• Written by Whitney Webb

Newsguard: Keeping the Facts All Right

How a NeoCon-Backed “Fact Checker” Plans to Wage War on Independent Media

by Whitney Webb - MintPress News


January 9th, 2019

 

As Newsguard’s project advances, it will soon become almost impossible to avoid this neocon-approved news site’s ranking systems on any technological device sold in the United States.

 

Soon after the social media “purge” of independent media sites and pages this past October, a top neoconservative insider — Jamie Fly — was caught stating the mass deletion of anti-establishment and anti-war pages on Facebook and Twitter was “just the beginning” of a concerted effort by the U.S. government and powerful corporations to silence online dissent within the United States and beyond.

While a few, relatively uneventful months in the online news sphere have come and gone since Fly made this ominous warning, it appears neoconservatives and other standard bearers of the military-industrial complex and U.S. oligarchy are now poised to let loose their latest digital offensive against independent media outlets that seek to expose wrongdoing in both the private and public sectors.

Newsguard gives Fox News
high marks for accuracy.

 

As MintPress News Editor-in-Chief Mnar Muhawesh recently wrote, MintPress was informed that it was under review by an organization called Newsguard Technologies, which described itself to MintPress as simply a “news rating agency” and asked Muhawesh to comment on a series of allegations, several of which were blatantly untrue.

However, further examination of this organization reveals that it is funded by and deeply connected to the U.S. government, neo-conservatives, and powerful monied interests, all of whom have been working overtime since the 2016 election to silence dissent to American forever-wars and corporate-led oligarchy.

More troubling still, Newsguard — by virtue of its deep connections to government and Silicon Valley — is lobbying to have its rankings of news sites installed by default on computers in U.S. public libraries, schools, and universities as well as on all smartphones and computers sold in the United States.

In other words, as Newsguard’s project advances, it will soon become almost impossible to avoid this neocon-approved news site’s ranking systems on any technological device sold in the United States. Worse still, if its efforts to quash dissenting voices in the U.S. are successful, Newsguard promises that its next move will be to take its system global.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ted Smith, Paul Spong, Janine Bandcroft January 3, 2018

This Week on GR

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


January 3, 2019

Welcome to a New Year; MMXIX as Caesar would have it. In MMXVIII, Canada finally moved towards sensible marijuana laws. For decades, Canadians were harried, fined, and even thrown into prisons for the act of smoking or otherwise ingesting an entirely naturally occurring herb, which even its harshest detractors admit is not too terribly harmful.

In fact, weed has been used in a variety of World cultures for uncounted centuries as both curative and spiritual aid.

So how's the nation's belated enlightenment going?

Ted Smith is a long-time justice activist and co-founder of the Victoria Cannabis Buyer’s Club, which provides cannabis-based products to people with terminal and incurable medical conditions.

Listen. Hear.

Ted broke the tundra-like, frozen legal trail of the Canadian medical marijuana struggle, persevering repeated harassment and arrest, and taking the case all the way to the country's Supreme Court – and winning!

Ted Smith in the first half.

And; last week Japan announced it would be leaving the International Whaling Commission, the body set up to oversee that odious practice, incredibly still conducted by numerous nations. The Japanese say they will forego their controversial "scientific" whaling in the Southern Ocean off Antarctica, but continue commercial hunt/harvesting activities in territorial waters, or what it terms, the Japanese Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The news has been hailed as good news by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who say the absence of Japan from the commission will, quote "allow the IWC to pass the motion to establish the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary thus effectively ending whaling in the Southern Hemisphere." Others fear the move is bad for whales in other ways.

Dr. Paul Spong is marine researcher, one of the World’s foremost authorities on the Orca, and founder of OrcaLab, a land-based observatory located on Hanson Island. Spong has tracked whale and other marine mammals from the idyllic location since 1970. He attended and sent dispatches out from last Fall's IWC 67 in Florianopolis, Brazil.

Paul Spong and what Japan's new policy means for whales in the new year 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 on some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Ted Smith and the ongoing effort to norml-ize marijuana policy in Canada.

