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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Shawnigan Lake Toxic Dump Rally, Barbara Biley, Janine Bandcroft March 31, 2014

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
che kokoBefore his 2006 ascent to power in Canada, the current prime minister reportedly told an audience at a right-wing think tank confab: "You won’t recognize Canada when I’m through with it." Whether that is true or apocryphal, taking a quick, cross-country check up proves the point; from warfare to health care, environmental protection to ecological rejection, 'Stephen Harper's New Government of Canada,' has certainly broken the national mold, and none in either the Canadian parliament, or the nation's corporate dominated media seem inclined to pick up the shattered remnants of what once was this country.

But, eight years of unprecedented deregulation, and systematic undoing of national institutions later, Mr. Harper and his considerably more hoary "New Government' cohorts are hardly finished their transformative mission.
 
 
Before the last provincial election, everyone believed the toxic waste site planned and approved for the headwaters of Shawnigan Lake would be stopped. It wasn't. From 2013, the Shawnigan community  Toxic Dump Rally.
 
And; today marks National Day of Action for a New Health Accord, a cross-country effort, spearheaded by the Council of Canadians, in hopes to draw Canadian's attention to the deleterious state of our nation's health care system - another of the many social "entitlements" targeted for "reform" by the current government in Ottawa. Barb Biley is the Hospital Employees' Union Regional Vice President for Vancouver Island North and she was on the front lines of Campbell River's contribution to today's actions.
 
Barb Biley and rallying for a New Health Accord in the second half.
 
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher 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 city in the coming week.

But first, Ingmar Lee and the Canadian government assault on Canada's people and environment.

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/
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Canadian Rights Group Suit Against Federal Police, Spy Agency Moves to Next Level

Spying on activists: BCCLA complaints move to next level
by BCCLA
VANCOUVERTwo complaints filed by the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) are moving to the next level of investigation. The complaints, filed in February, allege that the RCMP and CSIS acted unconstitutionally in spying on and monitoring the peaceful and democratic activities of community groups and First Nations opposed to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project.
 
This month the RCMP Commission for Public Complaints has launched its own public interest investigation of the complaint against the police force, bypassing its usual practice of asking the RCMP itself to conduct an initial investigation of the complaint. The Commissioner has the power to skip the RCMP investigation and conduct its own investigation when he thinks it is “advisable in the public interest”.
 
“It’s clear that the RCMP complaints commission is taking this spying complaint very seriously, by investigating the complaint itself rather than leaving the job to the RCMP,” said Josh Paterson, Executive Director of the BCCLA.
“Police spying on peaceful activists should not be tolerated in a democratic society. We hope that the commission will get to the bottom of this. Canadians must be free to express themselves without having to wonder if the person holding a protest sign next to them is a police informant.”
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Pity and the Presstitute

Capitalism’s Intellectual Prostitutes: Call Them What They Are
by  Gary Engler  - Dissident Voice
There’s nothing worse than the ignorant and opinionated.
 
You know the type. Most mainstream newspapers have at least one; they dominate radio talk shows and certain TV “news” networks: Loud supporters of the existing economic system who deny inequality is a problem or even claim it doesn’t exist.
 
Business leaders/columnists/celebrities/media hacks and the “think tanks” they come from who also deny climate change is a problem or even claim it doesn’t exist.
 
Apostles of greed who claim to be “conservative”, defend chemical-laden, genetics-manipulating industrial food production, ignore all the ways corporations poison our environment, ridicule anyone who points out there must be some limit to the exploitation of the earth’s resources, promote the use of private automobiles, hobble public transportation (and every other public good) by promoting tax cuts, love pipelines and usually claim to speak on behalf of the “middle class” or even the “little guy.”
 

The Two Plagues of Chenega: Death Came by Water, Then by Oil

Death Came by Water, Then by Oil
by Greg Palast - Truthdig
It was Good Friday, 50 years ago on March 27, 1964, that according to seismologists, the snow peaks of Prince William Sound jumped 33 feet into the air and fell back down. Emergency warnings about an earthquake-spurred tsunami went out to towns from Valdez, Alaska, to Malibu, Calif., but no one thought to send a message to the Chugach Natives in Chenega, Alaska.
 
Chenega chief Nikolas Kompkoff watched the mountains leap and the waters around his island disappear over the horizon.
 
Knowing the water would return with a vengeance, he ran his four daughters up a hill toward high ground. But the nine-story-tall tsunami was moving too fast for their little legs. Kompkoff made a decision: He grabbed the two girls closest to him, tucked them under his arms and ran up the slope, leaving the other two to be seized by the wave.
 
