• Written by Caitlin Johnstone

Stage-Massaged ReALiTy

Narrative Management = Reality Management

by Caitlin Johnstone - Rogue Journalist

June 17, 2019

The Grayzone‘s Max Blumenthal has published the first part of an investigative series on how so-called non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are being used to manipulate the narrative about what’s going on in Syria by posing as impartial investigative bodies and circulating pro-imperialist disinformation to the western political/media class as objective fact.

Part one is titled “Behind the Syrian Network for Human Rights: How an opposition front group became Western media’s go-to monitor“, and it documents a mountain of evidence that one of these “NGOs” is in fact very much state-funded and highly biased in favor of anti-Assad forces, yet still gets cited as an independent source by western mass media outlets in a way that just so happens to help make the case for western interventionism in Syria.

“Citing the Syrian Network for Human Rights as an independent and credible source is the journalistic equivalent of sourcing statistics on head trauma to a research front created by the National Football League, or turning to tobacco industry lobbyists for information on the connection between smoking and lung cancer. And yet this has been standard practice among correspondents covering the Syrian conflict,” Blumenthal writes. 
 “Indeed, Western press has engaged for years in an insidious sleight of hand, basing reams of shock journalism around claims by a single, highly suspect source that is deeply embedded within the Syrian opposition – and hoped that no one would notice.”


Add a comment

Read more

  • Written by Whitney Webb

Singer the Vulture: Whistling Goodbye to American Jobs

How NeoCon Billionaire Paul Singer Is Driving the Outsourcing of US Tech Jobs to Israel

by Whitney Webb - MintPress News

June 11, 2019

Several U.S. tech giants including Google, Microsoft and Intel Corporation have filled top positions with former members of Israeli military intelligence and are heavily investing in their Israeli branches while laying off thousands of American employees, all while receiving millions of dollars in U.S. government subsidies funded by American taxpayers.


WASHINGTON — With nearly 6 million Americans unemployed and regular bouts of layoffs in the U.S. tech industry, major American tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Intel Corporation are nonetheless moving key operations, billions in investments, and thousands of jobs to Israel — a trend that has largely escaped media attention or concern from even “America first” politicians.

The fact that this massive transfer of investment and jobs has been so overlooked is particularly striking given that it is largely the work of a single leading neoconservative Republican donor who has given millions of dollars to President Donald Trump.

To make matters worse, many of these top tech companies shifting investment and jobs to Israel at record rates continue to collect sizable U.S. government subsidies for their operations while they move critical aspects of their business abroad, continue to layoff thousands of American workers, and struggle to house their growing company branches in Israel.

This is particularly troubling in light of the importance of the tech sector to the overall U.S. economy, as it accounts for 7.1 percent of total GDP and 11.6 percent of total private-sector payroll.

Furthermore, many of these companies are hiring members of controversial Israeli companies — known to have spied on Americans, American companies, and U.S. federal agencies — as well as numerous members of Israeli military intelligence as top managers and executives.

Add a comment

Read more

  • Written by John Helmer

HOME TRUTHS AND PRESS FREEDOM: Julian Assange and Ivan Golunov


by John Helmer - Dances with Bears

June 14, 2019

Moscow - Following police raids last week on a reporter for the Murdoch press in Canberra and the Sydney office of the state Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), journalists in Australia have appealed for international solidarity on press freedom — a cause which they themselves have failed to defend when others were under the gun.

Do they deserve it?

In money terms, journalism is an undeserving, unprofitable business everywhere. Newspapers in most of the English-language world are cutting journalist jobs – in the US at a rate of 45% over the past decade; about the same in the UK and Canada; worse in Australia. For those who want to keep their jobs, police raids and prosecutions are reminders when self-censorship isn’t enough to prevent their investigating abuses of the law, war crimes, fraud and corruption.

The first home truth is that truth is loss-making for an enterprise; pauperizing for its reporter. The second home truth is that in wartime – that’s now – truth-telling may be a criminal offence which will get the reporter time in jail.

In the case of Julian Assange (lead image, extreme right), the first hearing on the US indictment and application for his extradition will commence in an English magistrate’s court on Friday morning. Although it’s a first procedural step in a process likely to take three years, the identification of which judge will preside is important.

Not all English judges want to be responsible for rulings on whether Assange is facing political persecution and whether the US judicial system can try a national security case fairly. For background on the legal issues now at stake, read this and this.


