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Playing the B-Side: The Western Left's Barren Field of Ideas

The “B” Vocabulary: The Western Left and Its Sterile “Field of Ideas”
by Ramzy Baroud - Dissident Voice

June 24th, 2015
 
RamzybookOver the year, I realized that the term ‘left’ is not exclusive to a political ideology, but a mode of thinking championed mostly by self-tailored ‘leftist’ western intellectuals. I grew to dislike it with intensity. But that has not always been the case.
 
My father was a communist, or so he called himself. He read the translated work of great communist and socialist thinkers, and passed on to me his own reading of what a socialist utopia could possibly be like. Living in a squalid refugee camp in Gaza, locked in by a heavily militarized sea to the west, and various Israeli ‘death zones’ everywhere else, a proletarian utopia was a great idea, where the peasants and the workers ruled unhindered.
 
Of course, there was a reason that made the fantasy particularly meaningful. Before the establishment of Israel on the ruins of historic Palestine, most Palestinians, who constituted the majority of the refugees after the war of 1948, were fellahin – or peasants.
 
 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ajamu Nangwaya, Adam Cembrowski, Janine Bandcroft Jun 24th, 2015

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

 
Policed, or police State? That was the day one first question in my grade 11 Law class so many years ago; and how the answer to it has changed in our Canada. Witness Toronto the Good, where a policy of "your papers please" has been in effect for a decade.

So egregiously has To.'s so-called "carding" policy been applied, essentially becoming a form of racial profiling, that the Afrikan-Canadian community and its allies have taken to the streets. And, the mayor and council listened, promising a change to the system that allows police demand ID and answers to their questions from citizens doing nothing more than going about their business.

But has Mayor Tory truly addressed the issue?
 
 
Ajamu Nangwaya is an educator, community organizer and advocate. He writes regularly on the issues of the day pertinent to his Toronto community, his articles being featured at such diverse outlets as the Toronto Star, Rabble.ca, the Black Agenda Report, and the Pride newspaper, and Briarpatch Magazine.
 
His online work appears at CounterPunch, Huffington Post, Dissident Voice, and the Toronto Media Co-op among others. Ajamu also works with the Organization of Afrikan Struggles and International Solidarity, the Campaign End the Occupation of Haiti, and the Network for the Elimination of Police Violence.
 
Ajamu Nangwaya in the first half.
 
And; from cops to robber barons. Kinder Morgan's pipeline expansion plans are currently undergoing a review. Theoretically, the National Energy Board process is open to the public, but according to a group of law students, accessing evidence and opinions submitted to the NEB is difficult. So, with an eye to improved transparency, especially where possible environmental impacts of Kinder Morgan's application are concerned, Accesskmxinfo.com was born.
 
Adam Cembrowski one of the students with AccessKMXInfo.com The second-year law student at the U. of Alberta holds a Masters of Science from U. of T. in the field of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and is pursuing a law degree to serve his interest in "making sure the public has access to, and can understand, information and research that can impact their lives."
 
Adam Cembrowski and putting the "People" back in the People's business 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 the streets of our town, and beyond there too. But first, when does our freedom mean we are free to go?

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. And now heard at Simon Fraser University's http://www.cjsf.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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Jumping for Resistencia in Honduras

Resistance in Honduras Alive and Jumping
by David Swanson - War Is a Crime

June 28 will mark 6 years since the U.S.-backed military coup in Honduras took the people's government away from them. Thousands of people are still in the streets every week demanding that the wrongful president step down.

"Whoever's not jumping supports the coup!" is the shout as a sea of people leaps repeatedly into the air. 

The makers of an amazing new film called Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley, will be allowing anyone to view it online for free for two weeks. I recommend you do so.

Honduras has not simply turned into the worst home of violent crime. And the people have not simply fled to the U.S. border (much compassion they'd receive there!) -- No, thousands and thousands of people in this little nation have taken back their land, occupied it, created communities, and built a future, with or without the coup.

