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Passing: Remembering Eduardo Galeano

Remembering Eduardo Galeano, Champion of Social Justice & Chronicler of Latin America’s Open Veins
One of Latin America’s most acclaimed writers, Eduardo Galeano, died on Monday at age 74 in Montevideo, Uruguay. The Uruguayan novelist and journalist made headlines when Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez gave President Obama a copy of his classic work, "The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent."

Since its publication in 1971, "Open Veins" has sold more than a million copies worldwide, despite being banned by the military governments in Chile, Argentina and his native country of Uruguay. While in exile after the Uruguayan military junta seized power in a 1973 coup, Galeano began work on his classic trilogy "Memory of Fire," which rewrites five centuries of North and South American history.

Shattered Glass Ceilings and Hillary Clinton's Feminist Shibboleth

Hillary Clinton - Of Glass Ceilings and Shattered Countries
by David Edwards - Media Lens

We live in a time when compassionate rhetoric is used as a weapon of state-corporate control. The rhetoric focuses on ethical concerns such as racial, gender and same-sex equality, but is disconnected from any kind of coherent ethical worldview. Corporate commentators are thereby freed to laud these moral principles, even as they ignore high crimes of state-corporate power.

Thus, it was deemed 'historic', even 'epoch-making', by our corporate culture that Barack Obama was elected the first black president of the United States. And it certainly was a triumph for racial equality.
But the moral significance was hailed by a media commentariat that proceeded to gaze with blank indifference at the ethical trailblazer's bombing of seven countries, his deep involvement in four ongoing, full-scale wars, his devastation of Libya, and his abject failure to address the apocalyptic threat of climate change.

Transnationals Take "Canada" Out of the Canadian Wheat Board

Takeover of Canadian Wheat Board – We are becoming strangers in our own land
by Peter Ewart  - 250 News

April 16, 2015

Once there was a Canadian Wheat Board that was truly Canadian-owned and based, and whose job was to market the grain of Canadian farmers, especially in the West.

Since coming to power in 2006, the Harper government has waged an all-out war on the Wheat Board as a public enterprise, purging its farmer directors and replacing them with government appointees, overturning legislation in place for decades, refusing to recognize the vote of its farmer members, and putting the organization on the road to complete privatization.

Well, the Harper government has finally got its way. The announcement has been made. As of July 2015, the Canadian Wheat Board will now be majority owned by a giant privately-owned company, G3 Global Grain Group.

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Professor Nye: Harvard Empire Incubator's Main Midwife

Mandarin for the Warlords: The Harvard School of Empire Building
by James Petras

Harvard professor Joseph Nye, a former senior Pentagon functionary, is one of the longest serving and most influential advisers to US empire building officials. Nye has recently re-affirmed the primacy of the US as a world power in his latest book, Is the American Century Over? And his article, ‘The American Century will survive the Rise of China’ (Financial Times, 3/26/15, p. 7).
These publications are in line with his earlier book, Bound to Lead, and his longstanding view that the US is not a declining world power, that it retains ‘supremacy’ even in the face of China’s rise to global power.
Nye’s views of US world supremacy have served to encourage Washington to wage multiple wars ; his sanguine view of US economic power has allowed policy-makers to ignore fundamental weaknesses in the US economy and to overestimate US power, based on what he dubs, ‘soft’ and ‘military’ power.
In tackling Professor Nye’s work, we are not dealing with a ‘detached academic in the ivory tower’ – we are taking on a high level political influential, a hardline military hawk, whose views are reflected in the forging of strategic decisions and whose arguments serve to justify major government policies.
First, we will proceed through a critical analysis of his theoretical assumptions, historical arguments and conceptual framework. In the second part of this essay, we will consider the political consequences, which have flowed from his analysis and prescriptions. In the conclusion, we shall propose an alternative, more realistic, analysis of US global power, one more attuned to the real international position of the US in the world today.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Dave Lindorff, Ramona de Graaf, Janine Bandcroft April 15th, 2015

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook -

Seems the hits are coming one a minute in the Home of the Brave. Following months of protests over the police killings of unarmed men of colour, last week revealed another inexplicable use of deadly force by a policeman in North Charlston, who shot dead a fifty year old man fleeing a traffic stop.

