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Remembering Our Commons Heritage

Oct 01, 2014 Ray Grigg
The Wisdom of the Commons by Ray Grigg…
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Dahr Jamail, Robert Parry July 13, 2009

Jul 14, 2009 Chris Cook
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A Court Held in Contempt

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Iranian Assassination Confabulations: Plotting the Course of a Set-Up

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Laughing Us to Hell: Dubya and Bill Take Act on the Road

Killing Joke: The Presidential Leadership Scholars Program
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque
And I was like, I killed 500,000 Iraqi children with my sanctions! And George here, yuk yuk, he was like —”
 
“And I was like, 500,000? Hellfire boy, I can do better than that! We bagged us more than a million of them ‘Rackies, har har har!”
 
“Yeah — haw haw haw — you bigged it up, Texas style! And now Obama’s gonna get him some of his own!”
 
“Well, there’s plenty to go around, hee hee hoo! Them folks breed like jackrabbits! Hey, Bill, you were a bit of a jackrabbit yourself in your day, weren’t you, ha ha ha?
 
“Now don’t start with that stuff, George, hee-haw, har-har! Hillary might be in the audience, yuckity yuk yuk!”
 
“Reckon how many ‘Rackies she’ll rack up when she’s Prez, Bill? — Did you see what I did there? ‘Rackies, rack up? Ho ho ho!”
 
“Yee hee hee! This old boy’s a card, ain’t he folks? Well, I imagine she’ll get a passel of ‘em, George, don’t you worry! Har har hee hee ho!”
 
“As long as she leaves a few for Chelsea in 20 years, ha ha ha ha ha! Say, Bill, I’m a bit thirsty. Could you pass me some of that water?”
 
“Sure, George! Just lean your head back and I’ll pour it right down your gullet, haw haw heee-haw!”
“You know, Bill, I sure am BOARD of that joke, snickety snicker guffaw guffaw!”
 
“You slay me, George, you really do, hur hur ha ha! But seriously folks ...”
 
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Ceaseless: What Passes for Peace in Israel

A Peace That Passeth Understanding
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque
At the London Review of Books blog, Omar Hamilton outlines the many confidence-building efforts being undertaken by Israel to construct a just and lasting peace in the Holy Land, following the recent spat in Gaza. Below is Hamilton's piece in full, but do see the original for links detailing the flowers of peace that Israel is planting amongst its Palestinian brothers and sisters.
On 26 August a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was agreed, bringing a fragile end to a war that killed 2150 Palestinians (mostly civilians) and 73 Israelis (mostly soldiers). Since then Hamas has not fired a single rocket, attacked an Israeli target, or done anything to break the terms of the ceasefire.
Israel has done the following:
1. Annexed another 1500 acres of West Bank land

2. Seized $56 million of PA tax revenue
3. Not lifted the illegal blockade (as required by the ceasefire)

4. Broken the ceasefire by firing at fishermen on four separate occasions
5. Detained six fishermen
6. Killed a 22-year-old, Issa al Qatari, a week before his wedding

7. Killed 16-year-old Mohammed Sinokrot with a rubber bullet to the head

8. Tortured a prisoner to the point of hospitalisation

9. Refused 13 members of the European Parliament entry into Gaza
10. Detained at least 127 people across the West Bank, including a seven-year-old boy in Hebron and two children, aged seven and eight, taken from the courtyard of their house in Silwad – and tear-gassed their mother

11. Continued to hold 33 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in prison

12. Continued to hold 500 prisoners in administrative detention without charge or trial

13. Destroyed Bedouin homes in Khan al Ahmar, near Jerusalem, leaving 14 people homeless, and unveiled a plan to forcibly move thousands of Bedouin away from Jerusalem into two purpose-built townships

14. Destroyed a dairy factory in Hebron whose profits supported an orphanage

15. Destroyed a family home in Silwan, making five children homeless

16. Destroyed a house in Jerusalem where aid supplies en route to Gaza were being stored
17. Destroyed a well near Hebron

18. Set fire to an olive grove near Hebron

19. Raided a health centre and a nursery school in Nablus, causing extensive damage

20. Destroyed a swathe of farmland in Rafah by driving tanks over it

21. Ordered the dismantling of a small monument in Jerusalem to Mohamed Abu Khdeir, murdered in July by an Israeli lynch mob
22. Continued building a vast tunnel network under Jerusalem

23. Stormed the al Aqsa mosque compound with a group of far right settlers
24. Assisted hundreds of settlers in storming Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus

25. Prevented students from entering al Quds University, firing stun grenades and rubber bullets at those who tried to go in

26. Earned unknown millions on reconstruction materials for Gaza, where 100,000 people need their destroyed homes rebuilt. The total bill is estimated at $7.8 billion
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Helter-Skelter Schizoid Century Tour

Power Drain: Mysteries of the Twenty-First Century in a Helter-Skelter World
by Tom Engelhardt  - TomDispatch
It’s possible I’ve lived most of my life on the wrong planet -- and if that sounds like the first sentence of a sci-fi novel maybe, in its own way, it is. I thought I knew where I was, of course, but looking back from our helter-skelter world of 2014, I wonder.

