March 24th, 2015 I
n California’s epic drought, wars over water rights continue, while innovative alternatives for increasing the available water supply go untapped.
Wars over California’s limited water supply have been going on for at least a century. Water wars have been the subject of some vintage movies, including the 1958 hit The Big Country starring Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood’s 1985 Pale Rider, 1995’s Waterworld with Kevin Costner, and the 2005 film Batman Begins.
Most acclaimed was the 1975 Academy Award winner Chinatown with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, involving a plot between a corrupt Los Angeles politician and land speculators to fabricate the 1937 drought in order to force farmers to sell their land at low prices.
The plot was rooted in historical fact, reflecting battles between Owens Valley farmers and Los Angeles urbanites over water rights.
Today the water wars continue on a larger scale with new players. It’s no longer just the farmers against the ranchers or the urbanites. It’s the people against the new “water barons”
– Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Monsanto, the Bush family, and their ilk – who are buying up water all over the world at an unprecedented pace.
Created on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 03:07
Written by Chris Cook
by C. L. Cook
tephen Harper stood before Canada's parliament yesterday to present a motion to both extend the duration of the country's "mission" in Iraq beyond the six months previously promised, and to expand the scope of Canadian Forces war-making beyond the borders of Iraq into Syria, belying a second promise previously made when seeking the House's blessings last year.
The prime minister explained the turnaround, saying; “ISIL’s fighters and much of its heavier equipment are moving freely across the Iraqi border into Syria, in part for better protection against our airstrikes.”
Among the many things left out of Mr. Harper's motion was the provenance of that equipment. Last month, Iraq's government, announced the shoot down of British planes full of military gear; gear destined not for "our" allies but for the same "ISIL" Harper would have us dedicate more blood and treasure to defeat.
It's a complex situation, made more so for parliamentarians on both sides of the aisle, and Canadians generally, because they and we don't have the information needed to make rational decisions. But, faith has trumped knowledge every time for the current government.
is an Australian solidarity activist and academic at the University of Sydney. He studied economic development, human rights, and self-determination in the Asia-Pacific region and in Latin America. He studied too in Cuba, publishes essays, produces videos, and works on solidarity campaigns with the people of Cuba. His latest articles, published at Global Research, explore the complex web of local and international interests at play in Syria and Iraq conflict.
Tim Anderson in the first half.
And; many British Columbians remember the 'War in the Woods,' a watershed moment in the long struggle to protect the province's ecological viability. Today, in Area 7, the Department of Oceans and Fisheries designation for the waters off the Great Bear Rainforest, in Heiltsuk territory, another such moment may be taking place, with a Tribal Council order to halt the commercial herring roe kill-fishery.
Krista Roessingh is media liaison with PacificWild.org, the Denny Island-based environmental organization dedicated to, "Defend wildlife and their habitat on Canada's Pacific coast."
Taking to the water to protect herring stocks 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 up to speed with some of what's good to do in and around our town, and beyond there too, in the coming week. But first, Tim Anderson and getting behind the "official truth" of the Syria/Iraq conflict.
Read more: Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Tim Anderson, Krista Roessingh, Janine Bandcroft Mar. 25, 2015
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. And now heard at Simon Fraser University's http://www.cjsf.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/
Created on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 20:23
Written by Robert Parry
Ukraine’s Oligarchs Turn on Each Other
March 24, 2015
n the never-never land of how the mainstream U.S. press covers the Ukraine crisis, the appointment last year of thuggish oligarch Igor Kolomoisky to govern one of the country’s eastern provinces was pitched as a democratic “reform” because he was supposedly too rich to bribe, without noting that his wealth had come from plundering the country’s economy.
In other words, the new U.S.-backed “democratic” regime, after overthrowing democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych because he was “corrupt,” was rewarding one of Ukraine’s top thieves by letting him lord over his own province, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, with the help of his personal army. Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky confronting journalists after he led an armed team in a raid at the government-owned energy company in Kiev on March 19, 2015. (Screen shot from YouTube)
Last year, Kolomoisky’s brutal militias, which include neo-Nazi brigades, were praised for their fierce fighting against ethnic Russians from the east who were resisting the removal of their president. But now Kolomoisky, whose financial empire is crumbling as Ukraine’s economy founders, has turned his hired guns against the Ukrainian government led by another oligarch, President Petro Poroshenko.