Days later, a postal pilot on his weekly mail drop could not find Chenega because every single house—and a third of the residents—had been washed out to sea.
 

Masterful Manufacture: Media/State Nexus Frame False Russia Narrative

Western Unity Against Russia a Masterpiece of Illusion
by Finian Cunningham - Strategic Culture Foundation
When US President Barack Obama opened his tour of Europe this week it had the unmistakable choreography of a scripted set piece: lights, camera, action etc. The storyline is a familiar trope. America, the shining beacon of democracy and human rights, comes to the rescue of European damsels in distress just before they are ravaged by bestial European recidivism for war.
 
European political figures of increasingly low caliber are indulging this American parody of reality by appearing to unite around Obama’s call for tougher sanctions against Russia. Britain’s David Cameron and his German and French counterparts, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, issued warnings of imposing economic penalties on Russian businesses and industries. Lots of bombast and melodrama were on cue, but there was a distinct lack of guts to follow.
 
For Obama’s European visit this week it seemed more than a coincidence that the president made his first public statement from an Amsterdam museum. The choice of such a rarefied venue to launch Obama’s shuttle diplomacy may at first seem odd.
 

Crimea Coverage: A Media Outside the Realm of Reality

Voting at Gunpoint - The Jaw-Dropping Media bias on Crimea
by David Edwards  - Media Lens
Prior to the March 16 referendum, the BBC website reported:
'Crimeans will vote on whether they want their autonomous republic to break away from Ukraine and join Russia.'

The title of the news report indicated the focus:
 
'Is Crimea's referendum legal?'
 
The answer:
 
'Ukraine and the West have dismissed the referendum as illegal and one that will be held at gunpoint, but Russia supports it.'

Legality was not an issue in BBC coverage of the January 2005 election held in Iraq under US-UK occupation. This was accepted on the main BBC evening news as 'the first democratic election in fifty years'. (David Willis, BBC1, News at Ten, January 10, 2005)
 
And the Iraq election was not merely 'held at gunpoint'; it was held in the middle of a ferocious war to crush resistance to occupation. Just weeks before the vote, American and British forces had subjected Iraq's third city, Fallujah, to all-out assault leaving 70 per cent of houses and shops destroyed, and at least 800 civilians dead. ('Fallujah still needs more supplies despite aid arrival,' www.irinnews.org, November 30, 2004)
 

US Military's Busy African Agenda

U.S. Military Averaging More Than a Mission a Day in Africa: Documents Reveal Blinding Pace of Ops in 2013, More of the Same for 2014

by Nick Turse - TomDispatch

The numbers tell the story: 10 exercises, 55 operations, 481 security cooperation activities.

For years, the U.S. military has publicly insisted that its efforts in Africa are small scale. Its public affairs personnel and commanders have repeatedly claimed no more than a “light footprint” on that continent, including a remarkably modest presence when it comes to military personnel. 

They have, however, balked at specifying just what that light footprint actually consists of. During an interview, for instance, a U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) spokesman once expressed worry that tabulating the command’s deployments would offer a “skewed image” of U.S. efforts there.

It turns out that the numbers do just the opposite.

A Power Struggle Brewing Within the Palestinian Authority

Mahmoud Abbas vs Mohammed Dahlan: The Showdown Begins
by Ramzy Baroud - PalestineChronicle.com
When late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was confined by Israeli soldiers to his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Mohammed Dahlan reigned supreme. As perhaps the most powerful and effective member of the 'Gang of Five', he managed the affairs of the ruling Fatah movement, coordinated with Israel regarding matters of security, and even wheeled and dealed in issues of regional and international affairs.

That was the period between March and April 2002 and it was a different time. Back then, Dahlan - a former Palestinian Authority (PA) minister, a former National Security advisor and a former head of Gaza's PA Preventative Security Service (PSS)- was king of the hill. All of his rivals were conveniently or by chance out of the picture. Arafat was then imprisoned in his office in al-Muqata’a, and Dahlan's toughest contender, Jibril Rajoub, leader of the West Bank PSS, was discredited in a most humiliating fashion. During the most violent Israeli crackdown of the Second Palestinian Intifada (2000-2005), Rajoub handed the PSS headquarters to the Israeli army with all of its Palestinian political prisoners and walked away. Since then, Rajoub's star faded into a dark chapter of Palestinian history. For Dahlan, however, it was yet a new start.

This is not exactly the kind of history the Fatah leadership, Dahlan included, would like to remember. Such history is simply too dangerous as it underscores the reality that engulfed, and, to a large degree, continues to shape the ruling class of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah whose reach has touched upon every aspect of Palestinian life.

