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Rainforest Fires: Paradise Burnt

Paradise Burning: Why We All Need to Learn the Word “Anthropogenic”
by Subhankar Banerjee - TomDispatch

The wettest rainforest in the continental United States had gone up in flames and the smoke was so thick, so blanketing, that you could see it miles away. Deep in Washington’s Olympic National Park, the aptly named Paradise Fire, undaunted by the dampness of it all, was eating the forest alive and destroying an ecological Eden. 
 
In this season of drought across the West, there have been far bigger blazes but none quite so symbolic or offering quite such grim news. It isn’t the size of the fire (though it is the largest in the park’s history), nor its intensity. It’s something else entirely -- the fact that it shouldn’t have been burning at all. When fire can eat a rainforest in a relatively cool climate, you know the Earth is beginning to burn.

And here’s the thing: the Olympic Peninsula is my home. Its destruction is my personal nightmare and I couldn’t stay away. 
 
 
 

NDP Speaks Green, While Staying Silent on Kinder Morgan

A Vote for the Mulcair NDP is a Vote for Kinder Morgan
by Ingmar Lee
Friends, as happens in every election, the NDP DEMAND for the Green vote is becoming increasingly shrill. But In spite of repeated, continual requests, - of my NDP MP, Nathan Cullen, and from other high-ranking members of the federal NDP, for a position statement, a policy, anything at all, regarding BC's current, most serious environmental calamity, - namely the Kinder Morgan ASSAULT on the province- and there is...utterly nothing, blank, nada.

Now that the tide has clearly turned on the Enbridge scheme, the federal NDP has discovered that fight and climbed on the bandwagon with its disingenuous "Save (only) Our (north) Coast" campaign, nevertheless the party remains perched firmly on the fence regarding Kinder Morgan. Mulcair even visited Vancouver during the height of the Burnaby Mountain uprising, where more than 100 people were arrested, - and said nothing.

If the NDP want the environmental vote in BC, they need to GET SOME SPINE, and state a position condemning the Kinder Morgan scheme. We, as a movement, need to DEMAND that they do so now.

The Twisted Caliphate: Rethinking War and "IS"

Darker Horizons Ahead: Rethinking the War on 'IS'
by Ramzy Baroud  - Palestine Chronicle
As much of the Middle East sinks deeper into division between competing political camps, the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (‘IS’) continues its unhindered march towards a twisted version of a Muslim caliphate. Many thousands have lost their lives, some in the most torturous ways, so that ‘IS’ may realize its nightmarish dream.
 
Of course, violence meted out by ‘IS’ is hardly an anomaly, considering that the group was spawned in a predominantly violent environment. It is difficult to imagine, for example, that, if the Syrian regime and its opposition had sought a political solution from the early days of the uprising, ‘IS’ would have found a stable foothold for itself in Syria.
 
It was during the emergence of violence by the Syrian regime that ‘IS’, a dark force that neither believes in democracy, civil rights nor co-existence, appeared. The same scenario was repeated in Iraq and a host of other countries. In an article in the Independent newspaper, Patrick Cockburn highlighted seven countries where the influence of ‘IS’ is great or growing: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and north-east Nigeria.
 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Greg Palast, Terry Wolfwood, Janine Bandcroft Jul 29, 2015

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

If the laws governing macro-economics is all Greek to you, don't be too hard on yourself; the Greeks too are having a hard time fathoming just what the hell happened to their economy.
 
There are almost as many theories as there are pundits trying to explain the situation, but few on the major news networks dare dig behind the prevailing myth that frames the latest road-kill on the European Union's highway to neo-liberal Nirvana as due to, as my first guest paraphrased it, "lazy, ouzo-swilling, olive pit-spitting Greeks."

It's a classic blame-the-victim narrative, revealing little of the actual story behind Greece's financial tragedy.
 
Listen. Hear.

Greg Palast is a journalist, television presenter, and reporting investigator whose reports are found stateside at The Nation Magazine, Rolling Stone, Harper's Magazine, and online at Truthout.org and at GregPalast.com.

