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Beam Off, Scotty - And Take Your Prime Directive with You!

Resisting the Lure of Intervention: The Search for Terrestrial Intelligence
by John Feffer  - TomDispatch

They were the “best and the brightest” but on a spaceship, not planet Earth, and they exemplified the liberal optimism of their era. The original Star Trek, whose three-year TV run began in 1966, featured a talented, multi-ethnic crew.

The indomitable Captain Kirk had the can-do sex appeal of a Kennedy; his chief advisor, the half-human, half-Vulcan Mr. Spock, offered the cool rationality of that “IBM machine with legs,” then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. And the USS Enterprise, on a mission “to boldly go where no man has gone before,” pursued a seemingly benign anthropological interest in seeking out, engaging with, and trying to understand the native populations of a fascinating variety of distant worlds.

The “prime directive,” designed to govern the conduct of Kirk and his crew on their episodic journey, required non-interference in the workings of alien civilizations. This approach mirrored the evolving anti-war sympathies of series creator Gene Roddenberry and many of the show’s scriptwriters. The Vietnam War, which raged through the years of its initial run, was then demonstrating to more and more Americans the folly of trying to re-engineer a society distant both geographically and culturally. The best and the brightest, on Earth as on the Enterprise, began to have second thoughts in the mid-1960s about such hubris.

Even as they deliberately linked violent terrestrial interventions with celestial ones, however, the makers of Star Trek never questioned the most basic premise of a series that would delight fans for decades, spawning endless TV and movie sequels. Might it not have been better for the universe as a whole if the Enterprise had never left Earth in the first place and if Earth hadn’t meddled in matters beyond its own solar system? 

As our country contemplates future military interventions, as well as ambitious efforts to someday colonize other planets, Americans would be smart to address this fundamental question. Might our inexhaustible capacity for interfering in far-flung places be a sign not of a dynamic civilization, but of a fatal flaw -- for the country, the international community, and the species as a whole? 

Terror in Tiny Town, USA

Terror in Tiny Town
by Greg Palast reporting from Southold, New York

September 11, 2015

In the War on Terror, we are all on the front lines. Now Southold has apparently been targeted by al-Qaeda. I'm not surprised.
Southold, if you look at a map, is situated at the ass end of nowhere. We are known for our Strawberry Festival and fire truck parade. According to the Census, this tiny place is made up almost entirely of inbred farmers, real estate speculators and volunteer firemen.
At one end of town is the "Brand Names Outlet Mall" and the water-slide park. At the other end, there's a ferryboat that takes those who feel lucky to the Indian casino in Connecticut. And in between, there's Main Street where we hold the Strawberry Festival. (The festival is a quaint and annoying white-folks' ritual, an opportunity for backstabbing, petty infighting and all-American small-mindedness. But that's another story altogether.)

Understanding Yarmouk and the Syrian Refugee Crisis

How Yarmouk Came About: Israel's Unabashed Role in the Syrian Refugee Crisis
by Ramzy Baroud - Middle East Monitor
When Zionist Haganah militias carried out Operation Yiftach on 19 May, 1948, the aim was to drive Palestinians in the northern Safad District outside the border of Israel, which had declared its independence a mere five days earlier. The ethnic cleansing of Safad and its many villages was not unique to that area. In fact, it was the modus operandi of Zionist militias throughout Palestine. Soon after Israel’s independence, and the conquering of historic Palestine, the militias were joined together to form the “Israel Defence Forces”.
Not all villages, however, were completely depopulated. Some residents in villages like Qaytiyya, near the River Jordan, remained in their homes. Living between two tributaries of the Jordan — the Hasbani and Dan rivers — the villagers hoped that normality would return to tranquil Qaytiyya once the war subsided.
Their fate, however, was worse than that of those who were forced out, or who fled for fear of what terrors the future might hold. Israeli forces returned nearly a year later, rounded the remaining villagers into large trucks, tortured many and dumped them somewhere south of Safad.
Little is known about what happened, but many of those who survived ended up in Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria.

Ruling by Fiat: UAW's Betrayal of Rank and File

Fiat Chrysler, UAW tentative contract: A corporatist conspiracy against US autoworkers
by Shannon Jones - WSWS

16 September 2015
The tentative agreement announced Tuesday between the United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler is the product of a labor-management conspiracy aimed at escalating the attack on autoworkers and the entire working class. What is being prepared is an historic assault on health benefits, wages and working conditions won through generations of bitter struggle.
The very setting of the press conference held Tuesday evening in Detroit—the UAW-Fiat Chrysler Joint Training Center—symbolized the line-up of the union and the company against the workers. Likewise, the fact that it was a joint press conference given by both Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne and UAW President Dennis Williams.
That the entire process was hostile to the interests of rank-and-file autoworkers was underscored by the decision of the UAW to exclude World Socialist Web Site reporters from the press conference.

