The Mnuchin Mob and Treasury's Russian Gambit

The Mnuchin Racket - US Treasury Bluff on Sanctions Against Russian Sovereign Debt

by John Helmer - Dances with Bears


February 4, 2018

Moscow

Steven (Steve) Mnuchin (right), New York banker who's spent a year being Secretary of the US Treasury, is worse at dissembling his racket than better-known racketeering peers, Alphonse (Al) Capone of the Chicago Outfit (left) or Charles (Lucky) Luciano of the New York Commission (centre).

Mnuchin’s racket is billions of dollars bigger, but in legal principle and method, the fraud and extortion are much the same as the Outfit’s and the Commission’s. Mnuchin’s muscle is bigger too, though that requires warfare, which the Outfit and the Commission were established to do without.

Last week Mnuchin issued a Treasury report to Congress on the impact of US sanctions on Russian sovereign debt, which isn’t a report at all. It’s a leak to a news wire, so sloppily arranged that one of the seven pages is a duplicate of the first, though the leaker didn’t notice he had slapped the same page on to the copier screen twice. The US Treasury didn’t realize, Bloomberg, the newswire, didn’t check. In the 228-year history of US Government reports to the US Congress, such a goof has never happened before.


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Trump the Drone King: After One Year, Little Left of Non-Interventionist Illusions

Trump’s Drone Kill Rate 80 Times Greater than Under Bush

by Whitney Webb - MintPress News


Feb. 2, 2018

It took Trump only seven months to surpass the number of civilian deaths in foreign nations that occurred during Obama’s entire eight-year presidency, according to non-profit monitoring group Airwars.



During the 2016 election, Donald Trump – quite successfully – managed to convince a sizable portion of the electorate that he would take a much more anti-interventionist stance, in terms of U.S. military entanglements abroad, than would his contender Hillary Clinton.

Yet, throughout his first year as president, such differences have been few and far between.

In particular, it has been Trump’s dangerous expansion of the drone war that has authoritatively destroyed any illusion that Trump would genuinely put “America first” — and put an end to dangerous military operations abroad that only serve to exacerbate the horrendously bungled War on Terror.

For instance, after gutting the already lax regulations on drone strikes and giving the CIA free rein to kill whomever they choose, it took Trump only seven months to surpass the number of civilian deaths that occurred during Obama’s entire eight-year presidency, according to non-profit monitoring group Airwars.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Dave Lindorff, Charles Officer, Shawna Green, Christina Nikolic February 1st, 2018

This Week on GR

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


February 1, 2018

Americans can congratulate themselves, and the rest of the planet can celebrate, Donald Trump's first year in the White House has finished without Global immolation. Even so, there's no denying it's been a bumpy ride.

From circumventing the traditional isolation of the Oval Office and upending political sacred cows, to undermining strategic alliances and trade relationships like NAFTA, Trump has reveled in his World stage role as Washington's wild card. But, the madness to his method carries real risks; none more immediately dire than the worst case scenarios attendant escalating provocations against nuclear-armed North Korea.

None know this better than those on the other side of the 38th parallel; but will America allow Koreans make their own deal?

Listen. Hear.

Dave Lindorff is an award-winning journalist, author, broadcaster, and founder of the award-winning web news site, This Can’t Be Happening.net. His 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, you can also tune in Dave’s This Can’t Be Happening radio program Wednesdays at the Progressive Radio Network.

Dave Lindorff in the first half.

And; the Victoria Film Festival begins February 2nd, and a film sure to get noticed this year is British-Canadian, multi-award-winning director, Charles Officer's 'Unarmed Verses'. Officer's past credits include the documentaries: 'Mighty Jerome' and 'The Skin We’re In', and the ten-time Genie nominated feature film, 'Nurse.Fighter.Boy' among others.

Unarmed Verses chronicles the imposed relocation of residents of Villaways, a low-income Toronto neighbourhood, through the eyes of aspiring poet, Francine Valentine. It's already received a string of awards, including: Best Canadian Feature Documentary at Hot Docs, The People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival, and the Vancouver International Film Festival's choice as Best Canadian Documentary of 2017. Unarmed Verses screens on the first day of the festival, Friday night at 6:30pm at the Capitol 6, and in a matinee on the VFF's final day, Sunday February 11th at the Vic Theatre.

Charles Officer and poetry and motion with Unarmed Verses in the second segment.

And; Shawna Green is one of two women calling the sidewalk in front of premier John Horgan's office home. She and Tsastilqualus Ambers are determined to have fish farms removed from their territory. Green addressed attendees at last week's Site C Action & Accountability Summit in Victoria.

