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Love It, or Leave It: Why I Remain

Why Do I Live in the United States?
by Jorge Majfud
In 2001, Oriana Fallaci wrote her famous article "The Rage and the Pride" in which she not only made an indiscriminate attack on third world immigrants in Europe and the United States but on all cultures other than "Western culture." In 2002 I published in several newspapers a long response covering at least twenty points, which I considered errors on the part of the author. My essay was called "The Slow Suicide of the West"* and, far from attacking the West and praising the East, the central idea lay in defending the West against one of its worst enemies: the West itself.
Thanks to this essay I have received anonymous attacks that run from reminders about my ancestors – a factor which would explain my reasoning – to warnings from the owners of the world about the dangers of thinking along tracks other than the official ones. A few days ago a friend sent me by mail the criticisms of a reader and asked that I respond to his observations. In synthesis, the reader, taking on his status as a U.S. citizen, asked himself if I truly felt so uncomfortable with "our culture and our values", why I didn't go live in those countries I admired so much. At the end he added: "it doesn't matter whether Majfud is right about the West. It is a matter of coherency. The least one can ask of an intellectual is coherency."

Radical Press Pressed by Canadian Human Rights Commission

Complaint Against Radical Press Moves to Tribunal [Show Trial]
by Arthur Topham
The case first came to light one year ago when Harry Abrams, B.C. representative for the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) alleging that Topham, Owner, Publisher and Editor of was promoting “hatred toward Jews and citizens of Israel” because of articles on his website critical of political Zionism, the Jewish state of Israel and other Jewish dominated institutions like Canada’s mainstream media and the International financial cartel.
Topham claims in his writings that Israel is an undemocratic, racist, apartheid nation that has discriminated against the Palestinian people since its inception in 1948 causing untold death, suffering and dislocation to the original inhabitants and owners of the land.

Indymedia and the Enclosure of the Internet

Indymedia and the Enclosure of the Internet
by Yossarian
There has been controversy recently on the global imc-communication and imc-tech lists over the issue of a $200,000 grant application sent to the Knight Foundation by IMC Boston to do Drupal development work for Indymedia sites.

The grant application was blocked by IMC Rosario in Argentina. As a working technical volunteer who has been building a new Indymedia website for the past year or so, I think this whole debate has raised some interesting issues related to code, corporate monopolies, and the dilemmas faced by a humble developer who's trying to help start a revolution.

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Obama Preserves

Obama preserves our way of life
by Mickey Z.  

Awakened by the muffled, distant howls of slaughtered Indians, Uncle Sam rises from his bed and hits the light switch…blissfully, purposefully unaware of how valley fills enable him to gain access to that electricity day after day.
Here’s how The Sierra Club begins its discussion of mountaintop removal mining: “In places like Appalachia, mining companies blow the tops off mountains to reach a thin seam of coal and then, to minimize waste disposal costs, dump millions of tons of waste rock into the valleys below, causing permanent damage to the ecosystem and landscape.” That is a valley fill.

Then comes word—on October 18, 2008—that the Interior Department has “advanced a proposal that would ease restrictions on dumping mountaintop mining waste near rivers and streams, modifying protections that have been in place, though often circumvented, for a quarter-century.” This from a New York Times article, which continues: “The department’s Office of Surface Mining issued a final environmental analysis Friday on the proposed rule change, which has been under consideration for four years. It has been a priority of the surface mining industry … The proposed rule would rewrite a regulation enacted in 1983 that bars mining companies from dumping huge waste piles, known as “valley fills,” within 100 feet of any intermittent or perennial stream if the disposal affects water quality or quantity.”

The Battle of Seattle, The Movie

The Battle of Seattle, The Movie
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Lawrence Wilkerson's Lessons of War and Truth

"We killed her… that will be with me the rest of my life": Lawrence Wilkerson's Lessons of War and Truth
by Nick Turse
ations in flux are nations in need. A new president will soon take office, facing hard choices not only about two long-running wars and an ever-deepening economic crisis, but about a government that has long been morally adrift. Torture-as-policy, kidnappings, ghost prisons, domestic surveillance, creeping militarism, illegal war-making, and official lies have been the order of the day. Moments like this call for truth-tellers. For Truth and Reconciliation Commissions. For witnesses willing to come forward. For brave souls ready to expose hidden and forbidden realities to the light of day.

