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Passing: Mario Cuomo - Single Grave for a Duplicitous Pol

Jan 03, 2015 Greg Palast
A Tale of Two Cuomo's: The Tragic End…

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Staying the Oak Bay Deer Cull with DeerSafeVictoria

DeerSafe Victoria Rally for the Deer in Oak Bay
by DeerSafeVictoria

We know that Oak Bay is going ahead with a clover trap/bolt gun kill of 25 deer in January 2015. Naturally they will not be announcing when the killing will take place.
DeerSafe will be holding a rally at City Hall on Oak Bay Avenue on Saturday, January 3, 2015 between 1 pm and 3 pm. Some signs will be provided, but please feel free to bring a heartfelt sign of your own.

Listen. Hear.

It is not too late for Oak Bay to do the right thing. They could ask the CRD to renew the Regional Deer Management Strategy, with meaningful research into non-lethal management. The council recently agreed to a few more deer crossing signs, but stopped short of implementing lower speed limits.
"Public education" included linking to two awareness pamphlets on the CRD website to Oak Bay's website! A $300 fine for feeding deer and raised fence heights were the only other conflict mitigation measures that the council undertook.

The price tag is $1000 per deer, and we should be asking the Oak Bay council why that was a prohibitive price when the topic was immunocontraception.

Passing: Mario Cuomo - Single Grave for a Duplicitous Pol

A Tale of Two Cuomo's: The Tragic End of the Inspired Voice and the Duplicitous Pol
by Greg Palast
I knew Mario Cuomo well. Too well.
I helped write talking points for speeches that got him elected Governor and grieved that he did not become President.
But there was another Cuomo, the one that tried to stop the US publication of my book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy; the Mario Cuomo who went to court to try to put the Palast Investigative team out of business while we worked to expose the Bush Family election heist and the con job leading to war.
I just read the glowing New York Times obit. Even in death, Cuomo has pulled off one last con. The Times lauds his single stellar accomplishment as Governor: “He closed the Shoreham nuclear plant on Long Island,” New York.
No, he didn’t. As usual with Mario, he gave a great speech—and won election by calling for the nuclear plant’s closure. But behind the scenes, the other Mario, the back-room wheeler-dealer, the toady to the bankers and power industry magnates, moved heaven and earth to stand in the way of the courageous statesmen and activists who actually closed this dangerous, radioactive monstrosity.

The Do's and Do Not's of Reporting the Middle East

“Dos” and “Don’ts”: Things I Learned Writing about the Middle East
by Ramzy Baroud - Dissident Voice
Writing and reporting about the Middle East is not an easy task, especially during these years of turmoil and upheaval. Following and reporting on these constant changes without a deep and compassionate understanding of the region will achieve little but predictable and lackluster content that offers nothing original, but recycled old ideas and stereotypes.
From my humble experience in the region, I share these “dos” and “don’ts” as to how the Middle East should be approached in writing and reporting.

Land of Brave Loses Terrorism Insurance

Terrorism “Insurance” Expires
by Buddy Bell - VCNC
In 2002, at a time when insurance providers were unwilling to provide coverage for losses resulting from acts of terrorism, and when construction and utility companies were stalling in their development projects, Congress passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA). They decided to socialize some of the financial risk, giving a federal government guarantee on insurance payouts exceeding 100 million dollars.
Over the next 12 years, Presidents Bush and Obama and six different Congresses made countless decisions to increase the risk of terrorism (and of a bailout under TRIA). Of course, the most brutally profound effects of those decisions were imposed on children, women, and men in other parts of the world. Likely the least affected people were the ones complaining in the business sections of major papers last month.
They are worried because TRIA expired Jan. 1. An unexpected fluke on the last day of the last congressional session is to blame.
“Everybody expected this would get done,” fumed Manhattan developer Douglas Durst, to New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman.

Could a Chimpanzee Get a War Crimes Conviction for Netanyahu?

What would Happen if the Int’l Criminal Court Indicted Israel’s Netanyahu?
by Juan Cole - Informed Comment

If the International Criminal Court takes up Israeli government actions in the occupied Palestinian territories, it could well find specific officials guilty of breaches of the Rome Statute of 2002. Article 7 forbids “Crimes against Humanity,” which are systematically repeated war crimes.
Among these offenses is murder, forcible deportation or transfer of members of a group, torture, persecution of Palestinians (an “identifiable group”) and “the crime of Apartheid.”
The Israeli government murdered Palestinian political leaders (not just guerrillas) and have routinely illegally expelled Palestinians from the West Bank or from parts of the West Bank illegally incorporated into Israel.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Janine Bandcroft - 2014 Year-Ender Dec. 31, 2014

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook -
Happy New Year! You know that means it's time for our annual GR Year-Ender show! 

It's been an eventful year here, and as has become the custom, I'll highlight some of the most impressive stories we covered during its course.


In a new news twist however, I'll mix in audio from story intros, and throw a little of the year's music featured to boot. 


So, first up a piece from the much utilized, GasCD compilation album, and Chritian Doscher's 'Straight Lines'.



