Last Tuesday, within about an hour of his announcement on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi announcement, in the heat of the moment, I commented on the president’s acceptance of the Riyadh royals’ explanation of the Istanbul consulate incident. I called his statement “crude” and “buttheadedly amoral.”
I should have stated the obvious broader point: It was wrong.
Marxists have historically inveighed (appropriately) against capitalism, imperialism, semi-feudalism etc.—neutral moral categories—using such terms as “reactionary” and “opportunist” when desiring to add a moral edge. And certainly capitalist profit and imperialist hegemony factor into Trump’s response to the cold-blooded crime.
But sometimes it’s best to go back to the basics, and draw upon primordial human vocabulary. The murder of the dissident Saudi journalist was pure evil.
The prohibition on killing occurs in the earliest law codes and taboo lists. It’s understood to have limited application; rulers can use military force to maintain power and “preserve order.” But generally speaking humans concur that it’s wrong to kill someone. It’s wrong. This is basic. For those arriving from outer space it is Humanity 101. It is of course the Sixth Commandment in the Bible. It is fundamental to the contrat social of Rousseau.
Russia has seized three Ukrainian military vessels violating its territory near Russia’s newly completed Crimean Bridge. The incident is a clear provocation carried out by Kiev and possibly engineered by Kiev’s Western sponsors – particularly those in Washington and London.
Ukrainian military vessels are in fact permitted to pass from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov provided they notify Russian authorities beforehand.
The Sea of Azov – according to a joint agreement signed by Kiev and Moscow in 2003 – is considered internal waters of both Ukraine and Russia.
With the completion of the Crimean Bridge connecting Russian Crimea to the rest of Russian territory across the Strait of Kerch, security measures have understandably increased.
Canadians should express their solidarity with Tanzanians facing politically inspired homophobia. But, we must also be suspicious of journalism that ignores Canadian complicity in the promotion of anti-gay ideology. Last weekend the Globe and Mail and CBC both reported on a Christian politician in Dar es Salaam who announced a scheme to track down and arrest gays. Titled “Tanzania’s homophobic crackdown casts a shadow on Canadian aid”, the Globe story insinuated that Ottawa should sever assistance to the country in protest while the CBC noted,
“official anti-gay prejudice in Tanzania is causing Canadian officials to reassess this country’s relationship with one of Canada’s biggest aid recipients.”
While raising the subject of “Canadian aid”, the Globe and CBC both ignored how this country’s “assistance” to the region has, in fact, fostered the social conservatism that the stories bemoan.
For example, while the Stephen Harper Conservative government was in power international aid funding for religious NGOs increased substantially.
Last week's resignation of Israel's defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman and withdrawal of his party's support for the coalition government of prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has not only sown political turmoil in the country, but also signals dangerous days ahead for Palestinians throughout the Occupied Territories.
The ultra-right wing Lieberman left the government in protest over Netanyahu's Gaza cease fire agreement with Hamas, and already even more extreme members of the prime minister's razor thin coalition majority are pushing for harsher measures against both the eight month-long Great March of Return in Gaza and Palestinian protesters generally.
And; four years on from the Western-backed coup and overthrow of the democratically elected government in Ukraine, the war against the eastern regions refusing to cede to the Poroshenko regime is stalemated. The determination of the separatist Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples Republics to forge their own way was reinforced at the November 11th elections that saw record turnouts and overwhelming support for the People’s Councils.
Christopher Black is a Toronto-based criminal lawyer best known for his involvement in a number of high-profile, international war crimes cases. He's also a poet, essayist, and novelist who's latest book is, 'Beneath the Clouds'. Black's articles on international law, politics and World events appear at New Eastern Outlook among other places, and his latest, 'The Donbass Dilemma' examines the election and international reaction to it.
Christopher Black in the second half.
And Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Richard Hardigan and looking at the other side of Israel's wall.
The “migrant caravan” is making its way towards the US border – and is facing countless obstacles and much opposition along the way.
Most recently, protests erupted when a large group of the migrants reached the Mexican border town of Tijuana.
The men, women and children in the caravan are travelling as a large group because in the past individuals and small groups who have fled central America to escape political violence or to find a better livelihood have been kidnapped by traffickers and drug gangs. Travelling en masse offers them a degree of protection.
Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump was quick to join the clamour, accusing them of causing “crime and big problems in Mexico”:
The Mayor of Tijuana, Mexico, just stated that “the City is ill-prepared to handle this many migrants, the backlog could last 6 months.” Likewise, the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and will not stand for it. They are causing crime and big problems in Mexico. Go home!
Days ago, I received a call from Stacey Abrams’ lead attorneys. Our investigative team had “gold,” as they put it, for litigating the election: Expert analysis proving 340,134 voters were wrongly purged.
Plus, we had, on camera, victims of the purge, including the 92-year-old cousin of Martin Luther King. But I’m a journalist, not a campaign operative. I could only offer my reports and my affidavit filed in federal court in Common Cause v. Brian Kemp.
Stacey Abrams, Palast review Georgia
Purge list 2014 – Photo Zach D Roberts
With Stacey Abrams no longer in the race for Governor, we are now free to open our files to her new voting rights group, Fair Fight Georgia.
