Finally a Fighter: NDP Candidate Supports Palestinian Rights

NDP Leadership Candidate Niki Ashton Supports Palestinian Rights

by Yves Engler - Dissident Voice

 

July 14th, 2017


Sometimes silence in politics speaks louder than words.

 

Israel lobby groups’ response (or lack thereof) to NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton’s recent support of Palestinian rights suggests they believe previous criticisms backfired.

Two months ago B’nai B’rith attacked Ashton for attending a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike and a subsequent Facebook post commemorating the Nakba, which saw 750,000 Palestinians driven from their homes by Zionist forces in 1947/’48. The self-declared ‘human rights’ organization published a press release titled “B’nai Brith Denounces MP Niki Ashton for Standing in ‘Solidarity’ with Terrorists.” Rather than harming Ashton, the attack solidified support amongst the Left and youth within the party. B’nai B’rith’s smear generated significant media attention, but Ashton refused to back down.

In response the Manitoba MP told the Winnipeg Free Press she felt obligated to “speak out in the face of injustice” and “I have consistently spoken out for peace and justice in the Middle East, including for Palestinians.”

 


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Under Mount Doomsday: Donald and Ducking for Cover in the New Nuclear Age

Preparing for Doomsday: A Shelter-in-Place Mentality Is the New American Normal
by William J. Astore - TomDispatch

July 13, 2017
 

Has there ever been a nation as dedicated to preparing for doomsday as the United States? If that’s a thought that hasn’t crossed your mind, maybe it’s because you didn’t spend part of your life inside Cheyenne Mountain.

That's a tale I’ll get to soon, but first let me mention America’s “doomsday planes.”

Last month, troubling news emerged from U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) that two of those aircraft, also known as E-4B National Airborne Operations Centers, were temporarily disabled by a tornado, leaving only two of them operational. And that, not surprisingly, caught my attention.

Maybe you don’t have the world’s end on your mind, not with Donald Trump’s tweets coming fast and furious, but I do. It’s a kind of occupational hazard for me. As a young officer in the U.S. Air Force in the waning years of the Cold War, the end of the world was very much on my mind. So think of this piece as the manifestation of a disturbing and recurring memory.

In any case, the reason for those doomsday planes is simple enough: in a national emergency, nuclear or otherwise, at least one E-4B will always be airborne, presumably above the fray and the fallout, ensuring what the military calls “command and control connectivity.”

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Good for the Gander: Trump's Son Stands in for Russia Election Tampering Smears

Forgetting the ‘Dirty Dossier’ on Trump

by Robert Parry - Consortium News


July 10, 2017

 

Exclusive: The new Russia-gate furor is over Donald Trump Jr. meeting a Russian who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton, but the Clinton team’s Russian cash-for-trash search against Trump Sr. is all but forgotten, writes Robert Parry.


Hillary ExplosionYes, I realize that the editors of The New York Times long ago cast aside any journalistic professionalism to become charter members of the #Resistance against Donald Trump. But the latest frenzy over a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer who was dangling the possibility of information about the Democrats receiving money from Russians represents one of the more remarkable moments of the entire Russia-gate hysteria.

Essentially, Trump’s oldest son is being accused of taking a meeting with a foreign national who claimed to have knowledge of potentially illegal activities by Trump’s Democratic rivals, although the promised information apparently turned out to be a dud.

Yet, on Monday, the Times led its newspaper with a story about this meeting – and commentators on MSNBC and elsewhere are labeling Trump Jr. a criminal if not a traitor for hearing out this lawyer.

Yet, no one seems to remember that Hillary Clinton supporters paid large sums of money, reportedly about $1 million, to have ex-British spy Christopher Steele use his Russian connections to dig up dirt on Trump inside Russia, resulting in a salacious dossier that Clinton backers eagerly hawked to the news media.

Also, the two events – Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russian lawyer and the Clinton camp’s commissioning of Steele’s Russia dossier – both occurred in June 2016, so you might have thought it would be a journalistic imperative to incorporate a reference or two to the dossier. But the closest the Times came to that was noting: “Political campaigns collect opposition research from many quarters but rarely from sources linked to foreign governments.”

That would have been an opportune point to slide in a paragraph about the Steele dossier, but nothing. The Times doesn’t seem to have much historical memory either.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Lefebvre, Bonny Glambeck, Janine Bandcroft July 12th, 2017

This Week on GR

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


July 12, 2017

Lawyer, busker, internet entrepreneur, felon, and philanthropist king; though the life story of my first guest presents biographers an embarrassment of anecdotal riches, ironically, their telling deepens rather than reveals the enigma of the subject. Better then the man tell his own tale.