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"Seeing" the Kinder Morgan Hearings: Law Students Set Up Process Access Site

Law students launch Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion evidence website
by Access KMX Info

June 18, 2015

BRITISH COLUMBIA - A group of law students has launched a website to make evidence submitted in the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion review process more accessible to citizens (see AccessKMXinfo.com).
 
"We are doing this to open up the review process. Although the National Energy Board's process is open to the public, it is not easy to navigate," said Adam Cembrowski, University of Alberta law student.

"Our website looks to improve upon this, letting people easily find and view the actual evidence submitted to the NEB - and make up their own minds about the project."
"Given the evidence submitted, which suggests the project could impact our economy, our communities, and the environment, we wanted to ensure that members of the public could easily find, review and share that information."
 

Mengele's Inheritors: America's Battle Lab and CIA's Human Experiments

Human Experimentation
by David Swanson - CounterPunch

mengeleThe Guardian recently made public a CIA document allowing the agency’s director to “approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research.”
 
Human what?
 
At Guantanamo, the CIA gave huge doses of the terror-inducing drug mefloquine to prisoners without their consent, as well as the supposed truth serum scopolamine. Former Guantanamo guard Joseph Hickman has documented the CIA’s torturing people, sometimes to death, and can find no explanation other than research:
 
“[Why] were men of little or no value kept under these conditions, and even repeatedly interrogated, months or years after they’d been taken into custody? Even if they’d had any intelligence when they came in, what relevance would it have years later?
 . . . One answer seemed to lie in the description that Major Generals [Michael] Dunlavey and [Geoffrey] Miller both applied to Gitmo. They called it ‘America’s battle lab.'”
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American Jihad: Armed to the Teeth and Ready for Religion

Our Jihadis and Theirs: The Real (Armed) Dangers of American Life
by Tom Engelhardt  - TomDispatch

Consider this paragraph a holding action on the subject of getting blown away in America. While I write this dispatch, I’m waiting patiently for the next set of dispiriting killings in this country. And I have faith. Before I’m done, some angry -- or simply mentally disturbed -- and well-armed American “lone wolf” (or lone wolves) will gun down someone (or a number of people) somewhere and possibly himself (or themselves) as well. Count on that. 
 
It’ll be my last paragraph. Think of it as, in a grim way, something to look forward to as you read this piece on American armed mayhem.

National security officials and politicians have been pounding home the message that the “greatest threat” to Americans is an extreme and brutal jihadist movement thousands of miles away and the videos and social media messages its followers produce that make it seem close at hand. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the dangers of armed life in these United States, a quick survey of national insecurity in a country armed to the teeth. 
 

Lebanon's Sunni ISIS Sympathies

Why Are Some Lebanese Sunni Muslims Becoming Sympathetic Toward Da’ish (ISIS)?
by Franklin Lamb - Countercurrents.org

20 June, 2015

Damascus - As recent developments in the Levant make plain, the Sunni-Shiite conflict is increasingly dominating political and strategic initiatives and calculations in Lebanon. In the twelve months since declaring its "caliphate” on June 29, 2014, the “Islamic State” (IS/ISIS/Da’ish), basically a political power movement as opposed to being a religious project, continues birthing international and local franchises.

The numbers of foreign fighters from diverse countries traveling to join Da’ish or Nusra increases after every victory. The US State Departments just released 2014 Country Reports (6/18/2015) spends considerably more time discussing the growth in popularity of the group's ideology than previous reports.
 
The extreme’ ideology of Da’ish and its embrace of brutal violence have allowed it to quickly attract the attention of millions worldwide and is estimated to have resulted in thousands of recruits, many being from Lebanon. The group's ability to effectively leverage social media and disseminate its message -- with near instantaneous global repostings -- has enhanced its success.
 
Governments around the world-including Lebanon have been ineffective in significantly curtaining its actions.
 