Shawna Green getting real with direct action in the final segment.

And; Victoria-based greentrepreneur and horticulturalist extraordinaire, Christina Nikolic will be here with the Left Coast Events Bulletin at the bottom of the hour.

 

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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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CAATSA and the Silence of the Hounds

US Government Riddle: Why Are So Many Dogs Not Barking? Because the CAATSA Got Their Tongues

by John Helmer - Dances with Bears


January 30, 2018

Moscow - As midnight tolled in Washington, DC, and January 29 slid into January 30, the deadline for the US Government to produce a report to the Congress listing Russian oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin slipped by in the darkness. No dog barked.*

Required by the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), enacted with President Donald Trump’s signature last August, the oligarch report was not produced on time. Nor were three other reports – one on sanctions for Russian sovereign debt issues, one on sanctions for business with the Russian defense sector, and one on the extent to which Russian state banks and state asset holdings have re-nationalized key sectors of the Russian economy, such as banking, insurance, real estate, and ports.

There was no press release from the White House, the US Treasury, or the State Department.

 

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The Great White Petro-State: Canada's Captured Environmental Regulators

The Big Heist: Ottawa Hands Offshore Regulation to Oil Industry

by Sierra Club Canada Foundation


January 24, 2018

K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) - An alliance of twenty Atlantic Canadian and Quebec environmental, Indigenous, and fishery organizations gathered today to express alarm that offshore petroleum boards would be given more power over oceans off Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence under the Liberal government’s plan to modify the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

The Alliance regards the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland offshore regulatory boards as ‘captured’ unelected bodies, unrepresentative of the public interest, with a mandate to facilitate and promote drilling.

“It’s a clear conflict of interest,” says John Davis, Director of the Clean Ocean Action Committee, a coalition of fish plant operators and fishermen representing over 9,000 jobs in South-Western Nova Scotia.

 

“To assume that the offshore boards created to promote offshore oil and gas development can somehow fairly assess environmental impacts is the height of folly. It will put renewable resources that have supported my communities for three centuries and our Mi’Kmaq communities for thousands of years at a massive new level of unnecessary risk.”
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Gary R. Allan, Donovan Aikman, Christina Nikolic January 25th, 2018

This Week on GR

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


January 25, 2018

We European-descended learn early of the danger lurking in the woods, just beyond the hamlet's edge. Our childhood bedtimes and nursery rhymes are full of foreboding and warnings of big bad wolves that would eat us and grandmother too should we tarry on, or stray from civilization's well-worn path.

The primary propaganda has proven so effective, the great predators haunting kinder's dreams in the Old Country for so long have retreated now to the densest forests, and craggiest, most remote redoubts, barely surviving extinction. But here, on the island-continent the First Peoples call 'Turtle' it's still possible to see the cougar, bear, moose, elk, caribou, eagle, hawk, falcon, and fox, and of course wolf.

Listen. Hear.

In fact, there are so many of the latter on Vancouver Island, the government allows wolves be trapped and killed most days of the year. But apparently predating wolves eight months of the year is insufficient, for British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development now propose extending the wolf-killing here to ten.

Gary R. Allan operates the SWELL Wolf Education Centre, and says it's his hope people will, "see the wolf for what it is: one more magnificent species... deserving of our understanding and acceptance."

Gary R. Allan in the first half.

And; the 2018 edition of the Victoria Film Festival rolls out next week. This year, the festival celebrates its 23rd annual showcasing of Canadian and international features, documentaries, shorts, animated films, and more. Donovan Aikman, long-time head programmer with the Victoria Film Festival, joins us today for a preview.

Donovan Aikman, Bringing Film to Life again in Victoria in the second half.

And; Victoria-based greentrepreneur and horticulturalist extraordinaire, Christina Nikolic will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin bringing us up to speed with some of the good things going on in and around our town in the coming week.

 

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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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Strange Fusion: Spooks Public and Private Converge on Trump Russia Election Collusion

The CIA Bull in Glenn Simpson's China Shop

by John Helmer - Dances with Bears


January 22, 2018

Moscow - In criminal trials the rule for prosecuting and defending lawyers is the same. Never ask a witness a question unless you already know the answer.

The corollary rule for defending lawyers is – if the answer to your question will incriminate your client, don’t ask it, and hope the prosecutor fails to do his job.

Glenn Simpson, a former employee of the Wall Street Journal, is currently on trial in the US for having fabricated a dossier of allegations of Russian misconduct (bribes, sex, blackmail, hacking) involving President Donald Trump and circulating them to the press; the objective was to damage Trump’s candidacy before the November 2016 election.

