• Written by Andre Vltchek

Running on Empty: The End of Western Optimism

US - If It Cannot Be Loved, It Will Rape!

by Andre Vltchek - NEO


June 29, 2019


No one is talking about it openly, but, let us face it: those U.S.-made planes are crashing; the performance of Apple phones and computers is falling far behind those made by Huawei and other Chinese companies. Lenovo took over IBM and is doing extremely well. NASA is absolutely incapable of building decent rockets that would be able to deliver people or even satellites to space, cheaply and safely.

In the field of electric automobiles, China is far, far ahead. In fact, anyone who visits a major or secondary Chinese city, would be shocked to see that the implementation of ‘zero emission’ vehicles there is not something that is in the planning stage, it has for several years been a dream come true, reality: dozens of Chinese cities already have an excellent network of metro trains, of ecological electric buses, and of enormous public sidewalks that encourage people to stroll and remain healthy. Even police cars in China are electric.

Russia is doing extremely well, in several fields. In fact, it is at the vanguard, when it comes to such grounds as science and culture. Those days of ‘humiliation’ of the Gorbachev and Yeltsin era are far back, when Moscow naively believed Thatcherites and Reaganites! Russia is rolling: now producing and exporting excellent, often organic food. Its icebreakers are opening new paths for both people and goods. Russian space rockets are second to none, and its passenger airplanes are back in the skies. Nuclear and other power plants are helping to supply energy to many countries, all over the world.

You name it; China and Russia are producing it, developing it, helping to create it! Both nations are cooperating, scientifically, working for people, not just for business.

Citizens in both countries are enthusiastic, optimistic, full of hope. Their lives are improving, and there is so much to look forward to! They are building their nations, and helping the world to survive, to move forward. It can be called Communism or socialism with Chinese characteristics. Or it can be called nothing in particular in Russia (according to surveys, most of the citizens there want both the Soviet Union and Communism back, and the government is attentively listening, steering the country into the right direction). Perhaps, soon, the definition will be ‘socialism Russian-style’, without huge posters, but with plenty to show, and to celebrate.

But whatever it really is, it is working; working very well. Standards of living are growing. Health is improving. The environment is improving. Culture is everywhere. People are ecstatic.

And the West? The United States of A?
  • Written by Christopher Ketcham

Scratching That Media Itch: Creaming the Journalist-Hemmorrhoids

The Journalist as Hemorrhoid 

by Christopher Ketcham - CounterPunch


June 24, 2019  

Occasionally I am subject to the hysterical stupidity of cable news, as when, for example, my father and I spend time together. He is 80, and likes to watch drivel such as CNN, Bloomberg Business and the like.

It is always a stunning experience to see the performing monkeys who masquerade on camera as journalists, since I get to see it so rarely.

First off, on this miserable morning of June 20, is the perfumed cheerleading squad at Bloomberg, who are prattling on and on about an IPO by a tech company called Slack.

“We are on tenterhooks,” the little minstrels tell us.

Me too – I’m waiting for the moment when someone blows up Bloomberg Business with a Molotov cocktail.

But alas, it doesn’t happen, and onward they race, in rapt attention to issues of total insignificance (this Slack being a company that…well, I don’t know what it does, but it probably doesn’t feed, clothe, or house the poor and the needy, or protect wild creatures and wild places, or educate our children – it probably does something totally useless, which is the reason the IPO is doing so well and the executives will be multimillionaires by day’s end).

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  • Written by Press Release

Revealing the Monsters Behind the Man in the Media Mask

Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange

by Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

June 26, 2019

On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Torture Victims, 26 June 2019

 

I know, you may think I am deluded. How could life in an Embassy with a cat and a skateboard ever amount to torture? That’s exactly what I thought, too, when Assange first appealed to my office for protection. Like most of the public, I had been subconsciously poisoned by the relentless smear campaign, which had been disseminated over the years.
 
So it took a second knock on my door to get my reluctant attention. But once I looked into the facts of this case, what I found filled me with repulsion and disbelief.Surely, I thought, Assange must be a rapist! But what I found is that he has never been charged with a sexual offence.
 
