Skyrockets in Flight: The Profitable Spectacle of Stylized Dissent
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque As we all know, Glenn Greenwald recently revealed that he is saving the biggest revelations from the Snowden NSA archive until last, likening his journalistic process to a fireworks show a that builds up to a grand finale. This is, of course, the very opposite of any kind of actual journalism, which leads with the most important information first.
The traditional method would seem even more imperative in this case, as we are dealing with material which exposes vast crimes and deeply sinister actions by a tyrannical government. Greenwald himself has incessantly told us how important this material it is, how dangerous the government’s depredations have become, how urgent it is that we learn of this danger and do something about it. And yet he admits — no, he boasts — that he has been withholding information about the most dangerous activities, the greatest threats to liberty, for more than a year … solely in order to make a big splash, “where the sky is all covered in spectacular multicolored hues.”
If the threat is so great, should we not know the worst up front, in order to recognize the scale of the danger and take action more quickly? But if “the finale, a big missing piece” can wait for more than a year to be revealed, then how “big” can it be?
by Peter Ewart - 250 News On the surface, it’s just another trade agreement between two foreign countries. But this one is more than that. Much more. And it has serious implications for British Columbia.
Russia and China have just signed a deal for Russia to supply 1 trillion cubic metres of natural gas to China over a 30 year period.
The deal is estimated to be worth $400 billion and, according to Alexei Miller, CEO of Gazprom, is the biggest contract in the history of the country (BBC News, May 21). Russia has the largest reserves of natural gas in the world, with Iran being second.
In addition to this mammoth sale, the two countries have pledged to establish “a comprehensive energy cooperation partnership,” which hints of more such deals to come. Indeed, as one analyst put it;
“The opening of economic doors with China could well be the greater achievement.”
From Gutenberg, the telegraph, radio waves, television, cable, and the Internet, communications has brought us a long way. Of Johannes Gutenberg's invention of the European printing press, based on a system of mechanical, moveable-type, the internet encyclopaedia, Wikipedia, describes the original information Renaissance saying:
"The relatively unrestricted circulation of information — including revolutionary ideas — transcended borders, captured the masses in the Reformation and threatened the power of political and religious authorities; [while] the sharp increase in literacy broke the monopoly of the literate elite on education and learning and bolstered the emerging middle class."
Today, with the introduction of new legislation meant to halter the ultimate descendant of Gutenberg's genius, the Internet, the information elite is striking back.
As a global, information society, we are standing at the crossroad of a power paradigm that will determine perhaps the path humanity will take for the next century; a fork in our collective developmental trajectory that could well mean the difference between civilizational survival, or its, Our, untimely end.
David Christopher is Communications Manager for OpenMedia.ca, the "award-winning community-based organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet."
OpenMedia has been at the fore in fight after fight against the repeated attempts of Canada's corporate culture, and their allies in government, to rein in and stratify access to that "[R]elatively unrestricted circulation of information — including revolutionary ideas — transcend[ing] borders." Christopher has transcended many of those borders himself, hailing originally from Ireland's west country, and studying History and Political Science at Dublin's famed Trinity College, before his work in communications moved him to Scotland, New Zealand, and found him finally shoring up here on the Pacific coast, right across the straits in Vancouver.
David Christopher in the first half.
And; last week, Russian leader, Vladimir Putin shook hands on a massive deal to supply Liquified Natural Gas to China. More than being the biggest such deal ever signed between two countries, it also serves to threaten the hegemonic American petrodollar, an arrangement that has subsidized the waning superpower's enormous international clout, while undergirding its fragile domestic economy. The deal too poses a threat to British Columbia's much touted plan to tie its economic future to similarly huge energy deals with the World's largest single energy market.
Peter Ewart, and Christie Clark's attempt to saddle BC's economic future on the back of a bucking gas industry bronco 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 newz from our city's streets, and beyond. But first, David Christopher and standing in the way of Big Telecom's promise to create of the open internet an information caste system by saying No! to the Internet Slow Lane.
Colombia continues to be ground zero for the U.S.’s crimes against Latin America, and its continued quest to subjugate the region.