 

 

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 James Kunstler

A "Casey" Moment for US Markets: Swinging into the New Year

Forecast 2019: Ding Ding! Margin Call USA

by James Kunstler - Clusterfuck Nation


December 31, 2018

Welcome to the American hall of mirrors… and mind the broken glass all over the floor. That’s Nature’s way of saying the country has run out room to punk itself. 2018 was the consolidation of bad faith in everything we do: politics, the news media, economics & finance, show biz, regular biz, jurisprudence, medicine, education, and relations between men and women — the year of peak dishonesty and self-deception.

Of course, the trouble with dishonesty is that it doesn’t comport with Reality, and Reality being Mother Nature’s husband, bats in the cleanup position. Entering 2019, the bases are loaded with delusions, misdirections, and turpitudes.

I shall get right to it without further throat-clearing.


Illustration, Albert Dorne

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Yves Engler Year Ender December 27, 2018

This Week on GR

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


December 27, 2018

Welcome to the last show of this busy 2018. The year ends with Canada's foreign policy in a mess; and it's all of our own making. Prime Minister Trudeau has staggered the globe from one policy dumpster fire to the next, his ultimate misstep, (assuming he can manage the year's four remaining days diplomatic disaster-free) being the ill-advised December 1st arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Though the Chinese government denies it, the arrest triggered the retaliatory nabbing in China of two Canadians, one an entrepreneur taking tourists from China into North Korea, and the other former Canadian diplomat and current Senior Adviser for North East Asia of NGO, the International Crisis Group, Michael Kovrig.

Kovrig's detention, (and rumoured mistreatment) shines a light on the intersection of NGO's, international diplomacy, and spycraft.

Listen. Hear.

Yves Engler is a Montréal-based activist, essayist, and author. Some of his ten book titles include: 'A Propaganda System—How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation', 'Canada in Africa — 300 Years of Aid and Exploitation', and 'The Ugly Canadian — Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy'. His new book, 'Left, Right: Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada' is freshly off the press.

Yves' numerous articles on the NGO/Neoliberal Order nexus appear at his site, YvesEngler.com, Dissident Voice, The Palestine Chronicle, and Pacific Free Press among other places, and his latest, 'Why do Raptors associate with blood-stained dictator?' explores the Giants of Africa charity and its partner, the Toronto Raptor's celebration of continental tyrant Paul Kagame.

Yves Engler in the first half.

And; as it's year's end, a look back at some of the stories covered in 2018.

The Left Coast Events Bulletin hiatus continues this week, but Janine will be back in the New Year to keep us up to date with the weekly good goings on in and around our town. So first, Yves Engler and getting to know the NGO's.

 

 

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 Yves Engler

Rogue New Democrats Ditch Party Policy in Favour of Israel

Pro-Israel MPs flout NDP policy

by Yves Engler


December 16, 2018

Do New Democrat MPs who belong to the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group (CIIG) have carte blanche to flout party policy?

Last week CIIG executive member Murray Rankin, (left) participated in a press conference calling for a new round of Canadian sanctions on Iran. The Victoria MP joined CIIG chair Michael Levitt, vice-chair David Sweet and executive member Anthony Housefather for an event led by former CIIG executive Irwin Cotler.

Rankin’s role in this anti-Iranian effort runs counter to the NDP’s opposition to illegal sanctions on Iran, call for Canada to re-establish diplomatic relations with that country and support for the 2015 “p5+1 nuclear deal”. (Justin Trudeau has failed to maintain his election promise to restart diplomatic relations with Iran.)

Rankin’s departure from NDP policy takes place amidst the Donald Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and bid to force others to adhere to its illegal sanctions, threatening to sanction any country that buys Iranian oil.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Peter Lee, Christopher Black December 20th, 2018

This Week on GR

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

December 20, 2018

Stock markets tanking, uncertainty battering the currency exchanges, international commerce slowing to a crawl, rumours of trade, (and shooting) wars, and US companies considering exiting China in the New Year; all in all, Donald Trump can settle himself before the holiday hearth happily regarding his full-to-brimming America First Christmas stocking. 

But how's the view from the over there side of the trade war?

Listen. Hear.

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

Peter Lee in the first half.