In his time, John Lefebvre has been and done all those things and more, so when friends urged he record his extraordinary life story he began, but found he "quickly tired of writing sentences that started with "I" and ended with "me"."

But still, there was a story to tell, and to that end comes Lefebvre's debut book, 'All's Well. Where Thou Art Earth and Why', a biography of the human species through a lens that contends, "We are the Universe’s vessels of consciousness, of astonishment and of love."

 

Listen. Hear.

 

John Lefebvre in the first half.

And; twenty years after Clayoquot Summer '93, arguably the peak of environmental activism not only in the Sound, but on Vancouver Island, kayak guides and naturalists Dan Lewis and Bonny Glambeck shifted oars and founded Clayoquot Action, an organization dedicated to keeping "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." While they've been educating and activating people living in and visiting to Clayoquot for a long time, this Summer they launched Clayoquot 2.0, an "all-new weekly, multi-media journey through the visually stunning landscape, wildlife and culture of Clayoquot Sound."

Bonny Glambeck and Clayoquot 2.0 in the second half.

And; CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here with a Left Coast Events update at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with what's good going in and around here in the coming week. But first, John Lefebvre and asking not for whom the Zen bell tolls. But first, John Lefebvre and asking not for whom the Zen bell tolls.

 

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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Unravelling Trump Enigma Simple Work

Melania Trump and SIGABA Allow Putin to Decode Trump = Trump Too Defective and Impotent to Make or Keep Agreements, State Department Working Groups Are Last Hope

by John Helmer - Dances with Bears


July 9, 2017

Moscow - Thousands of years after spies were invented, and thirty years before the digital computer, there was SIGABA (left), an electric motor-powered mechanical apparatus for ciphering and protecting one’s communications from being intercepted or overheard by one’s enemies.

Invented by two employees of the US National Security Agency, secretly patented in 1944 but not declassified until 2001, its name was assigned by the US Army which used it throughout World War II.

The Germans called it the American Big Machine, but they couldn’t break its rotor system for coding.


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Keeping Canada's Left Sidelined: "Antisemitism" Alive and Well Up North

Attacking the Left to Shut Down Criticism of Israeli Crimes

by Yves Engler - Dissident Voice


July 7th, 2017

 

Most progressives would agree that opposing all forms of racism is a key element of what makes them left wing. But it is not always straightforward how best to confront white privilege, avoid cultural appropriation, tackle colonial attitudes towards indigenous peoples or avoid being labelled anti-Jewish when working for Palestinian human rights. And in the later case, accusations of Left anti-Semitism actually mask a more significant racism problem on the Left.

In response to the recent controversy at Chicago’s Dyke March Toronto activist Alex Hundert tweeted “And to think ppl keep tryna ridicule me for calling out #antisemitism on the Left… #leftfail.” The self-declared radical linked to a Ha’aretz story headlined “Chicago ‘Dyke March’ Bans Jewish Pride Flags: ‘They Made People Feel Unsafe’”. But according to march organizers, Jewish Voices for Peace and Electronic Intifada the whole thing was a set-up and part of an orchestrated attack by a pro-Israel queer group.

In one of many efforts to turn the Dyke March incident against critics of Israel and the left more generally, New York Times opinion section editor Bari Weiss opined that by echoing criticism of Israeli policy in recent years left Jews have opened the door to pogroms or genocide (“if history has taught the Jews anything it’s that this kind of contortion never ends well”), concluding that “anti-Semitism remains as much a problem on the far-left as it is on the alt-right.”

 

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Pingos Point to the End of the World

The Pingo Evidence: Global Warming is a Threat to Humanity

by Robert Hunziker - CounterPunch


July 6, 2017

 

Pingos may sound cute, but they are not cute, even though they start out as small, kinda cute, mounds of earth. Rather, they are monsters from the depths. Whether pingos are threatening is a stimulating question that scientists are still trying to figure out. Pingos are suddenly popping up in the darnedest places!

Pingos are one more solid piece of evidence that global warming is a real threat to humanity. Global warming is quintessentially part of the Great Acceleration.