True, soon after the US had encouraged allies to find reasons to prosecute Assange, two women made the headlines in Sweden. One of them claimed he had ripped a condom, and the other that he had failed to wear one, in both cases during consensual intercourse — not exactly scenarios that have the ring of ‘rape’ in any language other than Swedish.
 
Mind you, each woman even submitted a condom as evidence. The first one, supposedly worn and torn by Assange, revealed no DNA whatsoever — neither his, nor hers, nor anybody else’s. Go figure. The second one, used but intact, supposedly proved ‘unprotected’ intercourse. Go figure, again.
 
The women even texted that they never intended to report a crime but were ‘railroaded’ into doing so by zealous Swedish police. Go figure, once more. Ever since, both Sweden and Britain have done everything to prevent Assange from confronting these allegations without simultaneously having to expose himself to US extradition and, thus, to a show-trial followed by life in jail. His last refuge had been the Ecuadorian Embassy.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Bonny Glambeck, Greg Palast, Janine Bandcroft June 27th, 2019

This Week on GR

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

June 27, 2019

It's difficult to accept news of the epidemic-sized outbreak of sea lice at fish farms in Clayoquot Sound with anything but a weary sigh of unsurprise; afterall, why would Cermaq's much contested operations there differ from everywhere else concentrated fish feed lots operate?

Cermaq, the formerly Norwegian company newly acquired by Japanese behemoth, Mitsubishi Corporation issued an apology, published in the local Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News, admitting their inability to manage operations in the Sound safely, saying, "we were unable to effectively manage sea lice populations for a variety of reasons including unusually hot and dry weather...".

For those long chronicling the damage the industry does on a good day, and long predicting just such "unmanageable" outbreak scenarios, Mitsubishi's "so sorry's" arrive dead in the water.

Listen. Hear.

Bonny Glambeck is director of Clayoquot Action, an organization dedicated, they say: “to keep Clayoquot Sound clean and green for future generations, to preserve the diversity and integrity of the ecosystems, and to maintain and develop community and cultural richness.”

Bonny Glambeck in the first half.

And; journalism is in crisis, and it's not the good kind! Beyond the bane of "fake news" and journotainment upchucked by network television and the marquee legacy presses, whether in shooting wars, or digging through the muck of corrupt politicos and their big business patrons, real journalists are now considered fair game targets. From the remote reaches of Russia and the Middle and Far East, to the marbled capitals of Britain and America, the new contempt for them has made an always difficult and precarious profession almost impossible. Just as intended.

Greg Palast is an investigator, journalist, author, and filmmaker. He's reported the news from both sides of the Atlantic for the better part of two decades, breaking stories for BBC flagship news program, Newsnight and The Guardian newspaper in Britain, and filing with The Nation magazine and Rolling Stone stateside. He's the recipient of plaudits, laudatory recognition, and numerous awards for his work; the most recent being The Association of Mexican Journalists' 2019 prize for International Reporter for his exclusive exposés of the theft of elections from Georgia to Mexico and corporate media ban-busting reportage from Venezuela.

Greg's books, 'Billionaires & Ballot Bandits', 'Armed Madhouse', and 'The Best Democracy Money Can Buy' have all resided on the New York Times’ bestseller list, while his 'Vultures’ Picnic' was named Book of the Year by BBC Newsnight Review. His latest documentary film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits is recut, and available at Gregpalast.com.

Greg Palast and the media's crisis of stenography in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, 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, Bonny Glambeck and Clayoquot Sound plague of sea lice.  

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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  • Written by Jennifer Matsui

Looney for Clooney: The Style & Substance of Statecraft in the Instagram Age

The Style Section Meets State Craft: Amal Clooney and the Foreign Policy Influencers

by Jennifer Matsui - CounterPunch

April 26, 2019  

Even on a slow news day, the appointment of Amal Clooney as UK Special Envoy for Press Freedom wouldn’t have elicited much more than a glance at a headline to a gossip column item of little relevance to anyone outside her immediate circle of Royals, war criminals, and fashion editors. After all, the once globetrotting lawyer and now jet setting campaigner is no stranger to the honors and accolades handed out to her by the lofty institutions who gain from currying her favor, or her movie star husband’s.


 


Whatever the mission, Madame De Clooney can be counted on to don magisterial robes over a fashion forward ensemble in this season’s palette of scorched earth tones in keeping with her carefully crafted image of a justice-dispensing fashion warrior. You might sum up her role in world affairs as “The Style section meets State Craft”.

