Sitting with Colin Kaepernick

Three Cheers for Kaepernick: Is Sitting During the National Anthem an Acceptable Form of Protest?

by Mike Whitney - CounterPunch

August 30, 2016

“Yes, I’ll continue to sit. I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”     — Colin Kaepernick

If you don’t think it takes guts to stay seated during the National Anthem, then buy a ticket for a major sporting event –let’s say, a baseball game– and refuse to stand up when the singing starts. Then you’ll see the fur fly. Then you’ll see how rankled people get when you don’t participate in their patriotic rituals.

On Friday night, San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, refused to stand for the national anthem before a preseason game with the Green Bay Packers. As a result, he’s been universally excoriated, scorned and reviled by liberals and conservatives alike. I mean, it’s only been 48 hours since the incident, and already the man has already been dragged through the meat grinder.

Almost overnight, Kaepernick has become the guy that everyone loves to hate, the new Hitler. But, why? Because he had the audacity to make a statement about the treatment of blacks in America today? Because he wanted to draw attention to the numerous young black men that have gunned down by cops in cities across the country? Because he wanted people to realize that the “land of the free” ain’t so free if your skin isn’t lily-white? Is that why everyone is so pissed off?

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color…To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” (C. Kaepernick)
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Dumb and Dumber at the New York Times

The Dumbed Down Times Columnist: Sometimes you can't believe people can write such crap

by Dave Lindorff  - This Can't Be Happening

August 29, 2016

I was reading the latest smug piece by New York Times columnist Timothy Egan, when I came across the most amusing example of being what you're criticizing. Egan, in a piece titled "The Dumbed Down Democracy," bemoaned the spreading ignorance of the American electorate.

Not only are 10 percent of Americans illiterate, Egan groaned. They're also "politically illiterate." Expressing mock astonishment, he wrote, "I give you Texas. A recent survey of Donald Trump supporters there found that 40 percent of them believe that Acorn will steal the upcoming election."

He goes on:

"Acorn? News flash: That community-organizing group has been out of existence for six years. Acorn is gone, disbanded. dead. It can no more steal an election than Donald Trump can pole vault over his Mexican wall."

In Egan's view, it's those Trump voters who are ignoramuses.

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Lies of the Times: Financial Times, Mayhem's Cheerleader

The Financial Times: Megaphone for Mass Murder

by James Petras - Dissident Voice

August 28th, 2016 

The Financial Times editorial page carries a logo that proclaims: “Without fear and without favour”. Indeed the editors have shown no fear when it comes to… fabricating lies, promoting imperial wars decimating countries and impoverishing millions, whether in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and now Venezuela. The fearless “Lies of Our Times” have been at the forefront forging pretexts for inciting imperial armies to crush independent governments.
Despite its pretentious scribblers and prestigious claims, the FT is seen by the Anglo-American financial class as a belligerent purveyor of militarist policies designed for the most retrograde sectors of the ruling elite.
What is most striking about the FT fearless fabrications on behalf of imperial militarism is how often their political and economic prognostications have been incompetent and flat out wrong.
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It Ain't Justice, Just the Way It's Done

America’s Criminal Injustice System: The Annals of a Private Eye
by Judith Coburn - TomDispatch

August 16, 2016
Once upon a time, I was a journalist, covering war in Indochina, Central America, and the Middle East. I made it my job to write about the victims of war, the "civilian casualties." To me, they were hardly "collateral damage," that bloodless term the military persuaded journalists to adopt. To me, they were the center of war.

Now, I work at home and I’m a private eye -- or P.I. to you. I work mostly on homicide cases for defense lawyers on the mean streets of Oakland, California, one of America's murder capitals. Some days, Oakland feels like Saigon, Tegucigalpa, or Gaza. There's the deception of daily life and the silent routine of dread punctured by out-of-the blue mayhem. Oakland's poor neighborhoods are a war zone whose violence can even explode onto streets made rich overnight by the tech boom.

Any quiet day, you can drive down San Pablo Avenue past St. Columba Catholic Church, where a thicket of white crosses, one for every Oaklander killed by gun violence, year by year, fills its front yard.
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Don't Mention the Dirty War: Colombia's Peace Announcement Premature

Colombia: Peace in the Shadow of the Death Squads

by Daniel Kovalik - CounterPunch

August 25, 2016

As the Colombian government and left-wing FARC rebels near the signing of a comprehensive peace accord, and though they have already signed a bi-lateral ceasefire which is largely holding, Colombia is still suffering from the worst human rights abuses in the Western Hemisphere. These abuses are being carried out by right-wing paramilitary groups (aka, death squads), which the U.S. and Colombian governments conveniently deny even exist.

These paramilitary groups, in accord with their long-time friend and ally, former President Alvaro Uribe, are openly and aggressively opposed to the peace accords, and will most certainly escalate their violence as a national referendum which will be held to ratify, or reject, these accords draws near.