Right-wing Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is escalating his war on the Palestinian people, although for reasons almost entirely related to Israeli politics. He has just given the greenlight to a legislation that would make it easier for Israeli courts to issue death sentences against Palestinians accused of carrying out ‘terrorist’ acts.
Netanyahu’s decision was made on November 4, but the wrangling over the issue has been taking place for some time. The ‘Death Penalty’ bill has been the rally cry for the Israel Beiteinu party, led by ultra-nationalist Israeli politician and current Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, during its 2015 election campaign.
But when Lieberman attempted to push the bill in the Israeli Knesset (parliament) soon after the forming of the current coalition government in July 2015, the draft was resoundingly defeated by 94 to 6 with Netanyahu himself opposing it.
He’s also the past president of Stop Smart Meters.ca, a citizen’s coalition to reverse BC Hydro’s imposition of the so-called "Smart Meter" without due consultation, and at great cost to British Columbians.
McGinnis' work with Stop Smart Meters was instrumental in bringing about the 2011 moratorium on Smart Meter installation at the Convention of the Union of B.C. Municipalities. Walt's also an electrical contractor specializing in "making the built environment safe from the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation."
Walt McGinnis in the first half.
And; a lot has changed in the year since Spain's central government brought out the Gardia to violently shut down pro-independence activists in restive Catalonia; and a lot hasn't. As it stands, Spain is still whole, though the leadership on both sides of last year's contretemps are out of power, but resentment is more than simmering in Barcelona, heart of the Catalan independence movement, where pitched battle was seen again in the streets between old foes last week.
Dr. Pablo Ouziel is a Post-Doctoral fellow at UVic whose project in progress is, ‘Towards Democratic Responses to the Crisis of Democracy in Spain: Forms of Participatory and Representative Civic Engagement.’ He's freshly returned from a visit to his home city of Barcelona.
Pablo Ouziel and a darkened horizon persisting for both Spain’s and European democracy in the second half.
And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Walt McGinnis and a 5th Generation dawning.
Black Lives Matter, Georgia Busted for Protest Balloons
by Greg Palast
November 13, 2018
Georgia state police have arrested 12 Black Lives Matter protesters for hoisting balloons in front of the capital that spell out “340,134” — the number of voters the Palast team uncovered as wrongly purged from voter rolls by Brian Kemp.
Kemp was the Georgia Secretary of State and currently remains the Republican candidate for Governor.
Black Lives Matter activists were told not to protest in front of the capital, so they thought balloons would not be a threat to the state.
Obviously, they were wrong. Those arrested include Mary Hooks, who took the picture.
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Ottawa – Following confirmation that Statistics Canada intends to compel major financial institutions to provide detailed customer banking information, the Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce announced Monday that it will hold at least one hearing to hear views on whether such information should be required by Statistics Canada.
A recent Global News report revealed that Statistics Canada is seeking full details of every banking transaction made by 500,000 Canadians over a designated period, without their consent.
Statistics Canada told Global that responses to its surveys are low; the agency said the data will be used to track household spending and consumer trends, and that the data collected will be made anonymous.
Former Chief Statistician Wayne Smith told media he believes the agency may have overreached.
It stinks, it is the most polluted city on earth, but that is not the most terrible thing about it. You can drive for ten or even twenty kilometers through it, and see only ugliness, fences and broken pavements. But there are many miserable cities on this planet, and I have worked in almost all of them, in 160 countries. So why is ‘Jakarta killing me’?
Why am I overwhelmed by depression whenever I decide to film here, or to write about the state in which its citizens are forced to live? Why, really, do I feel so desperate, so hopeless?
I am tough. I hardly succumb to depression even in such places like the war-torn Afghanistan, Iraq, or in the middle of the toughest slums of Africa. So, what is it, really, about Jakarta? Here, I often speak about ‘immorality’, but again, what do I mean by this term? I am not a moralist, far from it. I have no religion, and I very rarely pass ‘moral judgments’, unless something truly outrageous unveils in front of my eyes.
So why, as so many others, do I land in this city in good spirits, and leave one or two weeks sick, broken, literally shitting my pants, full of wrath, despair? Why?
The suspect in today’s mass shooting (well, the biggest one I’ve heard of thus far this morning; the day is young) is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Another mass shooter in Florida last week just happens to have been in the military. The man who killed with a van in Toronto this year had been briefly in the Canadian military and promoted his crime on Facebook beforehand as a military operation. The mass-killing in a Florida High School earlier this year was also promoted by the killer as a military operation, in the sense that he wore his JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) shirt and killed in the same school where the U.S. Army had trained him to shoot and instructed him in war-supporting views of the world and its history.
Obviously having been a member of the U.S. military can’t have any causal connection to mass shootings, and that’s why it makes the most amazing coincidence over and over again that so many individuals who’ve been trained to kill lots of people bizarrely end up killing lots of people.
Looking at a long list of mass shootings in the United States, almost all of the shooters are men, and almost all of them are between ages 18 and 59. Above age 59, the percentage of men in the general U.S. population who are veterans leaps up dramatically.