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Nader on Why The TPP is Bad for People

Oct 24, 2014 Creative Commons
Op-Ed Against TPP by Ralph Nader and…
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Lying Dogs, Jumping Fleas: Matt Taibbi "Intercepted"

Nov 03, 2014 Chris Floyd
Revenge of the Interceptors: Oligarch's…
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Lying Dogs, Jumping Fleas: Matt Taibbi "Intercepted"

Revenge of the Interceptors: Oligarch's Team Mugs Renegade Taibbi
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque
A few random thoughts on the imbroglio over Matt Taibbi leaving the media stable of oligarch Pierre Omidyar -- and the remarkable response to this by the oligarch's remaining celebs, led by Glenn Greenwald.
 
1. The Intercept article on Taibbi's departure -- bylined under the names of Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Jeremy Scahill, and John Cook, but almost certainly written mostly by Greenwald -- is, at its core, a scurrilous piece of work. Purporting to be a boldly transparent piece -- it even (lightly) criticizes the Boss! -- it is instead, transparently, an attempt by the oligarch's organization to get its side of the story out first before the famously acerbic Taibbi makes any statement.
 
2. It is also a means for the authors to laud themselves as "fiercely independent journalists" (yes, Greenwald actually wrote that about himself) who, despite being radical bohemians who "view corporate cultures and management-speak with disdain," were able to heroically grapple with their employer and procure for themselves "a sizable budget, operational autonomy, and a team of talented journalists, editors, research specialists, and technologists working collaboratively and freely in the manner its founders always envisioned" … unlike that loser Taibbi, who obviously lacked their moxie and got slapped around by the Big Boss Man.
 
3. The poison shiv of the article is buried deep in the acres of Greenwald's ever-deadening slabs of prose (as well as deep in Taibbi's back): the accusation of sexist behavior on Taibbi's part when he was upbraiding one of his staff. To be sure, the Interceptors make great show of saying that an internal investigation of the charge found that his action did not rise "to the level of legal liability" (libel-dodging weasel-wording at its best!) -- and added, as an appendix, an encomium from another Omidyar stablemate as to Taibbi's good character and lack of sexism. But the damage was done, as was obviously intended. The quick takeaway of anyone wondering about the situation will be: "What happened with Taibbi and First Look?" "Well, he was facing some kind of sex abuse charge or something, wasn't he? Abusing the women there, threatening or yelling at them, something." "What an asshole. They were right to get rid of him." Or maybe just a quick headline in the NY Post or Drudge Report: "Taibbi Leaves First Look After Sexism Row."
 

Voting for Your Life

Be a Passionate Voter for Justice
by Ralph Nader  - ICH 
Millions of Americans displayed passion and fevered interest in the recent exciting World Series championship. Now it's time to move on to a serious matter of national importance that often suffers from a lack of public enthusiasm. Millions of Americans, many of whom are avid sports fans, are suffering due to low wages, income inequality, and a gridlocked Congress that is obsessed with campaign fundraising and incapable of addressing many of country's most pressing needs, from public investments to fair play for working families.

With Election Day just days away, now is the perfect time to transfer some of that passion and energy for sports into the political realm. After all, there is far more on the line than just a championship and bragging rights. And elections are not a spectator sport -- you need to be on the field yourself!
 
Just imagine if the majority of eligible voters had the same dedication and diligence as sports fans who know all the stats and figures, the players, and the management hierarchy. Imagine if voters were as informed, passionate and vocal as baseball fans.

Unfortunately, many voters will head to the polls on November 4th and simply vote down the party line. Far too many won't spend a little time to research the various candidates' actual records beyond their party affiliation. Voters won't learn about what their candidates or elected officials have done beyond what they have said they would do. They won't even consider the issues that matter most to them and their families. That's if they even show up at all, of course.
It's expected that only 40 percent of eligible voters will even bother showing up on November 4th.
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Elections 2014: Choose Your War Party

Which Is Worse, a Libertarian or a Humanitarian-Warrior?
by David Swanson - War Is A Crime
Is it worse to put into Congress or the White House someone who wants to end wars and dismantle much of the military but also wants to abolish Social Security and Medicare and the Department of Education and several other departments they have trouble remembering the names of, OR someone who just wants to slightly trim all of those departments around the edges while waging countless wars all over the world in the name of every heretofore imagined human right other than the right not to get blown up with a missile?
 
Can dismantling the military without investing in diplomacy and aid and cooperative conflict resolution actually avoid wars? Can a country that continues waging wars at every opportunity actually avoid abolishing domestic services?
 
I would hope that everyone would be willing to reject both libertarians and humanitarian-warriors even when it means rejecting both the Republican and the Democratic Parties. I would also hope that each of those parties would begin to recognize the danger they are in and change their ways.
 