Add a comment

Read more

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Helmer, Gretchen Fitzgerald, Janine Bandcroft June 13, 2019

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

June 13, 2019

The rank hypocrisy of Western civilization's ruling elite, though never really too deeply hidden has, with the recent arrests of journalists and raids against their publishers, broken the surface of the body politic like some septic pustule.

But worse than embarrassment, this sore blooming in the face of much vaunted "rule of law" proclamations made across the once Free World, and elsewhere, is more pox than spot, and not easily vanished by either creams, lotions, or official bromides.

Last week, Australia's State broadcaster ABC was just one such media outlet to experience the new democratic understanding of press rights and freedoms.


Listen. Hear.

John Helmer is a journalist, former academic, government policy advisor, author, broadcaster and principal behind the news website, Dances with Bears. An Australian national, his recent article, ‘The Julian Assange Case Now Puts the US on Trial in a British Court: Is There a GET-OUT-OF-JAIL Card for Assange?' explores security state targeting of journalism, and the unenviable fate of his countryman and all those caught up in the new anti-information dragnets.

Some of John Helmer’s book titles include: ‘The Deadly Simple Mechanics of Society’, ‘Drugs and Minority Oppression’, (with Claudia Wright) ‘The Jackal’s Wedding – American Power, Arab Revolt’, ‘Grand Strategy for Small Countries, Case Studies in Transforming Weakness into Power,’ and his latest is the newly out political and personal memoir, ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia’.

John Helmer in the first half.

And; Canada's senate has shot down proposed amendments to the new Impact Assessment Act, also known as Bill C-69. This despite what one Senator reports was a veritable "flood" of evidence from fishing organizations, indigenous leaders, and environmental groups concerned that, as it stands, the Bill delivers regulation of seabed oil exploration permits into the hands of petroleum interests.

Gretchen Fitzgerald is the National Programs Director of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation. Her work focuses on environmental impacts of offshore oil and gas, volunteer engagement, and climate change.

Gretchen Fitzgerald and rescuing the New Impact Assessment Act...Before It's Too Late! in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what's good going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, John Helmer and journalism under fire.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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/
Add a comment

Read more

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Joan Roelofs, Nils Melzer, Janine Bandcroft June 6, 2019

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

June 6, 2019

America's vast military apparatus is much more multi-dimensional than even its most fervent fans realize. Beyond war and readying for war-fighting, America's Army, Navy, Marines, and Space Force also work hard at preserving wildlands and vital marine habitat, where wildlife and sea creatures alike can take refuge from the increasingly noisome presence of human industry.

REPI, or the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program could be described as the Department of Defense's version of a "New Green Deal", (if you're inclined to believe it) or as it says, "a key tool for combating encroachment that can limit or restrict military training, testing, and operations."

Listen. Hear.

Joan Roelofs is an educator, author translator, prolific academic writer, and essayist with an especial focus on the political power of the nonprofit sector. The Keene State College Political Science Professor Emerita is also author of the books, 'Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism', and 'Greening Cities: Building Just and Sustainable Communities.' Her recent article at CounterPunch.org, '“Get Your Endangered Species Off My Bombing Range!”' questions the ways and means of one of the lesser known arms of today's ubiquitous military octopus.

Joan Roelofs in the first half.

And; journalist and publisher, Julian Assange is in dire physical and mental condition. He was to appear for his extradition hearing in London's Westminster Magistrates’ Court Thursday last, but was deemed too ill to attend either in person or via video link from Belmarsh Prison. Assange has been held in isolation since his forced extraction from the Ecuadorian embassy April 11th, with few visits being allowed for his lawyers and supporters.

On May 9th, United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer and "two medical experts specialised in examining potential victims of torture and other ill-treatment" were granted access and their assessment is a blistering indictment of both his current and would-be jailors.

Nils Melzer and the case for Julian Assange's immediate release in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Joan Roelofs and when nature endangers the Pentagon.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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/
Add a comment

Read more

  • Written by Press Release

Clearcut Colonialism: Big Timber in BC Devastating First Growth Without First Nations Sanction

BC Timber Sales Clearcutting Old-growth Rainforest in Tsitika Valley, Schmidt Creek Region

by Wilderness Committee/Sierra Club BC

June 4, 2019

Clearcuts in climate-resilient rainforest lack Kwakwaka’wakw consent, threaten ecosystems and downstream orca rubbing beach habitat in Robson Bight



VICTORIA – Recent fieldwork conducted by the Wilderness Committee, Sierra Club BC and community researchers within Tlowitsis-Ma’amtagila territories on northeastern Vancouver Island reveals BC Timber Sales (BCTS) is responsible for widespread forest degradation, unbridled old-growth logging and a troubling track record of selective Indigenous consultation.

