Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Helmer, Dan Kovalik, Janine Bandcroft October 5, 2016

This Week on GR

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


October 5, 2016

Last week, the Joint Investigation Team, an internationally composed body looking into the downing over Ukraine of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 more than two years ago released some of their findings, enough to implicate, they say, Russia in the crime. The western press immediately repeated the findings, and its accusations fully, while doing little digging of its own into either the rigor of the JIT's methods, or resilience of its facts.

The media's curious incuriousness surrounding the Dutch-led panel's probity, considering the scope of the story and its possible ramifications for international relations between Russia and the west at this most sensitive historical moment, may be the most telling part of the tragic mystery behind flight MH17.

 

Listen. Hear.

John Helmer is a long-time, Moscow-based journalist, author, and essayist; the only one, his site, Dances with Bears informs “to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties” since 1989. He’s a former political science professor who's served as an advisor to the governments of Greece, the United States, and in Asia who regularly lectures on Russian topics in China, Europe, and the US. His book titles include: ‘Uncovering Russia,’ ‘Urbanman: The Psychology of Urban Survival,’ ‘Bringing the War Home: The American Soldier in Vietnam and After,’ and ‘Drugs and Minority Oppression’ among others.

John Helmer in the first half.

And; there was dancing in the streets last week when a long-sought peace deal between the Colombian government and the FARC, (the leftists guerrilla organization engaged in a multi-generational insurgency) was announced, but Sunday the music stopped as it became apparent the national referendum called to ratify the deal failed to pass. Why the vote failed, and what happens next are the questions burning the wires across Colombia now.

Daniel Kovalik teaches international human rights law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and is Senior Associate General Counsel for the United Steel Workers union. Kovalik is just back from Colombia where he witnessed the peace plebiscite. Dan's also a long-time peace and justice activist, specializing in that in Colombia and Central America, where he serves as an attorney for Colombian plaintiffs in cases alleging corporate human rights violations. Kovalik is also co-recipient of a Project Censored Award for chronicling the murder of trade unionists in Colombia.

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, John Helmer and MH17, a prejudiced verdict verified and delivered two years after the fact.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm 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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Western Media Push Urges More War for Peace in Syria

Overthrowing the Syrian Government: a Joint Criminal Enterprise

by Diana Johnstone - CounterPunch


October 4, 2016  

Everyone claims to want to end the war in Syria and restore peace to the Middle East. Well, almost everyone.

“This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win — we’ll settle for a tie,” Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York told the New York Times in June 2013.

 

Photo by Jordi Bernabeu Farrús | CC By 2.0

 

“Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here.”


Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, stressed the same points in August 2016:

“The West should seek the further weakening of Islamic State, but not its destruction… Allowing bad guys to kill bad guys sounds very cynical, but it is useful and even moral to do so if it keeps the bad guys busy and less able to harm the good guys… Moreover, instability and crises sometimes contain portents of positive change… The American administration does not appear capable of recognizing the fact that IS can be a useful tool in undermining Tehran’s ambitious plan for domination of the Middle East.”
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Is Hillary Putin's Real Candidate?

Castroturf: Crude Red-Baiting Hides True Trump Danger  

by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque


30 September 2016  

For many years, the iron-clad American embargo of Cuba was decried by liberals and progressives as counterproductive and inhumane. People who broke the embargo or tried to get around it -- like Ry Cooder with the wonderful Buena Vista Social Club project -- were hailed as heroes by liberals.
 
 
But now it's being treated by those same liberals (and the media) as some kind of sacred principle that should never have been breached in any way -- because Donald Trump once spent some money there, indirectly exploring business opportunities at a time when there was much talk in Washington (among liberal circles & the Clinton Administration) of normalizing relations. (Of course, Trump, huckstering hypocrite that he is, was also publicly denouncing normalization at the same time he was seeing if he could profit from it.)


Now the Clinton camp says Trump was going "against the national interest" by even remotely dealing with Cuba.

 

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OPEC Floors Oil Price (Or Does It?)

OPEC Has Just Put A Floor Under Oil Prices

Inside Opportunities with Martin Tillier - Oil Price.com


September 30, 2016

The stunning news of a tentative OPEC agreement out of Algiers caught just about every trader flat-footed.

Speculative short positions in oil had been growing, and oil markets and oil stocks rallied spectacularly on the news to rip the guts out of any trader who’d bet on nothing happening at this meeting, as had been the case the four previous times.

There’s a lot to unpack here, but first things first: I wouldn’t be fading this move – OPEC is back.

 

Organization of Petroleum Producing Countries (OPEC)

Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo (R)
Image: China.org
 
We haven’t been short names in the energy space, quite the opposite – but we had been looking for a retreat in some U.S. shale names for the opportunity to add to core positions. That opportunity is gone. The OPEC agreement, despite its many, many holes, puts a floor under oil I don’t think will ever again be breached.

 

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Beating the Spread: Hillary Ropes a Dope, Trump Still Standing

The Thrilla at Hofstra: How Trump Won the Debate

by Ted Rall - CounterPunch


September 28, 2016

 

trump debate 1He won the debate.