TorStar and the Politics of Ukraine's War

Letter to Toronto Star: "Your Presentation of the War in Ukraine is Exceptionally One-Sided"
by Roger Annis -
Dear editor, I am very disappointed as well as disturbed by the article on Ukraine by your global economics reporter published in the Star on Dec. 23.

Your presentation of the war raging in eastern Ukraine is exceptionally one-sided and ill-informed. You offer no indication of who or what is responsible for the war.

You make a very shallow and selective description of the humanitarian consequences for the people of the affected region, leave alone the entire country.
And you give no indication of whether Canadians should be concerned over the side that the government in Ottawa has chosen in this war.

Toronto Star Dec 23, 2014
You do not report that the Ukrainian government, supported by Canada and by the NATO powers, has been bombarding the towns and cities of eastern Ukraine during the past seven months, including with the use of cluster weapons. You do not report on the people of the combat zone, including children, forced to live for months on end in bomb shelters, and those more than 1.5 million people who have been forced to flee the war zone for their safety, most to Russia.

I-S: Spelling the End of the Colonial Near East

The Challenge of the Islamic State and U.S. Policy
by Karl Meyer and Kathy Kelly -
What to do about the political mess in the Middle East and the rise of the Islamic State and related political movements?
Shortly after the end of World War II, the Western powers and the whole world began to recognize that the age of explicit colonial domination was over, and dozens of colonies were let go of and took political independence.
It is now past time for the United States and other world powers to recognize that the age of neo-colonial military, political and economic domination, especially in the Islamic Middle East, is decisively coming to a close.
Attempts to maintain it by military force have been disastrous for ordinary people trying to survive in the affected countries. There are powerful cultural currents and political forces in motion in the Middle East that simply will not tolerate military and political domination. There are thousands of people prepared to die rather than accept it.

Tearing Down Aamer's Walls: Roger Waters Comes Out for Shaker Campaign

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Calls for the Release of Shaker Aamer from Guantánamo
My friends, I’ve been offline for the last week, away from home with my family during this holiday period, staying in a house without wi-fi access. My apologies if you missed me, but I was also exhausted and run-down after the relentless work involved in the We Stand With Shaker campaign I launched with a colleague, Joanne MacInnes, on November 24, so I felt it was acceptable to have a short break.
The campaign we established was for Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo, calling in particular for David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, to drop the government’s official position — that the final decision about his fate rests in the hands of the Obama administration — and to demand his release and his return to the UK.

This is required of the PM under the government’s obligations to Mr. Aamer, a legal British resident who had been given indefinite leave to remain in the UK with his British wife and British children before his kidnap in Afghanistan (where he had traveled with his family to undertake humanitarian aid projects) and his rendition to Guantánamo in February 2002.
Andy Worthington, Joanne MacInnes of
We Stand With Shaker with music legend
Roger Waters at the launch of campaign
outside Houses of Parliament, Nov. 24, 2014
(Photo: Stefano Massimo).
Mr. Aamer was cleared for release from Guantánamo under President Bush in 2007, and again under President Obama in 2009. In addition, the British government has been requesting his return since 2007. His continued imprisonment is, therefore, completely unacceptable — and inexplicable too, unless one accepts, as I think is necessary, that both the US and the UK governments, at the urging of their security services, would prefer to send him back to Saudi Arabia, the country of his birth, where he would be prevented from talking about what — as the foremost campaigner for the prisoners’ rights within Guantánamo — he knows about various crimes committed by his captors in the “war on terror.”

Farmers Turning Tide on BC Salmon Habitat Destruction

Tide May Be Turning on Farms Destroying Salmon Habitat
by Rafe Mair - Common Sense Canadian
I come today in praise of the Vancouver Sun and trust that events don’t prove that I should’ve approached the mainstream media with my usual skepticism.
First, let me tell you a story from my early life which you may have heard and, if so, please bear with me.

Coho spawn in the darndest places

When I was a young lad, my friend Denis and I used to bicycle down to the Musqueam Indian reserve and fish two tiny creeks, one which we called Tin Can Creek, more properly known as Musqueam Creek.
With shiner lines, a tiny hook and a bit of worm, we would catch small cutthroat trout and, as with all young boys, rejoice at every second.
At Tin Can Creek, one day, a First Nations lad with a gaff came along, bent down over the edge and scooped out a fish which must’ve run 5 or 6 pounds at least. We were thunderstruck! If we’d known there were fish that size in the creek, it might’ve scared us out of fishing it!
Moments later, and a bit further upstream, the lad did the same thing. This taught me a lesson of a lifetime. These were coho salmon and this tiny creek contained their spawning ground.

Oil Slide: Is It a US/Saudi Conspiracy?

Did The Saudis And The US Collude In Dropping Oil Prices?
The oil price drop that has dominated the headlines in recent weeks has been framed almost exclusively in terms of oil market economics, with most media outlets blaming Saudi Arabia, through its OPEC Trojan horse, for driving down the price, thus causing serious damage to the world's major oil exporters – most notably Russia.
While the market explanation is partially true, it is simplistic, and fails to address key geopolitical pressure points in the Middle East. looked beyond the headlines for the reason behind the oil price drop, and found that the explanation, while difficult to prove, may revolve around control of oil and gas in the Middle East and the weakening of Russia, Iran and Syria by flooding the market with cheap oil.