‘Victoria O Muerte!’ Fighting for a New Indonesia

Fight for New Indonesia
by Andre Vltchek - CounterPunch
andre archipelagoJust a few days have passed since your inauguration, Mr. President, and the people; at least a great number of the people in your country, are now expecting, even demanding a change, an immediate metamorphosis of the nation. They think that because you have become the President of Indonesia, their lives will improve soon, their fears will diminish, and their sorrows will disappear.

For the first time in decades, the eyes of many poor Indonesian people are full of hope. They trust you, Mr. President. They feel optimism. Some of them now even dare to dream.

Hope… I was once told by a great South American writer and thinker, Eduardo Galeano that, “Hope is often all that poor people have. To give them hope, and then take it away, is worse then murdering them.”

Socialist governments were then beginning to emerge, all over South America – from Venezuela to Chile, from Argentina to Bolivia. This was Galeano’s massage to them: “Comrades, watch out! Keep your promises. Do not play with the hopes of your people!”

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Empire's Victory Addiction

None Dare Call It A Defeat
by Eric Margolis
 
“Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!
Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!”
 
- Rudyard Kipling “Recessional”

The last British soldiers were airlifted out of Afghanistan last week, marking the sorry end of Britain’s fourth failed invasion of Afghanistan. With them went the last detachment of US Marines in Helmand.
Well has Afghanistan earned its title, “Graveyard of Empires.”
 
To be more precise, this honor belongs to Afghanistan’s Pashtun (or Pathan) mountain tribes, who bend their knees for no man and take pride in war.
 
In my book, “War at the Top of the World,” I called Pashtun “the bravest men on earth.” Later, I would add the fierce Chechen to that illustrious fraternity.
 

You Can't Have Endless War AND a Healthy Society

Empire or Republic: Imperial Wars and Domestic Epidemics
by James Petras
Washington escalates its military interventions abroad, launching simultaneous air and ground attacks in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan; multiplying drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia; training, arming and financing proxy mercenaries in Jordan, the Gulf States and Iraq; and dispatching National Guard battalions to West Africa, ostensibly to combat the Ebola epidemic, though they lack the most elementary public health capabilities.
 
All in all the US spent $3.5 trillion for military invasions over 6 years.

At the same time, the US domestic public health services have deteriorated. At the state and local level, like Dallas, Texas and at the national level, officials and major institutions demonstrate an inability to effectively detect and manage cases of Ebola infections among the general population in a timely manner.

 

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A Battle Not Joined: Losing the Fight for Afghanistan's Women

The Missing Women of Afghanistan: After 13 Years of War, the Rule of Men, Not Law
by Ann Jones  - TomDispatch
ann jones they were soldiers coverOn September 29th, power in Afghanistan changed hands for the first time in 13 years. At the Arg, the presidential palace in Kabul, Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as president, while the outgoing Hamid Karzai watched calmly from a front-row seat.

Washington, congratulating itself on this “peaceful transition,” quickly collected the new president’s autograph on a bilateral security agreement that assures the presence of American forces in Afghanistan for at least another decade. The big news of the day: the U.S. got what it wanted. (Precisely why Americans should rejoice that our soldiers will stay in Afghanistan for another 10 years is never explained.)

The big news of the day for Afghans was quite different -- not the long expected continuation of the American occupation but what the new president had to say in his inaugural speech about his wife, Rula Ghani.

Gazing at her as she sat in the audience, he called her by name, praised her work with refugees, and announced that she would continue that work during his presidency.

Those brief comments sent progressive Afghan women over the moon. They had waited 13 years to hear such words -- words that might have changed the course of the American occupation and the future of Afghanistan had they been spoken in 2001 by Hamid Karzai.

No, they’re not magic. They simply reflect the values of a substantial minority of Afghans and probably the majority of Afghans in exile in the West. They also reflect an idea the U.S. regularly praises itself for holding, but generally acts against -- the very one George W. Bush cited as part of his justification for invading Afghanistan in 2001.
 

Debunking NATO's Line on Ukraine Coup

CIA Mouthpiece Lets Slip On Russian ‘Aggression’
by Finian Cunningham - SCF
For months now, Western mass media have been in lockstep with the US State Department and the NATO military alliance, promulgating claims of Russian aggression in Ukraine and towards Europe generally. The mantra-like repetition of these claims, with scant substantiation, resembles the Big Lie technique of Third Reich master propagandist Josef Goebbels. Told often and brazenly enough, the claims acquire normalcy as "accepted facts."
 
Western news media, from the BBC to the New York Times, uncritically peddle NATO and Washington claims that Moscow has "annexed" Crimea and infiltrated troops into eastern Ukraine to destabilise the pro-Western "government" in Kiev. Last month at the NATO summit in Wales, outgoing secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen asserted:
 
"So we continue to call on Russia to pull back its troops from Ukrainian borders, [and] to stop the flow of weapons and fighters into Ukraine."
 