Corbyn the Kitten Eater

Corbyn the Kitten Eater: How Low Will Bipartisan Brit Media Go?
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque

16 September 2015
corb snubs queenLooks like the Times is giving the Guardian a run for their money in the "most ludicrously trivial slanting of Corbyn coverage" contest.
First the Guardian noted the lèse majesté of Corbyn's lip movements (or lack thereof) during the national anthem; now the Times damns his bicycle for its associations with far-left mass murder. (The kind Corbyn is obviously plotting for all those who resist his evil plans to create a howling, hellish Britain with less war and fewer poor).
An innocuous picture of Corbyn leaving his house was larded with feverish implications by the Times, which noted (in the first paragraph!) that the Labour leader was, on this occasion, taking a cab to a meeting and leaving behind his — gasp! — "Chairman Mao-style bicycle."
And this is just the first week of his party leadership! What next? “Jeremy Corbyn, whose hair colour is eerily reminiscent of that of Jimmy Saville, was spotted today in a shop buying pencils (an obvious indication of his Luddite intention to reduce Britain to a pre-Industrial Revolution wasteland).”

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Jack A. Stanford, Edda West, Nelle Maxey Sept. 16th, 2015

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook -
Little more than a year after Mt. Polley, the greatest mine tailing disaster ever recorded, government enthusiasm for similar mining projects in British Columbia is undiminished. Despite Imperial Metals' failure to ameliorate the environmental damage they've caused, and the unlikelihood that damage can or will ever be ameliorated, the government of BC is pushing our neighbours north to accept Memoranda of Understanding on proposals to develop mines within the Taku, Stikine and Unuk River watersheds.

It's a process of intense interest to some of our neighbours south in Montana, who have watched the extractive industries run rough-shod over the province's environmental stewardship, and are sounding warnings to their Alaskan compatriots to steer well clear of BC's dangerous schemes.
Dr. Jack A. Stanford is a professor of ecology at the University of Montana and director of the Flathead Lake Biological Station. He recently wrote the open letter to Alaskans titled, 'A Cautionary "Tail"' warning, quote.

"The proposed mines in the BC-Alaska transboundary region will pollute Alaskan waters. It is not a question of when, but rather by how much, and to what extent the billion-dollar per year Alaska salmon fishery in the Taku, Stikine and Unuk watersheds will be damaged, and the livelihoods and way of life of tens of thousands of people degraded."

Jack Stanford in the first half.

And; since Pasteur's isolation of the rabies virus dozens of human disease vectors have been isolated with antitoxins and vaccines developed to guard human health from diphtheria, tetanus, anthrax, cholera, plague, typhoid, and tuberculosis among others. But do vaccines, and vaccination, perform the miracles their proponents claim? Today, there are questions that need answers; answers beyond fear mongering and rhetoric.
Edda West is co-founder and President of Vaccine Choice Canada, a not-for-profit educational society advocating for voluntary and informed consent prior to any and all vaccinations in Canada. Her interest in vaccine safety began with her daughter's severe reaction to the MMR vaccine. Her research was lent greater urgency with the passage of Ontario's Immunization of School Pupils Act in 1982. And Nelle Maxey is a parent and grandparent who says she refused to vaccinate her children, and advised against the same with her grandchildren, due to the influence of her husband, a bio-geneticist who knew vaccination was unsafe. Nelle currently serves as Secretary Treasurer of Vaccine Choice Canada.

Edda West and Nelle Maxey taking a jab at vaccination orthodoxy in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft has been called away on a vital mission the precludes her usual calendar updates for the coming week. But first, Jack A. Stanford and stopping BC's cross-border polluting industries.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm 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:
Add a comment Add a comment Read more: Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Jack A. Stanford, Edda West, Nelle Maxey Sept. 16th, 2015

Canada's Mining Ministers Agree, "Something Should Be Done", But What?

Canada’s Mines Ministers ‘Open’ to Taking Action to Prevent Future Mine Waste Disasters, But Concrete Commitments Lacking
by MiningWatch Canada

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

HalifaxAs Canada’s annual Energy & Mines Ministers Conference winds up in Halifax, MiningWatch Canada is pleased that Canada’s Mines Ministers have discussed mine waste management issues following last year’s massive Mount Polley spill in British Columbia. But the mining watch dog is also concerned that the meeting will not result with any concrete commitments in in order to prevent future mine waste disasters.

“Talks aren’t enough. Mines Ministers from all provinces & territories need to take concrete steps in order to prevent future mine waste disasters in this country,” says Ugo Lapointe, Canada Program Coordinator for MiningWatch Canada, in Halifax today.