Several recent events, virtually uncovered in the mainstream press, underscore this reality.
First, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report just this week detailing the grisly practices of paramilitary death squads in the port town of Buenaventura. 
These practices by the paramilitaries which act with impunity and with the tacit support of the local police, include disappearances of hundreds of civilians; forced displacement; and the dismemberment of individuals, while they are still alive, in local “chop houses.”
Official military photo of deceased, courtesy of Equipa Nizkor.
That the port town of Buenaventura was to be the model city of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement is instructive as to what the wages of free trade truly are.
by Alexandra Morton The salmon virus, ISAv is a member of the influenza family and is feared around the world wherever salmon are farmed.
Similar to other viruses in the influenza family, ISAv has powerful shape-shifting properties. It tiptoes into new regions, a lethal shadow to the salmon farming industry.
At first it does nothing.
Every country, so far, has used this crucial phase to ignore ISA. It looks like they hope to avoid being branded ISA-positive and suffer the resulting trade restrictions that lower profits. But then, with very little warning ISA virus mutates, goes viral and strikes with deadly effect Norway, eastern Canada, Chile...
by Andre Vltchek - CounterPunch A specter is haunting Europe and Western world — it is this time, the specter of fascism. It came quietly, without great fanfare and parades, without raised hands and loud shouts. But it came, or it returned, as it has always been present in this culture, one that has, for centuries, been enslaving our entire planet.
As was in Nazi Germany, resistance to the fascist empire is again given an unsavory name: terrorism. Partisans and patriots, resistance fighters – all of them were and have always been defined by fascist bigots as terrorists.
By the logic of Empire, to murder millions of men, women and children in all corners of the world abroad is considered legitimate and patriotic, but to defend one’s motherland was and is a sign of extremism.
German Nazis and Italian Fascists defined their rule as ‘democratic’, and so does this Empire. The British and French empires that exterminated tens of millions of people all over the world, always promoted themselves as ‘democracies’.
And now, once again, we are witnessing a tremendous onslaught by the business-political-imperialist Western apparatus, destabilizing or directly destroying entire nations, overthrowing governments and bombing ‘rebellious’ states into the ground.
All this is done in the name of democracy, in the name of freedom.
Trilateral Defense Ministers Meeting Continues to Build North American Security Framework
by Dana Gabriel - Be Your Own Leader As an extension of the North American Leaders Summit which was held in February, the defense ministers from the U.S., Canada and Mexico quietly met last month to discuss continental security issues. During the conference, they addressed shared defense and security challenges. This includes threats posed by cyber attacks and transnational criminal organizations.
The North American security relationship has evolved with Mexico being increasingly viewed as a valued part of the continental defense team. The U.S., Canada and Mexico are building the framework for greater cooperation on common security issues.
They are expanding security arrangements and are further establishing new institutions at a continental level. The trilateral defense ministers meeting, which received very little media attention is part of the process of integrating military planning and coordination into a North American security perimeter.
The 95% Doctrine: Climate Change as a Weapon of Mass Destruction
by Tom Engelhardt - TomDispatch Who could forget? At the time, in the fall of 2002, there was such a drumbeat of “information” from top figures in the Bush administration about the secret Iraqi program to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and so endanger the United States. And who -- other than a few suckers -- could have doubted that Saddam Hussein was eventually going to get a nuclear weapon? The only question, as our vice president suggested on “Meet the Press,” was: Would it take one year or five?
And he wasn’t alone in his fears, since there was plenty of proof of what was going on.
For starters, there were those “specially designed aluminum tubes” that the Iraqi autocrat had ordered as components for centrifuges to enrich uranium in his thriving nuclear weapons program. Reporters Judith Miller and Michael Gordon hit the front page of the New York Times with that story on September 8, 2002.
Then there were those “mushroom clouds” that Condoleezza Rice, our national security advisor, was so publicly worried about -- the ones destined to rise over American cities if we didn’t do something to stop Saddam. As she fretted in a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer on that same September 8th, “[W]e don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” No, indeed, and nor, it turned out, did Congress!
