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Democracy's Undoing in the Cowichan Valley: Unelected CVRD LNG Proponents Take Battle Behind Closed Doors

CVRD’s Elected Political Representatives No Match For the Cunning CAO Brian Carruthers
by Richard Hughes - Cowichan Conversations

February 26th, 2016  

In the hurly burly world of CVRD politics the senior staff have come out the winners. Their role and influence trumps that of our elected representatives.
This is especially true with the $200 thousand plus per year CAO Brian Carruthers, a charming and capable controller who dominates today’s political culture at the CVRD.
Following the Board’s unanimous vote rejecting any new LNG facilities in the entire Cowichan Valley the CAO, General Manager of Planning Ross Blackwell and Chair Jon Lefebure had a meltdown of sorts.
CVRD CAO, Carruthers

There seems to have been a delayed response that took a couple of days to kick in. But once they had fully grasped the fact that the elected folks had actually initiated and carried out a directive in response to a rumoured Steelhead LNG proposal to establish a floating LNG facility with the Malahat Nation, they hatched out a plan to counter the elected officials' directive.

Just One Problem for Syria Peace Accord: America's Restless Frankensteins

Sticking point in Syria truce: Washington’s support for Al Qaeda
by Bill Van Auken - WSWS
25 February 2016

Testifying Tuesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State John Kerry faced intensely hostile questioning as he defended a Syrian “cessation of hostilities” reached with Moscow that is supposed to go into effect this weekend.
Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California suggested that the agreement might be little more than a “rope-a-dope” deal, while the committee’s Republican chairman, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, warned that Russia would “continue to kill the folks that are our friends and allies.”
Kerry responded by stressing that there was a “significant discussion taking place now about a Plan B,” presumably entailing a major escalation of the US military intervention in Syria and a potential armed confrontation with Russia, should the truce deal fail to further Washington’s aims.
The key sticking point in the US-Russian deal is precisely the status of those to whom Senator Corker referred as “the folks that are our friends and allies.” He, like the Obama administration, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the entire political and media establishment, carefully avoided any precise identification of these “folks.”

A Future Still Bright: No Nukes Over Syria

I Refuse to Believe in a Nuclear War over Syria and Oil
by F. William Engdahl - NEO

Feb. 25, 2016

In this most bizarre of seemingly endless conflicts in the Middle East, wars ultimately over something as stupid as control of oil, a most alarming report has surfaced introducing the nightmare scenario of nations using tactical nuclear weapons to secure their aims.

That were it to happen would be the most stupid thing the human race has done to date to destroy itself. Given the implications and what is being reported it warrants more than close scrutiny.
It’s a report from a serious US journalist, citing an anonymous “source close to Putin” that a nuclear war pitting Russia against USA, NATO, Turkey and Saudi Arabia is possible. I refuse to believe in such a nuclear war over Syria and I want to say why.

Lithium and the "New Gasoline" War

Electric Car War Sends Lithium Prices Sky High
by James Stafford -

23 February 2016
With lithium prices skyrocketing beyond wildest expectations, talk heating up about acquisitions and mergers in this space and a fast-brewing war among electric car rivals, it’s no wonder everyone’s bullish on this golden commodity that promises to become the ‘’new gasoline”.
Moreover, land grabs, rising price predictions, and expectations of a major demand spike are leaping out of the shadows of a pending energy revolution and a new technology-driven resource era.
For once, we have agreement across the board on a commodity: Demand for lithium will continue to rise throughout the year--and beyond--spurred by the rise of battery mega/gigafactories and a burgeoning energy storage business that will change the way we live.
That’s why Goldman Sachs calls lithium the “new gasoline”. It’s also why The Economist calls it “the world’s hottest commodity”, and talks about a “global scramble to secure supplies of lithium by the world’s largest battery producers, and by end-users such as carmakers.”

