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Vancouver Police Stage Guns-Drawn Raid on Anti-Pipeline Activists on Graffiti Suspicions

Police Raid House in East Vancouver, with Guns Drawn, on Pretext of Anti-Pipeline Graffiti
no-pipelines-graffitiAt around 9am on June 3, 2014, approximately 16 cops from the Vancouver Police Department raided a house in East Vancouver under the pretext of investigating six mischief charges related to graffiti tags dating from June, July, and October of 2013.

The four residents of the house, and one guest, were removed one by one by police aiming pistols at them. One person inside the house looked out their bedroom window and saw a cop pointing his pistol at him.

The house targeted by the raid is comprised of radicals involved in Indigenous resistance as well as anarchist projects in the city (including myself, the editor of the Warrior Publications wordpress site).

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Killing the Monarchs: GMO's the Smoking Gun of Pollinator Extirpation

Genetically Modified Crops Fueling Decline of Monarch Butterflies: Report
Andrea Germanos - CommonDreams
monarchsyriaca-aThe monarch butterflies' numbers have been plummeting in recent years, and a new study has pointed to the likely main culprit: loss of its summer habitat as a result of genetically modified crops.

A monarch sits on milkweed. (Photo: George Bott/cc/flickr)

The findings from researchers with the University of Guelph were published Wednesday in the Journal of Animal Ecology.

A report issued earlier this year from the World Wildlife Fund and Mexico’s National Commission for Protected Areas pointed to three main factors threatening the pollinators: deforestation and forest degradation in monarch reserves that serve as their winter habitat in Mexico, habitat loss due to land use changes and the loss of its larval food plant—milkweed—as a result of the widespread use of the herbicide glyphosate, and weather extremes.

The new study, however, puts the main cause of the crisis squarely on its summer habitat loss in the United States.
 

Washington Believing What They Want and Disregarding the Rest in Egypt

Clueless in Cairo: How Egypt's Generals Sidelined Uncle Sam
by Dilip Hiro  - TomDispatch
Since September 11, 2001, Washington’s policies in the Middle East have proven a grim imperial comedy of errors and increasingly a spectacle of how a superpower is sidelined. In this drama, barely noticed by the American media, Uncle Sam’s keystone ally in the Arab world, Egypt, like Saudi Arabia, has largely turned its back on the Obama administration. As with so many of America’s former client states across the aptly named “arc of instability,” Egypt has undergone a tumultuous journey -- from autocracy to democracy to a regurgitated form of military rule and repression, making its ally of four decades appear clueless.
 
Egypt remains one of the top recipients of U.S. foreign aid, with the Pentagon continuing to pamper the Egyptian military with advanced jet fighters, helicopters, missiles, and tanks. Between January 2011 and May 2014, Egypt underwent a democratic revolution, powered by a popular movement, which toppled President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. It enjoyed a brief tryst with democracy before suffering an anti-democratic counter-revolution by its generals. In all of this, what has been the input of the planet’s last superpower in shaping the history of the most populous country in the strategic Middle East? Zilch. Its “generosity” toward Cairo notwithstanding, Washington has been reduced to the role of a helpless bystander.
 
Given how long the United States has been Egypt’s critical supporter, the State Department and Pentagon bureaucracies should have built up a storehouse of understanding as to what makes the Land of the Pharaohs tick. Their failure to do so, coupled with a striking lack of familiarity by two administrations with the country’s recent history, has led to America’s humiliating sidelining in Egypt. It’s a story that has yet to be pieced together, although it’s indicative of how from Kabul to Bonn, Baghdad to Rio de Janeiro so many ruling elites no longer feel that listening to Washington is a must.
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Omidyar and the Oligarch Code

Omidyar and the Oligarch’s Code: Enabling Extremism, Monetizing Dissent
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque
India is now in the hands of Narendra Modi — a lifelong member of an unabashedly neofascist paramilitary group. His chief claim to fame is presiding over the wanton slaughter of more than 2,000 Muslims as a provincial chief minister — and getting away with it. A staunch neoliberal as well as a neofascist, he is preparing to unleash the by-now standard “shock doctrine” tactics of the pernicious neoliberal cult on the whole country: unrestricted corporate rapine aided by a heavy-handed, all-surveilling militarist state, waging war on the poor — and the very notion of a common good.
 