For most of the last several hundred years, the story in view might be called the Great Concentration and it focused on an imperial struggle for power on planet Earth. 
 
That rivalry took place among a kaleidoscopic succession of European “great powers,” one global empire (Great Britain), Russia, a single Asian state (Japan), and the United States.
 
 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, David Rovics, Roger Annis, Janine Bandcroft September 17, 2014

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
Media-memory being short, the name Michael Brown Jr. may elicit no more from most than a blank look; but, last month reaction to his untimely death threatened to burn the town of Ferguson, Missouri to the ground.

At least that's the way the story was told by the corporate media, (and repeated by its state-sponsored Canadian correlative, the CBC). Brown was of course the black teenager shot dead in a hail of bullets fired by a policeman for the "crime" of jay walking, sparking angry community protests.

David Rovics is an inveterate American activist singer-songwriter in the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. David has played at demos too numerous to count for myriad issues both universal and circumstantial.

Listen. Hear.

From his start busking Boston's subway to travelling across America and the broader world, he's earned his sobriquet as "professional flat-picking rabble-rouser" honestly. Rovics was in Ferguson last month, checking out the neighbourhood where Michael was killed and attending his funeral.
 
David reported on the great societal divide his visit revealed in an essay titled, 'Ferguson Reflections,' published at his website, DavidRovics.com, where you can also find his catalogue of more than 200 tunes available for download.
 
David Rovics in the first half.
 
And; the tenuous Ukraine ceasefire is holding. This week, the two sides continued negotiations for a longer-lasting peace accord, while civilians displaced by the fighting returned home to pick up the pieces and mourn the dead. Roger Annis is a Vancouver-based peace and social justice activist and editor of the Canada Haiti Action Network website, CanadaHaitiAction.ca. His writing can also be found at Rabble.ca, and at his site, A Socialist in Canada. Roger is recently returned from Crimea, from where he filed reports on deteriorating living conditions for the people beneath the bombs of the Kiev-based coup regime.

Roger Annis and ending the war against the civilians of Eastern Ukraine 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 up to speed with some of the good things going on in and around our city, and beyond there too.

But first, seeing ourselves reflected in Ferguson, Missouri.


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. 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/

Don't Mention the Nazis: NATO's Ukraine Coup Bedfellows

Ukraine and neo-Nazis
by William Blum - Anti-Empire Report
Ever since serious protest broke out in Ukraine in February the Western mainstream media, particularly in the United States, has seriously downplayed the fact that the usual suspects – the US/European Union/NATO triumvirate – have been on the same side as the neo-Nazis. In the US it’s been virtually unmentionable. I’m sure that a poll taken in the United States on this issue would reveal near universal ignorance of the numerous neo-Nazi actions, including publicly calling for death to “Russians, Communists and Jews”. But in the past week the dirty little secret has somehow poked its head out from behind the curtain a bit.
 
On September 9 NBCnews.com reported that “German TV shows Nazi symbols on helmets of Ukraine soldiers”. The German station showed pictures of a soldier wearing a combat helmet with the “SS runes” of Hitler’s infamous black-uniformed elite corps. (Runes are the letters of an alphabet used by ancient Germanic peoples.) A second soldier was shown with a swastika on his helmet.
 
On the 13th, the Washington Post showed a photo of the sleeping quarter of a member of the Azov Battalion, one of the Ukrainian paramilitary units fighting the pro-Russian separatists. On the wall above the bed is a large swastika. Not to worry, the Post quoted the platoon leader stating that the soldiers embrace symbols and espouse extremist notions as part of some kind of “romantic” idea.
 
Yet, it is Russian president Vladimir Putin who is compared to Adolf Hitler by everyone from Prince Charles to Princess Hillary because of the incorporation of Crimea as part of Russia.
 

Going Down to Ferguson: Reflectons on a Divided Society

Ferguson Reflections
by David Rovics - Song Writer's Notebook
I just got back from a trip to Ferguson, and elsewhere in the St Louis area, and I thought I'd share some of the thoughts and observations I've had along the way.

A little background seems in order, particularly for readers from other countries, who might not know.

Yes, there is a black president. However, the US is a segregated country. It is and always has been institutionally a profoundly racist country. Slavery was defeated, but Jim Crow essentially remains. Only the formalities have changed.

You don't need a “whites only” sign to maintain a very separated, unequal society. My own history is a classic illustration.

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Post-Modern American Policing Meets a Long "Bullet Lynching" Tradition

Lawless Law Enforcers: In America the 'Terrorists' All Too Often Are the Police
by Linn Washington  - This Can't Be Happening
Two acts of ugly terrorism occurred in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963. One act was widely abhorred. The other act ignored.
 