 

Photo Ian D. Keating | CC BY 2.0 

Is the world ready? Already, Russian scientists have identified 7,000 “alternative pingos” in Siberia. According to The Washington Post, “Russian Scientists Find 7,000 Siberian Hills Possibly Filled with Explosive Gas,” March 27, 2017, Vladimir E. Romanovsky, geophysicist at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks claims: “This is really a new thing to permafrost science. It has not been reported in the literature before,” Ibid. Romanovsky estimates there could be as many as 100,000 “alternative pingos” (smaller than regular pingos) across the entire Arctic permafrost.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ronald Deibert, Andrea Morison, Christina Nikolic July 5th, 2017

This Week on GR

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


July 5, 2017

Welcome British Columbia to a brand new day. Since last we met, the province has a new, and reputedly very different kind of, government. For those outside the province, legendary in its own collective mind for extreme political divisiveness, almost two months following: a hotly contested election with razor thin margins of difference between the two major parties, both of whom claimed victory; a minority agreement pact between the long-time opposition party and an upstart Green Party; the pomp and ceremony of a swearing in of the incumbent government; weeks of a frozen legislature; a failed confidence vote; and final recognition by the Lieutenant-Governor of the tenability of the minority coalition, we have an operational government at last.

Just in time for the summer break!

Listen. Hear.

 

Meanwhile, there are big issues at stake that can't wait for Fall. None bigger perhaps than the Site C mega-project on the Peace River. The former premier, Christy Clark famously tried to take that contentious behemoth "past the point of no return" before her electoral reversal. It was an effort costing tax-payers more than 2 billion bucks, according to the determined Clark. Now it's up to John Horgan's NDP to decide if they cut their predecessor's losses, or dedicate 10 billion dollars more, burdening the generations to come to pay for it. This week sees the 12th Annual Paddle for the Peace, where Site C is sure to be the talk of the event.

Andrea Morison is Executive Director for the PVEA, Peace Valley Environmental Association. She holds a Masters of Natural Resource Management degree and has worked in the field in both Ontario and BC for more than 25 years, the last of these being devoted to the PVEA's involvement with the environmental assessment process for Site C. Andrea's prior experience is in the forestry, and oil and gas sectors.

Andrea Morison in the first half.

And; what does a commercial software company in Israel have to do with social activists and journalists being targeted and murdered in Mexico? Everything, according to a recent report released by Citizen Lab, an organization, "sounding alarms about the abuse of commercial spyware [and producing] extensive evidence showing how surveillance technology, allegedly restricted to government agencies for criminal, terrorism, and national security investigations, ends up being deployed against civil society."

Ron Deibert was a co-founder and principal investigator of the OpenNet Initiative, and Information Warfare Monitor projects, and the U. of T. professor of Political Science is now Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs. He's published extensively on technology, media, and world politics, and is a contributing author to the landmark, 'Tracking Ghostnet and the Shadows in the Cloud' reports identifying two separate global cyber-espionage networks, and the Great Cannon report, which outed a hitherto unknown "cyber weapon" within China's so-called, "Great Firewall". Deibert is also author of the books, 'Parchment, Printing, and Hypermedia: Communications in World Order Transformation,' and 'Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace'.

Ron Deibert in the second half.

And; horticultural guru and intrepid green entrepreneur, Christina Nikolic will join us at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events update, bringing us up to speed with some of the good things planned in and around our town for the coming week. But first Andrea Morison and paddling to preserve the Peace.

 

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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Useful and Useless Idiots: Judging Press Reaction to Hersh Expose on "Syria Gas Attack" Narrative

Useful idiots who undermine dissent on Syria 

by Jonathan Cook


3 July 2017

There has been much disingenuous criticism of those, like me, who question why the western corporate media have studiously ignored the latest investigation by renowned journalist Seymour Hersh on Syria.

Hersh had to publish his piece in a German newspaper, Welt am Sonntag, after the entire US and UK media rejected his article. There has still been no mention of his investigation more than a week later.

Those who support, either explicitly or implicitly, the meddling in Syria’s affairs by hostile foreign powers are, of course, delighted that Hersh’s revelations are being kept out of the spotlight. They don’t want every side heard, only their side. And those of us who expect all the evidence to be aired, so we aren’t corralled into yet another disastrous “intervention” in the Middle East, are being mischievously denounced as Assad loyalists.

A good example of this kind of wilful misrepresentation is by Brian Whitaker, the Guardian’s former Middle East editor.


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Dispatches from the Crossroads: Al-Tanaf, Syria

Dispatch From the Middle East: U.S. Buildup All About Iran Requiring an American wedge between Syria and Iraq

by Sharmine Narwani  - American Conservative


June 28, 2017

 

DAMASCUS As the drive to push ISIS out of its remaining territories in Syria and Iraq rapidly advances, the U.S. and its allied forces have entrenched themselves in the southeastern Syrian border town of al-Tanaf, cutting off a major highway linking Damascus to Baghdad.

