Graduation Day at Empire You

Missing Word, Missing World: Graduating the Rest of Us, ‘09
by Tom Engelhardt
Graduates of the Bush years, initiates of the Obama era, if you think of a commencement address as a kind of sermon, then every sermon needs its text. Here's the one I've chosen for today, suitably obscure and yet somehow ringing:

"The idea that somehow counterterrorism is a homeland security issue doesn't make sense when you recognize the fact that terror around the world doesn't recognize borders. There is no right-hand, left-hand anymore."

That's taken directly from the new national security Bible of Obama National Security Advisor (and ex-Marine General) James Jones. He said it last week at a press briefing. The occasion was the integration of a Bush-era creation, the Homeland Security Council -- which, if you're like me, you had never heard of until it lost its independence -- into the National Security Council, which Jones runs, a move that probably represents yet another consolidation of power inside a historically ever more imperial White House.

After four years in this college, I assume you are students of the word and like all biblical texts, this one must be interpreted. It must be read. So let's start by thinking of it this way: If we are, in some sense, defined by our enemies, then consider this description of terrorism -- even though most acts of terror are undoubtedly committed by locally-minded individuals -- as something like a shadow thrown on a wall. The looming figure to which the shadow belongs is not, however, al-Qaeda, but us. We are, after all, in the war-on-terror business. It's how we've defined ourselves these last years.
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Land Grab: Settler Stephen Harper's Mohawk 'Palestinians'

CANADA KIDNAPS THE MOHAWKS - Bogus guns-at-the-border issue
by MNN
Bully Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, is trying to start an argument with the Mohawks to bring in paramilitary forces at Akwesasne.  On May 26, 2009 he signed into law the Shiprider Agreement, a cross border law between Canada and U.S.  The effect is those who stand up for their rights or criticize Canada are terrorists and the government can sue them and seize all their property. 
 
This is meant for us.  

A few years ago a plan was hatched.  Prime Minister Harper was friendly with the American real estate people in New York City.  They wanted him to change the laws so that Indigenous territories in Canada can be seized by outside interests for non-payment of false fines and criminal convictions. 
 
Their interest is primarily in Iroquois territories in southern Quebec and southern Ontario.  They also wanted to seize Indigenous property and resources in Alberta and elsewhere.  A campaign to discredit us was started. 
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Israel's Racists for Democracy

Racists for Democracy
by Uri Avnery
How lucky we are to have the extreme Right standing guard over our democracy.

This week, the Knesset voted by a large majority (47 to 34) for a law that threatens imprisonment for anyone who dares to deny that Israel is a Jewish and Democratic State.

The private member’s bill, proposed by MK Zevulun Orlev of the “Jewish Home” party, which sailed through its preliminary hearing, promises one year in prison to anyone who publishes “a call that negates the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State”, if the contents of the call might cause “actions of hate, contempt or disloyalty against the state or the institutions of government or the courts”.

One can foresee the next steps. A million and a half Arab citizens cannot be expected to recognize Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State. They want it to be “a state of all its citizens” – Jews, Arabs and others. They also claim with reason that Israel discriminates against them, and therefore is not really democratic. And, in addition, there are also Jews who do not want Israel to be defined as a Jewish State in which non-Jews have the status, at best, of tolerated outsiders.
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Chris Genovali, Michael O'Tuathail, Janine Bandcroft June 1, 2009

This Week on GR
 by C. L. Cook
This week: Raincoast Conservation's Executive Director, Chris Genovali on B.C.'s green prospects under Gordon the Brown; Michael O'Tuathail and the Harper regime's apparent turn away from a politically risky Canada-Colombia trade deal; and, Janine Bandcroft brings us up to speed with what's what on Victoria's streets.
 
 
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. 
 
He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://GorillaRadioBlog.blogspot.com
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Today and Tomorrow: The Next Victims of Empire

TODAY ME, TOMORROW YOU - Hailie Selassie, 1936
by MNN
Rastafarians highly regard Selassie for this comment.  In 1936 the African nation of Ethiopia was invaded by Italy when it was ruled by Moussellini.  Selassie went to the League of Nations to ask for help.  They refused and offered him asylum in Britain. 
 
Something strange is being played out against the Mohawks at the Akwesane border.  We don't want guns there.  The U.S. and Canada want us to submit to their will because we are getting in the way of their plans.   

Who are the guns in the hands of the border guards going to be pointed at?  Who is putting the Americans into a pressure cooker, to watch out for terrorists and to keep worrying about a dangerous world? 
 