“Even in stilettos, Ms Clooney flits effortlessly from The House of Lords to La Maison Du Dior. The world stage is her catwalk and her long, brisk stride takes her from a refugee camp one day to a glittering fundraiser the next... ”


If you have been Keeping Up with the Klooneys, you would know that (K)amal single-handedly resolved a crisis in Darfur just hours before hosting the Met Ball, and successfully delivering twins by Caesarian section that very morning.

By now, you might have noticed that your squalid life doesn’t quite measure up to Lady Clooney’s blessed existence. Chances are you didn’t wake up this morning next to a beautifully unshaven Hollywood legend in your palatial Italian villa and successfully re-negotiated the Magna Carta as you got the twins off to their Lake Geneva nursery retreat.

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Stefan Goebel, Dimitri Lascaris, Janine Bandcroft June 20, 2019

This Week on GR

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

June 20, 2019

A century past the end of the War to End All Wars humankind has experienced unrelenting conflicts both large and small, roiling the length and breadth of the World. A look across media platforms at the headlines today reinforces the calamitous political state of the planet, but what is rarely explored or explained is the role it, the media, plays and has played in our seeming perpetual state of war and its ever-rumoured coming.

Listen. Hear.

Stefan Goebel is a scholar, educator, author, and Director of the Centre for the History of War, Media & Society at Kent University. A reader in Modern British History, professor Goebel is too co-editor of the recently published volume, 'Propaganda and Conflict: War, Media and Shaping the Twentieth Century'.

Stefan Goebel in the first half.

And; ten years after pajama-clad Honduran center-left president Mel Zelaya was whisked from his bed and into exile by military coupsters the country is a basket case. For the vast majority, the past decade has seen economic collapse and the erosion of the meagre human rights and agrarian reforms Zelaya had initiated in his final year in office. It has also become the most dangerous place on Earth to live, with police, gangs, and government-sponsored death squads providing impetus for the main component of the Central American refugee crisis.

Dimitri Lascaris is a Canadian lawyer, human rights activist, and reporter for the Real News Network. He's just returned from Honduras where he joined a tri-national delegation of University academics and members of the Central American Alliance Against Mining on a Human Rights fact-finding mission to investigate local opposition to an iron-ore mine in the Botaderos National Park in northern Honduras.

Dimitri Lascaris and Honduras, ten years after democracy died in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, 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, professor Stefan Goebel and media, propaganda and conflict in the post-truth age.

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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  • Written by Caitlin Johnstone

Stage-Massaged ReALiTy

Narrative Management = Reality Management

by Caitlin Johnstone - Rogue Journalist

June 17, 2019

The Grayzone‘s Max Blumenthal has published the first part of an investigative series on how so-called non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are being used to manipulate the narrative about what’s going on in Syria by posing as impartial investigative bodies and circulating pro-imperialist disinformation to the western political/media class as objective fact.

Part one is titled “Behind the Syrian Network for Human Rights: How an opposition front group became Western media’s go-to monitor“, and it documents a mountain of evidence that one of these “NGOs” is in fact very much state-funded and highly biased in favor of anti-Assad forces, yet still gets cited as an independent source by western mass media outlets in a way that just so happens to help make the case for western interventionism in Syria.

“Citing the Syrian Network for Human Rights as an independent and credible source is the journalistic equivalent of sourcing statistics on head trauma to a research front created by the National Football League, or turning to tobacco industry lobbyists for information on the connection between smoking and lung cancer. And yet this has been standard practice among correspondents covering the Syrian conflict,” Blumenthal writes. 
 “Indeed, Western press has engaged for years in an insidious sleight of hand, basing reams of shock journalism around claims by a single, highly suspect source that is deeply embedded within the Syrian opposition – and hoped that no one would notice.”

 

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  • Written by Whitney Webb

Singer the Vulture: Whistling Goodbye to American Jobs

How NeoCon Billionaire Paul Singer Is Driving the Outsourcing of US Tech Jobs to Israel

by Whitney Webb - MintPress News

June 11, 2019

Several U.S. tech giants including Google, Microsoft and Intel Corporation have filled top positions with former members of Israeli military intelligence and are heavily investing in their Israeli branches while laying off thousands of American employees, all while receiving millions of dollars in U.S. government subsidies funded by American taxpayers.