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A Bipartisan Senate Proposal to (re)Game the Economic Order

The Economic Scam of the Century
by Mike Whitney - CounterPunch
The leaders of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Tim Johnson (D., S.D.) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R., Idaho), released a draft bill on Sunday that would provide explicit government guarantees on mortgage-backed securities (MBS) generated by privately-owned banks and financial institutions.

The gigantic giveaway to Wall Street would put US taxpayers on the hook for 90 percent of the losses on toxic MBS the likes of which crashed the financial system in 2008 plunging the economy into the deepest slump since the Great Depression.
 
Sen. Tim Johnson

Proponents of the bill say that new rules by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) –which set standards for a “qualified mortgage” (QM)– assure that borrowers will be able to repay their loans thus reducing the chances of a similar meltdown in the future.
 
However, those QE rules were largely shaped by lobbyists and attorneys from the banking industry who eviscerated strict underwriting requirements– like high FICO scores and 20 percent down payments– in order to lend freely to borrowers who may be less able to repay their loans.

A Pox on All Houses: America's Proxy Terrorist Wars - Venezuela

US Proxy Terror War on Venezuela
by James Petras
Protest, dissent and the destructive terror of war are obviously very distinct forms of expressing opposition and bringing about change. The Obama-Kerry regime support the opposition in Venezuela as a ‘protest movement’ composed of ‘peaceful democratic opponents’ expressing their discontent with economic conditions, while they denounce the democratically-elected Maduro Administration as an ‘authoritarian regime’ violently repressing legitimate dissent. Washington disingenuously claims to have played no part in the actions of the Venezuelan opposition and that its pronouncements are merely directed at promoting democratic freedoms.
 
The overwhelming evidence show that the Venezuelan opposition has engaged in prolonged and extensive violence, including terrorist acts, assassinations, arson, and destruction of public property. Most recently this includes the murder of military officers and civilian supporters of the government. Widely circulated photographs, even in Washington-controlled media outlets, show opposition activists throwing Molotov cocktails at police and counter-demonstrators and building barricades for bloody street confrontations.
 
The Obama-Kerry Administration denies any involvement in the ongoing violence while unconditionally defending the opposition gangs of thugs. At the same time it demonizes every legitimate government action to defend its citizens, uphold the Constitution and enforce internationally recognized norms of law and order. The Obama-Kerry regime’s political intervention and its escalating rhetoric is designed to incite the opposition to further violent activity in order to destabilize the country for ‘regime change’.
 
US Secretary of State John Kerry’s vitriolic rhetoric is timed to counter the recent ebb of opposition activity, assuring the opposition that Washington supports its campaign of ‘warfare in the streets’. President Obama’s propaganda, the regime’s economic sanctions and the channeling of financial and military resources to the violent opposition groups is designed to reinvigorate the campaign of terror and sabotage against the Venezuelan government. The Kerry- Obama sanctions and their war of words provide external support for violent terrorists operating inside Venezuela.

Your Personal Panopticom: Big Data, the Internet and the Surveillance Society

Invasion of the Data Snatchers: Big Data and the Internet of Things Means the Surveillance of Everything
by Catherine Crump and Matthew Harwood  - TomDispatch
Estimates vary, but by 2020 there could be over 30 billion devices connected to the Internet. Once dumb, they will have smartened up thanks to sensors and other technologies embedded in them and, thanks to your machines, your life will quite literally have gone online.
 
The implications are revolutionary. Your smart refrigerator will keep an inventory of food items, noting when they go bad. Your smart thermostat will learn your habits and adjust the temperature to your liking. Smart lights will illuminate dangerous parking garages, even as they keep an “eye” out for suspicious activity.
 
Techno-evangelists have a nice catchphrase for this future utopia of machines and the never-ending stream of information, known as Big Data, it produces: the Internet of Things. So abstract. So inoffensive. Ultimately, so meaningless.
 
A future Internet of Things does have the potential to offer real benefits, but the dark side of that seemingly shiny coin is this: companies will increasingly know all there is to know about you. Most people are already aware that virtually everything a typical person does on the Internet is tracked. In the not-too-distant future, however, real space will be increasingly like cyberspace, thanks to our headlong rush toward that Internet of Things. With the rise of the networked device, what people do in their homes, in their cars, in stores, and within their communities will be monitored and analyzed in ever more intrusive ways by corporations and, by extension, the government.
 
And one more thing: in cyberspace it is at least theoretically possible to log off. In your own well-wired home, there will be no “opt out.”
 
You can almost hear the ominous narrator’s voice from an old “Twilight Zone” episode saying, “Soon the net will close around all of us. There will be no escape.”
 
Except it’s no longer science fiction. It’s our barely distant present.