Who is pushing them into having no choice but to create a global fascist empire for their own protection?  It's the international bankers who are engineering the economic collapse and depression to bring the dollar down to zero. 
 
The U.S. as it stands today is going to be destroyed.  The Anglo-American empire will fall so that Fortress America can be set up and run by a few criminal war lords.      

The U.S. plans to own Canada and Mexico.  
 
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Iraq: The Resistance Returns

The Return of the Resistance
by Dahr Jamail | t r u t h o u t
At least 20 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq in May, the most since last September, along with more than 50 wounded. Iraqi casualties are, as usual - and in both categories - at least ten times that number.
 
image by Mykeru

Attacks against US forces are once again on the rise in places like Baghdad and Fallujah, where the Iraqi resistance was fiercest before so many of them joined the Sahwa (Sons of Iraq, also referred to as Awakening Councils), and began taking payments from the US military in exchange for halting attacks against the occupiers and agreeing to join the fight against al-Qaeda in Iraq. In early April I wrote a column for this website that illustrated how ongoing Iraqi government and US military attacks against the Sahwa, coupled with broken promises of the Sahwa being incorporated into the government security apparatus or given civilian jobs, would likely lead to an exodus from the Sahwa and a return to the resistance.

Slowly, but surely, we are seeing that occur. While US liaison Col. Jeffrey Kulmayer has called this idea, along with the ongoing controversy from the Iraqi government - led by US-pawn Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki - not paying most of the Sahwa members, while continuing government arrests of and attacks on Sahwa members "overblown," this does not change reality. Let us recall the telling words of the reporter Caud Cockburn, father of journalist Patrick Cockburn, "Never believe anything until it's officially denied."
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America's Third Front: Obama and the War on Drugs

HOW SERIOUS IS OBAMA ABOUT ENDING FAILED “WAR ON DRUGS”?
by Sherwood Ross
Efforts by President Obama to put an end to the nation’s failed “War on Drugs” can’t come an hour too soon---if that’s his intent. From his actions, it’s hard to know.

Drug offenses account for about half the 200,000 Federal prison inmates behind bars, compared to just 15% of prisoners convicted of violent crimes involving weapons, explosives, or arson. If America leads the world with 2.3 million prisoners in all its prisons, jails, and assorted lock-ups, it is largely because we have criminalized drug addiction, not treated it.
 
image

President Richard Nixon first declared a “War on Drugs” in 1969 to dramatize his fight against drug addiction. Nixon---who had a knack for waging wars he could not win---got the country headed down a wrong road from which it may only now be just turning around.

Gil Kerlikowske, Obama’s new head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, has renounced even the use of the phrase “War on Drugs” on grounds it favors incarceration of offenders rather than treatment. But talk is no substitute for action.

To his credit, Obama has long appeared to be open to a fresh approach. In an address at Howard University on September 28, 2007, then Senator Obama said, “I think it’s time we took a hard look at the wisdom of locking up some first time nonviolent drug users for decades.”

“We will give first-time, non-violent drug offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior,” he added. “So let's reform this system. Let's do what's smart. Let's do what's just.” And as overcrowding spurts and governors currently whine they can’t balance budgets, the public might get some real relief.
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The Depth Of Corruption

Britain: The Depth Of Corruption
by John Pilger
The theft of public money by members of parliament, including government ministers, has given Britons a rare glimpse inside the tent of power and privilege. It is rare because not one political reporter or commentator, those who fill tombstones of column inches and dominate broadcast journalism, revealed a shred of this scandal. It was left to a public relations man to sell the “leak”. Why?
 
British PM's Blair and Brown: Crooked is as Crooked does.

The answer lies in a deeper corruption, which tales of tax evasion and phantom mortgages touch upon but also conceal. Since Margaret Thatcher, British parliamentary democracy has been progressively destroyed as the two main parties have converged into a single-ideology business state, each with almost identical social, economic and foreign policies. This “project” was completed by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, inspired by the political monoculture of the United States. That so many Labour and Tory politicians are now revealed as personally crooked is no more than a metaphor for the anti-democratic system they have forged together.

Their accomplices have been those journalists who report Parliament as “lobby correspondents” and their editors, who have “played the game” wilfully, and have deluded the public (and sometimes themselves) that vital, democratic differences exist between the parties. Media-designed opinion polls based on absurdly small samplings, along with a tsunami of comment on personalities and their specious crises, have reduced the “national conversation” to a series of media events, in which the withdrawal of popular consent – as the historically low electoral turnouts under Blair demonstrated – has been abused as apathy.
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Vancouver Island Chemtrail Tracking Action

Vancouver Island Chemtrail Tracking Action
by C. L. Cook
Below is a video I was sent from a friend. It's more than a year old, but the contamination of the skies over Vancouver Island, and all that lay below them, continues apace.
 
