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To the Editors of the Victoria Times-Colonist

To the Editors of the Victoria Times-Colonist
by Ben Isitt
Re: Quigg v LGB9
I hope your newspaper's favourable editorial policy toward the Bear Mountain development does not inhibit the fair and accurate reporting of Robert Quigg's lawsuit against Len Barrie and his companies.
Boosterist stories such as the Florida Panther's article in today's newspaper, like yesterday's coverage of boulevard improvement programmes in Langford and similar documented coverage over the past 12 months, demonstrate a clear pattern of pursuing an editorial agenda under the auspices of news reporting.

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Obama and the Delicate Balance of Reality

Disabuse Your Illusion: Weighing Obama in the Balance of Reality
by Chris Floyd
Hope, said Emily Dickinson, is the thing with feathers, a tough little bird that sounds sweetest in the midst of a storm. It's a commonplace by now, but no less true, that Barack Obama's winged words of hope have borne him up to the high place where he stands now, on the threshold of the White House.
And these words shine all the more brightly against the torrent of filth that the Bush Regime has rained down upon the American people for years. Thus it's no surprise that millions of people have been inspired by Obama – including a million who have put their money where their hope is, in the most remarkable grass-roots funding campaign in U.S. political history.

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Of Torture, Transfers, and Travesties of Justice

Of  Torture, Transfers, and Travesties of Justice
by C. L. Cook
Looking at the Leap Year news today, all I can say is: "Thank Christ it only happens once every four years!" (insert rimshot here).

But seriously, folks. Tomorrow and tomorrow, and tomorrow will be more of the same I fear, because February 29th is everyday lately. An even more demented Hell than made famous in Bill Murray's Groundhog's Day, we witness the same glaring injustice and astonishing immorality, replaying as if on a loop. Round and round we go, each revolution a tightening spiral into an abyss of utter barbarity.

What can we make of it? If the philosopher is right, and each day is emblematic of everyday, thus signifying the potentiality of the entirety; what does today tell us of where we human Earthlings are, and where we're likely to shore up, given the prevailing current?  For Canadians, three stories of torture, transfers, and a travesty of justice serve grim instruction.

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The Siegelman Saga: Alabama G.O.P. Wrestles with Retraction

Siegelman Updates
by Scott Horton
One of the most interesting sideshows coming out of the transmission of the 60 Minutes segment dealing with former Alabama Governor Don E. Siegelman has been the conduct of the Alabama G.O.P.
The CBS piece features direct charges leveled at Karl Rove and at Bush Administration prosecutors. But to listen to Michael Hubbard, the chair of the Alabama Republicans, you’d think it was a grudge match between 60 Minutes and his party.
There must be some reason for Hubbard to adopt this posture, and for it instantly to be shared by his captive press. But maybe it’s something on the order of that line from Hamlet: The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

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Britain Gags Witness to SAS Rendition Assistance

Ben Griffin: Former SAS, Banned Speech to Anti-War Rally
by Ben Griffin
Ben Griffin speaks to World Against War rally before being gagged by UK Government

"As of 1940 hrs 29/02/08 I have been placed under an injunction preventing me from speaking publicly and publishing material gained as a result of my service in UKSF (SAS).

I will be continuing to collect evidence and opinion on British Involvement in extraordinary rendition, torture, secret detentions, extra judicial detention, use of evidence gained through torture, breaches of the Geneva Conventions, breaches of International Law and failure to abide by our obligations as per UN Convention Against Torture. I am carrying on regardless "

Ben Griffin, the ex-SAS trooper who this week revealed the extensive British collaboration with US rendition and torture, was served with an injunction immediately after speaking at the London World Against War rally last night. The government is trying to gag Ben to prevent any more revelations about British involvement in the US policy of kidnapping people and sending them to secret centres for interrogation and torture. 
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Goons Attack Bear Mountain Pacifist Protest

Goons Attack Bear Mountain Pacifist Protest
by Zoe Blunt
Over two hundred men, most apparently construction contractors, attacked a small rally in Langford this morning in an ugly show of aggression and violence.

