Nostalgiacally Numb: La La Land and America's Then and Now

Nostalgia Numbs: The Ironies of “La La Land”

by David Yearsley - CounterPunch


January 13, 2017    

Irony is the not-so-new normal. Somewhere back in the swirling dry-ice mists of history, round about the time of the one-and-only Clinton Administration, this venerable figure-of-speech stretched its wings and its brand and became a full-fledged lifestyle choice providing post-moderns with essential protection for life, liberty, and pursuit of nostalgia.

Aided by irony, you could wear suede shoes and wide-wale bell bottoms, mix old-fashioned cocktails from overpriced mason jars, enjoying it all while meaning none of it. The performance was the key: cloaked in paradox, these linoleum counter-revolutionaries were safe—they’d say “empowered”—to mock their own poses.

Still from “La La Land.”

 

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Generational Political Prisoners Hope for Obama Pardons

Political Prisoners Remain Behind Bars as Obama's Term Nears End

by Matt Peppe - Just the Facts


January 12, 2017

In the last full week of Barack Obama’s eight year tenure as President of the United States of America, dozens of political prisoners still sit in cages across the nation’s prisons, rotting away as Obama consciously chooses not to exercise the power to simply free them with the stroke of a pen.

Many activists for Puerto Rican independence, Native American and African American rights, and other causes were targeted by the political police’s illegal COINTELPRO program and convicted in sham trials.

 

Protesters call for the liberation of 
Oscar López River in Washington D.C.
 in October 2016. (Photo by Matt Peppe)

Now elderly, some in poor health, they may effectively be facing death sentences unless Obama’s decides within the next two weeks to grant their appeals for clemency.  Among the most well known political prisoners are Oscar López Rivera, Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal, who have all been locked up for at least three and a half decades. Many others including The Move 9 and The Holy Land Five have spent years or decades in jail for their political action and views. Many, like Chelsea Manning and Jeffrey Sterling, have been denied their freedom for exposing government crimes and misdeeds.

But you won’t ever hear this in the mainstream media. The corporate media hypocrisy is best demonstrated by the debate regarding political prisoners during Obama’s trip to Cuba in March 2016.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Anthony DiMaggio, David Fairey, Janine Bandcroft January 17th, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


January 11, 2017

 

It's often said there are two sides to every story, but two sides doesn't cover the many facets of the near six years-long war in Syria. Whether at the front lines or on the virtual battlefield everyone, from the Assad government and its Russian and Iranian allies, to America and its friends in the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the myriad extra-state actors arrayed on either side, has a point of interest to defend and an enemy's position to attack.

One certain thing though is, the people of Syria have been terrorized by all sides and it's their best interests being sacrificed every time a bomb is dropped, a sniper shoots, or a media propagandist pulls the camera trigger.

 

Listen. Hear.

 

Anthony DiMaggio is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University, holds a PhD in political communication, and is the author of the newly released, 'Selling War, Selling Hope: Presidential Rhetoric, the News Media, and U.S. Foreign Policy After 9/11.'

His recent article, 'The Pathologies of War: Dual Propaganda Campaigns in Reporting on Syria,' appearing at the news website, CounterPunch.org, takes a hard look at the righteous claims on all sides of the Syria conflict.

Anthony DiMaggio in the first half.

And; are you suffering for your paycheque, or is someone you know being brutalized by workplace tyranny? The BC Employment Standard Coalition, a group "bring[ing] together organizations, advocates and workers to campaign for decent wages, working conditions, respect and dignity in the workplace" is in Victoria and they want to hear your story.

David Fairey is Co-Chair of the BC Employment Standards Coalition and Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. He's past Director of the Trade Union Research Bureau, and has worked over the course of a long career on "a wide variety of labour and employment law issues such as labour standards, labour relations, pay equity, construction safety, and migrant labour." David and the BC Employment Standards folks are down at the Victoria Events Centre at 1415 Broad Street all day today and this evening lending an ear, and offering workers help with employer challenges.

David Fairey and slaying the workplace ogre 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 scheduled for the streets of our town and beyond in the coming week. But first, Anthony DiMaggio and the pathologies of the Syria war.

 

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/

 

 

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NAFTA Dogs Trump Agenda

Globalist Leaders Ensure North American Integration Mechanisms Remain in Place

by Dana Gabriel - Be Your Own Leader


January 10, 2017

As Donald Trump prepares to become U.S. president on Jan. 20, the future of NAFTA is in doubt. He has promised to either renegotiate or withdraw from the trade agreement. Despite the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, there are still many different existing North American integration mechanisms that remain in place.