Lawrence B. Wilkerson is such a man. He came to national prominence in October 2005 when -- having left his post as chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell earlier in the year -- he laid bare some of the secrets of the Bush White House as he had experienced them. He had been inside the halls of power as the invasion and occupation of Iraq took shape. In Bush's second term, on the outside, he found that he had had enough. The American people, he thought, had a right to know just how their government was really working, and so he offered them this vision of the Bush administration in action: "[S]ome of the most important decisions about U.S. national security -- including vital decisions about postwar Iraq -- were made by a secretive, little-known cabal. It was made up of a very small group of people led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld."

Vigilant Shield 09: A Cover?

Vigilant Shield 09: A Cover for Illegal Domestic Operations?
by Tom Burghardt
n November 17, U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) concluded Vigilant Shield 09 (VS09), described in a press release as a training exercise focused on "homeland defense and civil support."

Launched by President Bush in 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, NORTHCOM has been mired in controversy since its creation. Among its more dubious accomplishments were illegal domestic spying operations in conjunction with the Pentagon's shadowy Counter Intelligence Field Activity unit (CIFA) that targeted antiwar activists.

Despite CIFA's shut-down and the alleged dismantling of its TALON database (now incorporated into the FBI's Guardian Threat Tracking System), SourceWatch revealed that "in accordance with intelligence oversight requirements, the DoD will maintain a record copy of the collected data." One can't help but wonder whether that "record copy" of TALON somehow migrated into a NORTHCOM database.

But the NORTHCOM-CIFA liaison wasn't the only episode of illegal military spying on Americans to come to light. In May, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Marines, including a Colonel and the co-founder of the Los Angeles County Terrorist Early Warning Center, stole top secret intelligence files from Camp Pendleton's Strategic Technical Operations Center.

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Dave Lindorff, Rainey Hopewell, Margot Johnston, J9 Nov. 24, 2008

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook
This week: Investigative reporter and author, Dave Lindorff and progressives standing up an Obama administration; Victoria  permaculture gardeners and local food security proponents Rainey Hopewell and Margot Johnston putting the people back in the commons; Janine Bandcroft brings us up to speed with good goings-on in and around the south island. 
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:

November 22nd 1963

November 22nd 1963
by C. L. Cook
It used to be a day hallowed in a way: On this day in 1963, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the young American president who in his day embodied a hope for a better future, much as president-elect Obama does for millions today, was gunned down in Dallas, Texas. In recent years, remembrance has become lower key.  
Photo from a film by amateur photographer George Jefferies and his son-in-law, Wayne Graham
The Kennedy assassination remains shrouded in government secrecy, the official pronouncement made by the Warren Commission naming Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone gunman widely believed to be a convenient whitewash at best. Others believe this is the day the democracy of the United States of America was taken over by a shadow-government run by the unseen actors running the military-intelligence community. Those, often disregarded as "conspiracy theorists," contend America is run to this day by the same dark forces responsible for Kennedy's killing forty-five years ago.
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How Canada's Mining Industry is Destroying the Planet

Path of Destruction: Canadian Mining Companies Around the World
by Asad Ismi and Kristin Schwartz
Asad Ismi and Kristin Schwartz host a three-part documentary about the global devastation spread by Canadian mining companies. 
Canada is the world's leading mining nation. Sixty percent of all public mining companies are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. About half of all mining capital is raised in Canada. Many Canadian mining companies have become notorious for damaging communities and the environment and fueling wars and repression all over the world.
The Canadian government has refused to hold these corporations accountable leading to international criticism of Canada.

Bush Loyalist Judge Turns on Gitmo, Orders Five Released

The GOP Judge Who Bolted on Gitmo
by Robert Parry
o understand how thin the evidence must have been against five Algerians held at Guantanamo Bay for nearly seven years – and who were just ordered released by a U.S. District Court judge – you have to know the history of that judge, Richard J. Leon. Earlier in his career – before getting appointed to the bench by George W. Bush in 2002 – Leon had been one of the most reliable Republican legal apparatchiks, skilled in steering investigations toward a desired partisan outcome, whatever the facts and the evidence might be.
Judge Richard Leon

So, in 1987, when Rep. Dick Cheney and his legal adviser David Addington were defending President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush in the congressional Iran-Contra investigation – and devising legal arguments about inherent presidential powers – Richard Leon was there as a Republican senior counsel. In 1992, when a House task force was examining evidence that Reagan and Bush began their secret contacts with Iran’s Islamic regime in 1980 while trying to unseat President Jimmy Carter, Leon was the Republican point man to make sure nothing too damaging came out.

Later in the 1990s, after Bill Clinton became President, Leon served as special counsel to the House Banking Committee for a highly partisan investigation that transformed Clinton’s minor Whitewater real estate deal into a big scandal. In other words, if there was a politically sensitive probe that needed the answer to come out a certain way for Republicans, Richard Leon was one of their top go-to guys.
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