Image: Chemtrails over Victoria, B.C. April 24, 2009
 
The Vancouver Island Chemtrail Tracking Action (VICTA) is in the formative stages, and we're calling out to all Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands, and Mainland observers to send your comments, videos, and organizational ideas to this website at: editor@pacificfreepress.com.
 
It is our intention to discover exactly who and what this secretive aerial campaign is about. 
 
Pacific Free Press generally republishes only with permission of article and video creators, but occasionally we do take liberty in what we consider to be the overriding public good. Pending official permission from the folks that shot the video below, here are Celia and Bill Abrams of Maple Bay, Van. Isle with their story. See more below the break, and don't forget to look up! - ape
 
 
 


 

 
 
 
 
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American Samizdat

American Samizdat
by ddjango
In the post-Stalin Soviet Union, "samizdat" was the practice of dissident activists, artists, and writers literally mimeographing their works and handing them around hand-to-hand to avoid arrest, suppression, and prosecution. If anything could be termed "underground", this was it.
 
For dissenters, samizdat was life and the community blood of truth. It took courage. Over the long run, samizdat was the true reason for at least the spiritual collapse of centralized communism and totalitarianism in the USSR - certainly not Reagan, probably not even Gorbachev or Yelstin. Under the crush of totalitarianism, samizdat was freedom.

Totalitarianism is become a thinly guised reality in America. We think we have freedom of speech, but its suppression is subtle. Personally, every time I post, I know that the post is scanned by security programs and wonder if I'll get a knock on the door some black morning for expressing my thoughts and dreams, for exposing the truth, or for postulating conspiracies that may or may not exist.

American Samizdat
has been around since early in the millenium. Created by the inimitable Dr Menlo, for a decade it has for me been like the dark, smoky coffeehouses in Cambridge, Boston, New York, and San Francisco that nurtured my radicalism. I feel safe there, even though contentious conversations sometimes erupt in post comments or even among the group that writes there. It is a stimulating place, where ideas and challenges to the putrid status quo are thrown like sparkling gauntlets.
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Saving the Madrona Farm

Protect Madrona Farm
by FoMF
The newly formed Friends of Madrona Society (FoMF)has entered into an agreement with The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC)to purchase Madrona Farm, located near Victoria. FoMF must raise $2,500,000; of which a substantial amount will be donated by the landowner. TLC’s mission is to ensure that the agricultural productivity and ecological values of Madrona Farm are protected forever. This fundraising campaign for the purchase of the farm by the community it serves, and the placement of the farm in the hands of a land trust, will be the first of its kind in BC, and part of the solution for local food security.

Once TLC holds title, the property will be inalienable and can never be sold. The farm, its uses for local, sustainable food production and conservation of biodiversity, will be protected by the Constitution of TLC. This will ensure the purposes of the FoMF are met in perpetuity.

Community purchase of this farm is a test of our collective desire to protect farmland for farming. Madrona Farm is an extraordinarily productive and biologically diverse 27-acre piece of urban farmland on Blenkinsop Road in the Capital Region, a rich agricultural area increasingly under pressure from residential development. For those who believe in supporting small farms and farmers, Madrona Farm tells why: it is a prime illustration of successful local, sustainable food production.
 
 
 


 
In this world gone wrong, full of almost universally bad environmental news,
it is a shining example of what’s gone right.


 
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(Re) Dawning of the Dread: B.C. Zombie Election Returns Campbell

Smug Liberals Need a Smack Down
by Diane Walsh
The Liberals may have won 45.9 percent of actual votes cast, with 42.1 going to the NDP and 8.1 to the Greens but that in no way assigns them the fat medal that they think they deserve.  Quite the opposite in fact – people across the board are disgusted. However, not all of them bothered to say so on Election Day.  Simple as that.  Everybody agrees voter turnout was atrocious.  The people motivated to go to a polling booth, as their preferred way to be heard, dropped since the last election from 58 percent voting in 2005 to only 47 percent coming out this year.

On what planet is a majority when only 22 percent of the electorate actually voted for the winner? (Oh right – pillaged planet Gordo*).

At one time, long ago in our history, political theorists wrote about a majority as intending to mean a majority of the whole of the people.   
 
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