enron Corp. manipulated California’s electricity prices in 2001.

Clearing the way for that California price gouging, Gramm, as a powerful Texas senator in 2000, slipped an Enron-backed provision into the Commodities Futures Modernization Act that exempted from regulation energy trading on electronic platforms.

Then, over the next year, Enron – with Gramm’s wife Wendy serving on its board of directors – worked to create false electricity shortages in California, bilking consumers out of an estimated $40 billion.

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The Last Roundup: Are You on the List?

The Last Roundup: Is the Government Compiling a Secret List of Citizens to Detain Under Martial Law?
by Christopher Ketcham   
The federal government has been developing a highly classified plan that will override the Constitution in the event of a major terrorist attack.
In the spring of 2007, a retired senior official in the U.S. Justice Department sat before Congress and told a story so odd and ominous, it could have sprung from the pages of a pulp political thriller. It was about a principled bureaucrat struggling to protect his country from a highly classified program with sinister implications. Rife with high drama, it included a car chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., and a tense meeting at the White House, where the president's henchmen made the bureaucrat so nervous that he demanded a neutral witness be present.

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Another False Charge in the Service of War "Amended"

Weapons Were Not Made In Iran After All
In a sharp reversal of its longstanding accusations against Iran arming militants in Iraq , the US military has made an unprecedented albeit quiet confession: the weapons they had recently found in Iraq were not made in Iran at all.

According to a report by the LA Times correspondent Tina Susman in Baghdad: "A plan to show some alleged Iranian-supplied explosives to journalists last week in Karbala and then destroy them was cancelled after the United States realized none of them was from Iran.
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B.C. Liberals Election Gag Campaign Set to Kick Off with Bill 42

BC Liberals want you to Just Shut Up
by Health Employees Union of B.C. (HEU)
HEU has joined a number of other B.C. public-sector unions in their call on the Liberal government to withdraw legislation that severely restricts public-interest advertising and communication in the five months leading up to the May 2009 provincial election.

Bill 42, the Election Amendment Act, would eliminate the kind of information campaigns about hospital closures and service cuts launched by HEU in the lead up to the 2005 provincial election.

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook - Hal Sisson, Aida Mashari, J-9 Mon. May 19, 2008

This Week on Gorilla Radio
by C. L. Cook
This week on GR: Victoria author and 9/11 Truther, Hal Sisson digging up the facts on the crime of the century; Aida Mashari and Canada Out of Afghanistan tagging along with the Victoria Day parade; Janine Bandcroft brings us up to speed with all that's good to do in the coming week.
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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Congress' "Bake Sale" for Boy Scouts

Congress's $3.5 million "Bake Sale" for the Boy Scouts
by Chris Rodda
Alright, it isn't actually a bake sale, but it might as well be. On May 15, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5872, an act to:
  • "[R]equire the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the centennial of the Boy Scouts of America, and for other purposes."
The other purposes? The sale of the coins by the Secretary of the Treasury, with a surcharge on each coin sold to "be paid to the National Boy Scouts of America Foundation." In other words, this is a congressionally mandated fundraiser for the Boy Scouts.

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Globalizers, Neocons, or…?

The World After Bush
by Mark Engler
Picture January 20, 2009, the day George W. Bush has to vacate the Oval Office.

It's easy enough to imagine a party marking this fine occasion, with antiwar protestors, civil libertarians, community leaders, environmentalists, health-care advocates, and trade unionists clinking glasses to toast the end of an unfortunate era.
Even Americans not normally inclined to political life might be tempted to join the festivities, bringing their own bottles of bubbly to the party. Given that presidential job approval ratings have rarely broken 40% for two years and now remain obdurately around or below 30% -- historic lows -- it would not be surprising if this were a sizeable celebration.

More surprising, however, might be the number of people in the crowd drinking finer brands of champagne. Amid the populist gala, one might well spot figures of high standing in the corporate world, individuals who once would have looked forward to the reign of an MBA president but now believe that neocon bravado is no way to run an empire.

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Snapshots of a World on the Edge

Life and Life Only: A Few Quick Takes        
by Chris Floyd  
As usual, Scott Ritter talks good sense -- in this case about the coming war with Iran, and the specious casus belli that the Bush-Cheney gang seem to have finally settled on: Iran's alleged "sanctuaries" for training and arming Iraqi insurgents. Ritter demolishes this argument, just as he crushed the lies in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. His truth-telling was of no avail then -- and it will likely be of no avail now. But go read the whole thing anyway.

Meanwhile, Juan Cole carries out some demolition work of his own, taking apart the ignorant mischief of Edward Luttwak, who was given a NYT pulpit to proclaim that Obama is an apostate Muslim -- and thus in danger of imminent death from one billion of his erstwhile co-religionists. (As if Luttwak and the Right are really, really concerned about Obama's survival.)
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We Should be Suspicious of Grizzly Bear Numbers

We Should be Suspicious of Grizzly Bear Numbers
by Chris Genovali
In the [Vancouver Sun] article a spokesman for the provincial Ministry of the Environment claims that there are 17,000 grizzly bears in British Columbia.
There is no credible basis for this assertion; compounding matters is that the province uses inflated grizzly population estimates to establish kill quotas for the grizzly hunt.
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Peace Activists Speak Out at Victoria Day Parade

Peace Activists Speak Out at Victoria Day Parade 
by UVic Students Against War
Dear Friends; the Canadian Government is disregarding the democratic will of Canadians by extending the mission in Afghanistan until 2011 and by continuing to send Canadian soldiers to the war in Iraq.
The Liberal-Conservative coalition is playing power politics while Canadian soldiers are dying and democracy crumbles here and abroad.

We object to the gross violations of human rights which have been witnessed in these two wars. While torture, chemical weapons and indiscriminate bombings are no less tolerable than the tactics of any Taliban or Saddam Hussein, our terror carries the flag of democracy, reflecting poorly upon us.

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Challenging Authority

Frances Fox Piven's "Challenging Authority"        
by Stephen Lendman
Frances Fox Piven is a Canadian-born Professor of Political Science and Sociology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). Her career is long and distinguished. She's the recipient of numerous awards, has combined scholarship with activism, and is the author of many important books. Most notable is her 1971 classic "Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare." It's a landmark historical and theoretical analysis of how welfare policy is used to control the poor and working class.

A more recent book is her 2006-published "Challenging Authority" and subject of this review. It's about how social movements can be pivotal forces for change because ordinary people in enough numbers have enormous political clout. Abolitionists, labor movements and civil rights activists proved it. Piven examines their collective actions plus one other in the four examples she chose - the American Revolution.

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