NYT’s ‘Tinfoil Hat’ Conspiracy Theory
by Robert Parry - Consortium News
March 19, 2017
There are real reasons to worry about President Donald Trump’s foreign policy, including his casual belligerence toward Iran and North Korea and his failure to rethink U.S. alliances with Saudi Arabia and Israel, but The New York Times obsesses on Trump’s willingness to work with Russia.
On Saturday, the Times devoted most of its op-ed page to the Times’ favorite conspiracy theory, that Trump is Vladimir Putin’s “Manchurian candidate” though evidence continues to be lacking.
The op-ed package combined a “What to Ask About Russian Hacking” article by Louise Mensch, a former Conservative member of the British Parliament who now works for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, and a connect-the-dots graphic that when filled out shows the Kremlin sitting atop the White House.
But the featured article actually revealed how flimsy and wacky the Times’ conspiracy theory is.
The Dangerous Reality of an Iran War
by Sharmine Narwani - The American Conservative
March 15, 2017
A new war in the Persian Gulf could start accidentally—and would take a toll on U.S. forces.
BEIRUT—After weeks of saber-rattling over Iran as the “number one terrorist state” in the world, the Trump administration appears to have quietly dialed down the rhetoric a notch. Here in the Middle East, however, where every peep and creak out of Washington is scrutinized to death, interested parties haven’t stopped speculating about a confrontation with Iran.
Fifty days into his term, Trump’s foreign-policy course remains an enigma. He swears “all options” remain on the table with Iran—but do they?
USS McCampbell and aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in
Persian Gulf. (Wikimedia Commons)
This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
Welcome to the GR FunDriving Show! We'll be leaving the usual format today to enjoin the ballyhoo barking, as on the midways of old, all to excite and delight your ears and mind. A census of listener sensibilities, and ultimately a question we seek you to answer; to wit: Do we make you happy? If the answer is "Yes," or better yet, "Hell, yeah!" then we're providing today the opportunity for you to prove your love in the only way our focus group could figure...with MONEY!
I'll touch base with a couple old Gorilla pals to get their take on independent journalism and the state of it, play some show clips of the year past, and feature some favoured musical clips.
I'll be ably joined in this conspiracy of finance by CFUV broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft and local horticultural guru, Christina Nikolic. But first, here's a musical act I've played quite a bit as of late...Canada's own, Hawksley Workman.
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When ‘Disinformation’ Is Truth
by Robert Parry - Consortium News
March 13, 2017
The anti-Russian McCarthyism that has spread out from the United States to encompass the European Union, Canada and Australia has at its core an implicit recognition that neoliberal economics and neoconservative foreign policy have failed.
When I recently asked a European journalist why this anti-Russian hysteria had taken root among mainstream European political parties, he answered with a question:
“Do you think they can run on their success in handling the recession and the refugees?”
A scene from “Dr. Strangelove,” in which the bomber pilot
(played by actor Slim Pickens) rides a nuclear bomb to its
target in the Soviet Union.
March 12, 2017
Dystopias have recently achieved full-spectrum dominance. Kids are drawn to such stories -- The Giver, Hunger Games -- like Goths to piercings. TV shows about zombie apocalypses, pandemics, and technology run amok inspire binge watching. We’ve seen the world-gone-truly-bad a thousand times over on the big screen.
This apocalyptic outpouring has been so intense that talk of “peak dystopia” started to circulate several years ago. Yet the stock of the doomsday cartel has shown no signs of falling, even as production continues at full blast. (A confession: with my recent novel Splinterlands I’ve contributed my own bit to flooding the dystopia market.) As novelist Junot Diaz argued last October, dystopia has become “the default narrative of the generation.”
Shortly after Diaz made that comment, dystopia became the default narrative for American politics as well when Donald Trump stepped off the set of The Celebrity Apprentice and into the Oval Office.
With the election of an uber-narcissist incapable of distinguishing between fact and fantasy, all the dystopian nightmares that had gathered like storm clouds on the horizon -- nuclear war, climate change, a clash of civilizations -- suddenly moved overhead. Cue the rumble of thunder and the flash of lightning.
Screenlandia and the Mass Man
by Christopher Ketcham - CounterPunch
March 10, 2017
Every human in my immediate view is hunched over a screen. It is something out of a horror movie.
You who have wandered in the backcountry and for even a few days have been free of the digital tyranny will know that feeling, when you come back to your fellow man and are confronted with what look like machined abortions of men – and when you too become one of them, chained in the unreality of the zeitgeist.
You who’ve been among trees and grasses and flowers, who have ears for the ululating soil in the green light that filters the sun and fixes its energy, and have felt your animal self, naked, alive to the five senses, who have seen colors that seem hallucinated, impossible to reproduce by the technical hand; you ecologists, botanists, biologists who have heard the calls, watched the ways, witnessed in surprise and wonder the distinctions, the differences, the oddness of the countless species, and floated on the surf in your mind’s eye, looked in upon the waters, and seen teeming there in the bosom of the real, in the tumult of the water, the raw complexity of the will to life, the agency of the world that birthed us – the only world-reality worth caring about.
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“Afghanistan: As Only Love Could Hurt”
by Andre Vltchek - Dissident Voice
March 10th, 2017
It is now winter in Kabul, end of February 2017. At night the temperature gets near zero. The mountains surrounding the city are covered by snow. It feels much chillier than it really is.
Soon it will be 16 years since the US/UK invasion of the country, and 16 years since the Bonn Conference, during which Hamid Karzai was “selected” to head the Afghan Interim Administration.
Almost everyone I spoke to in Afghanistan agrees that things are rapidly moving from bad to rock bottom.