I know it runs counter to conventional wisdom – that’s so rare for me! – but I award the first 2016 presidential debate to Donald Trump. This isn’t to say that I disagree with what the mainstream men and women of the pundit class said they witnessed. Like them, I watched a well-prepared Clinton outmaneuver a political amateur who showed up to class after a night of partying following a year of refusing to crack open a book. Trump rambled, repeated himself, interrupted and bullied. He conflated NATO and the EU. He even unleashed a fat joke.

All things being equal, I would agree with the corporate media consensus that Hillary won. But that’s the thing – things are far from equal.

Hillary Clinton is a pro. She should have wiped the floor with Trump. Instead, she delivered a performance on the line between a B+ and an A-. Trump gets closer to a C-. That’s much closer than it ought to have been. As they say in sports, Trump beat the spread.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ben Isitt, Rick Sterling, Janine Bandcroft Sept. 28, 2016

This Week on GR

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


September 28, 2016

While the election spectacle south sucks most of the political air from the media universe, British Columbia too is poised to begin its own democracy circus, and it's with an eye to the Spring vote here issues from across the province are being aired at the Union of BC Municipalities meetings currently going on at the Victoria Conference Centre.

Monday, Victoria Councillor, Ben Isitt joined Metchosin Councillor Andy MacKinnon, Cowichan Valley Regional District Director, Sonia Furstenau, and Torrance Coste of the Wilderness Committee on the steps of the VCC demonstrating to have MacKinnon's Vancouver Island old-growth logging moratorium proposal included on the UBCM’s resolutions committee agenda.

 

Listen. Hear.

 

It's a busy time for Isitt, who presented Monday night with Andy MacKinnon 'The Future of Forests and Communities on Vancouver Island' a draft policy statement at the Public Presentation and Discussion on the Future of Forests and Communities on Vancouver Island at the Victoria Event Centre, presenting the findings of the group he's been working with, Island Forest Futures.

 

Ben Isitt in the first half.

 

And; hopes for the tremulous peace agreement in Syria were blown to smithereens last week by a sustained American air attack against Syrian army units protecting the town of Deir ez-Zor from ISIS/Daech. The blitz, which US officials later said was all a case of mistaken identity, killed more than sixty soldiers outright, and was followed by what seemed a coordinated ISIS incursion. The result is an end to the peace deal and ratcheting up of the propaganda battle for the hearts and minds on the home front.

To that end, prepare to hear lots more about Syria's famed 'White Helmets' organization. Already recipients of a prestigious Right Livelihood Award, the shadowy group are also being promoted for a Nobel Peace prize.

Rick Sterling is an independent researcher, writer, and member of Syria Solidarity Movement, an organization who has mounted an online campaign to pressure the Right Livelihood Foundation to reverse its award decision. Sterling's articles can be found online at CounterPunch, ConsortiumNews, Dissident Voice, and at Pacific Free Press. Rick's also an active member of the Task Force on the Americas at the Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center.


Rick Sterling and helmets of another colour in the second half.

 

And, Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of good goings on planned for our streets and beyond in the coming week. But first, Ben Isitt and what future the forests of Vancouver Island?

 

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm 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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Setting the Table for Hillary's War Presidency

The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War

by Diana Johnstone - CounterPunch


September 26, 2016

 
If the British Empire was built on the playing fields of Eton, United States world hegemony gets its training in Hollywood studios and advertising agencies. Selling your product, or yourself, by looking sincere is a cultivated American art.
 
Current top U.S. leaders are expert practitioners.
 
In the space of a few days, Samantha Power, John Kerry, and Barack Obama all turned in war-winning performances.

 

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Lethal First Resorts: A Plague of Police Killings

Police too often shoot to kill as a first resort: The Key Thing about the Latest Police Killing in Charlotte, NC is that It Was Totally Gratuitous

by Dave Lindorff  - This Can't Be Happening


September 25, 2016

Now that the Charlotte, NC Police Department has reluctantly released the body cam and squad-car videos in its possession of the police killing of Keith Lamont Scott, which make it clear that nobody knew whether or not Scott even had a gun in his SUV with him, and that he apparently didn't have one in hand when he exited his vehicle, and did not appear to be threatening anyone, one thing is abundantly clear: Whether he had a gun or not, there was absolutely no reason for police to kill him.

Scott's only "crime" -- a common one for frightened or confused people when suddenly confronted, initially in this case by armed plainclothes officers who may not even have identified themselves as policeman, and later by a bunch of shouting, angry armed cops with weapons aimed at him -- was to stay put in his seat with the doors locked when ordered to exit the vehicle.

Sequence of still images from video taken on a cellphone by Keith Scott' wife show his killer, officer Brentley Vinson, tossing (perhaps a gun?) onto the pavement near his dying victim (MSNBC video)

Sequence of still images from video taken on a cellphone by Keith Scott's wife show his killer, officer
Brentley Vinson, tossing (perhaps a gun?) onto the pavement near his dying victim (MSNBC video)
 

 

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General Warns: Imposing Syria No-Fly Zone Will Lead to War with Russia

Top US general warns Syrian “no-fly” zone means war with Russia

by Bill Van Auken - WSWS


24 September 2016 

The enforcement of a “no-fly” zone in Syria would mean a US war with both Syria and Russia, the top US uniformed commander told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spelled out the grave implications of the policy advocated by both predominant sections within the Republican Party as well as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton amid rising violence in Syria and increasing pressure by Washington on the Russian government to unilaterally agree to grounding its own aircraft as well as those of the Syrian government.

