In a highly unorthodox move for a person in his position, the chair of the Joint Review Panel for Site C Dam has come out with harsh words for the $9 Billion project and the BC government’s hurry to get it built.
“There’s a whole bunch of unanswered questions, some of which would be markedly advanced by waiting three or four years. And you’d still be within the period of time, even by Hydro’s bullish forecasts, when you’re going to need the juice.”
Reports that US and British aircraft carrying arms to the Islamic State group – better known as ISIS - have been shot down by Iraqi forces have been met with shock and denial in western countries. Few in the Middle East doubt that Washington is playing a ‘double game’ with its proxy armies in Syria, but some key myths remain important amongst the significantly more ignorant Western audiences.
A central myth is that Washington now arms ‘moderate Syrian rebels’, to both overthrow the Syrian Government and supposedly defeat the ‘extremist rebels’. This claim became more important in 2014, when the rationale of US aggression against Syria shifted from ‘humanitarian intervention’ to a renewal of Bush’s ‘war on terror’.
The chasm between reality and the U.S. political/media elite continues to widen with Official Washington’s actions toward Iran and Russia making “the world’s sole remaining superpower” look either like a Banana Republic (on Iran) or an Orwellian Dystopia (regarding Russia).
On Iran and the international negotiations to rein in its nuclear program, the American people witnessed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu striding into the U.S. Congress – like some imperial proconsul – to deliver a faux State of the Union address that undermined the sitting U.S. president.
Then, 47 Republican senators furthered Netanyahu’s intent to denigrate President Barack Obama by sending an open letter to Iranian leaders designed to prevent a deal.
Big Brother poster illustrating Orwell’s
novel about modern propaganda, 1984
Yes, I know many Republicans and their overwhelmingly white “base” don’t consider the African-American Obama the legitimate President despite his two election victories. But never in American history has a major political party as brazenly challenged the constitutional authority of a sitting president to conduct foreign policy.
That Stephen Harper's government wished to create a new order in Canada was clear from its earliest days, and from foreign policy and immigration, to environmental and labour policies, the country has changed. Now though, with the introduction of Bills C-51 and C-44, the prime minister is making much better his famous boast to make of this once familiar liberal democracy something "unrecognizable."
Just what the transformation could mean for Canadian life, should the Anti-Terrorism Act pass final reading and be enacted, has mobilized resistance across the country, uniting political polar opposites, even while making strange bedfellows of the Liberal and Conservative parties.
Carmen Cheung is Senior Counsel at the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, where she focuses on issues relating to national security and litigation matters for the Association. She's recently back from a leave, serving as acting Director of the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, where she also taught international human rights advocacy and the law of armed conflict.
And; it's not just in Canada, Western Civilization as a whole is suffering a crisis of confidence. Where we once sang of our bravery and strength, today's rewritten national anthems could well mewl, beg, and plead for mercy and protection. It seems there's nothing for it now but to surrender our freedoms, the precious way of life George W. Bush so busily beavered to protect from the "evil-doers", and allow democracy die for fear it may be murdered. That is, if you believe what the government and their cohorts in captured media incessantly tell you.
Scott Horton is a practicing emerging markets lawyer, lecturer at Columbia Law School, National Magazine Award-winning columnist for his reporting on the law and national security issues, contributing editor to Harper's Magazine, and author of the freshly-released book, 'Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America's Stealth Warfare.' A life-long human rights activist, Scott served as counsel to Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner, and other activists caught in the former Soviet Union's legal system.
Scott Horton and the Free World enmeshed in the Emergency-Secrecy Cycle in the second half.
And; Victoria Street News publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of some what's good to do in and around our town in the coming week, and beyond that too. But first, Carmen Cheung and Canada's C-51: A terrorism bill too far?
"That is also us, the possibility of us, if the wonderful accident of our birth had taken place elsewhere: you could be the refugee, I could be the torturer. To face that truth is also our burden. After all, each of us has been the bystander, the reasonable person who just happens not to hear, not to speak, not to see those people, the invisible ones, those who live on the other side of the border." - Karen Connelly, The Lizard Cage
It was a little over two weeks ago that Marlo entered Atwood Hall, here in Lexington federal prison. Nearly all the women here are nonviolent offenders. When I first saw Marlo, her eyes seemed glued to the tiled floors as she shuffled along hallways. I guessed her age to be 25 or so. A few days later, she came to a choir rehearsal. She was still shy, but she looked up and offered a quiet smile when she joined the soprano section. The next time our choir gathered, Marlo raised her hand before we ended our rehearsal.
"I got something to say," she said, as she stood. "When I first came here, I can tell all of you now, I was terrified. Just plain terrified. I have 70 months, and I felt so scared." The intake process for this, her introduction to the prison system, had badly frightened her, but before sundown that same day, a second intake process had occurred, with several inmates finding her, reassuring her, and getting her beyond that first panic.