Last month, a field team documented clearcutting on steep slopes, logging immediately beside creeks and riparian zones and degradation of cultural ecosystems in some of the last largely intact watersheds on Vancouver Island. Basic archeological assessments of the forests and ecosystem integrity analysis was conducted in the impacted areas of the Upper Tsitika Valley, Naka Creek, Tessium Creek and Schmidt Creek, all of which drain into Johnstone Strait.

“I am sick and tired of government agencies and branches completely ignoring our rights and sovereignty,” said Rande Cook, Head Chief Makwala, Hamatam (Seagull) House of the Ma’amtagila Nation, part of the Kwakwaka'wakw people.
“These logging corporations only want to consult with the First Nations they know they can get a pro-business outcome with. It’s fraught and it pits our community members against one another.”


Add a comment

Read more

  • Written by Jonathan Cook

Abuse of Assange Greater Than a Matter of WikiLeaks

Abuses Show Assange Case Was Never About Law

by Jonathan Cook - Jonathan-Cook.net 

via Consortium News

June 3, 2019

17 glaring legal anomalies provide overwhelming evidence that the WikiLeaks publisher has been the victim of political persecution.


It is astonishing how often one still hears well-informed, otherwise reasonable people say about Julian Assange: “But he ran away from Swedish rape charges by hiding in Ecuador’s embassy in London.”

That short sentence includes at least three factual errors. In fact, to repeat it, as so many people do, you would need to have been hiding under a rock for the past decade — or, amounting to much the same thing, been relying on the corporate media for your information about Assange, including from supposedly liberal outlets such as the Guardian and the BBC.


Assange: Victim of legal persecution.
(YouTube screenshot)

A recent Guardian editorial — the paper’s official voice and probably the segment most scrutinized by senior staff — made just such a false claim:

Then there is the rape charge that Mr. Assange faced in Sweden and which led him to seek refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in the first place.

The fact that the Guardian, supposedly the British media’s chief defender of liberal values, can make this error-strewn statement after nearly a decade of Assange-related coverage is simply astounding. And that it can make such a statement days after the U.S. finally admitted that it wants to lock up Assange for 175 years on bogus “espionage” charges — a hand anyone who wasn’t being willfully blind always knew the U.S. was preparing to play — is still more shocking.

Assange faces no charges in Sweden yet, let alone “rape charges.” As former U.K. ambassador Craig Murray recently explained, the Guardian has been misleading readers by falsely claiming that an attempt by a Swedish prosecutor to extradite Assange — even though the move has not received the Swedish judiciary’s approval — is the same as his arrest on rape charges. It isn’t.

Also, Assange did not seek sanctuary in the embassy to evade the Swedish investigation. No state in the world gives a non-citizen political asylum to avoid a rape trial. The asylum was granted on political grounds. Ecuador rightly accepted Assange’s concerns that the U.S. would seek his extradition and lock him out of sight for the rest of his life.

Assange, of course, has been proven – yet again – decisively right by recent developments.

Add a comment

Read more

  • Written by Robert Hunziker

A Hole in the Planet: The Return of Ozone-Depletion

Ozone-Depleting CFCs Return 

by Robert Hunziker - CounterPunch

May 31, 2019

In August of 1987 the world came together after a panic-attack over ongoing depletion of atmospheric ozone, aka: The Ozone Hole. Subsequently, global agreements to stop ozone depletion became the first ever “universally ratified treaties in UN history.” The world banned CFCs.


  Photograph: ISS Expedition 23 crew – Public Domain

Thereafter, an era of good feelings about ozone restoration swept the world community and 25 years afterwards Science News magazine reported: “Ozone Hole at Smallest Size in Decades” d/d October 26, 2012.

Glory hallelujah! As a glorious Great Exhale spread across the land, similar to releasing pressurized air out of a humongous balloon, wheezing and hissing for days on end, in celebration of The Shrinking Ozone Hole! It was the first time in history that people celebrated a Shrinking Hole, and for good reason.