Simpson was called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 22, 2017; then the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on November 8 and again on November 14, 2017.

So far, Simpson’s veracity and business conduct face nothing more than the court of public opinion. He has not yet been charged with criminal or civil offences. That will happen if the evidence materializes that Simpson has been lying.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Steve Gray, Peter Lee, Christina Nikolic January 18th, 2018

This Week on GR

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


January 18, 2018

The Deluge, or Great Flood motif is common in cultures around the World. From ancient Mesopotamia to the Maya of Mesoamerica, history recounts again and again a remarkably similar tale of a local hero, warned by a heavenly interlocutor of an imminent, deity-created disaster and bidden to create a boat, raft, or ark to save the people.

The Cheslatta T'En of the Cheslatta T'En Carrier Nation received no such visitation before their lands were subsumed in British Columbia in 1952. They were given ten days to pack up and leave their ten thousand year-old settlement near Kitimat to make way for Alcan's Kenney Dam.

Cast to the winds, the disintegration of the Cheslatta T'En people, described in the documentary film, No Surrender, became an abject lesson in what mega-projects gone wrong look like.

Listen. Hear.

Sixty-six years later, it seems that's a lesson not learnt by BC's lesser political god's who again, with a wave of the hand and flourish of a pen, in the holy name of Mammon (ahem) economic development, will sweep away all that resides in the path of its ambitions along the Peace River.

Construction of the Site C dam was greenlighted for a second time in December by a second government. And, both John Horgan's NDP and his coalition Green Party of Andrew Weaver partner would now have their supporters surrender objections to this project, give up on the First Nations, farmers, and wildlife of the Peace Valley, and accept this project - regarded across the spectrum as an ill-conceived economic millstone  - be hung about their necks and the necks of generations to come.

But, the fight isn't over yet...


Dr. Steve Gray is Chair of the Peace Valley Solidarity Initiative. The retired, Victoria-based MD has been involved with Site C opposition for the last three years. Steve and the Solidarity Initiative will host an Accountability and Action Summit on Site C to defend the Peace next week, January 26th and 27th here in Victoria at the First Metropolitan United Church. They say,

 

"We do not accept the justification offered by Premier Horgan to continue the Site C project and flood the Peace River valley."


Dr. Steve Gray in the first half.

And; forget about Russia, it's the People's Republic of China posing the greatest threat to America and its partners in Western Civilization. That's the narrative, bolstered not only by China's newly bestowed epithet as an adversary of "rules based international order", but by at-large billionaire, political crusader, and international intrigue gadfly, Guo Wengui; better known to readers of the paper of record in his sometime-adopted home base of New York City, as Miles Kwok. This past Sunday, The New York Times Magazine ran a lengthy and fascinating article on the man whose mission to "save China" by undermining its corrupt leadership class carries on from his Manhattan exile, one embarrassing leak at a time.

Peter Lee is a freelance journalist writing on East and South Asian affairs as they intersect with US global policy. He blogs at the Asian affairs website ChinaMatters.blogspot.com, and his China Watch report features on Newsbud.com.

Peter Lee and keeping up with the Kwok's and the China Witch Hunt in the second half.

And; Victoria-based greentrepreneur and horticulturalist extraordinaire, Christina Nikolic will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin bringing us up to speed with some of the good things going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Steve Gray and demanding accountability and organizing action to reverse the Site C dam decision.

 

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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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Burning a Republic: Watching Donald Fiddle

The World According to Trump: Or How to Build a Wall and Lose an Empire
by Alfred W. McCoy - TomDispatch

January 16, 2018
 

As 2017 ended with billionaires toasting their tax cuts and energy executives cheering their unfettered access to federal lands as well as coastal waters, there was one sector of the American elite that did not share in the champagne celebration: Washington’s corps of foreign policy experts.

Across the political spectrum, many of them felt a deep foreboding for the country’s global future under the leadership of President Donald Trump.

In a year-end jeremiad, for instance, conservative CNN commentator Fareed Zakaria blasted the “Trump administration’s foolish and self-defeating decision to abdicate the United States’ global influence -- something that has taken more than 70 years to build.”

The great “global story of our times,” he continued, is that “the creator, upholder, and enforcer of the existing international system is withdrawing into self-centered isolation,” opening a power vacuum that will be filled by illiberal powers like China, Russia, and Turkey.