Transcending the False Clinton-Sanders Dichotomy

Why We Must Transcend the Clinton-Sanders Debate: The Middle East in US Foreign Policy
February 24, 2016 

As US liberals and some leftists are pulling up their sleeves in anticipation of a prolonged battle for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination, the tussle becomes particularly ugly whenever the candidates’ foreign policy agendas are evoked.
Of the two main contenders, Hilary Clinton is the obvious target. She is an interventionist, uncompromisingly, and her term as Secretary of State (2009-2013) is a testament to her role in sustaining the country's foreign policy agenda under George W. Bush (as a Senator, she had voted for the Iraq war in 2002) and advocating regime change in her own right.
Add a comment Add a comment Read more: Transcending the False Clinton-Sanders Dichotomy

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Terry Wolfwood, Gary Charbonneau, Janine Bandcroft February 24th, 2016

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook -

February 23, 2016

Far from the media spotlight, nestled on the western reaches of Africa, a bitter drama is daily enacted. For more than forty years, the Saharawi people have lived in desperation, caught in an enforced limbo, imprisoned by circumstance.

Worse perhaps than the stunted existence imposed upon them is the relative obscurity of their plight; while other causes gain celebrity spokespeople and benefit concerts, the Saharawi struggle for liberation is largely forgotten.

Documentary film director, Lara Lee hopes her newly released film, 'Life is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara' will prove some remedy to that; as do the folks hosting this week's Café Simpatico at 1923 Fernwood Road.
Long-time Victoria-based activist and organizer, Terry Wolfwood will present the Western Canadian premier of 'Life is Waiting' this Friday evening.
As well as being a writer, photographer, and intrepid world traveler, covering ground from the highlands of Mexico to the apartheid walls of the West Bank, Western Sahara, and beyond in pursuit of peace, social justice, and women's rights, Terry is also the Director and co-founder of the Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation. Her articles have featured in Briarpatch, Peace News, and Third World Resurgence amongst other places, and she serves as the local coordinator for Victoria's Women in Black.

Terry Wolfwood in the first half.
And; people are not the only creatures wrongly imprisoned for the benefit of others. Though we like to think of ourselves out here on the shores of the majestic Pacific as being capable of appreciating both the immeasurable beauty of the place we live in, and the sanctity of the creatures who share this great privilege with us, there is still here in 2016 a place here where it's possible to go and see whales kept in swimming pools. What history will make of this we can only guess, but for now there is an effort to bring this practice to an end.
Gary Charbonneau is a Vancouver-based independent filmmaker and entrepreneur. He made news recently for being sued by the Vancouver Aquarium. The people running the Aquarium are seeking an injunction in BC court to have Charbonneau's film, 'Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered' pulled from YouTube, Vimeo and at Charbonneau's website, claiming he violated their copyright by using materials found on their website.
Gary Charbonneau and the Vancouver Aquarium's attempts to put the covers on Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered 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 news of the coming week from our city's streets, and beyond there too. But first, Terry Wolfwood and 'Life is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara.'

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  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, Terry Wolfwood, Gary Charbonneau, Janine Bandcroft February 24th, 2016

Public Servant, or Occupying Army: Welcome to San Francisco 2016, Baghdad by the Bay

Turning American Communities Into War Zones, Death By Death: When It Comes to People of Color, the Police Make San Francisco “Baghdad by the Bay”
by Rebecca Gordon - TomDispatch

February 23, 2016
In the photo, five of Beyoncé’s leather-clad, black-bereted dancers raise their fists in a Black Power salute. The woman in the middle holds a hand-lettered sign up for the camera, bearing three words and a number: “Justice 4 Mario Woods.” Behind them, the crowd at Levi's Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, is getting ready for the second half of Super Bowl 50, but the game’s real fireworks are already over.

The women in the photo had just finished backing Beyoncé’s homage to the Black Panthers and Malcolm X during her incandescent halftime appearance, when two San Francisco Bay Area Black Lives Matter activists managed to grab a few words with them. Rheema Emy Calloway and Ronnisha Johnson asked if they’d make a quick video demanding justice for Mario Woods. “From the look on the faces of the dancers, they’d already heard about the case,” Calloway told the Guardian.

