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Utterly Right Harper: Canada's Existential Election

Harper is Finally Right: the Canadian Election is About Security Versus Risk
by Murray Dobbin  - CounterPunch

harper in cowboy hat thumbPowell River, British Columbia - Stephen Harper chose the Calgary Stampede Rodeo (now Rachel Notley country) to launch the theme of the now full-blown election campaign. Harper proclaimed he was confident that “…this October Canadians will choose security over risk.” Let’s hope so. The question is, of course, what kind of security and risk are we talking about?
Political language is never simple or straight forward. It is subject to sophisticated manipulation by professional word-smiths and public relations experts. The choice of what language to use is subject to hundreds of hours of deliberation and enormous resources because if you get it right, you usually win. If you get it wrong, well, it’s a lot harder. Getting it right means no-one even suspects you of manipulating them.

Saving the Orca: Can the "Killer Whale" Be Spared the "Killer Monkeys"?

Can We Still Save the Killer Whales?

by Chris Genovali - Raincoast Conservation Foundation

Southern resident killer whales (southern residents) feature prominently these days as their struggle for survival in the Salish Sea has become symbolic of the unsustainable nature of our economy, and often, our lifestyles.
The mounting ecological cost of unrestrained economic growth presents a stark choice about our future and that of the whales -- will future generations of children grow up with a healthy population of southern residents or will we only save memories of what once was?
Raincoast Conservation Foundation recently submitted 500 pages of scientific evidence for the federal review of Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain pipeline and oil tanker expansion project.
Central to our evidence is a new analysis on the status and probable fate of southern residents.
Considering the declining quality of habitat in the Salish Sea -- a region facing increasing industrialization with proposals for oil, coal, and gas ports, and more container terminals -- our findings are offered with a sense of urgency.

Revenge of the Yankees: Viva Empire's Paraguay Strike Back!

They Say Paraguay is in Africa: Mosaic of Horror
by Andre Vlthek - CounterPunch
I have always liked this country of red earth, mighty rivers and rough cobblestone streets. I have liked its bougainvillea, its long silent nights, and its endless open spaces.
But almost everything that could went wrong for the Paraguayan people, or at least for its indigenous majority.

Before Evo Morales became the President, Bolivia had been the most destitute country in South America. Paraguay was slightly “above it” – the second poorest nation. Now, most likely, it is the most deprived.
Remembering the massacre of Indigenous people

Taking an Iranian Yes for An Answer: Can Nuclear Deal Broker Arab/Iranian Reconciliation?

A Chance for Arab-Iranian Reconciliation: An Opportunity in the Iran Nuclear Deal
by Ramzy Baroud -
The Americans have taken the Shia Muslim side in the Middle East’s sectarian war,” declared Robert Fisk in the “Independent” newspaper on July 15, a day after the US and five major world powers reached a landmark agreement with Iran about its nuclear programs.
Fisk’s proclamation is quite cursory. Aside from the fact that he is accepting the premise that the war in the Middle East is essentially sectarian, he implies that the Americans are purposely facilitating their policies based on sectarian agendas. They are not.
The fundamentals of American foreign policy approach have not changed. In the Middle East, it is governed by two overriding variables: one, economic – oil, gas, and strategic control and influence over countries that produce such essentials to the US and global economy – and Israel.

Messages from Centuries Past

Requiem for the Home Front: A Cheer for Irma the Caricaturist
by Tom Engelhardt - TomDispatch

Engelhardt bonwitAlmost three quarters of a century ago, my mother placed a message in a bottle and tossed it out beyond the waves. It bobbed along through tides, storms, and squalls until just recently, almost four decades after her death, it washed ashore at my feet. I’m speaking metaphorically, of course.
Still, what happened, even stripped of the metaphors, does astonish me. So here, on the day after my 71st birthday, is a little story about a bottle, a message, time, war (American-style), my mom, and me.
Recently, based on a Google search, a woman emailed me at the website I run, TomDispatch, about a 1942 sketch by Irma Selz that she had purchased at an estate sale in Seattle. Did it, she wanted to know, have any value?
Now, Irma Selz was my mother and I answered that, to the best of my knowledge, the drawing she had purchased didn’t have much monetary value, but that in her moment in New York City -- we’re talking the 1940s -- my mom was a figure. She was known in the gossip columns of the time as “New York’s girl caricaturist.” Professionally, she kept her maiden name, Selz, not the most common gesture in that long-gone era and a world of cartoonists and illustrators that was stunningly male. 

Israeli Policy Flounder Means Endless Misery in Gaza

Israel’s endless misery for Gaza is no policy at all
by Jonathan Cook
For those trying to read developments between Israel and Gaza over the past weeks, the picture has been unusually puzzling.

A month ago European diplomats and Palestinian officials in the West Bank suggested that Israel and Hamas were taking “baby steps”, as one Palestinian analyst termed it, towards a truce.

Then earlier this month, as an attack blamed on the extremists of Islamic State (ISIS) killed dozens in Sinai, an Israeli general accused Hamas of supplying the weapons used against the Egyptian military.

A short time later, a group of Israeli army commanders urged the easing of the near-decade blockade of Gaza as a way to end Hamas’ isolation.

So what’s going on? Does Israel want Hamas weakened or strengthened?

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Zoe Blunt, Simon Fawkes, Janine Bandcroft July 22nd, 2015

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook -

Tensions are rising at the Unis'tot'en Camp, centre of a determined six year "soft" blockade of the nexus point of Big Energy's big plans to traverse British Columbia with a new network of oil and gas pipelines.