And; as most are aware, there's a Canadian connection to the ongoing trade/tech war between the United States and China. The December 1st arrest of Huawei executive, and daughter of the company's founder, Meng Wanzhou has, more than embarrassing Canada on the World stage and revealing the gormlessness of the Trudeau government, called into question the very idea of the country's sovereignty and its ability to actually be a "rule of law" nation in the face of American pressure.

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, 'Canada Takes A Hostage: Free Meng Wanzhou' examines the rice paper-thin case against holding Meng and Huawei hostage.

Christopher Black and unwinding the Huawei media spin in the second half.

And; Janine's Left Coast Events Bulletin takes a break this week for the holidays. So first up, Peter Lee and US/China trade; a war by any other name? 

 

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 Tom Engelhardt

"Gap" As Economic Abyss

Wall Street, Banks, and Angry Citizens: The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
by Nomi Prins - TomDispatch
 

December 13, 2018
 

As we head into 2019, leaving the chaos of this year behind, a major question remains unanswered when it comes to the state of Main Street, not just here but across the planet. If the global economy really is booming, as many politicians claim, why are leaders and their parties around the world continuing to get booted out of office in such a sweeping fashion?

One obvious answer: the post-Great Recession economic “recovery” was largely reserved for the few who could participate in the rising financial markets of those years, not the majority who continued to work longer hours, sometimes at multiple jobs, to stay afloat. In other words, the good times have left out so many people, like those struggling to keep even a few hundred dollars in their bank accounts to cover an emergency or the 80% of American workers who live paycheck to paycheck.

In today's global economy, financial security is increasingly the property of the 1%. No surprise, then, that, as a sense of economic instability continued to grow over the past decade, angst turned to anger, a transition that -- from the U.S. to the Philippines, Hungary to Brazil, Poland to Mexico -- has provoked a plethora of voter upheavals.

In the process, a 1930s-style brew of rising nationalism and blaming the “other” -- whether that other was an immigrant, a religious group, a country, or the rest of the world -- emerged.

 

 

  • Written by David Swanson

War Is Over, (If You Want It To Be)

The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions

by David Swanson - CounterPunch


December 14, 2018

 

Remarks in Albuquerque, New Mexico, December 12, 2018
Video is uploading now, at airplane internet speed, to Youtube.com/WorldBeyondWar

 

There’s action happening now in the U.S. Senate on ending U.S. participation in the war on Yemen. There’s a big loophole in the bill. There’s the matter of selling Saudi Arabia its weapons. There’s the House of Misrepresentatives to worry about. There’s the veto threat. There’s the question of getting compliance out of a president you’ve pretty well promised never to impeach, at least not for any of dozens of documented offenses unrelated to Russia.

All that being said, the current action is a very good thing, and New Mexico’s senators have thus far been on the right side of it.

If the U.S. Congress were to stand up to a president on one war, people might raise the question of every other war. If the U.S. were to stand up to Saudi Arabia, not by giving it weapons and military assistance and protection from international law while asking it gently to mend its ways, but by refusing to be its partner in crime, somebody might ask why the same couldn’t be tried with Israel or Bahrain or Egypt, and so on. 

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Derrick Broze, Stefania Maurizi, Janine Bandcroft December 13, 2018

This Week on GR

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


December 13th, 2018

Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire money manager to the 'super wealthy' would have walked out of a West Palm Beach courtroom whistling last week, but then he paid someone else to do it for him.

The notorious convicted sex offender was to, figuratively, be in front of a civil court answering to a defamation suit brought by the attorney that had successfully represented women who as girls had been molested by Epstein, and his A-lister friends.

But, if he seems to have evaded justice once again, Jeffrey Epstein isn't out of the legal woods just yet.

Listen. Hear.

Derrick Broze is a freelance journalist, community activist, gardener, promoter from Houston, Texas, and co-author of the book, 'The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality.' He’s founder of both the Houston Free Thinkers, and The Conscious Resistance Network, and last month released the documentary expose, 'Bringing Down Jeffrey Epstein'.

Derrick Broze in the first half.