In his closing remarks, British Columbia Minister Bennett said that all Canada’s Mines Ministers had ‘a good talk’ on Mount Polley’s spill and its implications. A closed-door session was held this morning on this topic. But Lapointe explains it’s impossible to know exactly what was said:

“The media and the public could not attend this closed-door session. We asked Minister Bennett and his counterparts to be more specific about the outcomes of this meeting. We haven’t had a clear answer yet.”

Yesterday, a coalition representing thousands of Canadians and concerned organizations sent a letter to all Canada’s Mines Ministers urging them to take immediate action to assess and prevent the threat posed by hundreds of mine waste dams and impoundments in all provinces and territories.

Choosing Sides: War and Militarism, or Humanity?

Which Side Are We On?
by Kathy Kelly - CounterPunch

“On the one side, powerful military bureaucracies, influential and richly financed weapons industries, their lobbies, their captive legislators, those for whom paranoia or past wars are a way of life,” he wrote. “On the other side, only reason, the will to survive, the inarticulate poor”  – John Kenneth Galbraith, forward to the 1978 edition of Ruth Sivard’s World Military and Social Expenditures, quoted in the NYT obituary for Ruth Sivard.

Kabul–Here at the Afghan Peace Volunteers’ Borderfree Center, between morning and afternoon Street Kids School sessions, I asked several of the volunteer teachers how they felt about organizing the school and teaching weekly language, math and nonviolence classes.
“Now we have 100 students,” Zekerullah said. “I feel happy because I see how they change after spending time here.”
When he first met some of the children, all of whom work on the streets as child laborers, ideas of washing up, dressing for school, bringing completed homework to classes, and being part of a community that cares deeply about them might have seemed remote or even unimaginable. Many who live in refugee camps get caught up in wild behavior, and hard work on the streets further toughens them.

War and Pacification: Securocracy Through the Peephole

Israel, “Securocratic” Warfare and the Pacification Industry
by Jonathan Cook  - CounterPunch

September 14, 2015

For 18 years Jeff Halper has been on the front lines of the Israel-Palestine conflict, helping to rebuild Palestinian homes in the occupied territories demolished by Israel. As he prepares to step down as head of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), he is publishing a new book on Israel.
Halper’s main conclusion is disturbing. Israel, he says, is globalising Palestine.
The former anthropology professor’s wide-ranging research has forced him into an expertise he is not entirely comfortable with: the global arms industry.
Halper argues that Israel is cashing in – both financially and diplomatically – on systems of control it has developed in the occupied territories. It is exporting its know-how to global elites keen to protect their privileges from both external and internal challengers.
In a world supposedly mired in an endless war on terror, we may all be facing a future as Palestinians.

Base Instincts: America's Out of Control Global Garrison Network

Garrisoning the Globe: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Undermine National Security and Harm Us All

by David Vine - TomDispatch

With the U.S. military having withdrawn many of its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, most Americans would be forgiven for being unaware that hundreds of U.S. bases and hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops still encircle the globe. Although few know it, the United States garrisons the planet unlike any country in history, and the evidence is on view from Honduras to Oman, Japan to Germany, Singapore to Djibouti.
Like most Americans, for most of my life, I rarely thought about military bases. Scholar and former CIA consultant Chalmers Johnson* described me well when he wrote in 2004, 
“As distinct from other peoples, most Americans do not recognize -- or do not want to recognize -- that the United States dominates the world through its military power. Due to government secrecy, our citizens are often ignorant of the fact that our garrisons encircle the planet.”

To the extent that Americans think about these bases at all, we generally assume they’re essential to national security and global peace. Our leaders have claimed as much since most of them were established during World War II and the early days of the Cold War. As a result, we consider the situation normal and accept that U.S. military installations exist in staggering numbers in other countries, on other peoples’ land. On the other hand, the idea that there would be foreign bases on U.S. soil is unthinkable.

Thug City: Nowhere to Hide a Black Face in Police State America

Apartheid law enforcement in the US : Standing While Black in New York Can Get You Attacked by NYPD Thugs
by Dave Lindorff  - This Can't Be Happening
If tennis great James Blake had done the obvious thing and resisted being tackled by an apparent thug on a New York sidewalk who didn’t identify himself as a cop before attacking him, he would probably be dead today like Eric Garner, or at least seriously injured or tased.
Blake, 35, a well-known black athlete who not too long ago was the fourth-ranked tennis player in the world, was just leaning against the front of the Grand Hyatt where he was staying in midtown Manhattan when five undercover cops, who claim they “mistook” him for the suspect in a cellphone theft case, walked towards him, whereupon one of them, James Frascatore, suddenly jumped him, threw him violently to the ground face first, climbed on top of him, yanked his arms behind his back and cuffed him, in the process causing minor injuries to an elbow and eye (injuries that are no small matter for an athlete!).
There is so much wrong with what happened to Blake it’s hard to know where to begin.

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