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Neither Zionist, Colonial, Nor Apartheid: Understanding Israel

Jun 13, 2011 Gilad Atzmon
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Israel Attack Gaza Despite No Evidence of Connection to Eilat Terror Attack

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Apr 02, 2011 Press Release
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First Nations and Enviro's Targeted by Canadian Spy Agency

Press Conference: Civil Liberties Watchdog Responds to Spying on Pipeline Opponents
VANCOUVERThe B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), civil society organizations and First Nations leadership are holding a press conference Thursday morning to announce a response to revelations of government surveillance and spying on environmental activists, First Nations, and other members of civil society opposed to the controversial Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and tankers project.
 

Announcement 9:00 a.m. PST, Thursday, February 6, 2014

 

@Vancouver Public Library, lower level, Peter Kaye Room


Representatives of the BCCLA, ForestEthics Advocacy, Dogwood Initiative, LeadNow.ca and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs will be on hand to make statements and field questions.
 
Documentation on the response will be made available at tomorrow’s press conference.

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Rally Round the Family to Save BC's Agricultural Land Reserve

Rally planned on Family Day holiday to save Agricultural Land Reserve
by Farmland Protection Coalition
VICTORIA, BC Farmers and their supporters will be rallying at the British Columbia Legislature on the Family Day holiday, Monday February 10, at a Noon-hour "Food for the Future" rally to save the Agricultural Land Reserve.
 
The rally is being organized by the Farmland Protection Coalition and has been endorsed by more than 50 organizations, from the National Farmers Union and Sierra Club of BC to the BC Federation of Labour and local church, seniors' and farm groups.
 
"British Columbians from all walks of life are coming together to demand that Premier Christy Clark and her government respect the autonomy of the Agricultural Land Reserve, strengthen the Agricultural Land Commission, and uphold the spirit and the letter of the Land Commission Act," says Nathalie Chambers, a Saanich farmer and co-chair of the Farmland Protection Coalition.

Chambers says the demonstration and wider farmland-protection movement has been building for years and picked up steam in November when leaked Cabinet documents suggested the BC government was considering far-reaching changes to the ALR and ALC, including a proposed two-zone system that would expedite the removal of farmland for oil and gas development as well as the Site C power project.
 
"We need farmland to grow food for the future," says Chambers, who spearheaded the successful effort to save Madrona Farm in the Capital Region's Blenkinsop Valley in perpetuity.
"The ALR protects the soils that are essential to agricultural as well as to the health, economy and security of British Columbians. Even on so-called 'marginal' ALR lands, soils can be improved through sustainable farming practices. The ALR really is a key to the future in our mountainous province."
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Poison for Everybody, Poison Forever: Our Toxic Ubiquity

Ubiquitous Toxins and Uncomfortable Questions
by Ray Grigg
A January, 2014, report from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that even organic foods are not free of pesticides and chemical residues was sad and sobering news — an ominous beginning to another year. The CFIA analyzed hundreds of samples of fruits, vegetables, oils, cheeses, juices and syrups from local and international sources. Not even the most carefully and conscientiously grown food could escape the presence of toxins.
 
“The idea of toxin-free food in a modern world is a fantasy,” said Rebecca Kneen, the co-president of the Certified Organic Associations of BC. “We aren't farming in a bubble” (The Vancouver Sun, Jan. 9/14).
 
Indeed, we are not. The consequences of using agro-toxins at an industrial scale for more than 70 years is now evident. Of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables bought in Canadian food stores, 80 percent contained residues of one or more commercially used pesticides, while 5 percent had levels higher than were considered safe by CFIA regulations.
 
A surprising 50 percent of organically grown produce showed similar residue traces, with 1.8 percent over safe levels.
 