Last month, British Columbia's Oil and Gas Commission gave Chevron the green light to begin clearing a path for its Pacific Trails fracked gas pipeline. That means fellers and road crews getting on the land to prepare the way through First Nations communities and territories, regardless of opposition.

Members of the Wet'suwet'en people who have steadfastly maintained the blockade site in northern BC say they're worried by repeated helicopter overflights and the increasingly menacing behaviour of the RCMP.
Zoe Blunt is a long-time south Vancouver Island-based environment defender and organizer. She, and the Forest Action Network have worked to get people from down here up there to the Unis'tot'en Camp with their now annual Summer Caravan to Unis'tot'en Camp.
Zoe Blunt in the first half.
And; over the weekend, the solar powered Aerial Sea catamaran was in Victoria, the final stop of its Salish Sea Tour. The tour was an effort to educate, demonstrate, and popularize the notion of viable alternatives to oil and gas boating on the Salish Sea and elsewhere. It was also an effort, led by Aerial Sea's skipper Simon Fawkes, and his allies at the Wilderness Committee, Tanker Free BC, Salish Sea Keepers and musician/activist Luke Wallace to shine a light on Kinder Morgan tar sands pipeline and tanker proposal that would see a ten-fold increase in tanker traffic through the Salish Sea.
Getting aboard the Aerial Sea with skipper, Simon Fawkes in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us, freshly returned from Vancouver's massive Folk Fest, at the bottom of the hour to tell us how much fun she had, and perhaps bring us up to speed with some of the good goings on to be had around here in the coming week.
But first, Zoe Blunt and standing ground with the Wet'suwet'en at the Unis'tot'en Camp.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: And now heard at Simon Fraser University's . He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:
Add a comment Add a comment Read more: Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Zoe Blunt, Simon Fawkes, Janine Bandcroft July 22nd, 2015

Tensions Rise with First Nations As Chevron Gets Green Light for Frack Gas Pipeline

Unist’ot’en Call for Physical Support and Solidarity
by Unist’ot’en Camp
Dear Friends and Supporters, it is becoming clear that the situation here is moving toward an escalation point. Chevron has set up a base in Houston in order to do work on the secton of Pacific Trails Pipeline that crosses our traditional territory.
In recent days a low-flying helicopter has flown over the camp several times following a route that corresponds to the path of the proposed PTP pipeline. We were also visited by the head of the RCMP detachment who clearly stated to Freda that they intend to “ensure the work crews can do their work safely.”
Our supporters maintaining an Unist’ot’en check point on Chisolm Rd were also visited and threatened by the police. In both cases, the officers asserted that we could be arrested for blocking a “public road”.
It is clear by the timing of these recent police actions that they are working in tandem with the pipeline companies.

Katrina's Displaced Ten Years After

New Orleans Katrina Pain Index at Ten: Who Was Left Behind
by Bill Quigley - CounterPunch
New Orleans - When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, the nation saw tens of thousands of people left behind in New Orleans. Ten years later, it looks like the same people in New Orleans have been left behind again.

The population of New Orleans is noticeably smaller and noticeably whiter. While tens of billions poured into Louisiana, the impact on poor and working people in New Orleans has been minimal. Many of the elderly and the poor, especially poor families with children, never made it back to New Orleans.

The poverty rate for children who did made it back remains at disturbingly high pre-Katrina levels, especially for Black children. Rents are high and taking a higher percentage of people’s income. The pre-Katrina school system fired all it teachers and professionals and turned itself into the charter experiment capital of the US even while the number of children in public schools has dropped dramatically.

Hacking Team and Colombia's Death Squad State

#HackedTeam and Colombia: How Surveillance Helps a Violent State
by Justin Podur - TelesurEnglish

A series of 2013 emails discuss a US$60M deal with Colombia's directorate of police intelligence (DIPOL). 

In the past few years, debates about universal surveillance, software and internet freedom, privacy and civil liberties have opened through the efforts and sacrifices of people like Wikileaks, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and Anonymous. The governments and private security industry that have been exposed through leaks, hacks, and whistleblowing, have been forced to respond. Some of these responses involved attacking and prosecuting the messengers. Others have involved denial, apology, and the perpetually fresh doctrine of the "change of course": "yes, we used to violate people's rights, but that's all over now".

Some public figures attempted to argue against privacy on principle: "If you have nothing to hide, why should you need privacy?" But, as Glenn Greenwald wrote, none of these anti-privacy people were willing to give him their email passwords on television, despite having nothing to hide.

A small number of those implicated in surveillance violations took a defiant stance, as in: "yes, we violate privacy, and we are very good at it." One security company, dedicated to offensive hacking, stood out as particularly defiant: The Italy-based Hacking Team, headed by David Vincenzetti.

Who Created Lyme Disease and Why

NBC Dares Mention Climate in Spread of Lyme Disease, But Not Who Created Lyme Disease
by David Swanson - War Is a Crime

16 July 2015

Climate change is apparently encouraging the spread of Lyme disease, and a report by NBC News dares to say so. This may seem like a fresh breath of honest sanity in a media context in which even the weather reports usually avoid the topic of human global destruction.

However, another topic is clearly still off limits: the topic of who created Lyme disease.

Who created it is not in any real doubt. The facts have been well reported and never refuted.

The relevance of the disease's creators to this and numerous other news reports about Lyme disease is indisputable. If you're going to report on what's facilitating the disease's spread, you should report on what started it, and how it was intentionally created to spread and why.

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