Shortly after 7 am, the mob that included Bear Mountain project manager Les Bjola stormed a smaller rally against the interchange.  The mob shoved and kicked several people, tore up all the group's banners and signs, and threw hot coffee and debris at the demonstrators while shouting obscenities and abuse for almost an hour.
A handful of RCMP officers arrived on the scene after thirty minutes and intervened between the two groups. The protestors refused to beprovoked by fist-waving and taunts, and responded by singing "We Shall Not Be Moved," "We Shall Overcome" and "My Roots Go Down."

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Canadian Taliban: Harper's Department of Propaganda

Canadian Taliban: Harper's Department of Propaganda
by C. L. Cook
For those believing Stephen Harper's emphasis on "family values" was just another of the many Republican inspired marching mantras adopted by his "Tory" party and not indicative of a slide down the extremist form of social control familiar to the unfortunates of pre-liberated Afghanistan, or current day China, some unsettling news regarding how the arts will, or will not be funded, with or without the New Government of Canada's help broke from Hollywood today.

Canadian media being what it is, The Hollywood Reporter reports; the Conservatives propose amending the Tax Act to make tax credits for film and television productions depend on whether a panel of government approved apparatchiks consider the project worthy, or "offensive."
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Hell's Kitchen: George Cooks Up a Sturm

The Commander-in-Chef Cooks Up a Storm
Recipes for Disaster in Iraq
by Tom Engelhardt and Frida Berrigan
In the week that oil prices once again crested above $100 a barrel and more Americans than at any time since the Great Depression owed more on their homes than the homes were worth; in the year that the subprime market crashed, global markets shuddered, the previously unnoticed credit-default swap market threatened to go into the tank, stagflation returned, unemployment rose, the "R" word (for recession) hit the headlines (while the "D" word lurked), within weeks of the fifth anniversary of his invasion of Iraq, the President of the United States officially discovered the war economy.

George W. Bush and Laura Bush were being interviewed by NBC's Ann Curry when the subject turned to the war in Iraq.

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A lack of Miracles: Abbas and a Single Palestine

Abbas Needs a Miracle
by Ramzy Baroud
Time is running out for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Although both men are still committed to their risky venture of marginalising Hamas at any cost, the latter’s obduracy and recent events in Gaza point to the inescapable conclusion — the undertaking was doomed from the start.

For Olmert the issue demographics remains. He told Israeli daily Ha’aretz in an interview published in November 2007 that if it didn’t agree to an independent Palestinian state, Israel would “face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights, and as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished”.
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Canada's Systemically Corrupt Politics

Donations of money, property and services continue to corrupt Canadian politics because of loopholes in laws and lack of effective enforcement and penalties
by Duff Conacher
The federal Liberals’ recent promotion of an illegal fundraising scheme, along with the federal Conservatives’ court battle with Elections Canada over spending during the last federal election, and the widespread ongoing involvement of lobbyists in all political parties, reveals just how much the attitudes of the inside-Ottawa-elite and wannabe-elite are the main barrier to having an honest, ethical, open, representative and, therefore, waste-preventing federal government.

While representatives of parties from across the political spectrum point accusing fingers at each other, none of them have focused on cleaning up the “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” system that has legalized trading favours as the basis for most decisions made in Ottawa (and in provincial and territorial capitals, and in many cities and towns) in the past 140 years since Canada became a country.

It’s as if they have never heard the common-sense sayings “Money talks” and “He who pays the piper calls the tune.”

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Crimes of Office, Crimes for Office

Crimes of Office, Crimes for Office
by C. L. Cook
The Canadian Broadcast Corporation's, (CBC) flagship news program, The National revealed tonight: The Conservative Party, with a vote in the dead-locked parliament that could bring down the then-Liberal government of Paul Martin hanging in the balance, offered the terminally ill one-time Reform Party member, then sitting as an Independent, M.P. Chuck Cadman a million dollar insurance policy under the explicit caveat that he cast his deciding vote with his former colleagues.

Offering a sitting Member of Parliament a financial enticement for their vote is against the law in Canada. Lobbying? Sure; but tit for tat, money on the table? No, No.

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