Knocking on the Media's Closed Doors

The Anti-Empire Report #125
by William BlumKillingHope.org
Bias in favor of the orthodox is frequently mistaken for ‘objectivity’. Departures from this ideological orthodoxy are themselves dismissed as ideological.” – Michael Parenti
An exchange in January with Paul Farhi, Washington Post columnist, about coverage of US foreign policy:

Dear Mr. Farhi,
Now that you’ve done a study of al-Jazeera’s political bias in supporting Mohamed Morsi in Egypt, is it perhaps now time for a study of the US mass media’s bias on US foreign policy? And if you doubt the extent and depth of this bias, consider this:
 
There are more than 1,400 daily newspapers in the United States. Can you name a single paper, or a single TV network, that was unequivocally opposed to the American wars carried out against Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Panama, Grenada, and Vietnam? Or even opposed to any two of these wars? How about one? In 1968, six years into the Vietnam war, the Boston Globe surveyed the editorial positions of 39 leading US papers concerning the war and found that “none advocated a pull-out”.
 
Now, can you name an American daily newspaper or TV network that more or less gives any support to any US government ODE (Officially Designated Enemy)? Like Hugo Chávez of Venezuela or his successor, Nicolás Maduro; Fidel or Raúl Castro of Cuba; Bashar al-Assad of Syria; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran; Rafael Correa of Ecuador; or Evo Morales of Bolivia? I mean that presents the ODE’s point of view in a reasonably fair manner most of the time? Or any ODE of the recent past like Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia, Moammar Gaddafi of Libya, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, or Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti?
 
Who in the mainstream media supports Hamas of Gaza? Or Hezbollah of Lebanon? Who in the mainstream media is outspokenly critical of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians? And keeps his or her job?
 
Who in the mainstream media treats Julian Assange or Chelsea Manning as the heroes they are?
 
And this same mainstream media tell us that Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, et al. do not have a real opposition media.
 
The ideology of the American mainstream media is the belief that they don’t have any ideology; that they are instead what they call “objective”. I submit that there is something more important in journalism than objectivity. It is capturing the essence, or the truth, if you will, with the proper context and history. This can, as well, serve as “enlightenment”.
 
It’s been said that the political spectrum concerning US foreign policy in the America mainstream media “runs the gamut from A to B”.
 
Sincerely, William Blum, Washington, DC

(followed by some of my writing credentials)
 
Reply from Paul Farhi:
 
I think you’re conflating news coverage with editorial policy. They are not the same. What a newspaper advocates on its editorial page (the Vietnam example you cite) isn’t the same as what or how the story is covered in the news columns. News MAY have some advocacy in it, but it’s not supposed to, and not nearly as overt or blatant as an editorial or opinion column. Go back over all of your ODE examples and ask yourself if the news coverage was the same as the opinions about those ODEs. In most cases. I doubt it was.
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HAMPed: Obama's First Boondoggle

The Public-Private Profiteers: If You Want to Play Doctor, Don’t Hire an Insurance Company as Your Receptionist
by Barbara Garson  - TomDispatch
garson escalatorHealth care isn't the first boon that President Obama tried to give us through a public-private partnership. When he took office, more than 25% of U.S. home mortgages were underwater -- meaning that people owed more on their houses than they could get if they tried to sell them.
 
The president offered those homeowners debt relief through banks. Now he's offering health care through insurance companies.
In both cases, the administration shied away from direct government aid. Instead, it subsidized private companies to serve the people. To get your government-subsidized mortgage modification, you applied at your bank; to get your government-mandated health coverage, you buy private insurance.

Two Dimensional and Cartoonish: Media "Not Even Close to Reality' on Syria

'Not Even Close to Reality' - Filtering Sources on the Syrian War
by David Edwards  - Media Lens
If corporate media performance on Iraq was shocking, the response to Syria is made worse precisely because the lessons from Iraq could hardly be more obvious.
 