Thus, as Insight Crime recently reported, the Colombian Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) estimates that nearly 250 municipalities (or more than 25% of the 1,105 municipalities in all of Colombia) “are at risk of violence or fraud affecting the referendum on an anticipated peace deal” with the FARC.

The departments of Choco, Arauca, Cauca and Putumayo – that is, departments with heavy concentrations of Afro-Colombians and indigenous – are among the departments with the greatest risk.


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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Mark Taliano, Ken Boon, Janine Bandcroft Aug. 24, 2016

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

August 24, 2016

More than five years into the forced Syrian regime change effort, NATO's media allies are sounding desperate. How else to describe the increasingly shrill, and dizzyingly frequent condemnations from "unnamed sources"? Even the staid old CBC has leapt into the new news paradigm fray, massaging Washington's message, even while entombing its journalistic credibility.

The recent photo-bombing of a five year old victim, if not a new tactic in the propaganda war, marks a new low, leaving only a descent to tales of babes on bayonets, or the same thrown from incubators onto the cold, cold floor.

But what's really going on in Syria, and how did it come to be in such a sad state?


Listen. Hear.

Mark Taliano is a Canadian writer, researcher, and activist who, after a career instructing the youth of the nation, has turned his attention to educating the rest of us. His articles can be found at Global Research, American Herald Tribune, IntrepidReport, and at Pacific Free Press, among other places. His latest article, 'Imperial Lawlessness' argues, "The dirty war on Syria will be settled on the battlefield. International law is broken."

Mark Taliano in the first half.

And; Canada's iconic rock and roll band, 'The Tragically Hip' finished a curtain-dropping concert on their lengthy career over the weekend, with Hip front-man, Gord Downie - dying of inoperable brain cancer - voicing support for Canada's hip, young prime minister, Justin Trudeau. Downie specifically mentioned Trudeau's stated support on the many First Nations issues left unaddressed by all previous governments. But, not everyone agrees; some critics singling out the green lighting of the Site-C Dam project in BC as a prime example of a Liberal forked-tongued policy.

Ken Boon is a Peace Valley farmer standing to lose his livelihood should Site-C be built. He’s also the president of the Peace Valley Landowners Association, and one of the six cited by the Crown corporation in its suit for, “intentional interference with economic relations by unlawful means.” I spoke with Ken in early June about the contentious Site-C.

Ken Boon and the dam Justin would see built 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 coming good times in, around, and on the streets of our town, and beyond there too. But first, Mark Taliano and at international law's end in Syria.


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:
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Indecent Alliance: War Criminals and Moral Miscreants Amass Against Trump Presidency

What Does It Mean When War Hawks Say, “Never Trump”? The Enemies of My Enemy May Be War Criminals

by Rebecca Gordon - TomDispatch

August 21, 2016   
It’s not every day that Republicans publish an open letter announcing that their presidential candidate is unfit for office. But lately this sort of thing has been happening more and more frequently
The most recent example: we just heard from 50 representatives of the national security apparatus, men -- and a few women -- who served under Republican presidents from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush. All of them are very worried about Donald Trump.

They think we should be alerted to the fact that the Republican standard-bearer “lacks the character, values, and experience to be president.”
That’s true of course, but it’s also pretty rich, coming from this bunch.
 The letter’s signers include, among others, the man who was Condoleezza Rice’s legal advisor when she ran the National Security Council (John Bellinger III); one of George W. Bush’s CIA directors who also ran the National Security Agency (Michael Hayden); a Bush administration ambassador to the United Nations and Iraq (John Negroponte); an architect of the neoconservative policy in the Middle East adopted by the Bush administration that led to the invasion of Iraq, who has since served as president of the World Bank (Robert Zoellick). In short, given the history of the “global war on terror,” this is your basic list of potential American war criminals.
Their letter continues, “He weakens U.S. moral authority as the leader of the free world.” There’s a sentence that could use some unpacking. 
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The Zombie Doctrine: Richard Holbrooke Killing from Beyond the Grave

Richard Holbrooke and the Obama Doctrine

by Joshua Frank  - CounterPunch

August 19, 2016

In the early morning hours of January 23rd, 2009 a U.S. spy plane killed 15 individuals in Pakistan near the Afghanistan border. It was Barack Obama’s first blood and the U.S.’ first violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty under the new administration.

As the U.S. government fired upon alleged terrorists in the rugged outback of Pakistan, Obama was back in Washington appointing Richard Holbrooke as a special U.S. representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, like the remote-control bombing that claimed human life that day, Obama’s vision for the region, in the embodiment of Holbrooke, was not a drastic departure from the failed Bush doctrine.

“[Holbrooke] is one of the most talented diplomats of his generation,” Obama said during a press conference at the State Department during the same month. In his speech Obama declared that both Afghanistan and Pakistan will be the “central front” in the War on Terror.


“There, as in the Middle East, we must understand that we cannot deal with our problems in isolation,” Obama stated.

