The Obama administration claims that the Syrian al-Assad regime has crossed a “red line” by using chemical weapons repeatedly over the past year. Obama has gone ahead and authorized the arming of Syrian rebels.
According to U.S. officials the weapons will likely include small arms, ammunition, assault rifles and a variety of anti-tank weaponry such as shoulder-fired remote-propelled grenades and other missiles. The final inventory has yet to be drawn up but is unlikely to include the heavy weaponry the rebels most want such as anti-air missiles.
The claims about chemical weapons are not unlike claims we’ve heard before… (Read more…)
This incredibly brave young man’s story needs to be shared far and wide. 29 year old Edward Snowden, through The Guardian newspaper, went public as the NSA whistleblower yesterday. His revelations last week that the US National Security Agency’s Prism program has direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other internet giants […]
Definitions of terrorism:
“The systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.” - Merriam Webster
“Systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal.“ - Free Dictionary
“The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.” - Dictionary.com
Noam Chomsky clarifies the definition with recourse to law:
I took the official definitions of terrorism, which were very good, I took the definition that is given in US and British law, which is a fine definition but has a flaw; If you apply it, it turns out the United (Read more…)
The Irish-Americans of Boston were once a source of support and inspiration for nationalists in the north of Ireland during the dark days of The Troubles. During the hunger strikes by republican prisoners, the people of Boston protested the vile policies of Margaret Thatcher and raised funds. Cash was collected in pubs, clubs, churches, rallies… you name it. They also stepped up in the wake of Sunday Bloody Sunday to show solidarity – opening their hearts and their wallets. We’re not just talking the people of Boston, we’re talking about civic leaders and prominent politicians too.
For example in (Read more…)
Executive chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, recently went public with his concerns about ‘everyman’ drones getting into the wrong hands. Thinks they should be banned… might be a privacy threat. Guess Schmidt should know being a top exec of a company that some regard as one of the biggest privacy threats on the planet.
Google has a cosy relationship with Barack Obama who knows all about drones, so we should probably pay attention. Schmidt thinks we need to be aware of the potential of drones to “democratize the ability to fight war”… and warns of drones being used (Read more…)
Some child casualties of covert US drone war
The Pakistan government has released its figures for civilian casualties of American drone strikes. The Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that CIA drones have killed at least 2,200 people in the country, including at least 400 civilians. Around 600 have received serious injuries. In addition Islamabad believes that some 200 of the total of those killed are likely to be civilians also.
As the Bureau of Investigative Journalism notes this figure is close to their own “low range estimate” of 411 civilians killed.
Pakistani officials met with Ben Emmerson QC, UN (Read more…)
Winds of change blowing hard as B.C. goes to the polls Can Liberal Premier Christy Clark break the NDP’s momentum? By Stephen Smart, CBC News Posted: Apr 15, 2013 2:18 AM PT
Hey, Christy, the funny thing about having a big ol’ corporate-sponsored war chest…it no longer guarantees an election win for Cons and Conlites in Liberal clothing…what has happened over the last few years in the US might be useful to think about…. First, the “winds’ of change in California..Meg Whitman, a wealthy, rather nasty Republican chancer with a massive war chest, easily defeated by Jerry Brown,
. . . → Read More: Left Over: ‘Winds’ Of Change: Is That the Smell of Filthy Lucre?
Barack Obama’s carefully nurtured image as a man of the people has been blown to shreds. Rob Urie, writing for CounterPunch, captures the event in one paragraph:
With Barack Obama putting his plan to cut Social Security and Medicare expenditures into writing in his Federal budget proposal the ability of those who voted for him to credibly deny his years of publicly stating he would do so disappeared. The pathetic pleas from liberals and progressives who only a few short months ago were assuring the unwashed masses Mr. Obama was on the cusp of a ‘liberal’ renaissance if
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Obama’s Grand Betrayal of Ordinary America
Wouldn’t it be nice if this is what Obama actually said? Quotes taken from the Counterpunch article by Uri Avnery
“No nation, great or small, can prosper for long without peace. War is the curse of mankind. It coarsens our spirit, consumes our resources, spreads death and destruction. In our time, with the development of ever more deadly means of mass destruction, war threatens our very existence.
Yet there seems to be among you a curious aversion to peace. Peacemakers are denounced as traitors or enemies. Even I have been termed a “Destroyer of Israel” because of my efforts
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The Speech We Didn’t Hear from Obama in Israel.