Ozone molecules are crucial to sustaining life. Those feisty powerhouse molecules shield the planet from destructive Ultraviolet B or UV-B, which can become big-time killers if left unchecked. According to NASA: “Without ozone, the Sun’s intense UV radiation would sterilize the Earth’s surface” which is a gentle way of saying “Mass Extinction.”

Add a comment

Read more

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Douglas Gook, Dan Kovalik, Janine Bandcroft May 30, 2019

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

May 30, 2019

che kokoApproaching the fifth anniversary of the Mt. Polley tailings spill into Quesnel Lake and beyond little has been done to affect the way mining is conducted in this province. Imperial Metals, the company responsible for that disaster, among other things, has yet to be properly held to account for the damage its negligence caused. And it doesn't seem likely to be in the future.

With governments' unwilling to address this long-standing and ongoing failure of oversight a citizen-led initiative has begun. The BC Mining Law Reform Campaign launched a couple of weeks ago, and it is determined to succeed in bringing mining operations in BC to heel.

Listen. Hear.

Douglas Gook is a Quesnel-based ecology activist and farmer who’s focused on Eco forestry alternatives in the woods there and beyond for more than forty years. The former BC and Canadian Green Party candidate is a director of the BC Environmental Network and Spirit Dance Cooperative Community, and leads Forest Protection Allies, one of the many environmental organizations pressuring government to get effective cleanup processes going, and appropriate compensation for those effected five years after the infamous Mt. Polley spill.

He’s also one of a growing chorus who do not accept the Site C decision as final.

Douglas Gook in the first half.

And; despite the great hope for peace in Colombia, an announcement by the country's military of a "new" strategy to deal with what they say is a continuing insurgency, and against organized drugs gangs, has sparked concern of a return to the bad old days of death squads and the "falsos positivos" program of the civil war.

Daniel Kovalik is a lawyer, educator, labour, peace, and justice activist, democracy defender, journalist and author. He teaches international human rights law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and was until recently Senior Associate General Counsel for the United Steel Workers Union. Kovalik has observed elections in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Colombia, where he too witnessed the 2016 peace plebiscite promising an end to the generational war there.

Dan’s also served as an attorney for Colombian plaintiffs in cases alleging corporate human rights violations, and is co-recipient of a Project Censored Award for chronicling the murder of trade unionists in Colombia. Some of his many book titles include the 'Plot To...' series: 'The Plot to Scapegoat Russia: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Putin', 'The Plot to Attack Iran: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Iran', 'The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World, and his latest, 'The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US Is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil.'

Dan Kovalik and failing peace in Colombia in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of some of the good things going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Douglas Gook and citizens acting where government won't with the BC Mining Law Reform Campaign.

 Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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/


Add a comment

Read more

  • Written by Brian Davey

On Second Cogitations: An Open Letter to Media Lens

An Open Letter to Media Lens - XR: After sounding the alarm - What is "real change"?

by Brian Davey - www.credoeconomics.com


Dear David and David, sounding the alarm so that "real change" happens? As you say Cory Morningstar is well intentioned and she has a message too - she tells us what the elite agenda is. Their agenda would be "real change" all right - in the completely wrong direction. 

So Cory Morningstar has done us a favour. She might not express it as carefully as she might but we ought to try and understand what her message is too... I think you have only partly understood it.

I write as as a retired social ecological economist (if you ever retire) I broadly agree with her description. I've been involved in the climate movement for over 2 decades and despaired. Extinction Rebellion have done a tremendous job of releasing the passion - but what are its political aims? What kind of "real change"? My attitude to XR is ambivalent. I am impressed by their militancy and commitment. By their spirit of self sacrifice. But I am unimpressed by an absence of an idea what "real change" for them would be. And you too.

Tell us the truth about climate change? What is that and how is it different from the debate among climate scientists and at the IPCC period reports? Decarbonisation by 2025 = 4 times as fast as the call to halve emissions by 2030.

Since 80% of the UK energy supply is fossil fuel based it's not possible. I wish it was possible, but it isn't. Just constructing a wind farm can take 4 years.You would have to increase the rate at which renewables are constructed and installed by an order of magnitude. You could not do that without training more engineers and that takes 3 years and more.

All of this would take a lot of fossil fuels to achieve...