As with the Eric Garner case - remember the "I Can't Breathe" demonstrations? - a bystander captured Walter Scott's violent death on a cell phone. Different this time though was the murder charge leveled against the officer who shot Scott five times.
These too numerous tragedies, and the reaching critical point of the country's mass incarceration prison system, is prompting many in the US to question the state of American Justice.

Dave Lindorff is a long-time, muckraking journalist, author, broadcaster, and founder of, a website that has, since 2004 taken on the task of filling some of the vast investigative vacuum in what passes sadly today for journalism.
As Dave says, he realized, "[I]t would take more than one journalist to cause any significant degree of affliction" so he approached, and has now been joined by three "long-time friends, political comrades and colleagues" John Grant, Linn Washington and Charles M. Young.
Dave's book titles include: 'This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the Disintegration of American Democracy,' 'Marketplace Medicine: The Rise of the For Profit Hospital Chains,' 'Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal,' and co-authored with Barbara Olshansky 'The Case for Impeachment: Legal Arguments for Removing President George W. Bush'.

Dave Lindorff in the first half.

And; for years disparate voices on Canada's west coast have warned of the dangers of increasing oil tanker traffic here. But it wasn't the feared Exxon Valdez II mega-spill that struck last week, just the banal refueling of a brand new freighter by an inexperienced crew that fouled Vancouver's crown jewel, English Bay with thousands of litres of bunker oil.
The Keystone Kops-like response to the spill by the agencies presumably responsible, and the turgid media performance by the federal government in its dismal aftermath have reinforced fears of what is truly at stake for the environment, as petro-state Canada ramps up industrialization here in the Salish Sea.

Ramona de Graaf is a marine biologist specializing in forage fish. She earned her Bachelors of Science degree right here at UVic, and her Masters at UBC. She now serves as Executive Director and Coordinator of the Sea Watch Society, adjunct to the BC Shore Spawners Alliance, and is the Principal of Emerald Sea Biological. She's focused her studies these last years on the population genetics of bay pipefish, their eelgrass habitat, and is Primary researcher for other marine intertidal spawning forage fish, like the surf smelt and Pacific sand lance.

Queen of the Smelts, Ramona de Graaf and the effects of introduced petroleum products on marine life in the second segment.

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 of good goings-on from our city's streets and beyond for the coming week. But first, Dave Lindorff and American Justice's burgeoning crisis of confidence.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: And now heard at Simon Fraser University's . He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

Yemen Saudi Arabia's Afghanistan: 'Decisive Storm' Decidedly Disastrous

Yemen and the Congress of Reaction
by Conn Hallinan - CounterPunch
Saudi Arabia’s recent intrusion into Yemen is ostensibly part of a bitter proxy war with Iran. But the coalition that Riyadh has assembled to intervene in Yemen’s civil war has more in common with 19th-century Europe than the 21st-century Middle East.
The 22-member Arab League came together at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt last month to draw up its plan to attack the Houthi forces currently holding Yemen’s capital. And the meeting bore an uncanny resemblance to a similar gathering of monarchies at Vienna in 1814.
The leading voice at the Egyptian resort was the Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal. His historical counterpart was Prince Klemens von Metternich, the Austrian foreign minister who designed the “Concert of Europe” to ensure that no revolution would ever again threaten the monarchs who dominated the continent.
More than 200 years divides those gatherings, but their goals were much the same: to safeguard a small and powerful elite’s dominion over a vast area.

And the Winner Is: Iran, Last Land Standing

The Iranian Ascendancy: Twelve Years Later, We Know the Winner in Iraq: Iran
by Peter Van Buren  - TomDispatch

The U.S. is running around in circles in the Middle East, patching together coalitions here, acquiring strange bedfellows there, and in location after location trying to figure out who the enemy of its enemy actually is.

The result is just what you'd expect: chaos further undermining whatever’s left of the nations whose frailty birthed the jihadism America is trying to squash.

And in a classic tale of unintended consequences, just about every time Washington has committed another blunder in the Middle East, Iran has stepped in to take advantage.

Consider that country the rising power in the region and credit American clumsiness for the new Iranian ascendancy.

Hillary Climbs Aboard the Dynasty Express

Oh Hell, Hillary
by David Swanson - ICH

I just did a radio show in South Africa on the topic of Hillary Clinton. Perhaps they won't air it since I told them it was a non-story about something long since underway being "launched," but a story the U.S. media likes because it's substance-free.