 

WASHINGTON — With nearly 6 million Americans unemployed and regular bouts of layoffs in the U.S. tech industry, major American tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Intel Corporation are nonetheless moving key operations, billions in investments, and thousands of jobs to Israel — a trend that has largely escaped media attention or concern from even “America first” politicians.

The fact that this massive transfer of investment and jobs has been so overlooked is particularly striking given that it is largely the work of a single leading neoconservative Republican donor who has given millions of dollars to President Donald Trump.

To make matters worse, many of these top tech companies shifting investment and jobs to Israel at record rates continue to collect sizable U.S. government subsidies for their operations while they move critical aspects of their business abroad, continue to layoff thousands of American workers, and struggle to house their growing company branches in Israel.

This is particularly troubling in light of the importance of the tech sector to the overall U.S. economy, as it accounts for 7.1 percent of total GDP and 11.6 percent of total private-sector payroll.

Furthermore, many of these companies are hiring members of controversial Israeli companies — known to have spied on Americans, American companies, and U.S. federal agencies — as well as numerous members of Israeli military intelligence as top managers and executives.

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  • Written by John Helmer

HOME TRUTHS AND PRESS FREEDOM: Julian Assange and Ivan Golunov

HOME TRUTHS AND PRESS FREEDOM – WHAT THE CASES OF JULIAN ASSANGE AND IVAN GOLUNOV MEAN FOR THE AUSTRALIAN PRESS, AND VICE VERSA

by John Helmer - Dances with Bears

June 14, 2019

Moscow - Following police raids last week on a reporter for the Murdoch press in Canberra and the Sydney office of the state Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), journalists in Australia have appealed for international solidarity on press freedom — a cause which they themselves have failed to defend when others were under the gun.

Do they deserve it?

In money terms, journalism is an undeserving, unprofitable business everywhere. Newspapers in most of the English-language world are cutting journalist jobs – in the US at a rate of 45% over the past decade; about the same in the UK and Canada; worse in Australia. For those who want to keep their jobs, police raids and prosecutions are reminders when self-censorship isn’t enough to prevent their investigating abuses of the law, war crimes, fraud and corruption.

The first home truth is that truth is loss-making for an enterprise; pauperizing for its reporter. The second home truth is that in wartime – that’s now – truth-telling may be a criminal offence which will get the reporter time in jail.

In the case of Julian Assange (lead image, extreme right), the first hearing on the US indictment and application for his extradition will commence in an English magistrate’s court on Friday morning. Although it’s a first procedural step in a process likely to take three years, the identification of which judge will preside is important.

Not all English judges want to be responsible for rulings on whether Assange is facing political persecution and whether the US judicial system can try a national security case fairly. For background on the legal issues now at stake, read this and this.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Helmer, Gretchen Fitzgerald, Janine Bandcroft June 13, 2019

This Week on GR

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

June 13, 2019

The rank hypocrisy of Western civilization's ruling elite, though never really too deeply hidden has, with the recent arrests of journalists and raids against their publishers, broken the surface of the body politic like some septic pustule.

But worse than embarrassment, this sore blooming in the face of much vaunted "rule of law" proclamations made across the once Free World, and elsewhere, is more pox than spot, and not easily vanished by either creams, lotions, or official bromides.

Last week, Australia's State broadcaster ABC was just one such media outlet to experience the new democratic understanding of press rights and freedoms.

 

Listen. Hear.

John Helmer is a journalist, former academic, government policy advisor, author, broadcaster and principal behind the news website, Dances with Bears. An Australian national, his recent article, ‘The Julian Assange Case Now Puts the US on Trial in a British Court: Is There a GET-OUT-OF-JAIL Card for Assange?' explores security state targeting of journalism, and the unenviable fate of his countryman and all those caught up in the new anti-information dragnets.

Some of John Helmer’s book titles include: ‘The Deadly Simple Mechanics of Society’, ‘Drugs and Minority Oppression’, (with Claudia Wright) ‘The Jackal’s Wedding – American Power, Arab Revolt’, ‘Grand Strategy for Small Countries, Case Studies in Transforming Weakness into Power,’ and his latest is the newly out political and personal memoir, ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia’.