He's also author of the New York Times' Best Selling books, 'Billionaires and Ballot Bandits,' 'Armed Madhouse,' and 'The Best Democracy Money Can Buy,' among others, and he's an economist, trained at the infamous Chicago School of Economics, incubator of the very theories ravaging Greece today.

Greg's latest book, 'Vultures' Picnic' was named "Book of the Year" by the BBC's Newsnight Review, and his film exposés include: 'Billionaires and Ballot Bandits - The Movie,' 'Vultures and Vote Rustlers,' 'Why We Occupy - Palast Live!,' 'Big Easy to Big Empty,' 'Bush Family Fortunes, ' 'The Assassination of Hugo Chavez,' 'Palast Investigates,' 'The Election File,' and with Jeremy Scahill 'Big Noise: From Black Water to White Powder.'

Greg Palast in the first segment.

And; next week commemorations marking the dates of two of humanity's most heinous acts will be held again in Victoria, and around the World. On August 6th, the Victoria chapter of the Women in Black, an international collective dedicated to the promotion of peace and opposition to war and violence, will mark the 70th anniversary of the1945 destruction of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Obliterated by a new kind of weapon, the unprecedented attack set the stage for a nuclear arms race and stand-off the shadow of which still looms over the planet generations later.

Theresa Wolfwood is Director and co-founder of the Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation, and is a writer, photographer, and long-time activist who has traveled from the highlands of Mexico to the gates of Gaza and beyond in pursuit of peace, social justice, and women's rights. Wolfwood has written for Briarpatch, Peace News, and Third World Resurgence among others, and is local coordinator for Victoria's Women in Black. She and the Women in Black will hold an educational picket August 6th at the Inner Harbour.

Terry Wolfwood and the Women in Black standing vigil for Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and a World weary of warfare 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 here too, for the coming week.

But first; Greg Palast and Eurozone Economics 101: Getting Greece'd.


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm 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 Add a comment Read more: Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Greg Palast, Terry Wolfwood, Janine Bandcroft Jul 29, 2015

Donetsk's Shell-Shocked Citizenry Rally, Implore OSCE and Red Cross Truthfully Report Situation

Donetsk Residents Vent Anger at OSCE and Red Cross for "Silence" over Ukraine Shelling
by New Cold War
Four days ago, hundreds of angry residents of Donetsk city and region rallied in front of the Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Donetsk where monitors of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the International Committee of the Red Cross were staying.
 
Novorossia News reports that residents gathered to express their outrage at what they consider the bad job of the OSCE and ICRC in reporting to the world the situation in Donetsk and more broadly in Donbas. They called for impartial reporting of developments in the Donbas region by the two agencies.

According to participants, international monitors are not impartial in the reporting of what is going on in war-hit Donbas.
 

Vancouver: Unist'ot'en Solidarity Rally, THIS Thursday July 30th

Unist'ot'en Solidarity Rally, THIS Thursday July 30th
by Rising Tide Vancouver
Dear comrades, Rising Tide is supporting the event below, being organizing by an ad-hoc ground of Unist'ot'en supporters.

As the RCMP and Industry escalate, we need to show that those re-occupying their territory up North are not alone! Please forward, share on facebook, tweet this out!

Messages of solidarity from individuals and groups are being collected. Please consider sending your message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
In solidarity,
 

BC's Pipe Dreams and a Reality Disjuncture

Intellectual Disjuncture
by Kim Petersen - Dissident Voice

July 27th, 2015

British Columbia,”1 a province wrought through the genocide of First Nations2 and theft of their territory has been beset with several forest fires this summer that has at times choked urban centers with ash and particulate.
 
Christy Clark, the premier of British Columbia, has blamed climate change for the great burn. “Climate change has altered the terrain. It’s made us much more vulnerable to fire,” said Clark.
 
Clark noted the financial impact of such climate change — the province was $100 million over budget on fire fighting.
 