Left Leaves Southern Europe's Economically Left Behind

The Radical Reconfiguration of Southern European Politics: The Rise of the Non Leftist Left
by James Petras

Over the past decade fundamental changes have taken place in Southern Europe, which have broken with previous political alignments, resulting in the virtual disappearance of traditional leftist ’parties, the decline of trade unions and the emergence of ‘middle class radicalism’.

New political movements, purportedly on the left, no longer are based on class conscious workers nor are they embedded in the class struggle. Likewise on the right, greater attention is paid to escalating the repressive capacity of the state instead of state intervention in pursuit of economic markets.

Radicalization of the right, including massive cutbacks in social spending, has demolished welfare programs. The dispossession of households has uprooted cohesive neighborhood-based social organizations. In place of the class based traditional left, ‘non-leftist left’ movements have emerged.
 
Their leaders embrace ‘participatory democracy’ but engage in vertical political practice.

On the right, politics no longer revolve around conserving national economic privileges. Rightwing leaders willingly subordinate their economies and society to imperial led crusades, which empty national sovereignty of any meaning while pillaging the national treasury.

This essay will proceed to discuss these complex changes and their meaning.

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Breathless America: Left Without a Word to Say

In the USA – “I Cannot Write!”
by Andre Vltchek - CounterPunch

At the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), in Los Angeles, a gigantic, carnivorous flag with torn ends was waving in an artificial wind created by enormous propellers.

There were no visitors at the exhibition. For a while I thought that in all this huge space I was totally alone.

But soon I noticed two figures in black torn dresses, moving slowly, in semi-darkness, desperately clinging to the walls. Backs bent, they passed by the bookstore right near the place where someone had put a small sign on the wall that said, “I cannot breath!”

Most likely it was a performance, a desperate protest action of one man and one woman, a performance against this giant all-devouring flag.

“I cannot breath!” A man shouted before he died, before he was murdered by the regime.

“I cannot write!” I thought. Which to me was almost the same as not being able to respire.

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Reviewing the Coup and America's Propensity for Regime Change

The Coup
by David Swanson - Let's Try Democracy

18 June 2015

The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations deals with such an engaging topic that even this new book can't really make it boring, hard as it seems to try.

When asked what historical figure I would most like to bring back to life and have a talk with I tend to think of Mossadeq, the complex, Gandhian, elected leader, denounced as both Hitler and a communist (as would become part of the standard procedure) and overthrown in an early CIA coup (1953) -- a coup that encouraged dozens more around the globe and led straight to the Iranian revolution and to today's Iranian distrust of the United States.

I'm more inclined to believe that current Iranian distrust of the U.S. government is well-merited than blaming it on a long-ago coup implies, but the coup lies at the root of Iranian and worldwide skepticism about generous U.S. intentions.

It's also an interesting fact, supported by this case, that some of the best government actions, taken by any government around the world, have occurred just prior to various U.S.-backed violent coups -- and I include in that category the U.S. New Deal, followed by the unsuccessful Wall Street coup attempt rejected by Smedley Butler.

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Who Is Served Best by Serving Genetically Altered Salmon, Costco?

Tell Costco that you won't eat GMO salmon!
by FDN


Do you want to eat genetically engineered salmon? Neither do we! But Costco refuses to say they won’t sell it in their stores.
 
Costco is one of the largest retailers of salmon and seafood in the US and is one of the last large retailers that hasn’t yet made a commitment to not sell GMO salmon.
 

Tell Costco to say NO to GMO salmon, and you won't shop there unless they do! Every voice counts!


In an alarming update, last month, the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans released a never-before-seen review of AquaBounty’s GMO salmon that detailed real scientific concerns about the safety of GMO salmon, which would be the first genetically engineered animal approved for human consumption.
 
According to Canada’s scientific review, AquaBounty’s GMO salmon are MORE susceptible to disease than non-GMO salmon and have “dramatically diminished growth rates in AquaBounty’s commercial facilities”.
 

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