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by Kathy Kelly - CounterPunch
“Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. … A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.” – “A Time to Break Silence (Beyond Vietnam)” - Dr. Martin Luther King, April 4, 1967
This month, from Atlanta, GA, the King Center announced its “Choose Nonviolence” campaign, a call on people to incorporate the symbolism of bell-ringing into their Martin Luther King Holiday observance, as a means of showing their commitment to Dr. King’s value of nonviolence in resolving terrible issues of inequality, discrimination and poverty here at home. The call was heard in Kabul, Afghanistan.On the same day they learned of the King Center’s call, the young members of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, in a home I was sharing with them in Kabul, were grieving the fresh news of seven Afghan children and their mother, killed in the night during a U.S. aerial attack – part of a battle in the Siahgird district of the Parwan province.The outrage, grief, loss and pain felt in Siahgird were echoed, horribly, in other parts of Afghanistan during a very violent week.
- Created on Sunday, 19 January 2014 17:59
- Written by Tom EngelhardtSurveillance and Scandal: Time-Tested Weapons for U.S. Global PowerFor more than six months, Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency (NSA) have been pouring out from the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Guardian, Germany’s Der Spiegel, and Brazil’s O Globo, among other places.Yet no one has pointed out the combination of factors that made the NSA’s expanding programs to monitor the world seem like such a slam-dunk development in Washington.The answer is remarkably simple. For an imperial power losing its economic grip on the planet and heading into more austere times, the NSA’s latest technological breakthroughs look like a bargain basement deal when it comes to projecting power and keeping subordinate allies in line -- like, in fact, the steal of the century.Even when disaster turned out to be attached to them, the NSA’s surveillance programs have come with such a discounted price tag that no Washington elite was going to reject them.
- Created on Sunday, 19 January 2014 10:42
- Written by Peter LeeYou Can’t Spell “Oscar” Without “JSOC”. Almost.by Peter Lee - China Matters
Nowadays, it appears mandatory that at least one movie built around the murderous heroics of US Special Forces gets an Oscar nod.
Last year, it was Zero Dark Thirty.
This year, there are two nominations in the “Special Forces Shoot Brown Guy in Head” category.
Captain Phillips, the Somali pirate drama, garnered a nomination for Best Picture.
Special Operations are also represented by the nomination of Dirty Wars, based on Jeremy Scahill’s book of the same name, for Best Documentary.
Truth be told, I doubt either picture will go the distance.
Add a comment Add a comment Read more: JSOC's Red Carpet Moment(s) at Oscars©
- Created on Sunday, 19 January 2014 10:26
- Written by Kevin LoganBC LNG bigger than Tar Sands? Export licenses face Cabinet reviewby Kevin Logan - The CommonSenseCanadian
On Monday, (Dec. 16, 2013) the same day the news broke that Kinder Morgan has finally filed its Vancouver pipeline expansion proposal, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver also chose to announce that four massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) export licenses recommended by the National Energy Board (NEB) will go to Cabinet for review and final decision.
BC LNG applications dwarf oil pipeline proposals andTar Sands production, but receive fraction of attention
This is in the same week we expect to hear the NEB approve the Enbridge Heavy Oil pipeline proposal with “conditions” that reflect the social license posturing of the BC Liberal Government - and, once again, much media debate will ensue.
However, it is important that we do not let this overshadow the NEB’s approval of four more LNG export licenses, reaching 7 total approved licenses, involving a mind-boggling 109.18 million tonnes per annum (mtpa.) of natural gas. That’s a staggering total gross volume of 2905.5 million tonnes over 25 years, requiring a massive increase in hydraulic fracturing in BC to feed these LNG plants and tankers.
Details for the three largest are as follows, with the much smaller Woodfibre application linked to in the complete table below, which includes all 11 export applications, four of which are pending approval and thus not included in the above totals.
Add a comment Add a comment Read more: The Other Canadian Environmental Disaster: BC's Frack Attack Promises Bigger Damage than Tar Sands
- Created on Saturday, 18 January 2014 15:46
- Written by James PetrasThe “Israel First” Industry and CEO Profiteeringby James Petras
During the first half of the 20th century, socially conscious Jews in the United States organized a large network of solidarity and charity associations financed mostly through small donations, raffles and dues by working and lower middle class supporters.Many of these associations dealt with the everyday needs of Jewish workers, immigrants and families in need. Some were linked to labor unions, social democratic and leftist parties. Their leaders were, in many cases, individuals who worked long hours engaged in resolving problems and intervening in local crises.They drew a modest paycheck – (when funding was available) – comparable to that of a skilled worker. A few women’s groups like the Hadassah went door to door in predominantly Jewish commercial districts, hitting up Jewish and non-Jewish storekeepers with raffle tickets to purchase beds in Hebrew hospitals in Palestine/Israel.The predominant ethic was improving the livelihood of Jews in America, joining with the America left and labor groups in united fronts against fascism and domestic, ethnic and racial supremacist organizations. Up until the establishment of Israel, Zionist organizations were a small minority in the Jewish community, especially among working class Jews.