We know how the Iraqi 'threat' was demonised with hyped atrocity tales, invented 'links to al Qaeda' and non-existent WMD. We know the West was all along the real threat, using 'diplomacy' to achieve, not avoid, a war for control of Iraq and its oil.

steve bell syria
 
Despite this, and despite the clear need for scepticism regarding claims made about a Syrian government also being targeted by the West, the cartoonist Steve Bell – respected as a rare radical voice at the Guardian - recently produced this cartoon in response to a reportcommissioned by the Qatari government claiming that the Syrian government had 'systematically tortured and executed about 11,000 detainees since the start of the uprising'.
 
The cartoon suggests, not only that Syrian president Assad is personally responsible for the mass torture and deaths, but that he is proud of them. This demonisation of an Official Enemy recalls the crude state propaganda of the First World War.
 

Manufacturing Dissent: How the West "Frees" the World

How the West Manufactures “Opposition Movements”
by Andre Vltchek - CounterPunch
Government buildings are being trashed, ransacked. It is happening in Kiev and Bangkok, and in both cities, the governments appear to be toothless, too scared to intervene.
 
What is going on? Are popularly elected administrations all over the world becoming irrelevant; as the Western regime creates and then supports thuggish ‘opposition movements’ designed to destabilize any state that stands in the way of its desire to fully control the planet?
 
They are shouting and intimidating those who want to vote for the moderately progressive government that is presently leading Thailand. There is no dispute over the electoral process – voting is generally free, as both international observers and most of the local Election Commission members agree.
 
Freedom, legitimacy or transparency is not what is at stake now.
 

Stalin's Spectre Hangs Over Sochi

Stalin's Crimes Haunt The Sochi Games
by Eric Margolis
stalin young sepiaSochi seems a strange place to hold the Olympic games. First, it’s almost subtropical. To find snow, one must travel up to the Caucasus mountains. The Black Sea resort is charming and exotic. But Sochi is a beach resort. No one knows if there will be enough snow for the skiing and snowboarding events being held on the low mountains behind.
Let me stop here and say that I consider all Olympic games a titanic waste of money that leave behind white elephant buildings and debts that never get paid off. Bread and circuses.
Russia is blowing over $3 billion on this extravaganza. The games are just a huge commercial jamboree with faux patriotic overtones.
Second, there is the big security scare facing Russia from violent militants in the North Caucasus. The US government, trying to rain on Vlad Putin’s parade, actually warned American visitors to take extreme caution or just not go to Sochi because of the dangers of “terrorism.”

The Non-Story of the Era: End of the World and We Know It

Ending the World the Human Way: Climate Change as the Anti-News
by Tom Engelhardt  - TomDispatch
engelhardt american way of warHere’s the scoop: When it comes to climate change, there is no “story,” not in the normal news sense anyway.
 
The fact that 97% of scientists who have weighed in on the issue believe that climate change is a human-caused phenomenon is not a story. That only oneof 9,137 peer-reviewed papers on climate change published between November 2012 and December 2013 rejected human causation is not a story either, nor is the fact that only 24 out of 13,950 such articles did so over 21 years. 
 
That the anything-but-extreme Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) offers an at least 95% guarantee of human causation for global warming is not a story, nor is the recent revelation that IPCC experts believe we only have 15 years left to rein in carbon emissions or we’ll need new technologies not yet in existence which may never be effective. 
 
Nor is the recent poll showing that only 47% of Americans believe climate change is human-caused (a drop of 7% since 2012) or that the percentage who believe climate change is occurring for any reason has also declined since 2012 from 70% to 63%. 
 
Nor is the fact that, as the effects of climate change came ever closer to home, media coverage of the subject dropped between 2010 and 2012 and, though rising in 2013, was still well below coverage levels for 2007 to 2009. 
 
Nor is it a story that European nations, already light years ahead of the United States on phasing out fossil fuels, recently began considering cutbacks on some of their climate change goals, nor that U.S. carbon emissions actually rose in 2013, nor that the southern part of the much disputed Keystone XL pipeline, which is to bring particularly carbon-dirty tar sands from Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast, is now in operation, nor that 2013 will have been either the fourth or seventh hottest year on record, depending on how you do the numbers.
 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Deepan Budlakoti, Andrea Morison, Janine Bandcroft Mon. Feb 3, 2014

This Week in GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
che kokoImagine waking one day to find your country is not your own, and you suddenly deemed a "stateless person." You seek redress, but find the system provides none for a non-person caught outside accepted definitions.