Add a comment

Read more

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Brian Davey, Jeb Sprague, Janine Bandcroft May 23, 2019

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

May 23, 2019

Isolated from one other by walls made of media-induced divides, rather than considering the issues of the day in nuanced terms political discourse has increasingly become an identitarian, black and white battle between entrenched camps. From sheltered thought silos, it's possible to forgo the difficult task of thinking through problems, choosing instead to hurl abusive missives, (and more substantive missiles) at one another.

Despite this spreading plague of self-satisfied, diametric certitude, there still exists a middle ground. It's shaky, dangerous territory few would choose to make a stand on, but between the derision and scorn suffered from both extremities, it's in the grey zone between our only hope of collective salvation lay.

Listen. Hear.

Brian Davey is an economist who's spent most of his working life in the community and voluntary sector in Nottingham, England, particularly in health promotion, mental health and environmental fields. He is a co-founder of Ecoworks, a community garden and environmental project for people with mental health problems, member of the Feasta Climate Working Group, and former co-ordinator of the Cap and Share Campaign.

Davey is also editor of the Feasta book, 'Sharing for Survival: Restoring the Climate, the Commons and Society', and author of 'Credo: Economic Beliefs in a World in Crisis'. Brian recently posted at FEASTA.org the article, 'Greta Thunberg, PR and the “Climate Emergency”', an attempt to find common ground in the current climate crisis debate.

Brian Davey in the first half.

And; last week, officers of the US Secret Service Uniformed Division assisted US Department of State Diplomatic Security Service Special Agents in extracting from the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, four remaining protesters, barricaded inside. It was the culmination of a six weeks-long stand-off, seeing noisome, and sometimes violent, confrontation between pro-government and counter-government supporters of Juan Guaido, the man recognized by the United States and some of its allies as the legitimate representative of democracy in that country.

Jeb Sprague is an educator, author, essayist and journalist whose articles can be found at the Grayzone Project, and The Canary, among other places. He lectures at the University of Virginia and is author of the books: 'Globalizing the Caribbean: Political Economy, Social Change, and the Transnational Capitalist Class', and 'Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti'. Sprague is also editor of the book, 'Globalization and Transnational Capitalism in Asia and Oceania', and is a founding member of the Network for Critical Studies of Global Capitalism (NCSGC).

Jeb Sprague and the death of diplomacy in DC in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what's good going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Brian Davey and finding the middle ground in the middle of a climate emergency.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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/
Add a comment

Read more

  • Written by Ramzy Baroud

Popsi Revolutionaries of a Dying Culture

Madonna’s Fake Revolution: Eurovision, Cultural Hegemony and Resistance

by Ramzy Baroud - Palestine Chronicle

May 21, 2019

Rim Banna, a famous Palestinian singer who translated Palestine’s most moving poetry to song passed away on March 24, 2018, at the age of 51.

Rim captured the struggle for Palestinian freedom in the most dignified and melodious ways. If we could imagine angels singing, they would sound like Rim.

When Rim died, all Palestinians mourned her death. Although a few international outlets carried the news of her passing at a relatively young age, her succumbing to cancer did not receive much coverage or discussion.

Sadly, a Palestinian icon of cultural resistance who had inspired a whole generation, starting with the First Palestinian Intifada in 1987, hardly registered as an event worthy of remembrance and reflection, even among those who purport to champion the Palestinian cause.

Compare Rim to Madonna, an ‘artiste’ who has stood for self-aggrandizing personal fame and money-making. She has championed the most debased moral values, utilizing cheap entertainment while catering to the lowest common denominator to remain relevant in the music world for as long as possible.

While Rim had a cause, Madonna has none. And while Rim symbolized cultural resistance, Madonna symbolizes globalized cultural hegemony - in this case, the imposition of consumerist western cultures on the rest of the world.

Cultural hegemony defines the US and other Western cultures’ relationship to the rest of the world. It is not culture as in the collective intellectual and artistic achievements of these societies, but as a set of ideological and cultural tools used by ruling classes to maintain domination over the disadvantaged, colonized and oppressed.

Madonna, along with Michael Jordan, the Beatles and Coca Cola represent far more than mere performers and fizzy drinks, but also serve as tools used to secure cultural, thus economic and political dominance, as well. The fact that in some cities around the world, especially in the Southern hemisphere, Coca Cola “flows more freely than water” speaks volumes about the economic toll and political dimension of cultural hegemony.

Add a comment

Read more