Over the last year, the globalists have quietly laid the foundation to ensure their continental agenda continues. They are positioning themselves so they can try to better influence the new Trump administration in advancing deeper economic, political and security integration in North America.

 

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Maneouvring Trump into the Cold War Ring

The Utter Stupidity of the New Cold War

by Gary Leupp - CounterPunch


January 10, 2017   

 

It seems so strange, twenty-seven years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, to be living through a new Cold War with (as it happens, capitalist) Russia. The Russian president is attacked by the U.S. political class and media as they never attacked Soviet leaders; he is personally vilified as a corrupt, venal dictator, who arrests or assassinates political opponents and dissident journalists, and is hell-bent on the restoration of the USSR.

(The latter claim rests largely on Vladimir Putin’s comment that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was a “catastrophe” and “tragedy”—which in many respects it was.

Photo Jedimentat44 | CC BY 2.0 

 The press chooses to ignore his comment that “Anyone who does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart, while anyone who wants to restore it has no brain.” It conflicts with the simple talking-point that Putin misses the imperial Russia of the tsars if not the commissars and, burning with resentment over the west’s triumph in the Cold War, plans to exact revenge through wars of aggression and territorial expansion.)

 

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Fighting for Good in Trumplandia

What Is a Country For? Fighting for the Good Life in Trumplandia

by Rebecca Gordon - TomDispatch

January 10, 2017

 

 

Many of the folks I know are getting ready to play serious defense in 2017, and they’re not wrong.

Before we take up our three-point stance on the national line of scrimmage, however, maybe we should ask ourselves not only what we’re fighting against, but what we’re fighting for.

What kind of United States of America do we actually want? Maybe, in fact, we could start by asking:

What is a country for? What should a country do? Why do people establish countries in the first place? 

 

 

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Modi's Operandi: Dwijitalising India's Economy

Cashless is Not Casteless

by Satya Sagar - CounterCurrents



January 9, 2017

A Cashless, Corruption-free, Cow-friendly India that also Cares for the Poor. As the Narendra Modi regime shoots forth silken promises like buttered popcorn from a hot oven – it is time to remember India’s long history of using colourful fiction to rip-off the public and carry out caste oppression.

Let me explain. For over a millennium one of the recurring debates among Indian philosophers was whether this world was real or a mere dream. To be more precise,the claim was, we are all part of Maha Vishnu’s dream[1] as He sleeps peacefully on a giant serpent, with a lotus blooming from His navel.

Paradoxically though, those who preached most passionately that our senses mislead us and everything around was Maya or an illusion, went on to corner the largest chunk of material reality.

 

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Intelligence Chef Fails Russia Recipe: No Beets in Clapper Borscht

US Report Still Lacks Proof on Russia ‘Hack’

by Robert Parry  - Consortium News


January 7, 2017  

Repeating an accusation over and over again is not evidence that the accused is guilty, no matter how much “confidence” the accuser asserts about the conclusion. Nor is it evidence just to suggest that someone has a motive for doing something. Many conspiracy theories are built on the notion of “cui bono” – who benefits – without following up the supposed motive with facts.

But that is essentially what the U.S. intelligence community has done regarding the dangerous accusation that Russian President Vladimir Putin orchestrated a covert information campaign to influence the outcome of the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election in favor of Republican Donald Trump.

 Russian President Vladimir Putin, following address
to UN General Assembly -Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

Just a day after Director of National Intelligence James Clapper vowed to go to the greatest possible lengths to supply the public with the evidence behind the accusations, his office released a 25-page report that contained no direct evidence that Russia delivered hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta to WikiLeaks.

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Fool Me Twice: Confessed Perjurer Clapper Testifies on "Russia Hack"

More Clapp-trap: Senate Hearing on Russian Election Mischief Again Fails to Prove Anything

by Dave Lindorff - This Can't Be Happening


January 6, 2017

The Russian hacking hysteria in the US media, and among parts of the public -- especially liberal Democrats -- is becoming increasingly embarrassing.

National Security Director James Clapper(l): Would you 
trust this man to house-sit (or fix your computer)?

Over and over we have been told that the government, whether in the form of the departing President Obama or unidentified “intelligence sources” cited in news reports, or statements by private security contractors with their vested interest in trying to show how vulnerable America’s (and the Democratic Party’s!) servers are, that they have solid evidence that the Russians hacked DNC emails and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s emails, only for it to turn out to be more of the same innuendos, circumstantial “evidence,” suspicions, and inevitably ridiculous and embarrassing errors (like the Washington Post’s breathless and false story [1] that the Russians had hacked the Vermont power grid and could shut off the heat during a cold snap).