In Jerusalem at the start of his current visit to Israel, Obama went over-the-top with superlatives in a speech that employed high flown rhetoric and symbolism. He painted the US/Israel relationship in transcendent terms – “eternal” no less. In a later speech, adopting a more pragmatic approach, the president characterized Israeli settlements as “counterproductive” without directly calling for a halt to new settlements as he did in 2009. Much of the world condemns Israeli settlements as illegal – not merely an impediment to peace.
Obama’s artful diplomacy – praising Israel it to the skies on the one hand while mildly
. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Rashid Khalidi’s ‘Brokers of Deceit’: how the U.S. has undermined the peace process
Golly. For a moment today it looked like an old Christopher Lee movie.When somebody opens the window, daylight streams in, and all the Con vampires turn to stone.But alas, it was only Stephen Harper having a REALLY bad day.A day when you really had to wonder whether he's losing control of his party, and/or losing control of his faculties.Read more »
I’m starting to like CounterPunch more and more. Go read the full article at their site as it is insightful and though provoking.
“As part of the national mythology many Americans, and likely nearly all liberals and progressives, accept the premise that policies designed to boost the fortunes of the already wealthy might be misdirected, but not outright destructive to their interests. After four years of unwavering support for America’s plutocrats and malignant acts toward their economic victims in every actual administration policy—witness his continuing call to cut social insurance programs while 20 million people remain
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: America’s Hugo Chavez – Certainly NOT Obama
It's been the weirdest winter ever where I live.It was so warm for so long it took forever for the canal to freeze, until it was safe enough to skate on.Then it thawed so quickly, the net got stranded in the middle of nowhere, with the ice too thin to retrieve it.And since I blame global warming for this latest disaster, and so many others, I wasn't exactly thrilled by this news.Read more »
Why were you outraged over Russia locking up Pussy Riot but ambivalent over America bringing its full weight down on open access activist Aaron Swartz? Simple, because hating a Russian government is easier than improving your own.
When Russian punk band Pussy Riot received 2 years for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” there were weeks of press coverage, mass protests, world outrage, and calls, most notably by US President Barack Obama, denouncing Russia’s actions as “disproportionate”.
Yet when Reddit co-creator Aaron Swartz was facing 35 years in an American prison for merely making publicly-funded research public, there were few
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: How The US Used Pussy Riot And You Liked It
(Gallup: Staggering 99 Percent of Americans See Iran’s Nuclear Program as ‘Threat’ Americans See Civilian Program as a Bigger Threat Than North Korea’s Actual Nukes by Jason Ditz, February 20, 2013) ”A grim new poll from Gallup shows an overwhelming majority of Americans, indeed 99 percent of them, believe that Iran’s civilian nuclear program [...]
“Washington is broken.” – Barack Obama
Looking at the Canadian Senate in isolation might motivate many to question it, but compared to the American Senate, Canadians should be proud of their upper chamber.
Besides the fact that googling “Ottawa is broken” brings zero related results, the American Senate is so dysfunctional quite a few of its members, like former Senators Olivia Snowe and Evan Bayh, have actually quit, citing that the American institution is just too broken.
From the McCarthy hearings in the 1950s to bringing the world’s largest economy to the brink of collapse in the fiscal crisis
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Why Canada Needs An Elected Senate Just Like America’s
Richard Hughes-Political Blogger
Lately it seems that the politics of ‘Climate Change’ is like the classic children’s story ‘Alice in Wonderland. The roles have changed as if we are guests at the ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.’
Instead of the Americans dragging their feet it is in fact right here in Canada where our governments have rolled over for the Oil and Gas Industry Lobbyists!
In BC and Alberta we have divorced any notion of reducing our ecological footprint and shouldering our share of the responsibilities to the planet and future generations.
Our Prime Minister Stephen Harper is happily gutting
. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Tens of Thousands Rally to Urge Obama to Move “Forward on Climate”
It was a stirring sight.Tens of thousands of protesters braving the freezing cold to try to stop the planet from burning.Demanding that Obama kill the Keystone XL pipeline.Canada’s carbon-intensive oilsands industry was the guest of dishonour in Washington on Sunday, where the largest in a series of nationwide climate rallies demanded President Barack Obama call a halt to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.Although I HATED the way the New York Times framed this story. Read more »
Stephen McDavid interviewed by CBC/SRC about climate change action: Stephen explains that the pipeline is a line in the sand. Using it, is crossing that line. I’ll explain why there is a line, further on in this post.
I was also interviewed. The CBC reporter was pleased to learn from me (off camera) that there is a car share co-op in Regina.
I know some people don’t see the big deal with the Keystone XL pipeline, thinking it’s just another way that people can make money. It’s more like a doomsday device, than economic stimulus. Taking into account the truth
. . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: #ForwardOnClimate Support in Regina: Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline