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Cowichan Conversations: Muslim Double Standards Abound

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

This piece by Tarek Fatah appeared in the Toronto Star’s Middle East Forum last week and was sent to Cowichan Conversations as a comment. Upon reading it I determined that while it is a good comment piece it should be elevated to a post.

It offers readers a fresh perspective and draws upon the thousands of deaths in the Syria conflict and also in Pakistan pointing out that there is an absence of coverage, awareness and outrage resulting from the horrendous experiences there. It is worthwhile for so many of us trying to get are heads around (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: The Israeli Attack on Gaza – You Will Not See This On the MSM

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Lead CBC News story the other day told that an Israeli soldier had been killed and the Palestinian’s continue to fire rockets. They eventually got to the part of the story where 52 more Palestinians were killed and score more injured.

Obama and Harper both roll over in fear of the political reaction if they dare to tell the truth about the reality of the slaughter that is still underway.

There is one big difference this time and that is that word is getting out in spite of our political leaders. In Canada Harper, Trudeau and Mulcair (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: So Many Problems in the Peace River Country Over Gas Extraction and Nobody Seems to Care.

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger


This personal report had been making the rounds of listserves and recently was released for public viewing.

Leona Green is fighting back and speaking truth to the ‘Natural Gas’ establishment, government officials and opposition politicians.

The following information took over two months to compile by contacting many residents all over the Peace area.

The extraction of natural gas is steaming ahead at an alarming rate in all areas of the Peace. I have interviewed many landowners and the answers and problems related to gas extraction are all the same. Multiply the cases listed below by many (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Is Rula Jebreal Right About U.S. Media Bias Against Palestinians?(Video)

There will never be a chance of peace in the Mid-East until news media organizations actually cover and report the realities that are taking place.

Is Rula Jebreal Right About U.S Media Bias Against Palestinians?

This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page.

Palestinian journalist Rula Jebreal points to the overwhelming bias in U.S. media against the Palestinians, calling NBC to account for having tried to remove an Arab-American reporter from Gaza after he reported the Israeli navy’s deliberate killing of children on the beach…

Read More-includes video

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Is Rula Jebreal Right About U.S. Media Bias Against Palestinians?(Video)

Cowichan Conversations: iPolitics–Is Mulcair Just Another Harper With a Beard?

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

In the quest for power Federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair has abandoned previously held NDP principles and beliefs and that is causing heartburn on the left, and centre-left.

The shift to the right that has taken place has left many NDP supporters wondering if the NDP is where they want to be. Others have already turned and walked away.

New Democrats for ‘Fairness and Transparency (nd4ft) posted this piece where Anne McGrath promised hands off fair and open nominations.

In truth and reality the National Director, Anne McGrath has banned two long time members, Paul Manly and Laurie (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Please read this powerful letter by Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian medical doctor who is in Gaza

Please read and share this powerful letter by Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian medical doctor who is in Gaza right now:

Dearest friends,

The last night was extreme. The “ground invasion” of Gaza resulted in scores and carloads with maimed, torn apart, bleeding, shivering, dying – all sorts of injured Palestinians, all ages, all civilians, all innocent.

The heroes in the ambulances and in all of Gaza’s hospitals are working 12-24 hour shifts, grey from fatigue and inhuman workloads (without payment all in Shifa for the last 4 months), they care, triage, try to understand the incomprehensible chaos of bodies, sizes, (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: My Name is Reuven Moskovitz-Holocaust Survivor

Cowichan Conversations: Rafe: With fracking, tankers “world-class safety” is a weasel word

It is great to read more from Rafe Mair once again. He is still on the mend but has come a long way and is reading and writing once again.

I had believed every word from our Premier but Rafe has set me straight! I feel so much better now. Enjoy.

BC Premier Christy Clark touts “world-class” safety for fossil fuel projects (Canadian Press)

Many times I have referred to Premier Clark’s demand that Enbridge and others have “world-class” cleanup processes in place. To repeat myself, these are “weasel words” and mean absolutely nothing. “World-class” firefighting procedures doesn’t mean the (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: NDP Continue Blocking Members Seeking Nominations

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Long time New Democrat Laurie Gourlay, MLA Doug Routley’s-Nanaimo-North Cowichan’s Constituency Assistant, was blocked from competing for the nomination in Nanaimo-Ladysmith. He was the second and one of 14 across Canada.

Here is his opinion piece that ruffled the somewhat jumpy and trigger happy NDP National Director and one presumes Thomas Mulcair as well.

Gourlay seemed surprisingly at ease after being rebuffed for his role in promoting Vancouver Island separation from BC and the establishment of a new Province of Vancouver Island.

Laurie Gourlay-NDP Loyalist rebuffed by Federal Party

He told me yesterday that National Office was concerned (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Elizabeth May backs Green Party motion condemning ‘illegal’ Israeli settlements

Convention motion could attract support from disgruntled New Democrats, author suggests

By Kady O’Malley, CBC News

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has co-sponsored a policy resolution condemning Israeli settlements that is expected to come up for debate during the party’s policy convention in Fredericton this weekend. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)


The proposed resolution is on the list of policy proposals slated to come up for debate during the party’s weekend convention in Fredericton.

The Federal NDP Thomas Mulcair said:

“Since the start of the most recent tensions, the NDP has been in contact with Israeli and Palestinian representatives in Ottawa. (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: NDP Leader John Horgan Has Been Preparing For Change in British Columbia

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

John Horgan is a man on a mission to bring a balanced and progressive style of government to beleagured British Columbia. It is no small feat, but if there is a more capable and motivated political leader in Canada today, I am hard pressed to know who that might be.

Horgan combines a no nonsense approach with a heart on his sleeve response to the social side of the spectrum. He could be described as being as ‘Hard as Steel and as Soft as Butter.’

He has been travelling throughout BC for months now to show (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Israel Is Captive To Its ‘Destructive Process’

This analysis by Chris Hedges is well worth the read.

By Chris Hedges

Raul Hilberg in his monumental work “The Destruction of the European Jews” chronicled a process of repression that at first was “relatively mild” but led, step by step, to the Holocaust. It started with legal discrimination and ended with mass murder. “The destructive process was a development that was begun with caution and ended without restraint,”

Hilberg wrote.

The Palestinians over the past few decades have endured a similar “destructive process.” They have gradually been stripped of basic civil liberties, robbed of assets including (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Paul Manly Has Posted His Appeal Letter to the NDP Written May 27th.

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

This post was made available by Paul Manly on Facebook and it is reproduced here to keep Cowichan Conversation followers up to date. It clearly shows that he understands the issue on which he was being judged…

I join with many others in calling on the National Director Anne McGrath and Leader Thomas Mulcair to reconsider and retract their decision to deny Paul Manly from seeking the nomination to represent Nanaimo-Ladysmith NDP in the next Federal Election.

It is understood that vetting processes need to be undertaken, but the leaders of the party also need to see (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Public Education Does Not Exist For The Benefit Of Students

Cowichan Conversations: The NDP and the Middle East-An Open Letter to Nathan Cullen

Dorothy Field, Writer, Artist, Poet, Contributor

Dear Nathan Cullen,

I’m writing to you because I think you are still a man we can trust, not just an NDP hack. I am in despair about the NDP’s silence on Israeli rocket attacks on Gaza.

First, let me say, though I shouldn’t have to, that I write as a Jew who strongly believes we must be both pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian. If not, we are part of the problem, not part of the solution. By pro-Israeli, I mean I support Israel’s right to exist, not these horrendous policies.

Nathan Cullen MP

I will (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Thomas Mulcair-Anne McGrath Stop Interfering In Local NDP Nominations

Richard Hughes-It is time the NDP risked democracy

The Federal NDP often tries to favourably compare themselves as being more democratic and grass roots driven than the Liberals or Conservatives. It may well have been that way in the past but they certainly cannot claim that high ground today.

The Nanaimo Ladysmith Riding has seen the National Director Anne McGrath step in and block the right of two long-term party members to seek the nomination. What is worse is that the inner circle have refused to state the reasons in writing.

Paul Manly speaking on his own behalf offered this: The (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Cowichan NDP MLA Bill Routley Stands Up For Teachers and Children

Cowichan MLA Bill Routley addresses the challenge nd unfairness facing teachers in BC today

Cowichan Conversations: The Cowichan River is in trouble once again.

Cowichan Coversations Contributor

With the low snowpack and unusually dry weather, Cowichan Lake is 40 cm lower than it should be at this time of year, while the river flow is down to 5 cubic metres per second and well below typical July levels.

If the situation does not improve, salmon populations will be devastated and the Crofton pulp mill could be forced to suspend operations.

This is not the first time drought conditions have caused major problems with the Cowichan River.

In 2012, chinook salmon were trucked upstream to spawning grounds after the river flow dropped to dangerously low (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: EWG’s Dirty Dozen Report Lists The Most Pesticide-Heavy Fruits And Veggies Of 2014

Richard Hughes-Grow your own

If you ever wondered about the value of growing your own vegetables and fruits, or when that is not possible buying organic, here is Sarah Kleins Huffington Post report.

Actually it is amazing how much we can grow in our own gardens. It is tastier, healthier and of course cheaper than buying pesticide laden vegetables.

These poisoned foods are inadequately labelled by retailers and they could and should step up and fully disclose the truth about the foods they sell.

An apple a day usually keeps the doctor away — unless it’s ridden with pesticides.For (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Incinerators, Biomass-Just Say No!

Cowichan Conversations: CVRD Hires Brian Carruthers As Their New CAO

News Release


July 11, 2014

Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) is pleased to announce the hiring of a Chief Administrative Officer effective September 2, 2014. July 11, 2014 – Duncan, BC:

The Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) is pleased to announce the hiring of Brian Carruthers as Chief Administrative Officer effective September 2, 2014. The Chief Administrative Officer directs the overall planning, coordinating and control of all regional services in accordance with the objectives, goals and policies approved by the Chair and Board of Directors.

Mr. Carruthers is presently the Chief Administrative Officer for the Regional District (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: When is a Community Plan NOT a Community Plan?

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Paul Kamill is a relative newcomer to the Cowichan Valley. He bought a small acreage bordering on the proposed Balme family gravel pit on the Cowichan Bay-Cobble dividing line. Little did he know that the ‘Black is White’ crowd controlled the local government.

He was recently treated to the CVRD’s mishandling of yet another colossal cock-up.

Experienced politicians and career Administrator Frank Raimondo-aka “Raimondo the Rude’ refused to abide by their OCP and bylaws. Mr Kamill was treated to our Cowichan version of the British skit- Monty Python.

‘Raimondo-the Rude’ We were 100 percent wrong’!

He immersed (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Planned breach of Cowichan Bay causeway planned for late July

A group of dedicated volunteers, organized under the Cowichan Estuary Restoration and Conservation Association aka (CIRCA) have taken on the task of improving life for marine and wildlife that have struggled against industrial disruption for many decades.

Peter Rusland interviewed Goetz Schuerholz in this article carried in the Cowichan News Leader.

The causeway leading from the Cowichan Estuary to the Westcan Terminals in Cowichan Bay may be opened in order to improve the ecological health of Cowichan Bay.— Image Credit: John McKinley/File

by Peter Rusland – Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

Breaching a causeway in Cowichan Bay to give spawning (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: The products that have been banned are better!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The green revolution away from fossil fuels is gaining momentum. We need time to make the crossover but it surely is coming as night follows day.

Alternate building materials and alternate approaches are on the rise.

Let us try to reduce our use of gas and oil products as much as we can and push for viable alternatives as soon as possible.

The change is coming!

The Mind Unleashed

Legalize research and cultivation of industrial hemp

(Hemp does not produce the “high”) So, why is it illegal? Because fuel companies would lose TRILLIONS in profit, while the (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: The products that have been banned are better!

Cowichan Conversations: This is what happened when I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Those of us fortunate enough to have had some rough patches in our lives will empathize immediately with this amazing article about the struggle back from poverty of a young couple that did everything right, and then the bottom fell out.

The line is a thin one and this piece is an example of the rollercoaster ride that an untold number of comfortably well off socially and financially successful people have experienced. This is true here in Canada, but more so in the states.

Sara Bareilles played softly through the surround-sound speakers of my husband’s 2003 Mercedes (Read more…)