Many across America know about the 9/15/63 Birmingham murders of four little girls slain in the bombing of a black Baptist church 18-days after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his stirring “I Have A Dream” speech.
 
However, few know about the Birmingham murder of Johnny Robinson, a 16-year-old shot in the back by a policeman hours after that church bombing.
 
If the deaths of those four children inside that Birmingham church catalyzed the 1960s-era Civil Rights Movement contributing to the racial progress America now praises itself for achieving, the death of Johnny Robinson represents yet another instance of the regression across America on the issue of effectively addressing lawlessness by law enforcers – lawlessness that most often evades legal accountability.

Michael Brown, murdered by a Fergusson cop while surrendering, 
and two images of modern US policing at work
 
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Killing Cold: A Nation of Bloody Cowards

Nation of Cowards
by John Chuckman - Chuckman Blog
What else can you fairly call a people who attack a population of refugees confined to a small space surrounded on every side by fences and machine-gun towers, a population with nowhere to run? No, that is not put strongly enough. Not just attack, but use the latest and most ferocious weapons from the American arsenal to slaughter more than 2100 people, including more than 500 children, destroying along the way a major portion of the housing, businesses, and institutions of a poor people.
 
The definition of a coward is not the traditional military one of a soldier who won’t fight. No, that’s far too simplistic and self-serving. The genuine meaning of the word, the meaning that warrants our full sense of revulsion and contempt, is someone who attacks someone far weaker than themselves. A large man who beats a woman or a child with his fists or a policeman who clubs a handcuffed prisoner – that is the accurate and meaningful definition of the word.
 
And the people of Israel responsible for Operation Protective Edge are as sadly perfect examples of genuine cowards as you can find in the world.
 

Independence without Freedom: Scotland's Failure to Launch Independence Plan

Scotland Should Declare Its Independence From Alex Salmond
by Greg Palast - Reader Supported News 
I mean, what's the bloody point? Why pretend to declare your independence only to chain yourself to a coin with a British snout on it and simultaneously beg to become a colony of Angela Merkel's Fifth Reich, aka the European Union?

I realize that, as an American and an economist, I carry into this debate a double dollop of disrespect from Scottish readers. But, with thousands of miles of salt water separating me equally from London and Edinburgh, I think I can see clearly what you miss from having your head inside the fish bowl.

There are two overwhelming and undeniable advantages for Scotland to declare its sovereign independence: to end both Scotland's damaging enchainment to the British pound and the debilitating tyranny of European Union membership.

Yet, weirdly, inexplicably and inexcusably, Alex Salmond promises to throw away the two most valuable benefits of national self-determination.

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Obama's Syria Neo-Con Job

Neocons Revive Syria ‘Regime Change’ Plan
by Robert Parry  - Consortium News
Obama Syria War RoomOfficial Washington’s ever-influential neoconservatives and their “liberal interventionist” allies see President Barack Obama’s decision to extend U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State terrorists into Syria as a new chance to achieve the long-treasured neocon goal of “regime change” in Damascus.
 
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with members of the National Security Council in the Situation Room of the White House, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) 

 On the surface, Obama’s extraordinary plan to ignore Syrian sovereignty and attack across the border has been viewed as a unilateral U.S. action to strike at the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but it could easily evolve into a renewed effort to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s government, ironically one of ISIS’s principal goals.
 

Ceasefire for Now: Retreat or Re-armament in Ukriane?

Ukraine – Truce or Trojan Horse: Retreat, Re-Armament and Relaunch
by James Petras
The NATO proxy war in the Ukraine started with the violent US-EU-sponsored overthrow of the elected government via a mob putsch in February 2014. This was well financed at $5 billion, according to President Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland.
 
The result was a junta, composed of neo-liberal puppets, rightist nationalists and fascists, which immediately proceeded to purge the Ukrainian legislature of any politicians opposed to the coup and Kiev’s submission to the European Union and NATO. The NATO-sponsored client regime then moved swiftly to extend its control by centralizing power and overturning the official policy of bilingualism (Russian and Ukrainian) in the southeastern regions. It was preparing to break its long-standing agreement over the huge Russian naval base in Crimea and renege on its massive debts to Russia for gas and oil imports.
 
These extremist measures by a violent coup regime amounted to a radical break with existing economic, cultural and political institutions and, naturally, provoked a robust response from large sectors of the population. The overwhelmingly Russian speaking majority in Crimea convoked a referendum with 90% voter participation: 89% voted to secede and rejoin Russia. The ethnic Russian and bilingual, industrialized southeast regions of Ukraine organized their own referenda, formed popular militias and prepared for an armed response from what they viewed as an illegal junta in Kiev. Threatened by the new measures against their language and traditional and economic ties with Russia, the resistance drew its fighters from the vast reservoir of skilled industrial workers, miners and local business people who understood that they would lose thousands of jobs and access to the Russian markets as well as cultural and family links under the boot of the EU-NATO puppet in Kiev.