Despite Obama’s insistence that Holbrooke was qualified to lead new efforts in the War on Terror, history protested.


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Still Crazy After All These Years: Times Isn't A-Changin' Misrepresentation of Assange Case

New York Times soils itself: Attacking Wikileaks’ Assange for Doing What Journalists are Supposed to Do

by Dave Lindorff  - This Can't Be Happening

August 18, 2016

While I periodically have written commentaries dissecting and pillorying news articles in the New York Times to expose their bias, hypocrisy half-truths and lies, I generally ignore their editorials since these are overtly opinions of the management, and one expects them to display the elitist and neo-liberal perspective of the paper’s publisher and senior editors.

Julian Assange remains holed up in the Ecuador embassy in London
fearing extradition to the US on an espionage charge

That said, the August 17 editorial about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has spent four harrowing years trapped in the apartment-sized Ecuadoran embassy thanks to a trumped-up and thoroughly discredited political rape “investigation” by a politically driven Swedish prosecutor and a complicit right-wing British government, moves far beyond even the routine rampant bias and distortion of a Times editorial into misrepresentation and character assassination. As such it cries out for criticism.

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Alexander, Hamilton, Puerto Rico, and the Irony of the Bankster Empire Play

The Irony of Hamilton Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Advocacy for Puerto Rico

by Matt Peppe - Dissident Voice

August 15th, 2016

As the economic and humanitarian crisis has worsened in Puerto Rico in recent months, playwright and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, has given voice in interviews and Op-Eds to the severity of the crisis among ordinary Puerto Ricans. Miranda called the island’s debt crisis a matter of “life and death,” saying,

“I have a lot of family who are struggling in Puerto Rico, that’s not an abstract issue to me.”

He humanizes what the statistics – $73 billion in debt, $19,500 median household income, 11.5 percent sales tax, 64,000 people leaving per year – can not. Puerto Rico is a debt colony whose function as a political entity is to service its creditors.

Ironically, Miranda achieved the celebrity he’s now using to advocate for the Puerto Rican people by glorifying and aggrandizing the most ruthless champion of creditors in American history.


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Obama's Disaster Doctrine and a Devastated Middle East

The Obama Doctrine is Ravaging the Middle East  - War to ‘Stop’ War: Libya’s ‘Operation Odyssey Lightning’

by Ramzy Baroud -

August 17, 2016

Everyone seems to have a theory on how to obliterate ISIS, or ‘Daesh’. However, two points are rarely raised: one, concerning the origins of the group and the second, on whether there are genuine intentions to defeat it, in the first place.

We must boldly address the first to unravel the enigma behind the rise and growth of ‘Daesh’ – otherwise, how else can the group be dismantled.

We must contend with the second point before engaging in superfluous discussions about the most appropriate war strategy - that if war is, at all, the answer.

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ingmar Lee, Ted Rall, Janine Bandcroft Aug. 17, 2016

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

August 17, 2016


Last March, the American-flagged tug, Ocean Eagle ran aground near Campbell River. The single-hulled barge it towed too came to grief, with its cargo - including more than 80,000 gallons of diesel and other, unspecified toxic materials - threatening the waters off Chatham Point. More dangerous to the marine environment than this near calamity though is the woefully inadequate response apparatus in place to deal with the increasing number of grounding incidents in and around the Salish Sea.

Ingmar Lee is a long-time, BC-based environment defender, some of whose many Herculean efforts to protect both the wild lands and coastal ecosystem have been chronicled here over the last decade and a half.


Listen. Hear.

Among those efforts is the creation of the Facebook site, 10,000 Ton Tanker in order to track, and cease, the regular passage of pusher-tug, Nathan E Stewart and its 10,000-ton capacity tanker-barges through BC waters. Ingmar filed Freedom Of Information requests on the Ocean Eagle tug incident, and nearly five months later, has received some information of interest.

Ingmar Lee in the first half.

And; almost as old as the Silver Screen itself is the "gritty reporter takes on corruption" plot line; but, like a lot in Hollywood, the Real World tells a different story. Ted Rall knows it too well. The LA Times syndicated political cartoonist nosed too close to the ugly truth in Tinsel Town, getting himself in a jam with the local boys in blue. And, just when he needed his bosses at the Times to cover his back most they turned Judas, throwing him to the wolves instead.

Ted Rall is a Pulitzer Prize-finalist, journalist, prolific graphic artist and author whose books include: ‘After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You As Honored Guests: Unembedded in Afghanistan,’ ‘To Afghanistan and Back: A Graphic Travelogue,’ ‘The Book of Obama: From Hope and Change to the Age of Revolt,’ ‘Snowden,’ and his latest, 'Trump: A Graphic Biography.'

Ted Rall getting up close and personal with the LA Times 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 newz of good things planned for the streetz of our town in the coming week - and beyond there too. But first, Ingmar Lee getting the file on the Ocean Eagle's rough landing.


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:
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