What is surprising is that Modi’s rise to power has been aided for years by substantial support, direct and indirect, from an American billionaire widely regarded by the left as one of the world’s great champions of dissent: Pierre Omidyar. But perhaps this is not so surprising when you consider that Omidyar now stands to reap millions if not billions of dollars from Modi’s vow to open up India’s burgeoning e-commerce market to foreign companies — like Omidyar’s eBay, as Mark Ames reports at PandoDaily.
 
Ames provides a detailed look at Omidyar’s extensive involvement with Modi and his sinister movement. The story could serve as a companion piece to Ames’ earlier investigation into Omidyar’s relentless efforts to “monetize” philanthropy — turning it into a money-making tool for a small elite while wreaking havoc among those it is ostensibly trying to help.
 

A Massacre More Recent: Killing Civilians in Lugansk

A Massacre, Remembered
by Peter Lee - China Matters
This video is very, very hard to watch. But I think it should be watched, and remembered.

It's the immediate aftermath of the June 2 attack on the regional administrative building in Lugansk, eastern Ukraine, which was serving as the HQ for the anti-Kyiv apparatus in the town.

Eight civilians died in the attack. Alec Luhn, who writes for the Guardian, went to the site and says the markings on the ground are consistent with a strafing run.

The Kyiv government had announced it was flying Su-25 fighters over Lugansk, and one was seen making a pass over the administrative building just before the attack.

The Kyiv government tried to explain away the massacre as a rebel friendly fire incident, with a separatist's surface to air missile accidentally homing in on the heat signature from an air conditioner on the building as he tried to take down the jet.

Bullshit, probably. The CCTV video from across the park shows whatever ordnance was used first hitting the ground about 100 meters left of the building; then there's a trail of smoke through the trees to the front door.

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Farce and Parody: Defining Western Democratic Ideals in the Modern Context

Western Focus on 'Delegitimizing' Syrian Election
by Sharmine Narwani - RT
Of course these Syrian presidential elections must be the ‘parody’ and ‘farce’ that Western officials and media are relentlessly claiming.
 
Because if Bashar Assad wins handily in the first multi-candidate presidential elections in Syria – which all evidence suggests will be the case – that would mean that a majority of Syrians support Assad, the army, the state and ‘the system’.
 
Which immediately calls into question the past three years of conflict: was there ever actually a widespread, popular uprising against Bashar Assad?
 
Well, no – not if Assad wins a respectable majority on June 3, 2014, and more importantly, if a significant percentage of Syrians take the trouble to actually show up and vote.
 

Farley's Parting Words: Canada's Greatest Eco-Defender to the Last

Farley's Last Words
by Ray Grigg - Shades of Green
farley mowatWhen Farley Mowat died on May 6, 2014, at age 92, his incessant flow of writing stopped, words about him shifted from the present to the past tense, and an examination of his life and influence began. But some conclusions were immediately obvious.
 
There was only one Farley — mention Farley anywhere across Canada and it had to mean Farley Mowat.
 
He was also one of the world's first eco-warriors. And, as a writer, he will probably have the last word because of the enduring character of print — 17 million copies of 44 books translated into dozens of languages will ensure that the echo of his presence will influence many others well into the future.
 
For a man who seemed so overt and uninhibited, the deeper Farley was, in many ways, a private person. But we get clear glimpses of his thoughts, feelings and commitments.
 