Another such famous clip was the 1973 testimony of White House lawyer John Dean  admitting to his knowledge of the criminal acts of President Nixon and his key advisors in the so-called Watergate scandal that led to Nixon’s impeachment and resignation from office.
A third unforgettable clip shows when Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska), in a packed Senate hearing room, read out the text of the Pentagon Papers , which the Nixon administration was trying to get a federal court block the New York Times from publishing.
Berlin Rumbles Washington’s Hidden War Agenda Finian Cunningham - SCF
Washington’s reckless attempts to scuttle the shaky ceasefire in Ukraine are unnerving Germany. The German government feels, with good reason, that the Americans are trying to undermine its recent efforts to mediate a political solution to the nearly year-old conflict, which has caused at least 6,000 deaths and up to one million refugees.
Not only that but the violence between the ultranationalist regime in Kiev and the pro-Russian separatists in the east is threatening to spillover into a wider war that could involve Russia and the rest of Europe.
According to a report this past week in Der Spiegel, Berlin is increasingly alarmed at continuing bellicose statements by American supreme commander of NATO, General Philip Breedlove. The German publication notes that "hawks in Washington seem determined to torpedo Berlin’s [diplomatic] approach" over the Ukraine conflict.
How is it that the ruler (Benjamin Netanyahu) of a puny country (Israel) of 8.2 million (6.2 million Jews) with the 37th biggest economy (GDP in current prices) in the world dictates war policy and secures the willing submission of the legislature of the largest economy and most powerful military empire in the world?
What significance does Netanyahu’s speech to the US Congress have, beyond the fact that he uses it as a platform to attack the elected President of the US, to denounce US peace negotiations and to demand that Congress adopt policies designed to precipitate a war with Iran?
There have been times when history has played tricks with man and...has magnified the features of essentially small persons into a parody of greatness.- Rabindranath Tagore(on Benito Mussolini)
What are the consequences when elected governments make policy based on faith and imperial hubris instead of science and expertise? It’s a question that is forcing itself on the world as we watch the United States, Britain, NATO and the Harper [Canada] government continue to up the ante in the confrontation with Russia over the Ukraine. There are real enough geo-political dangers in the world without actually creating them out of arrogance and ignorance but that is where we are right now and the consequences could be catastrophic.
Canada, Britain, the U.S. and the boys with their toys in NATO headquarters are looking for a fight with Russia. Throughout the confrontation and provocations these protagonists treat Russia as if it is some insignificant middle power that can be provoked with impunity.
That is just dangerously stupid and stupidity is something the West can ill-afford given all its internal problems — economic stagnation, unsustainable inequality, collapsing infrastructure.
Policy intellectuals -- eggheads presuming to instruct the mere mortals who actually run for office -- are a blight on the republic. Like some invasive species, they infest present-day Washington, where their presence strangles common sense and has brought to the verge of extinction the simple ability to perceive reality.
A benign appearance -- well-dressed types testifying before Congress, pontificating in print and on TV, or even filling key positions in the executive branch -- belies a malign impact. They are like Asian carp let loose in the Great Lakes.
It all began innocently enough. Back in 1933, with the country in the throes of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt first imported a handful of eager academics to join the ranks of his New Deal.
An unprecedented economic crisis required some fresh thinking, FDR believed. Whether the contributions of this “Brains Trust” made a positive impact or served to retard economic recovery (or ended up being a wash) remains a subject for debate even today. At the very least, however, the arrival of Adolph Berle, Raymond Moley, Rexford Tugwell, and others elevated Washington’s bourbon-and-cigars social scene. As bona fide members of the intelligentsia, they possessed a sort of cachet.
Then came World War II, followed in short order by the onset of the Cold War. These events brought to Washington a second wave of deep thinkers, their agenda now focused on “national security.” This eminently elastic concept -- more properly, “national insecurity” -- encompassed just about anything related to preparing for, fighting, or surviving wars, including economics, technology, weapons design, decision-making, the structure of the armed forces, and other matters said to be of vital importance to the nation’s survival. National insecurity became, and remains today, the policy world’s equivalent of the gift that just keeps on giving.
2. “Terrorism” is being used to mean anything. By definition it is violence aimed at CIVILIAN POPULATIONS. Terrorists kill and terrorize innocent women, children, and men. That is DIFFERENT from the killing of SOLDIERS. If you kill soldiers from a country that is at war with your country, that is NOT an act of terrorism. It goes with the territory.
The Government and Journalists are irresponsible when they plaster the word “terrorism” on events that are not terrorist events. It is an emotional word that creates fear.