And; Julian Assange's continued sanctuary in Ecuador's London embassy is under threat. Ecuador's new president, Moreno Lenin is not sympathetic, and his government has been sending out signals it is ready to evict the crusading WikiLeaks publisher, soon.

Stefania Maurizi is an Italian investigative journalist for La Repubblica. She's stayed on the Assange story from the start, and last month was the first journalist allowed in to the embassy to speak directly with Assange in more than eight months. In her article, 'The detention and isolation from the world of Julian Assange' she describes his increasingly frail health, saying, "Never before has the life of the WikiLeaks founder been so crucially in the hands of public opinion and in the hands of one of the few powers whose mission it is to reign in the worst instincts of our governments: the press."

Stefania Maurizi and seeing Julian 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 to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Derrick Broze and bringing down Jeffrey Epstein.

 

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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Anthony Bourdain Still Dead After Six Months

Bourdain Still Dead After Six Months

by C. L. Cook - Pacific Free Press


December 12, 2018

 

"Anxiety and depression are normal reactions to circumstances that are profoundly disordered: when lies are promoted as truth, ugliness as beauty, and fear is your motivation. Do not medicalize your pain: fight back. You will die anyway, but give yourself a reason to live." ~ Werner Twertzog sez

 

Fishing through the head-side newspaper rack for a cryptic crossword to take into the bath, I came across an aged, single, yellowing page of the 'Life' section of a local rag.

The challenge puzzles long done, I settled into the tub anyway with the Jumble and a standard, ten-minute Grid-for-Dummies. Eleven minutes later I turned the page, hoping to see what I knew wasn't on the other side, another puzzle.

Instead, there below a large photograph of Anthony Bourdain, were a pair of articles, obituaries of the feted author, famous television show host/producer, and globe-trotting kitchen raconteur found hanged in his suite at the five star, Hotel Le Chambard in Kayserberg, France.

The subhead of the first, a syndicated piece from the Associated Press, informed,

 

"Chef whose whimsical sense of adventure won millions of fans is thought to have hanged himself at hotel".


A little more than six months from the day, that's how the story remains.

 

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  • Written by Christopher Black

Taking Huawei Hostage: The Canadian Angle on Meng Arrest

Canada's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Take China Hostage in "Rules-Based Order" Plot

by Christopher Black - via Dances with Bears


December 9, 2018

 

“It is clear the US is pushing the battle line to our door… We can completely regard the US arrest of Meng Wanzhou as a declaration of war against China.”

 

Toronto - So read an editorial in the Global Times of China on December 6, the day after Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of the Chinese company Huawei was taken hostage by the Canadian and American governments on December 1.

The daughter of the founder of China’s largest telecommunications company was arbitrarily arrested and detained by Canadian police in Vancouver in transit between planes on December 1 on the pretext of a US extradition request.

The arrest has shocked and angered China while in Canada the large Chinese population must wonder how safe they are.

The background to the arrest is fairly simple.

 

 

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  • Written by Bill Henderson

How Green Was My Energy Plan? Looking Critically at NDP's CleanBC Scheme

CleanBC: NDP/Green Magical Thinking 

by Bill Henderson


December 8, 2018

The NDP/Green government of BC has just released their new climate plan: CleanBC. The initial reviews are good.

The initiative's messaging has broad appeal; it looks to be a winner politically. Reps from BC ENGOs have welcomed the plan as needed climate leadership while pointing out that the emission reduction targets, though a cut above present emission reduction ambitions, are not nearly enough to stay under 2C let alone 1.5C.

There are lots of questions about the governments ability to craft policies to meet these targets, especially while planning to build an LNG export industry, but, in general, reaction has been positive because in reality the NDP/Green plan is less a climate plan than it is an optimistic, positive vision of a prosperous economy based on the growth of clean energy.

But climate change is getting worse fast with extreme weather already a potential economic and social threat multiplier and tipping points to Hothouse Earth close if not surpassed. And fossil fuel production and use and GHG emissions continue to rise with 'official' projections showing little decline until at least 2040.

In this context the new BC plan is another plan to fail. BC's plan to continue to try and reduce emissions while at the same time expanding fossil fuel production is now untenable; is not leadership considering what is at stake.

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