A "Mass Slaughter of Civilians" in Yemen

US-backed Saudi strikes in Yemen kill 120 civilians
by Thomas Gaist - WSWS

27 July 2015
 
Saudi war planes killed at least 120 civilians in a series of airstrikes in the city of Taiz late Friday night. The strikes destroyed buildings that were serving as workers’ quarters as well as a nearby agricultural facility.
 
The attack was only the latest instance of mass killing of civilians in the bombing campaign waged by the Saudi-led, US-backed coalition that began in March.
 
Despite claims from Riyadh that such events are accidental, a growing body of evidence shows that the Saudi air campaign is systematically targeting civilian areas. The war is aimed at terrorizing the Yemeni masses into opposing the Houthi takeover and acceding to the restoration of US-Saudi control over the country through the re-imposition of the puppet government led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
 
The mass slaughter of civilians has become “the new trend now of the air strikes from the coalition,” a representative from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) told the Associated Press.
 
“It’s a house, it’s a market, it’s anything,” the MSF representative said, referring to the direct targeting of civilian areas by the Arab coalition.
 

Israel's Neo-Con Reunionists Rattle Congressional Cage to Stop Iran Nuke Deal

Israel Clears the Bench in Iran Fight
by Robert Parry - Consortium News
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer, acting like the coach of a football team, instructed congressional Republicans to “leave everything on the field” in the fight to defeat the international agreement with Iran over its nuclear energy program, a sign of how openly Israel now feels it controls the GOP.
 
Israel wants the Iran deal killed so it can keep open options for bombing Iran and imposing “regime change.” And, immediately after Dermer’s locker-room-style pep talk, Republican members of Congress began falling into line, lashing out at Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior officials who negotiated the agreement reached earlier this month between six world powers and Iran.
 
House Speaker John Boehner announced that he would “do everything possible to stop” the deal. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker told Kerry that he’d been “fleeced.” Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican candidate for president, said the next president – presumably meaning himself if he’s successful – could overturn the deal because it’s not a binding treaty.
 

Barbarians and Apes - Galeano Remembers Humankind

God’s Masterpiece or the Devil’s Bad Joke? Barbarians and Apes -- from the Opium Wars to the Origin of the Species
by Eduardo Galeano - TomDispatch

  Origin of Freedom of Oppression

Opium was outlawed in China.
 
British merchants smuggled it in from India. Their diligent efforts led to a surge in the number of Chinese dependent on the mother of heroin and morphine, who charmed them with false happiness and ruined their lives. 

The smugglers were fed up with the hindrances they faced at the hands of Chinese authorities. Developing the market required free trade, and free trade demanded war. 

William Jardine, a generous sort, was the most powerful of the drug traffickers and vice president of the Medical Missionary Society, which offered treatment to the victims of the opium he sold.
 
In London, Jardine hired a few influential writers and journalists, including best-selling author Samuel Warren, to create a favorable environment for war. These communications professionals ran the cause of freedom high up the flagpole. Freedom of expression at the service of free trade:
 
pamphlets and articles rained down upon British public opinion, exalting the sacrifice of the honest citizens who challenged Chinese despotism, risking jail, torture, and death in that kingdom of cruelty.
 
The proper climate established, the storm was unleashed. The Opium War lasted, with a few interruptions, from 1839 to 1860. 
 

Greece: Tragedy, Farce, and Vassalage

Greece and the European Union: First as Tragedy, Second as Farce, Thirdly as Vassal State
by James Petras
The Greek people’s efforts to end the economic depression, recover their sovereignty and reverse the regressive socio-economic policies, which have drastically reduced living standards, have been thrice denied.
 
First, the denial came as tragedy: When the Greek majority elected Syriza to government and their debts increased, the economy plunged further into depression and unemployment and poverty soared. The Greek people voted for Syriza believing its promises of ‘a new course’.

Immediately following their victory, Syriza reneged on their promise to restore sovereignty – and end the subjugation of the Greek people to the economic dictates of overseas bankers, bureaucrats and political oligarchs. Instead Syriza kept Greece in the oligarchical imperialist bloc, portraying the European Union as an association of independent sovereign countries.

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