John Helmer in the first half.

And; Canada's senate has shot down proposed amendments to the new Impact Assessment Act, also known as Bill C-69. This despite what one Senator reports was a veritable "flood" of evidence from fishing organizations, indigenous leaders, and environmental groups concerned that, as it stands, the Bill delivers regulation of seabed oil exploration permits into the hands of petroleum interests.

Gretchen Fitzgerald is the National Programs Director of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation. Her work focuses on environmental impacts of offshore oil and gas, volunteer engagement, and climate change.

Gretchen Fitzgerald and rescuing the New Impact Assessment Act...Before It's Too Late! in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what's good going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, John Helmer and journalism under fire.

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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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Joan Roelofs, Nils Melzer, Janine Bandcroft June 6, 2019

This Week on GR

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

June 6, 2019

America's vast military apparatus is much more multi-dimensional than even its most fervent fans realize. Beyond war and readying for war-fighting, America's Army, Navy, Marines, and Space Force also work hard at preserving wildlands and vital marine habitat, where wildlife and sea creatures alike can take refuge from the increasingly noisome presence of human industry.

REPI, or the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program could be described as the Department of Defense's version of a "New Green Deal", (if you're inclined to believe it) or as it says, "a key tool for combating encroachment that can limit or restrict military training, testing, and operations."

Listen. Hear.

Joan Roelofs is an educator, author translator, prolific academic writer, and essayist with an especial focus on the political power of the nonprofit sector. The Keene State College Political Science Professor Emerita is also author of the books, 'Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism', and 'Greening Cities: Building Just and Sustainable Communities.' Her recent article at CounterPunch.org, '“Get Your Endangered Species Off My Bombing Range!”' questions the ways and means of one of the lesser known arms of today's ubiquitous military octopus.

Joan Roelofs in the first half.

And; journalist and publisher, Julian Assange is in dire physical and mental condition. He was to appear for his extradition hearing in London's Westminster Magistrates’ Court Thursday last, but was deemed too ill to attend either in person or via video link from Belmarsh Prison. Assange has been held in isolation since his forced extraction from the Ecuadorian embassy April 11th, with few visits being allowed for his lawyers and supporters.

On May 9th, United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer and "two medical experts specialised in examining potential victims of torture and other ill-treatment" were granted access and their assessment is a blistering indictment of both his current and would-be jailors.

Nils Melzer and the case for Julian Assange's immediate release in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, 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, Joan Roelofs and when nature endangers the Pentagon.

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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  • Written by Press Release

Clearcut Colonialism: Big Timber in BC Devastating First Growth Without First Nations Sanction

BC Timber Sales Clearcutting Old-growth Rainforest in Tsitika Valley, Schmidt Creek Region

by Wilderness Committee/Sierra Club BC

June 4, 2019

Clearcuts in climate-resilient rainforest lack Kwakwaka’wakw consent, threaten ecosystems and downstream orca rubbing beach habitat in Robson Bight

 

 


VICTORIA – Recent fieldwork conducted by the Wilderness Committee, Sierra Club BC and community researchers within Tlowitsis-Ma’amtagila territories on northeastern Vancouver Island reveals BC Timber Sales (BCTS) is responsible for widespread forest degradation, unbridled old-growth logging and a troubling track record of selective Indigenous consultation.

Last month, a field team documented clearcutting on steep slopes, logging immediately beside creeks and riparian zones and degradation of cultural ecosystems in some of the last largely intact watersheds on Vancouver Island. Basic archeological assessments of the forests and ecosystem integrity analysis was conducted in the impacted areas of the Upper Tsitika Valley, Naka Creek, Tessium Creek and Schmidt Creek, all of which drain into Johnstone Strait.

“I am sick and tired of government agencies and branches completely ignoring our rights and sovereignty,” said Rande Cook, Head Chief Makwala, Hamatam (Seagull) House of the Ma’amtagila Nation, part of the Kwakwaka'wakw people.
“These logging corporations only want to consult with the First Nations they know they can get a pro-business outcome with. It’s fraught and it pits our community members against one another.”

 

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