Who was Mario Woods and why did Calloway and Johnson want the world to know that his life mattered? The answer: on December 2, 2015, Mario Woods was executed in broad daylight by officers of the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and the event was filmed.

Hillary's Establishment Entrenchment Much Deeper Than Kissinger

Hillary Clinton, The Council on Foreign Relations, and the Establishment
by Matt Peppe - Aletho News
When asked by Wolf Blitzer in January if she was “the establishment,” Hillary Clinton replied: “I just don’t understand what that means. He’s been in Congress, he’s been elected to office a lot longer than I have.” Several weeks later, her Democratic primary opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders made the case in a debate that the issue was who had the support of more powerful elected officials, arguing that Clinton has the support of “more governors, mayors, members of the House.”
Clinton framed the notion of “the establishment” as consisting solely of political bodies of elected officials. Sanders simply argued that a better indicator of the establishment is one’s power and influence within political circles.
As part of the “two for the price of one” that Bill Clinton promised during his rise to the Presidency, Hillary is forced to hide from her role in the creation of the neoliberal New Democrats, the dominant faction of the party.
During their joint reign in the White House, the Clintons steered the party far to the right with their draconian criminal justice measures, assault on welfare, liberalization of trade, and deregulation of banking. Their cronies continue to staff the highest ranks of the party and the Obama administration.

Blockchain and the Emirate: Global Council Explores Future of Business

Dubai Organisation announces launch of Global Blockchain Council
by Richard Kastelein - BC News

February 18, 2016
As part of its efforts to adopt the latest technologies and innovation practices at the global level, Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation has announced the establishment of the Global Blockchain Council to explore, discuss current and future applications, and organize transactions through the Blockchain platform.
The Council will highlight the implications of this innovation on the future of business and finance sectors, and its role in facilitating transactions within the various sectors of financial and non-financial sectors as well as to increase efficiency and reliability levels.
Transactions on Blockchain can only go through if all the members approve, which limits the chances of fraud and money laundering, as the digital currency cannot be forged or damaged and can be moved across borders with ease. It also facilitates the shopping process across social media and websites.
The establishment of the Global Blockchain Council comes in line with the efforts of Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation to promote innovation and use the next generation of technologies to enhance UAE’s position as a leading centre for innovation and knowledge economy.

Amnesty Intercedes with Ottawa on Site-C Mega Dam Project

Ottawa: Honour the treaties and intervene on Site C
by Amnesty International(Canada)

 "If Prime Minister Trudeau truly wants to build a new relationship based on respect for our rights, he needs to act immediately to withdraw all federal support to the flooding of our land by the Site C dam."

When Helen Knott talks about the importance of the Peace Valley, she inevitably also talks about her grandmother. About time spent together out on the land, learning the stories that have been passed down through the generations.

Today, the land itself is under threat. Rampant resource development has despoiled much of northeastern BC, and now the only remaining section of the valley is threatened by the construction of the Site C dam.

Despite legal challenges from West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations, BC Hydro has pressed ahead with clearing the site for construction.

Noms de Guerre: A Dog of War Is a Dog By Any Name

Pentagon mercenaries: Blackwater, Al-Qaeda… what’s in a name?
by Finian Cunningham - RT

Feb. 21, 2016

erik-prince-grin-muckCIA-linked private “security” companies are fighting in Yemen for the US-backed Saudi military campaign. Al-Qaeda-affiliated mercenaries are also being deployed. Melding private firms with terror outfits should not surprise. It’s all part of illegal war making.
Western news media scarcely report on the conflict in Yemen, let alone the heavy deployment of Western mercenaries in the fighting there. In the occasional Western report on Al-Qaeda and related terror groups in Yemen, it is usually in the context of intermittent drone strikes carried out by the US, or with the narrative that these militants are “taking advantage” of the chaos “to expand” their presence in the Arabian Peninsula, as reported here by the Washington Post.
This bifurcated Western media view of Yemen belies a more accurate and meaningful perspective, which is that the US-backed Saudi bombing campaign is actually coordinated with an on-the-ground military force that comprises regular troops, private security firms and Al-Qaeda type mercenaries redeployed from Syria.

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