Yet in South Africa it seems to be a story. They really didn't know she was running until now, and they wanted to know if John McCain was her opponent.

And yet they had the sense to ask if she would cause more wars and if there was really any difference between Hillary and the Republicans. If even the places that don't know she's running know that, perhaps there is hope for public awareness of basic facts after all.

Of course I pointed out Hillary Clinton's role in wars in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Ukraine, etc., her profiteering off Boeing while marketing Boeing weapons as Secretary of State, her transformation of the State Department into a fully owned subsidiary of the military, her foundations taking money from Chevron and Exxon-Mobil while she persuades Eastern European countries not to ban fracking. Hillary backs Israel's crimes, opposes the UN and international law.

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Which Americans in the Obama Administration Spy (on America) for Israel?

Who Spies for Israel in Washington’s Nuclear Negotiations?
by James Petras
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) (3/25/15) headlined: ‘Israel Spied on Iran Nuclear Talks with the US”. The article goes on to detail the way in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the confidential information to sabotage the talks, including ‘playing them back to US legislators to undermine US diplomacy’.
The WSJ report of this incident tries to play down the serious implications of Israel’s espionage by claiming that Israeli spying of US diplomatic negotiations is ‘normal even among allies’; that ‘both sides do it’; that the US ‘tolerates’ Israeli spying; that the ‘Israelis have not directly spied on the US’ but use sympathetic US agents . . . and several other excuses for Israel’s behavior.
After having revealed Tel Aviv’s espionage - the WSJ dismisses the sabotage. Worse still, it makes no attempt to investigate who, among the highly-placed US government officials with direct access to the negotiations, has been spying for Israel. This essay attempts to address this question by identifying the most likely suspects.
We will proceed by describing the seriousness of the crime by noting the centrality of the US-Iran negotiations for US global politics and the enormous damage, which has resulted from Israel’s securing secret documents, reports and proceedings of the talks and having a highly placed agent among the US diplomats.

Finger Pointing and Oiled Beaches

Botched English Bay oil spill confirms BC ‘woefully unprepared’ for more pipelines, tankers: An Open Letter to Christy Clark
by Ben West of the group Tanker Free BC

Dear Premier Clark, in a 2013 interview with Peter Mansbridge, you discussed Canada’s inability to handle a major coastal oil spill now, let alone in the future should new pipelines be approved.

“We are woefully under-resourced,” you said.

In that same year your government rejected the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and tanker project in part because of concerns around oil spills.

Ocean pollution specialist Dr. Peter Ross
displays an oily substance from English Bay
(Vancouver Aquarium)

“British Columbia thoroughly reviewed all of the evidence and submissions made to the panel and asked substantive questions about the project including its route, spill response capacity and financial structure to handle any incidents,” said then B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake in a May 31 media release.
“Our questions were not satisfactorily answered during these hearings.”

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Yarmouk: Naming, Shaming, and Saving the Prisoners of Syrian Hell

My Missing Family in Syria: Naming and Shaming in Yarmouk
by Ramzy Baroud  - Middle East Eye

Members of my family in Syria’s Yarmouk went missing many months ago. We haven’t an idea who is dead and who is alive.
Unlike my other uncle and his children in Libya, who fled the NATO war and turned up alive but hiding in some desert a few months later, my uncle’s family in Syria disappeared completely as if ingested by a black hole, to a whole different dimension.

I chose the “black hole” analogy, as opposed to the one used by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon - "the deepest circle of hell" - which he recently uttered in reference to the plight of Palestinians in Yarmouk following the advances made by the notorious Islamic State (IS) militias in early April.
Yarmouk - photo Laial Eb - April 2015

If there is any justice in the hereafter, no Palestinian refugee - even those who failed to pray five times a day or go to church every Sunday - deserves to be in any “circle of hell”, deep or shallow. The suffering they have endured in this world since the founding of Israel atop their towns and villages in Palestine some 66 years ago is enough to redeem their collective sins, past and present.

For now, however, justice remains elusive. The refugees of Yarmouk - whose population once exceeded 250,000, dwindling throughout the Syrian civil war to 18,000 - is a microcosm of the story of a whole nation, whose perpetual pain shames us all, none excluded.

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