Defeating ISIS is Washington’s only stated military objective inside Syria. So what are those American troops doing there, blocking a vital artery connecting two Arab allied states in their own fight against terrorism?

 

The above map commissioned
by the author

 

“Our presence in al-Tanaf is temporary,” says Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the Combined Joint Task Force of Operation Inherent Resolve (CTFO-OIR), the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS, via phone from Baghdad.
“Our primary reason there is to train partner forces from that area for potential fights against ISIS elsewhere…and to maintain security in that border region.”
Dillon adds for emphasis: “Our fight is not with the (Syrian) regime.”


But since May 18, when U.S. airstrikes targeted Syrian forces and their vehicles approaching al-Tanaf, American forces have shot down two Syrian drones and fired on allied Syrian troops several times, each time citing “self-defense.” In that same period, however, it doesn’t appear that the al-Tanaf-based U.S.-backed militants have even once engaged in combat with ISIS.

 

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Seeing Without Believing: Viewing the Forever War

America at War Since 9/11: Reality or Reality TV?

by Rebecca Gordon - TomDispatch


June 27, 2017

The headlines arrive in my inbox day after day: “U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria killed hundreds of civilians, U.N. panel says.” “Pentagon wants to declare more parts of world as temporary battlefields.” “The U.S. was supposed to leave Afghanistan by 2017. Now it might take decades.”

There are so many wars and rumors of war involving our country these days that it starts to feel a little unreal, even for the most devoted of news watchers. And for many Americans, it’s long been that way. For them, the meaning of war is closer to reality TV than it is to reality.

On a June day, you could, for instance, open the New York Times and read that “airstrikes by the American-led coalition against Islamic State targets have killed hundreds of civilians around Raqqa, the militant group’s last Syrian stronghold, and left 160,000 people displaced.”

Or you could come across statistics two orders of magnitude larger in learning from a variety of sources that famine is stalking 17 million people in Yemen. That is the predictable result of a Saudi Arabian proxy war against Iran, a campaign supported by the U.S. with weaponry and logistical assistance, in which, according to Human Rights Watch, the U.S. may well be complicit in torture.

You could contemplate the fact that in Iraq, a country the United States destabilized with its 2003 invasion and occupation, there are still at least three million internally displaced people, according to the U.N. High Commission for Refugees; or that more than 411,000 Iraqis remain displaced from their homes in Mosul alone since the Iraqi army launched a U.S.-backed offensive to drive ISIS out of that city last October.

Yes, it’s possible to click on those links or to catch so many other Internet or TV news reports about how such American or American-backed wars are damaging infrastructure, destroying entire health care systems, uprooting millions, and putting at risk the education of whole generations thousands of miles away. But none of it is real for most of us in this country.

 

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Getting Past the Pea Soup: Exorcising the Democratic Party Demons

The Technicolor Swan

by James Howard Kunstler - Clusterfuck Nation

 

June 26, 2017

 

When I think of the Democratic Party these days, the image instantly comes to mind of little Linda Blair playing the demon-possessed child in the classic horror movie, The Exorcist (1973), most particularly the scene in which she spews a stream of pea soup-like projectile vomit into the face of kindly old Max von Sydow, as Father Merrin, the priest come to rescue her.

The pea soup represents the sort of ideology that the Democratic Party has spewed out in recent years — a toxic mush of racial identity politics, contempt for men, infantile entitlement tantrums, corporate whoring, and a demonic quest for war with the Russian Federation. Father Merrin, the priest, stands for incorruptible American men, who have been, at last, killed off by this barrage of diabolical idiocy.

Can you think of a single figure in the Democratic faction who dares to oppose the lethal nonsense this party has been sponsoring and spewing? Who are its leaders? Chuck Schumer in the Senate — a mendacious errand boy for Wall Street? Nancy Pelosi in the House, who wears her cluelessness like a laminate of pancake makeup. Got anyone else? Uncle Joe (Biden)? That’s rich. Bernie? (Looks like his wife is about to be indicted on a federal bank fraud rap for running a small Vermont college into the ground. Whoops.)

Who else you got? Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York. I live near Albany, the state capital, and I can assure you that Governor Cuomo is ripely loathed and detested by anyone who has had actual dealings with him. Insiders tell me he makes Nixon look like Mr. Rogers. And this is apart from the fact that he seems to stand for nothing.

 

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