 

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Haiti History: What America Owes That Shi*hole

Haiti and America’s Historic Debt

by Robert Parry - Consortium News


January 12, 2018

(First published on Jan.13, 2010)

 

From the Archive: President Trump says his “tough” language on immigration, which reportedly included decrying “shithole” nations, didn’t apply to Haiti but he appears to know little of America’s debt to Haiti, which Robert Parry described in 2010.

 

In 2010, when announcing emergency help for Haiti after a devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake, President Barack Obama noted America’s historic ties to the impoverished Caribbean nation, but few Americans understand how important Haiti’s contribution to U.S. history was.

In modern times, when Haiti does intrude on U.S. consciousness, it’s usually because of some natural disaster or a violent political upheaval, and the U.S. response is often paternalistic, if not tinged with a racist disdain for the country’s predominantly black population and its seemingly endless failure to escape cycles of crushing poverty.

However, more than two centuries ago, Haiti represented one of the most important neighbors of the new American Republic and played a central role in enabling the United States to expand westward. If not for Haiti, the course of U.S. history could have been very different, with the United States possibly never expanding much beyond the Appalachian Mountains.

 

Toussaint L’Ouverture, leader of Haiti’s
slave rebellion against France.

 

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A Century Later: The Great Class War and Its Enduring Aftermath

World War I: Crime and Punishment

by Luciana Bohne - CounterPunch


January 12, 2018  

In 1887, Frederick Engels made a chilling prediction of the war that would come in 1914:

The only war left for Prussia-Germany to wage will be a world war, a world war, moreover of an extent of violence hitherto unimagined. Eight to ten million soldiers will be at each other’s throats and in the process they will strip Europe barer than a swarm of locusts.
The depredations of the Thirty Years’ War compressed into three to four years and extended over the entire continent; famine, disease, the universal lapse into barbarism.

This prediction was not the result of second sight. It was a conclusion derived from the premise that “war is the daughter of capitalism,” first proposed by Engels with Marx in The Manifesto of the Communist Party of 1848.

 

“The bourgeoisie is always in a struggle . . . against the bourgeoisie of all foreign states,” they wrote, and this struggle is so bitter as to lead inevitably to an “industrial war of annihilation among nations.”


In his study, The Great Class War, Jacques Pauwels supports this thesis, focusing on those who suffered the most and on those who profited the most. But his study goes further.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Pablo Ouziel, Whitney Webb. Christina Nikolic January 11th, 2018

This Week on GR

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


January 11, 2018

For Mariano Rajoy the new year begins much as the old one ended. Spain's prime minister, you may recall, played hardball with Catalonian separatists, nullifying the autonomous region's government, while declaring Catalunya president, Carles Puigdemont and his key ministers criminals.

Rajoy set a new election date a few days before Christmas, and with the wicked in-exile Carles out of the equation everything would be bueno! Si?

Well, no. Popular support maintained the separatist coalition, leaving the Madrid Machiavelli in an even tighter corner than before his ill-advised and ham-handed campaign began.

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.’ Pablo is from Spain's Catalan region and has watched with the rest of the world in astonishment the unravelling of his native land these past months.

 

Listen. Hear.

 

Pablo Ouziel in the first half.

And; Iran has been the focus of America's Middle East policy since the overthrow of tyrant dictator, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. From Carter to Obama, through Reagan and the Bushes, whether the destruction of Beirut, "repatriation" of Kuwait's oil fields, or toppling of Saddam Hussein undermining the Islamic Republic has always been at the heart of the matter.

So far, no US president has dared a direct invasion of Iran, the cost of an outright war even for the globe's military behemoth being unthinkable - but where an overt campaign cannot succeed, perhaps a covert one can.And it is with that in mind, says my second guest, national security actors within the Trump and Netanyahu administrations are targeting Iran, "working in lockstep...to repeat what befell Syria over six years ago – the hijacking of minor protests and their transformation into the cover for a foreign-funded insurgency intent on toppling Iran’s elected government."

Whitney Webb is a South America-based journalist writing about environmental, political, and economic issues in English and Spanish. She’s a staff writer at MintPressNews.com, and her articles have featured at ZeroHedge, 21st Century Wire, and Pacific Free Press among other places. Her recent work for MintPressNews includes the article, 'Birth of an Insurgency: The US-Israeli “Secret Deal” To Manipulate Protests In Iran'.

Whitney Webb and revolution of another colour, or another colour revolution for Iran? in the second half.

And; Victoria-based greentrepreneur and horticulturalist extraordinaire, Christina Nikolic will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin bringing us up to speed with some of the good things going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Pablo Ouziel and a worm's turning en España.

 

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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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