Read more: Ukraine's Tarantulas Turn on Each Other
Created on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 01:45
Written by Jim Lobe
Washington Misses Bigger Picture of New Chinese Bank
by Jim Lobe
ibi Netanyahu’s election, persistent violence through much of the Middle East and North Africa, and intensified efforts to forge a nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran topped the news here in Washington this week.
But a much bigger story in terms of the future order of global politics was taking place in Europe and Beijing.
The story was simply this: virtually all of the closest European allies of the United States, beginning with Britain, defied pressure from Washington
by deciding to apply for founding membership in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
This Chinese initiative could quickly rival the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank as a major source of funding for big development projects across Eurasia.
Created on Monday, 23 March 2015 05:06
Written by Robert Parry
Crimeans Keep Saying No to Ukraine
by Robert Parry
- Consortium NewsA
central piece of the West’s false narrative on the Ukraine crisis has been that Russian President Vladimir Putin “invaded” Crimea and then staged a “sham” referendum purporting to show 96 percent support for leaving Ukraine and rejoining Russia. More recently, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland claimed that Putin has subjected Crimea to a “reign of terror.”
Both elements have been part of the “group think” that dominates U.S. political and media circles, but this propagandistic storyline simply isn’t true, especially the part about the Crimeans being subjugated by Russia.
Consistently, over the past year, polls conducted by major Western firms have revealed that the people of Crimea by overwhelming numbers prefer being part of Russia over Ukraine, an embarrassing reality that Forbes business magazine has now acknowledged.
Created on Sunday, 22 March 2015 23:03
Written by Tom Engelhardt
Can You Say "Blowback" in Spanish? The Failed War on Drugs in Mexico (and the United States)
by Rebecca Gordon
people by the hundreds. They heap headless, handless bodies along roadsides as warnings
to those who would resist their power. They have penetrated
the local, state, and national governments and control entire sections of the country.
They provide employment
and services to an impoverished public, which distrusts their actual government with its bitter record of corruption
, and torture
. They seduce
young people from several countries, including the United States, into their murderous activities.
Is this a description of the heinous practices of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria? It could be, but as a matter of fact it’s not. These particular thugs exist a lot closer to home. They are part of the multi-billion-dollar industry known as the drug cartels of Mexico.
Like the Islamic State, the cartels' power has increased as the result of disastrous policies born in the U.S.A.
There are other parallels between IS and groups like Mexico's Zetas and its Sinaloa cartel. Just as the U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya fertilized
the field for IS, another U.S. war, the so-called War on Drugs, opened new horizons for the drug cartels. Just as Washington has worked hand-in-hand with and also behind the backs of corrupt rulers in Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, so it has done with the Mexican government. Both kinds of war have resulted in blowback -- violent consequences felt in our own cities, whether at the finish line of the Boston Marathon or in communities of color across the country.
In Mexico, the U.S. military is directly involved in the War on Drugs. In this country, that "war" has provided the pretext for the militarization of local police forces and increased routine surveillance of ordinary people going about their ordinary lives.
And just as both the national security state and the right wing have used the specter of IS to create an atmosphere of panic and hysteria
in this country, so both have used
the drug cartels' grotesque theater of violence to justify their demonization of immigrants from Latin America and the massive militarization
of America’s borderlands.
Created on Sunday, 22 March 2015 21:25
Written by Gilad Atzmon
The Jewish Left Is Not The Solution, It Is The Heart Of The Problem
have never met Jeff Halper. What I know about him is that he is an American Jew who settled on Palestinian land but opposes Israeli house demolition. Halper appears to be a participant in the Zionist project while at the same time opposing the measures that have been implemented to sustain that plunderous project.
Halper’s moral discrepancy shouldn’t take us by surprise, he is far from alone. This behavioural mode is symptomatic of Jewish Left thinking in general and the Jewish anti Zionist call in particular.
Instead of presenting a genuine ethical argument, the Jewish Left is a desperate attempt to convey an ‘image’ of Jewish moral awareness. Instead of being ethical they mimic a true ethical argument.
In the last few years, Mondoweiss has become the home for this Hasbara operation. It enthusiastically promotes Judeo-centric half-baked thoughts and comments that are designed to divert attention away from the Jewishness that drives the Jewish State and its lobby.