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An Acceptable Form of Torture

by Ed Kinane
It's frightening that at this time and in this nation torture must be discussed as if it were a legitimate issue.  What's next -- the pros and cons of child molestation?

Even hawkish guys like John McCain and retired General Colin Powell say torture is immoral and counterproductive.
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Free Speech Outlawed in Langford

Free Speech Outlawed in Langford?
by Bear Mountain Tree Sit
Jennifer Andison believed she had the right to express a political opinion in Langford, even if it supported the protest against the Bear Mountain Interchange.

She found out otherwise on Monday, when bylaw enforcement officer Deborah Juch showed up at her door and threatened her with a fine.

"I had a small fabric sign which I hung to dry over my porch railing for a couple of hours on March 8, and two small 8 by 11 inch notices posted on my own tree. The bylaw officer came and told me to cease and desist or I would face a $100 fine," Andison says.

"Apparently, I am being singled out for my political views. The city clearly does not want people reading the interchange facts I have collected on the website. There are dozens of signs advertising everything from piano lessons to landscaping all over Langford, even stuck up on Canada Post boxes. These signs are left alone. Mine are being taken down."

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Anti-War but Pro-Troops?

Can We Be Anti-War but Pro-Troops?
by Mickey Z.
For some, the phrase "support our troops" is merely a euphemism for: support the policies that put the troops there in the first place. For others—including many activists—the mantra is a safe way to avoid taking an unqualified, uncompromising stand against this war (and all war).
Many who identify themselves as “anti-war” still vigorously defend the troops…no questions asked.
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Maher Arar and the Nine-Eleven Myth

Maher Arar and the 9/11 Myth
by Peter Zaza
I went to the University of Victoria last night to see a panel discussion called, 'Civil Liberties and National Security: The Maher Arar Panel.'

This panel was comprised of Maher Arar, his wife Dr.Monia Mazigh, (who has a PhD in financial economics and ran for the NDP in the 2004 federal elections in the riding of Ottawa South) and thirdly, Stephen Toope who is the Arar Commission fact-finder, human rights law scholar and UBC President. 
The panel discussion was moderated by UVic Law Dean Andrew Petter - just in case the assembled guests were to break out into a rousing contest involving Indian leg wrestling, or possible declaration of a thumb-war. 

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Til the Yangtze Runs Dry: The Last Day of a Nation

The Last Day of a Nation
by C. L. Cook
This is it folks; we've reached the penultimate day of a one hundred and forty-one year experiment in northern sovereignty, otherwise known as Canada.
Tomorrow, (Mar. 13, 2008) on the floor of the nation's Parliament, the parties representing the popular will of the land will vote on the government's motion to extend 'The Mission' of Canada's armed forces, fighting on in southern Afghanistan through the year 2011.
But, the vote is about much more than just how far toward meeting America's demand for garrison fodder in its Global War on Terror her neighbour's willing to go; what is being contemplated tomorrow is the end to the thin veneer of a free Canadian will; a putting end finally to the myth of independence.

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Join The Worldwide Action in Victoria
by Victoria Peace Coalition 
Join us in demanding troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and for US War Resisters to stay in Canada.

12 noon - Centennial Square (City Hall)
Marimba band Njiva
Musician Bryan Skinner
Speaker ZainumBahadshah
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More than Sex: Spitzer Meets the Real Governor

The Abuser Abused: Eliot Spitzer Meets the Real Governor of New York        
by Chris Floyd     
Scott Horton points to several glaring pieces of evidence indicating that Eliot Spitzer was targeted for political  destruction by the partisan apparatchiks of George W. Bush's thoroughly corrupt Justice Department.
It turns out that Spitzer was the subject of a secret, free-floating federal investigation, with much money and manpower employed in trawling through his finances and private life until something juicy finally turned up.
As Horton notes, Bush prosecutors are a dab hand at this kind of dirty pool by now, although usually they have to trump up entirely specious charges to take down their victim, as in the case of Don Siegelman of Alabama.

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Terrorism: Retail and Wholesale

On Terrorism: Retail and Wholesale
by Ed Kinane
We keep hearing certain words — “democracy” is one, “terrorism” is another — that are seldom defined. The pretense is that we all know what these words mean. Yet that’s hardly the case.
Here’s how the U.S. State Department defines terrorism: the use of violence or the threat of violence to harm or intimidate civilians for political purposes.
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What it Costs a Man

"All the Money You Make Will Never Buy Back Your Soul"
by Ron Jacobs
Recently, the Boston Globe reported that the Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) had set up an offshore company to hire close to half of the men and women working for KBR in Iraq as contractors. 
According to the report, this enables KBR to avoid paying social security, unemployment insurance and other taxes. When workers complained, they were essentially told that they had already signed a contract with the offshore company and therefore had no recourse. 
On the other hand, at another time KBR argued that some of its workers that sued the company after being exposed to dangerous chemicals in Iraq were KBR employees and, because of laws granting contractors doing military work overseas, the company was not legally responsible. 
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What Price a Life Lost?

Israeli Deaths Matter More
by Media Lens
The horrific shooting of eight young people at a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem last Thursday was followed by saturation media coverage. International statesmen lined up with condemnations of the attack and condolences for the victims and their families.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced: "This is clearly an attempt to strike a blow at the very heart of the peace process." (Jon Smith, Press Association, 'Brown: massacre "strikes at heart of peace"', March 7, 2008)

Foreign Secretary David Milliband described the slaughter as "an arrow aimed at the heart of the peace process so recently revived." (Donald Macintyre and Eric Silver, 'Massacre in the heart of Jerusalem', The Independent, March 7, 2008)

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Bad News at the Pump

The Bad News at the Pump: The $100-plus Barrel of Oil and What It Means
by Michael T. Klare
On Monday March 3, the price of crude oil reached $103.95 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, surpassing the record set nearly 30 years ago during another moment of chaos in the Middle East.
Will that new mark prove distinctive in the annals of world history or will it be forgotten as energy prices drop, just as they did following their April 1980 peak?
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