Little noticed in a Western press obsessed with personalizing geopolitics, last week that media's favourite bête noire, Vladimir Putin, the man who's bent over backwards conciliating NATO's relentless encirclement of and constant intriguing against his country, was superseded by Russia's military command.
And it is not in an accommodating mood; tersely stating,
"[A]nyone approaching Russian territory with hostile intent will be shot."
John Helmer is a long-time, Moscow-based journalist, author, and essayist whose website, Dances with Bears is the only Russian-based news bureau “independent of single national or commercial ties.”
He’s also a former political science professor and his book titles include: ‘Uncovering Russia,’ ‘Urbanman: The Psychology of Urban Survival,’ ‘Bringing the War Home: The American Soldier in Vietnam and After,’ and ‘Drugs and Minority Oppression’, among others.
J.B. MacKinnon and The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be 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 going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, John Helmer and stalking Russia with hostile intent.
2018 has been a year of unprecedented wildfires, heat waves and accelerating polar melt; record hurricanes, mudslides and floods; mass marine life die-offs and the loss of biodiversity around the world.
Our day-to-day experience now confirms beyond any doubt that climate change is a full-blown global emergency.
All of this only demonstrates what the scientific community has been telling us for decades.
This year’s UN Report on Climate Change is the most dire yet, proclaiming that we have only a dozen years to avert runaway climate change. Since 1970, 60% of the planet’s non-human species have vanished.
James Steidle has worked in BC's forest industry as a treeplanter, millworker, and currently runs a woodworking company based in Prince George. Steidle and fellow forestry professional, Herb Martin started Stop the Spray BC to bring to an end wrong-headed government policies.
They ask, "As our planet continues to warm, biodiversity fades and forest fires grow worse, does it make sense to keep eliminating the trees with the highest biodiversity values, lowest probability of flammability, and best ability to sequester CO2 and reflect solar radiation from our forests?"
James Steidle and Herb Martin in the first half.
And; over the last month, Elections BC has administered the latest referendum on determining the future voting system for provincial elections. Ballots were mailed out, and the deadline was originally slated for tomorrow, November 30th. But, and it is a very big but; due to Canada Post labour actions, Elections BC has extended by one week the deadline to get ballots on electoral reform in.
Terry Dance-Bennink is an Eco and democracy activist, Pro Rep champion, defender of indigenous rights, United Church member, and Vice President of VotePRBC; and Rick Habgood is a democracy activist and producer of the ShawTV program, 'Voting for Change?'.
Rick Habgood and Terry Dance-Bennink on BC's chance for electoral change 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 going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, James Steidle and stopping the BC spray.
November 26 marked a dreadful anniversary for the tanker-bedraggled British Columbia coast. One year ago in Hecate Strait, the American ATB “pusher tug” Jake Shearer broke apart from its fully loaded 10,000 deadweight-ton capacity petroleum barge and came within a stone’s throw of destroying the most magnificent, wild and precious region of the Pacific Ocean.
The Jake Shearer is a new-generation tugboat which is set up to lock into, and push its petroleum barge rather that towing it by cable in the conventional manner.
The bow of the tug is fitted with two giant hydraulic locking pins, while its tanker barge is fitted with a large notch cut out of its transom. Once mated together, these two vessels then become an “articulated tug/barge unit” or “ATB.” The tug pushes into the transom notch and the locking pins extend out sideways from the bow and engage into large racks fitted within the transom of the barge.
Then, mated together “doggy style” as it were, the tug/barge combo goes about its business.
Over the past three decades, the US government has engaged in over a dozen wars, none of which have evoked popular celebrations either before, during or after.
Nor did the government succeed in securing popular support in its efforts to confront the economic crises of 2008–09.
This paper will begin by discussing the major wars of our time, namely the two US invasions of Iraq. We will proceed to analyze the nature of the popular response and the political consequences.
In the second section we will discuss the economic crises of 2008 -2009, the government bailout and popular response. We will conclude by focusing on the potential powerful changes inherent in mass popular movements.
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.