Bagram at Sunset - Andre Vltchek
Afghans, at home and abroad, are deeply pessimistic. With hefty allowances and privileges, at least some foreigners based in Kabul are much more upbeat, but ‘positive thinking’ is what they are paid to demonstrate.
Trump's Attack on America the Beautiful
by Robert Hunziker - CounterPunch
March 9, 2017
Trump is the first president to take on America the Beautiful. He’s at war with America. This is not new news. Yet, it is worthy of further discussion. Trump’s anti-establishmentarian credentials flaunted during the campaign to woo voters fed up with America’s decline, except for filthy rich, has lost its shine. He’s an establishment creature, not anti-establishment, in the neoliberal sense of supply-side economics, force-feeding the upper class so they’ll drop crumbs down below to the vast Middle/Poor Class, a new socio-economic class in America, the newest, largest class, supplanting the vast middle class of the 1950s-60s-70s.
Now that Trump has hoodwinked America’s Middle/Poor Class voters, he has turned his attention to a much larger issue, the destruction of America the Beautiful. With the exception of perfectly groomed golf courses, Trump hates environmental protectionism.
He’s out to get it.
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by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
March 8, 2017
Two months from today, British Columbia's registered voters will be given the opportunity to elect their next provincial political representatives.
One of the many environmental issues threatening an easy return to power for incumbent premier Christy Clark and her BCLiberals is the Site C mega dam on the Peace River.
The controversial project has many opponents and is currently the subject of numerous law suits. Clark and her government's response to concerns about the dam so far is accelerated development she promises will take Site C "past the point of no return."
Whether that point has been reached yet, after months of blasting, clear-cut logging in the Peace River's riparian zones, and the eviction of farm families deemed in the way is still a matter of contention. At least according to former premier, Mike Harcourt who lent his voice last week to the growing chorus of objection to both the environmental and economic foundations of the dam.
Ken Boon is one of those opposing Site C. The president of the Peace Valley Landowners Association and Peace River Valley farmer saw portions of his family farm expropriated by BC Hydro, ostensibly to make way for a highway scheme connected to dam construction. Boon too was named last year in a lawsuit brought by Hydro against six protesters for “intentional interference with economic relations by unlawful means.”
Ken Boon in the first half.
And; last month, the Vancouver Parks Board announced it will continue its captive whale program, saying it plans to bring in as many as five more belugas. Aquarium CEO, John Nightingale told the press, whales the organization "owns" currently on loan to other aquariums could be returned by early 2019. Yesterday, the Parks Board held a "special" meeting regarding future plans of the Vancouver Aquarium and its continuing whale captivity and exhibition program.
Annelise Sorg is President and Co-founder of No Whales in Captivity, an organization that has since 1992 been dedicated to closing whale tanks. Annelise is Executive Director of the Secret Bay Project Society, a former Executive Director of the Canadian Marine Environment Protection Society, BC Environment Network, and Eden Conservation Trust, as well as a Director of the Vancouver Humane Society.
Annelise Sorg and fighting to phase out cetacean exhibits at the Vancouver Aquarium in the second half.
And; CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events update of some of the good things going planned around here in the coming week. But first, Ken Boon and the widening cracks in Christy Clark's Site C dam dreams.
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.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: https://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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March 7, 2017
In his inaugural address, President Trump described a dark and dismal United States, a country overrun by criminal gangs and drugs, a nation stained with the blood seeping from bullet-ridden corpses left at scenes of “American carnage.” It was more than a little jarring.
Certainly, drug gangs and universally accessible semi-automatic weapons do not contribute to a better life for most people in this country. When I hear the words “American carnage,” however, the first thing I think of is not an endless string of murders taking place in those mysterious “inner cities” that exist only in the fevered mind of Donald Trump. The phrase instead evokes the non-imaginary deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in real cities and rural areas outside the United States.
It evokes the conversion of millions of ordinary people into homeless refugees. It reminds me of the places where American wars seem never to end, where new conflicts seem to take up just as the old ones are in danger of petering out.
These sites of carnage are the cities and towns, mountains and deserts of Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, and other places that we don’t even find out about unless we go looking. They are the places where the United States fights its endless wars.
Ape Goes to Victoria's Impromptu People's Town Hall Reception for Prime Minister Trudeau
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
Mar. 2, 2017
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid a quick visit to Victoria and Esquimalt today, speaking with Mayor Lisa Helps and giving a press conference at the Naval base.
As Trudeau had passed on a previous Town Hall in Victoria, the folk decided to hold an impromptu session on the steps of City Hall prior to the PM’s arrival.
Much has been made of Trudeau’s reversal on his pre and post-election promise that the 2015 federal election would be the “last election using the first past the post system.”
There are also concerns about the federal government imprimatur on the contentious Kinder Morgan pipeline project, bringing diluted bitumen across the breadth of the province to Burnaby for trans-shipment to Asia, and the greenlighting of the Site C mega-dam project that will make a sacrifice zone of a portion of the Peace River country in the northeast of the province.
I went down to get some opinions. Below is the press release sent out by ElectoralReform.ca.
March 2, 2017
(Montreal/Ottawa) On March 2, 2016, Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres, an organizer with the Lenca people’s resistance in Honduras, was murdered despite security measures that she had been granted given the constant threats against her.
Today, in Ottawa, in response to the call from Berta’s family and her organization the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), and in the context of dozens of actions around the world, there will be a commemoration of Berta’s life from 7-9 pm at the Friends’ House (Quaker Meeting House, 91A Fourth Ave).
A year since her assassination, there have been various irregularities in the investigation into her case and the attempted murder of Mexican activist Gustavo Castro, sole survivor of the attack.
Artwork: Pat Perry
We will reaffirm our commitment to never forget Berta, her analysis and her struggle, and to continue demanding that justice be done.
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