This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook
n the wee hours of June 28th, 2009, Honduran president Manuel "Mel" Zelaya woke to find his room filled with soldiers, and his presidency finished. Zelaya, a moderately populist leader with a year left on his mandate, would spend the next two years in exile, trying to get back to Honduras and return democracy to his country.
But it was not to be. Thanks in part to the quick recognition of the military junta by Stephen Harper's government in Canada, (and bolstered by a hastily agreed Free Trade agreement) the coup garnered a financial footing, and measure of international legitimacy.
In the mean times since, globally Honduras' murder rate is Numero Uno, and it's now also one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalists, union member, or labour organizer.
On the bright side; it's a great place for Canadian mining interests to do business.
Karen Spring is a Central America-based human rights activist, working with grassroots organizations on various issues, mostly in Honduras. She's the author of the blog, Aqui Abajo
providing, "Opinions, Experiences and Perspectives from the grassroots in Central America." Spring's recent article, 'Aura Minerals Ready to Dig up the Dead in Honduras
' reveals just how low Canada's miners are willing to go.
Karen Spring in the first half.
And; the BC Liberals plan to make a decision about the long-contested proposed Site C dam project on the Peace River before Christmas; right before it, if past behaviours are any predictor. The as-yet unscheduled in-Cabinet decision follows a Joint Review Panel process meant to explore all interests in, and effects of, the proposed project.
Alison Thompson is Chair and Managing Director of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association
, or CanGEA. Thompson was in Victoria yesterday to give a press conference for a CanGEA report on a made-in BC alternative to placing a third dam on the river. It's a prospect for the Peace the Joint Review Panel itself admits has been woefully overlooked.
Alison Thompson and a renewable, cost effective alternative to Site C in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft
will be here 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, and beyond there too, for the coming week. But first, Karen Spring and the dark, Canadian aura haunting the dead in Honduras.
Created on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 21:17
Written by Oil Price.com
Follow The Sand To The Real Fracking Boom
by James Stafford
hen it takes up to four million pounds of sand to frack a single well, it’s no wonder that demand is outpacing supply and frack sand producers are becoming the biggest behind-the-scenes beneficiaries of the American oil and gas boom.
Demand is exploding for “frac sand
”--a durable, high-purity quartz sand used to help produce petroleum fluids and prop up man-made fractures in shale rock formations through which oil and gas flows—turning this segment into the top driver of value in the shale revolution.
“One of the major players in Eagle Ford is saying they’re short 6 million tons of 100 mesh alone in 2014 and they don’t know where to get it. And that’s just one player,” Rasool Mohammad, President and CEO of Select Sands Corporation told Oilprice.com.
Frack sand exponentially increases the return on investment for a well, and oil and gas companies are expected to use some 95 billion pounds of frack sand this year, up nearly 30% from 2013 and up 50% from forecasts made just last year.
Created on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 21:09
Written by Karen Spring
Canada-based Aura Minerals Ready to Dig up the Dead in Honduras
by Karen Spring
- Aqui AbajoI
n April 2014, the community of Azacualpa blocked the entrance of the San Andres mine in La Unión, Copan, in western Honduras. The open-pit gold mine is owned by Minerales de Occidente, a subsidiary of Toronto-based mining company, Aura Minerals
the mine in August 2009.
A few weeks after initiating the blockade, the community was violently evicted by Honduran military and police who beat protesters including minors, shot tear gas, and arrested those that stuck around to fight the eviction, or that lived close to where it took place.
Radio Progreso reports
that various people were arrested and 21 community members face charges requiring them to sign before a Honduran judge every month.
Read more: Aura Minerals and the Azacualpa Blockade
Created on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 03:58
Written by Robert Parry
Possible Motives for Ousting Hagel
by Robert Parry
- Consortium NewsT
he abrupt resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel – along with the failure to reach a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program on the same day – does not augur well for the last quarter of Barack Obama’s presidency, reflecting his continuing tendency to let the neocons have their way. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel shakes hands with President Barack Obama at the White House on Nov. 24, 2014, as the President announces that Hagel is resigning. (U.S..government photo)
Not that Hagel had distinguished himself as a sterling leader of the Pentagon – nor has all hope disappeared that a sensible resolution of the impasse with Iran might be achieved before the next “deadline” in June – but Obama still does not appear to have escaped the spell of the neocons who continue to dominate American geopolitical thought despite the bloody disasters that they helped cause in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Six years into his presidency, Obama still doesn’t seem to understand that just because some people have impressive credentials doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing. Indeed, in a profoundly corrupted system – like the one that now controls Official Washington – rewards are handed out to people who serve the corrupt interests or at least don’t get in the way.
Read more: The Short Goodbye: Hagel Sent Down the Road as Pentagon Readies for More Wars
Created on Monday, 24 November 2014 20:46
Written by Mike Whitney
by Mike Whitney
nyone who follows the news regularly, knows that the media has done everything in its power to smear Vladimir Putin and to demonize him as a tyrant and a thug.
Fortunately, most people aren’t buying it. Yes, I’ve seen the polls that say that Putin and Russia are viewed “less favorably” than they were prior to the crisis in Ukraine.
In fact, here’s a clip from a recent PEW survey which seems to prove that I’m wrong:
“Across the 44 countries surveyed, a median percentage of 43% have unfavorable opinions of Russia, compared with 34% who are positive. Negative ratings of Russia have increased significantly since 2013 in 20 of the 36 countries surveyed…
Americans and Europeans in particular have soured on Russia over the past 12 months. More than six-in-ten in Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, the U.S. and the UK have an unfavorable image of Russia. And in all but one of these countries negative reviews are up by double digits since last year, including by 29 percentage points in the U.S., 27 points in Poland, 24 points in the UK and 23 points in Spain.” (Russia’s Global Image Negative amid Crisis in Ukraine: Americans’ and Europeans’ Views Sour Dramatically, PEW Research)
These results strongly suggest that the public blames Moscow for the fighting in Ukraine and (presumably) agrees with the prevailing storyline that Putin is a vicious aggressor who seized Crimea in order to rebuild the Soviet Empire. The problem with the PEW survey is that the results are based on random samples of nationwide face-to-face or telephone interviews.
Why is that a problem?