Fundamentally Flawed: Canada's Heart of Darkness

Canada’s Heart of Darkness
by Jim Miles - Palestine Chronicle
Once upon a time, Canada was able to create the illusion that it was the “peaceable kingdom”, an illusion accepted domestically and arguably by most of the rest of the world. This history has been well discredited with newer historical research outlining how Canada’s position as a “peacekeeper,” generally under UN auspices, remained effectively within the realm of U.S. foreign policy, just with a kinder gentler face.
 
Over the past decade, Canada has made a clear and distinct turn towards its inner ‘heart of darkness’, becoming much more overt about its right wing militarized alignment with the U.S. empire and its demands. It has done so to the extent of front-running – or trying to out do – the hubris and arrogance of the U.S. in its declamations of its self-righteousness concerning international affairs (with similar impacts on domestic affairs).
 
Much if not all of this is due to Canada’s (neo)Conservative government under Stephen Harper. Harper himself has declared that Canada will be a different nation when he is finished with his reign of office.
 

Pilger's Utopia - An Epic Story of Struggle and Resistance

Reviewing John Pilger's Utopia - An Epic Story of Struggle and Resistance
by Jim Miles
In a clash of cultures, the one carrying the most guns, germs, and steel wins. In Australia as with all former British colonial possessions, cultural views are dominated by white society.

The First Nations of Australia, commonly referred to as the aborigines, have struggled through two centuries of subjugation by a white society that refuses to recognize the histories of the two peoples and their conflicting cultures.
 
As described by native elder Robert Eggington at the end of the film:
 
“In our culture, our laws, if we were to harm the land and to hurt that land the way in which it is being done today, we would be punished spiritually severely for that. White Australia doesn’t have a sense of belonging to this land and it only has a sense of belonging to the establishment and its institutions and its cities its built here. It doesn’t understand their country.”

Utopia examines the many contradictions and double standards, the many ignorances of the white population, and the many cruelties and violences that they have visited on the land and people of the First Nations of Australia. It is a captivating and hauntingly disturbing film as these actions are not simply historical incidents to be forgiven by some simplistic apology, but are actions that are occurring through the beginning of the Twenty-first Century without concern for essential human rights.
 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Greg Palast, Zaria Stoffman, Janine Bandcroft Oct 29, 2014

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
November is right around the corner, and befitting the monotonous return of a least loved season, this year it means too another turn of the civic election cycle. It's also time for our neighbours south to head to the polls for mid-term elections; and, as with all things it seems, America's November contest has outshone us again, with the big time fraud and election-fixing Stephen Harper and his insipid robo-callers can only envy.
 
Reporting investigator, Greg Palast is just returned to New York after a trip into the heart of Republican America, where he and his crack team of researchers recently wrapped a year-long investigation for Al Jazeera America; obtaining among other things the first-ever copies of the lists of targeted voters, that is; voters subject to being “scrubbed” from voter rolls. And surprise surprise, the list lurches heavily towards Blacks, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans. Who could be behind such skullduggery? Stay tuned...
 
 
Greg Palast has been on the trail of ballot bandits for a long time now; breaking the story on George W. Bush's 2000 election win assist by orange juice heiress Katherine Harris' mass purgative of Florida's voter rolls.
 
Then, as an elections official, Harris disallowed thousands of Black "felons" access to the voter's booth. Small problem: they were innocent. Palast is also the author of several books, including New York Times bestsellers: 'Billionaires & Ballot Bandits,' 'Armed Madhouse,' and 'The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.' His latest is 'Vultures' Picnic,' named by the BBC's Newsnight Review as "Book of the Year for 2012."
 
In addition to appearing in Britain's Guardian newspaper, (who regard him as "the most important investigative journalist of our time...") and on the BBC flagship news program Newsnight, Greg's reports are featured stateside by The Nation Magazine, Rolling Stone, Harper's Magazine, and online at Truthout.org and at GregPalast.com. Palast 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 half.
 
And; though mere pikers compared to America's anti-democrats, Canadian politicians are learning how to spike the process here too. Federally, Stephen Harper's New Government of Canada has stifled federal employees of all stripes, barring especially scientists from talking un-minded to the press, and has allowed tax agency intimidation tactics against non-profit organisations with inconvenient politics to continue. Right here in BC meanwhile, the Chirsty Clark government recently proposed changes to the Society Act - something promising to effect, according to the West Coast Environmental Law Association, "community development organizations, church groups, secular groups, community organizations, and hunting groups" among many others. Particularly contentious is the seemingly innocuous provision, s.99.
 
Zaria Stoffman is an articling student with the Environmental Law Centre Society, or ELC right here at UVic. That society's mission is to "provide research and advocacy on public interest environmental issues" and provide for an social environment where "local communities, environmental groups, and First Nations have the legal tools and resources to advocate effectively for the restoration, conservation, and protection of this province's unique and diverse environment."
 
Zaria Stoffman and BC Liberals' Society Act engineering 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 news from our city's streets and beyond there too. But first, Greg Palast and the purge this time.


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. And now heard at Simon Fraser University's http://www.cjsf.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/