And just in case you weren’t anxious enough about the looming Iraqi threat, there were those unmanned aerial vehicles -- Saddam’s drones! -- that could be armed with chemical or biological WMD from his arsenal and flown over America’s East Coast cities with unimaginable results. President George W. Bush went on TV to talk about them and congressional votes were changed in favor of war thanks to hair-raising secret administration briefings about them on Capitol Hill.
This is of importance given the reliance the current government has with China as a destination market, and its strange propensity to sanction Russia over the contentious Ukranian issues that some say are driving Russia into the arms of China.
The values of the China/Russia so-called "biggest deal in history," mirror almost exactly those involved in the BC / Petronas deal.
by Chris Hedges - Truth Dig RIKERS ISLAND, NY. - Cecily McMillan, the Occupy activist who on Monday morning will appear before a criminal court in New York City to be sentenced to up to seven years on a charge of assaulting a police officer, sat in a plastic chair wearing a baggy, oversized gray jumpsuit, cheap brown plastic sandals and horn-rim glasses. Other women, also dressed in prison-issued gray jumpsuits, sat nearby in the narrow, concrete-walled visitation room clutching their children, tears streaming down their faces. The children, bewildered, had their arms wrapped tightly around their mothers’ necks. It looked like the disaster scene it was.
“It’s all out in the open here,” said the 25-year-old student, who was to have graduated May 22 with a master’s degree from The New School of Social Research in New York City. “The cruelty of power can’t hide like it does on the outside. You get America, everything America has become, especially for poor people of color in prison. My lawyers think I will get two years. But two years is nothing compared to what these women, who never went to trial, never had the possibility of a trial with adequate legal representation, face. There are women in my dorm who, because they have such a poor command of English, do not even understand their charges. I spent a lot of time trying to explain the charges to them.”
McMillan says Grantley Bovell, who was in plainclothes and did not identify himself as a police officer, grabbed her from behind during a March 17, 2012, gathering of several hundred Occupy activists in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. In a video of the incident she appears to have instinctively elbowed him in the face, but she says she has no memory of what happened. Video and photographs—mostly not permitted by the trial judge to be shown in the courtroom—buttressed her version of events.
There is no dispute that she was severely beaten by police and taken from the park to a hospital where she was handcuffed to a bed. On May 5 she was found guilty after a three-week trial of a felony assault in the second degree. She can receive anything from probation to seven years in prison. “I am prepared mentally for a long sentence,” she told me this past weekend when I interviewed her at the Rikers Island prison in the Bronx.
“I watched the trial. I watched the judge. This was never about justice. Just as it is not about justice for these other women. One mother was put in here for shoplifting after she lost her job and her house and needed to feed her children. There is another prisoner, a preschool teacher with a 1-year-old son she was breastfeeding, who let her cousin stay with her after her cousin was evicted. It turns out the cousin sold drugs. The cops found money, not drugs, that the cousin kept in the house and took the mother. They told her to leave her child with the neighbors. There is story after story in here like this. It wakes you up.”
We Have Always Been At War With Eastasia…Or Is It Eurasia?
by Peter Lee - China Matters Current US China policy seems to be “Who Needs Russia? We’ve got…The Philippines!”
Unless President Obama has absolute faith in the ability of the United States and the Asian democracies to restrain the PRC, there would seem to be some disturbing developments for the United States in Asia.
First of all, the People’s Republic of China parked its HYSY 981 oil rig in waters that Vietnam claims as its Exclusive Economic Zone, triggering a heated response from Vietnam, anguished writhing from ASEAN, and a stern “don’t engage in provocations” fingerwag from the United States.
The PRC, however, is not yielding, implicitly highlighting the fact that the United States is failing in its self-proclaimed mission to assure peace and prosperity in the South China Sea (as I pointed out in a previous piece, the PRC’s oil-rig shenanigans accentuate the essential sovereignty/EEZ character of disputes between China and its South China Sea neighbors, and undercut the “freedom of navigation” hobbyhorse that the US has crafted to ride to the rescue of the SCS).