Icing the Fukushima Meltdown: "Honest" Abe Stacks Regulatory Commission with Nuke Industry Insiders - Plans Plant Restarts

Newsflash: Fukushima Is Still a Disaster
by Harvey Wasserman  - Truthdig
The corporate media silence on Fukushima has been deafening even though the melted-down nuclear power plant’s seaborne radiation is now washing up on American beaches.
 
Ever more radioactive water continues to pour into the Pacific.
 
At least three extremely volatile fuel assemblies are stuck high in the air at Unit 4. Three years after the March 11, 2011, disaster, nobody knows exactly where the melted cores from Units 1, 2 and 3 might be.
 
Amid a dicey cleanup infiltrated by organized crime, still more massive radiation releases are a real possibility at any time.

Readying for the Next Disaster: Tar Sands Operators Eye Spill Prevention

Canadian Law Makes It Cheaper To Prevent Oil Sands Leaks Than Clean Them Up
by James Stafford - Oilprice.com
As the Canadian government pushes a new law rendering pipeline companies liable for all damages from leaks and spills, the only friend to both sides in this polarized world of dirty oil sands is leak prevention technology.
 
On May 14, amid heightened opposition to two planned pipelines, Canada's Natural Resources Ministry unveiled a new law making pipeline operators liable for all the costs and damages related to oil spills, regardless of whether the operators were at fault or demonstrated negligence.
 
Under the new law, pipeline operators will be required to set up advance clean-up funds for future spills, while the Canadian National Energy board will be given the authority to order operators to reimburse those affected by spills.
 
Canada desperately needs more pipeline infrastructure to handle its increasing oil sands production capacity, but opposition has been growing exponentially to Enbridge's Northern Gateway project and Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
 

Brazil's Bread and Circuses Can't Distract the Workers' Struggle

Brazil: Workers Struggle Trumps Sports Spectacle
by James Petras
For decades social critics have bemoaned the influence of sports and entertainment spectacles in ‘distracting’ workers from struggling for their class interests. According to these analysts, ‘class consciousness’ was replaced by ‘mass’ consciousness.
 
They argued that atomized individuals, manipulated by the mass media, were converted into passive consumers who identified with millionaire sports heroes, soap opera protagonists and film celebrities.
 
The culmination of this ‘mystification’ – mass distraction –were the ‘world championships’ watched by billions around the world and sponsored and financed by billionaire corporations: the World Series (baseball), the World Cup (soccer/futbol), and the Super Bowl (American football).
 
Today, Brazil is the living refutation of this line of cultural-political analysis. Brazilians have been described as ‘football crazy’. Its teams have won the most number of World Cups. Its players are coveted by the owners of the most important teams in Europe. Its fans are said to “live and die with football” . . . Or so we are told.
 
Yet it is in Brazil where the biggest protests in the history of the World Cup have taken place.
 

Women's Fighting Words and the Battle of the Isla Vista Massacre Aftermath

Our Words Are Our Weapons: The Feminist Battle of the Story in the Wake of the Isla Vista Massacre
by Rebecca Solnit  - TomDispatch
solnitexplainthingsIt was a key match in the World Cup of Ideas. The teams vied furiously for the ball. The all-star feminist team tried repeatedly to kick it through the goalposts marked Widespread Social Problems, while the opposing team, staffed by the mainstream media and mainstream dudes, was intent on getting it into the usual net called Isolated Event.
 
To keep the ball out of his net, the mainstream's goalie shouted “mental illness” again and again. That “ball,” of course, was the meaning of the massacre of students in Isla Vista, California, by one of their peers.

All weekend the struggle to define his acts raged. Voices in the mainstream insisted he was mentally ill, as though that settled it, as though the world were divided into two countries called Sane and Crazy that share neither border crossings nor a culture.
 
Mental illness is, however, more often a matter of degree, not kind, and a great many people who suffer it are gentle and compassionate. And by many measures, including injustice, insatiable greed, and ecological destruction, madness, like meanness, is central to our society, not simply at its edges.