Secretary of State John Kerry has repeatedly demanded that Russia adhere to what would essentially be a one-sided “no-fly” zone under conditions in which US warplanes would continue carrying out airstrikes. Kerry presented his proposal as a means of reviving and restoring “credibility” to a ceasefire agreement that he and the Russian Foreign Minister negotiated on September 9.

 

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From Bach to Slim Shady: The Evolution of Torture Chamber Music

Torture Chamber Music

by David Yearsley  - CounterPunch

 

September 23, 2016 


With the transfer last month to the United Arab Emirates of fifteen prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, and with word yesterday that one of two long-term Malaysian detainees may be headed home to continue “de-radicalization” in a maximum security prison there, Obama lurches towards bitter fulfillment of his long-ago campaign pledge to close the notorious prison and torture center. He has 118 days to deal with the last 61 detainees.

In thinking musically about the grim legacy of Guantanamo’s torturous regime the obvious place to start is with the hits—ones that leave no bruises—the CIA used in its “enhanced interrogations.”

Among the weaponized pop deployed was Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady” played so relentlessly, reported Binyam Mohamed, who was released in 2009 after seven-years detention, that he could hear other inmates “screaming and smashing their heads against walls.”

 

 

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No Kidding: America Losing Its Sense of Humor

You Must Be Kidding! Adventures in an American World of Frustration
by Tom Engelhardt - TomDispatch
 
September 22, 2016
 
Recently, sorting through a pile of old children’s books, I came across a volume, That Makes Me Mad!, which brought back memories. Written by Steve Kroll, a long-dead friend, it focused on the eternally frustrating everyday adventures of Nina, a little girl whose life regularly meets commonplace roadblocks, at which point she always says... well, you can guess from the title!
 
Vivid parental memories of another age instantly flooded back -- of my daughter (now reading such books to her own son) sitting beside me at age five and hitting that repeated line with such mind-blowing, ear-crushing gusto that you knew it spoke to the everyday frustrations of her life, to what made her mad.
 
Three decades later, in an almost unimaginably different America, on picking up that book I suddenly realized that, whenever I follow the news online, on TV, or -- and forgive me for this but I’m 72 and still trapped in another era -- on paper, I have a similarly Nina-esque urge.
 
Only the line I’ve come up with for it is (with a tip of the hat to Steve Kroll) “You must be kidding!”
 
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Robert Hunziker, Richard Atwell, Janine Bandcroft September 21, 2016

This Week on GR

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


September 21, 2016

 

It's hard to believe, five and a half years have passed since the devastating earthquake and tsunami that rocked Fukushima prefecture. Harder to believe still is the International Olympics Committee buying prime minister Abe's assertion that Fukushima will be ready to host events at the 2020 games. Or maybe it wasn't the IOC doing the buying?

That in recent years the Olympic Games, both Winter and Summer, has become less associated with sporting excellence and the upper limits of human achievement than with deceit, base corruption, and unparalleled venality - where the purity of amateur athleticism, and ideal of international cooperation, if only on a playing field and for a short while, is entirely transmogrified by a corporatist, win-at-all-cost ethos - is news to no-one; hardly worth mentioning, but what is interesting is the accelerating sense of doom the five-ringed circus has come to forebode.

 

Listen. Hear.

 

Whether the tremendous environmental price of industrial hyper-development, as glimpsed through Beijing's choking smog shroud, the spectres of Sochi's ethnically cleansed original inhabitants, or Rio's erased favelas and emergent Zika contagion, it's almost as though those rings carry a curse. If that's so, nothing seen so far can compare with the horror potential currently lurking just below the surface of the next planned Olympics in Japan.

Robert Hunziker is an environmental journalist whose climate clarion calls appear in numerous journals and multiple languages around the World and across the internet. He's also appeared in a variety of media to talk about global climate change and has written extensively about the ongoing aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Robert Hunziker in the first half.

And; now they've done it! Last week, Capital Regional District directors voted to fund a new sewage treatment plant to be located at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt. The controversial issue of how best to handle the region's effluent has livened council meetings, and the local press for years now, but is the CRD greenlighting of the McLouglin Point plant an end to the contentious project, or just another log on the fire?

Richard Atwell is Mayor of Saanich, the region's largest municipality, and represents the sole dissenting vote on the CRD board's "almost unanimous" sewage vote. It was Atwell's advocacy for an alternative sewage plan for the region that led him into politics, and a stunning political upset rookie win against the near two decades-old administration of incumbent mayor, Frank Leonard in 2014.

Richard Atwell and finding a lasting regional pollution solution in the second segment.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio host, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of good things going on in and around our town and beyond in the coming week. But first, Robert Hunziker and the Fukushima disaster past, present, and forever.

 

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm 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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