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Washington's Bottomless Swamp: Boots on 2/3 of the World's Ground

The Year of the Commando: U.S. Special Operations Forces Deploy to 138 Nations, 70% of the World’s Countries
by Nick Turse - TomDispatch 

 

January 5, 2017

 

They could be found on the outskirts of Sirte, Libya, supporting local militia fighters, and in Mukalla, Yemen, backing troops from the United Arab Emirates. At Saakow, a remote outpost in southern Somalia, they assisted local commandos in killing several members of the terror group al-Shabab. Around the cities of Jarabulus and Al-Rai in northern Syria, they partnered with both Turkish soldiers and Syrian militias, while also embedding with Kurdish YPG fighters and the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Across the border in Iraq, still others joined the fight to liberate the city of Mosul. And in Afghanistan, they assisted indigenous forces in various missions, just as they have every year since 2001. For America, 2016 may have been the year of the commando.

In one conflict zone after another across the northern tier of Africa and the Greater Middle East, U.S. Special Operations forces (SOF) waged their particular brand of low-profile warfare.

“Winning the current fight, including against the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and other areas where SOF is engaged in conflict and instability, is an immediate challenge,” the chief of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), General Raymond Thomas, told the Senate Armed Services Committee last year. 

 
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America's Naked Face: The Revelatory Powers of Trump

The Real Face of Washington (and America) - Thank You, Donald Trump

by Tom Engelhardt - TomDispatch
January 3, 2017   

Know thyself. It was what came to mind in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory and my own puzzling reaction to it. And while that familiar phrase just popped into my head, I had no idea it was so ancient, or Greek, or for that matter a Delphic maxim inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo according to the Greek writer Pausanias (whom I'd never heard of until I read his name in Wikipedia). Think of that as my own triple helix of ignorance extending back to... well, my birth in a very different America 72 years ago.

 

 

Anyway, the simple point is that I didn’t know myself half as well as I imagined. And I can thank Donald Trump for reminding me of that essential truth. Of course, we can never know what’s really going on inside the heads of all those other people out there on this curious planet of ours, but ourselves as strangers? I guess if I were inscribing something in the forecourt of my own Delphic temple right now, it might be: Who knows me? (Not me.)

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Satya Sagar, Richard Kastelein, Janine Bandcroft Jan. 4th, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


January 2, 2017

Happy New Year to all following the western, or Gregorian calendar. It's important to remember, time is relative and calendars mutable; like other things we may regard as solid, (say economic systems) nothing is changeless, nor eternal.

Take India's rupee; late last year, prime minister Narendra Modi launched, depending upon your point of view, an either visionary, or draconian demonetization program aimed, he says, at "black money, terrorism, and tax evasion." His critics however wonder if there's not more behind the unprecedented move to take both the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, workhorses of the nation's currency accounting for more than 85% of cash transactions, off the street and onto a controlled grid.

Satya Sagar is a journalist and public health worker whose clarion English language articles on demonetization, 'Death by Demonetisation' and 'Demonetisation: The Sultan of Sophistry'  have appeared on this side of the World via the Kerala-based news website, CounterCurrents.org, among other places.

Listen. Hear.

Satya Sagar in the first half.

And; it's not only India witnessing an economic paradigm shift. Across the planet, Bitcoin and its many imitators, had been received as both a halyard of hope to rescue upward mobility for the embattled middle and working classes, and harbinger of an impending doom, promising chaos by delivering the economy into the hands of internet fraudsters and shadowy networks of web gangsters.

Though the early application of cryptocurrencies had problems, the implementation of a more sophisticated Blockchain 2.0 database insures a more secure regimen. But, there's more to ushering in a new age of money than ones and zeroes, what's needed too is a social and necessarily political framework, a context from which the new system can operate. That's were the Blockchain Party comes in.

Richard Kastelein is a media and technology activist, educator, and entrepreneur. He's the publisher and editor-in-chief of Blockchain News, a co-founder of Blockchain Partners, director of The Hackitarians Foundation, and now moves into the political sphere with BCP, the Blockchain Party.

Richard Kastelein and bringing new politics to the new money 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 of some of the good things the coming week promises on in and around the streets of our town, and beyond there too. But first, Satya Sagar and putting an biometric thumb in the eye of India's financial system.

 

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/

 

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