- Created on Saturday, 18 January 2014 09:22
- Written by Damien GillisPeace Valley's "Extraordinary" Farmland Could Feed Million People Agrologists Tell Site C Dam Reviewby Damien Gillis - The Common Sense Canadian
A pair of highly-respected agricultural experts made a compelling case this week for sparing some of BC’s best farmland from a proposed dam on the Peace River. Together, veteran agrologist Wendy Holm and soil scientist Evelyn Wolterson argued that BC Hydro’s error-ridden study of the flood zone for the $10 billion proposed Site C Dam missed the unique soil and climate values that would enable this land to feed up to a million people – were the focus to shift from hydropower to farming.Conversely, if a third dam on the Peace were built, it would create the single largest loss of land in the 40-year history of the province’s Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) – drowning or severely impacting over 30,000 acres of largely exceptional land.On Tuesday, the Joint Review Panel investigating Site C heard from Holm, a highly-decorated former President of the BC Institute of Agrologists with 40 years’ experience in the field, and agrologist and farming consultant Evelyn Wolterson – both presenting their findings on behalf of the Peace Valley Environment Association and BC Women’s Institue.“The Peace River Valley has extraordinarily high value for agriculture,” Wolterson told the panel from the outset.
It is our opinion that the public interest is better served [by] agriculture and other uses for this valley, rather than a hundred years of power production…Power has other alternatives; agriculture doesn’t.Add a comment Add a comment Read more: Can We Eat Electricity? Proposed Site C Dam Threatens Vital British Columbia Farmland
- Created on Friday, 17 January 2014 21:51
- Written by David SwansonObama Fans Aren't even Pretending That Was a Good Speechby David Swanson - War is a Crime
President Barack Obama gave a eulogy for the Fourth Amendment on Friday, and not even his fans are proclaiming victory. In this moment when Obama is actually doing one thing I agree with (talking to Iran), more and more people seem to be slowly, agonizingly slowly, finally, finally, finally, recognizing what a complete huckster he is when it comes to pretty speeches about his crimes.Obama's speech and new "policy directive" eliminate the Fourth Amendment. Massive bulk collection of everybody's data will continue unconstitutionally, but Obama has expressed a certain vague desire to end it, sort of, except for the parts that are needed, but not to do so right away. The comparisons to the closure of the Guantanamo death camp began instantly.Far from halting or apologizing for the abuses of the NSA, Obama defends them as necessitated by the danger of a new 911.Add a comment Add a comment Read more: Paul Revere and the NSA: Obama's Metadata Metaphorphical Overreach
- Created on Friday, 17 January 2014 21:47
- Written by Dr. Franklin LambThe Siege of Yarmoukby Franklin LambYarmouk Palestinian Camp, Damascus - At the Palestine Embassy in Beirut recently, a young lady showed this observer a video of a gentleman in Yarmouk camp in Damascus. The video showed the man killing and eating a cat. Food ran out in Yarmouk weeks ago, and nearly 18,000 refugees are facing death from starvation and other conflict-related causes. This siege has been ongoing since July 2013, and it has become viciously lethal.
The Palestinians living here have been targeted. They are part of the quarter million people—children, women, and men—trapped and dying from hunger and illness all across Syria as a direct, predictable result of using the siege of civilians as a weapon of war.It isn’t just Yarmouk. Throughout Syria, neighborhoods are being blockaded. Residents are running out of supplies, unable to get basic services. Among the Syrian towns under siege at this time are Nubul and Al-Zahraa in Aleppo province, the old city of Homs, and the towns of Eastern Ghouta, Daraya and Moadamiyet al-Sham in rural Damascus.
- Created on Thursday, 16 January 2014 18:09
- Written by Sharmine NarwaniThere is no "middle" in the Middle East todayWE Magazine Interview with Sharmine Narwani
The last thing the Middle East needs is another conflict. But Lebanon looks set to once again become the battleground for larger powers vying for regional supremacy. Today this fight has become existential – and Lebanon may be viewed as a last chance to deal a fatal blow to the "Resistance Axis" Iran, Syria, Hezbollah.The conflict between Sunnis and Shiites seems to deepen in Lebanon. Who is fueling this divide and why?I am wary anytime I hear about Sunni-Shia conflicts in the Mideast. While there are historic tensions between these two groups, the region is aflood with Sunni-Shia marriages, particularly in those countries – Lebanon, Bahrain, Syria, Iraq – said to be suffering most from Sunni-Shia strife.I always prefer to say that the real conflict is between “sectarians” and “non-sectarians” – this is a more accurate description because there are Sunni and Shia on both sides of that divide. Those in the “sectarian” grouping are the minority opinion in their own communities, but they are loud and aggressive, so we think there are many of them.It is very easy to get drawn into the narrative of constant Shia-Sunni discord – it blares from the headlines in all our papers. But at this point in a rapidly destabilizing Middle East, it befits us to dig deeper.Add a comment Add a comment Read more: In Conversation with Sharmine Narwani: Extirpating the "Middle" from the Middle East
- Created on Thursday, 16 January 2014 17:55
- Written by Greg PalastWhy are Christie and the Kochs in my driveway? - It’s time to subpoena the Committee for Our Children’s Futureby Greg Palast - Truthout
Far more insidious, more corrosive and dangerous than the Governor of New Jersey playing traffic warden is the story of Gov. Chris Christie's secret meetings with a gaggle of billionaires –– and the legality of the spending by the front organization set up following these hidden hugger-muggers.
In 2012, a tax-exempt “social welfare organization” called Committee for Our Children’s Future, CCF, ran a series of TV ads telling America that Governor Christie has performed more miracles in New Jersey than Jesus did with loaves and fish. The New York Times found some old college chums who said they set up the “Children’s” crusade for Christie. But the ads cost about $6 million. The Times didn’t ask how Christie’s buddies, not wealthy guys, found the six big ones.
But CCF was not started in 2012. When I heard “Children’s Future,” my nose started twitching. I smelled Koch.
Add a comment Add a comment Read more: Creep Alert: Christie and Kochs' Committee for Our Children's Future