Deepan Budlakoti is a Canadian citizen; at least that's what he and the Canadian government believed, until legal trouble brought him to the attention of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Born in Canada to parents with Canadian citizenship, issued all the documents of citizenship, and spending his entire life in Canada, suddenly Budlakoti's very existence is a question of doubt by the courts.

Now, in a case the Canadian Civil Liberties Association describes as a "disgrace" and "tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment," Budlakoti faces removal from the country to a place yet to be determined.

But Deepan is not taking what the Civil Liberties Association characterizes as the government's "vindictive re-assessment" of his status lying down. Budlakoti is currently on a cross-Canada speaking tour to both gain attention to his case, and raise funds for his legal defense.

Deepan Budlakoti in the first half.

Listen. Hear.

And; the proposed Site C project on British Columbia's Peace River is a long-contentious one. The hydro-power dam, should it be built, would be the fourth such placed on the Peace, and would flood thousands of acres of prime farm land, traditional First Nations territory, and destroy forever more of the province's dwindling wildlife habitat. Despite this, the Clark government, supported by the Feds, is pushing hard to make their Site C dream come to fruition. But, what fruits would this project ultimately bear, and who would harvest them?

Andrea Morison is spokesperson for the PVEA, Peace Valley Environmental Association. Andrea holds a Masters of Natural Resource Management degree and has worked in the field in both Ontario and BC for more than 25 years, the last three years of which devoted to the PVEA's involvement with the environmental assessment process for Site C. Her prior experience is in the forestry, and oil and gas sectors.

Andrea Morison and preserving the Peace in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher, and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what's good to do in and around our city, and beyond too. But first, Deepan Budlakoti and Citizenship and Immigration Canada's Kafkaesque turn.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.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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Black Legacy for Black Site Abetting: Poland and Lithuania Haunted by Involvement in CIA Torture Prisons

Poland and Lithuania Haunted by Their Involvement in Hosting CIA Torture Prisons
by Andy Worthington
In the long search for accountability for the torturers of the Bush administration, which has largely been shut down by President Obama, lawyers and human rights activists have either had to try shaming the US through the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, or have had to focus on other countries, particularly those that hosted secret CIA torture prisons, or had explicit involvement in extraordinary rendition.

Successes have been rare, but hugely important — the conviction of CIA officials and operatives in Italy, for the blatant daylight kidnap of Abu Omar, a cleric, on a street in Milan in February 2003, and the court victory in Macedonia of Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen kidnapped in Macedonia, where he had gone on a holiday, and sent to a CIA “black site” in 2003 until the US realized that his was a case of mistaken identity. In the UK, the whiff of complicity in torture at the highest levels of the Blair government led to pay-offs for the British nationals and residents sent to Guantánamo.

Court cases were also launched in Spain, although they were suppressed, in part because of US involvement (under President Obama), and currently there are efforts to hold the US accountable before the the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights for its use of Djibouti in a number of cases involving “extraordinary rendition” and “black sites.”

Perhaps the most enduring of the ongoing investigations is in Poland, one of three European countries that hosted CIA “black sites,” the others being Romania and Lithuania. A long-running prosecutor-led investigation in Poland has led to three “high-value detainees” at the Polish site, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, Abu Zubaydah and Walid bin Attash — being granted victim status, and the prison’s existence continues to nag at the consciences of those in Poland who are appalled that a torture site on Polish soil — at Stare Kiejkuty, in the north east of the country — was used from December 2002 to September 2003, and was the place where Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times.

In December, the determination of those seeking accountability paid off when the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg held a hearing to examine the role of the Polish authorities in the extraordinary rendition, secret detention and torture of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. A ruling on that is expected sometime this year.

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