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Hello, Is There Anybody Out There - McJ's News Roundup 2/11/10

I am taking a break from all my 'participating' in Canadian politics. smiling As I wrote in my last blog post, there is a pro-democracy movement underway in Canada right now. Along with many ongoing projects and initiatives, Canadians across the country are sharing information and discussing the anti democratic and primarily secret actions of the current Progressive Conservative government. This is primarily taking place on a Face Book Group named CAPP (Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament). Currently, there are over 225,000 members, over 28,000 links, 142 videos, thousands of ongoing side discussions and numerous initiatives underway. The most visible face of the movement right now is 'flash rallies' that take place whenever the Prime Minister or his Cabinet Ministers show up in public. I am not a fan of Face Book and there is a whole lot of 'cat herding' going on over there however, surprisingly, so far it is working. The only way I can describe it to you is raucous, as in boisterous, rowdy and disorderly. I have no idea how much longer this will last and it is obvious (to me at least) that there are disinformation specialists at work there along with obvious trolls (provoking endless emotional responses) and the more subtle types who seek to create division and centralize power etc. All in all an interesting experience...only in Canada, eh!

I am not sure if there is anyone left out there to read this but here is a roundup of some of the articles I have been reading lately.
McJ's News Roundup - Feb. 11, 2010

President Peace Prize is busy spreading 'peace' around the world - notably near the Russian and Chinese borders and neither of these countries seem to want to get with his peace program.

Veiled Threats Directed against Russia: U.S. Expands Missile Shield Into Black Sea
by Rick Rozoff

Dmitry Rogozin, Russian envoy to NATO was quoted as saying "The U.S. is using Iran's actions to globalize its system of missile defense....Our military shouldn't believe some promises or intentions. We need to go on the assumption that a foreign military potential is approaching our borders."
Retired Colonel Igor Korotchenko said "Russia must warn Romania that if the elements of the U.S. missile shield are placed in the country they will become a target of Russia's preventive missile strikes."

Russia is all for nuclear strikes against potential aggressors

''The President informed the members of Russia's Security Council yesterday that he has approved two documents - the military doctrine and the Fundamentals of the state policy on nuclear deterrence until 2020,'' presidential press secretary Natalia Timakova said.
"The seizure of strategic initiative, dominance on the ground, at sea, and in aerospace will be the decisive factors in attaining goals,'' it said.

''Military actions will be characterised by the growing significance of high-precision, electromagnetic, laser, and infrasonic weapons, information control systems, unmanned aerial and autonomous sea vehicles, and guided robotised types of weapons and military hardware,'' it said.

China threatens U.S. sanctions over Taiwan arms

China threatened to impose sanctions on U.S. arms firms and cut cooperation with Washington unless it cancels a $6.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan, in an unprecedented move signaling Beijing's growing global power.

China's hawks demand cold war on the US

More than half of Chinese people questioned in a poll believe China and America are heading for a new "cold war".

The finding came after battles over Taiwan, Tibet, trade, climate change, internet freedom and human rights which have poisoned relations in the three months since President Barack Obama made a fruitless visit to Beijing.

..."This time China must punish the US," said Major-General Yang Yi, a naval officer. "We must make them hurt." A major-general in the People's Liberation Army (PLA), Luo Yuan, told a television audience that more missiles would be deployed against Taiwan. And a PLA strategist, Colonel Meng Xianging, said China would "qualitatively upgrade" its military over the next 10 years to force a showdown "when we're strong enough for a hand-to-hand fight with the US".

The Crotch Bomber has mostly dropped off the MSM radar however there is good news for Michael Chertoff, Perv Scanner sales are skyrocketing!

Christmas day crotch bomber tied to Israel, FBI

The Christmas Day "terrorist" is the latest in a series of staged incidents meant to make The Clash of Civilizations appear plausible and "the war on terrorism" rational.

The storyline does not hold together. Not even a little bit. As usual, the source of this media-fueled fear campaign traces directly to Tel Aviv - with a supporting role by the FBI
Israeli-American Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of Homeland Security (aka the rabbi’s son), now promotes firms that manufacturer highly intrusive body scanners that are terrific for spotting crotch bombers unless, of course, an Israeli firm is in charge of security.

News reports suggest that the stock of body-scanning firms soared $3 billion in value after this latest “terrorist” incident. Imagine the glee among clients of the Chertoff Group.

Meanwhile the U.S. has been transformed from the wealthiest nation to the world’s largest debtor. Nobel economist Joe Stiglitz projects a $3 trillion tab for a war based on fixed, flawed and outright fabricated intelligence—every cent of it borrowed, including $700 billion in interest.

Invasion of the Body Scanners

The concept of "stimulus" may soon take on new connotations in the days ahead. The federal government is poised to emplace full-body scanners at airports across the nation, capable of peering under a person's garments.
This is essentially a form of high-tech voyeurism masking as security, and it portends more such incursions into liberty and privacy. How did it come to this, and so suddenly at that?
This new paradigm of high-tech security by way of scanning devices has become lucrative in recent years, and promises to become even more so in the near future. However, as Mother Jones Senior Washington correspondent James Ridgeway noted in his blog Unsilent Generation, "the TSA has a dismal record of enriching private corporations with failed technologies, and there are signs that the latest miracle device may just bring more of the same.
Beyond the lack of guaranteed functionality, a number of additional critiques have appeared questioning the untested nature of these technologies and whether they are in fact safe for widespread use. As an article from NaturalNews (recently reprinted by Truthout) observed:

"In researching the biological effects of the millimeter wave scanners used for whole body imaging at airports, NaturalNews has learned that the energy emitted by the machines may damage human DNA."

The Olympics are about to start just down the road from me. I won't be attending the festivities. The torch was trotted around town here last week but I didn't make it out to see it. However, one of my daughters did get to meet Arnold Schwarznegger's buddy our provincial premier, Gordon Campbell, at a restaurant in town where she was working. He was here for the big celebration.

In related news, the Terminator will be taking that same torch for a run on a prominent part of the last leg of it's trip. To add to this, yesterday the torch took a detour over the Peace Arch into the US. All this comes as a surprise to Canadians, nobody here seems to have known any of this was going to happen.

Arnold Schwarzenegger will carry the Olympic torch

Despite zero Canadian heritage, Schwarzenegger will join Canadian heroes such as Steve Nash (two time NBA MVP), Walter Gretzky (father of Wayne Gretzky), and Michael Bublé (singer my mom really likes).

Even more perplexing is that Schwarzenegger will carry the torch on Friday morning, a scant twelve hours before the Opening Ceremony begins, meaning that an Austro-American politician will be a major figure during one of Canada's finest moments."

Schwarzenegger unworthy to carry our Olympic torch

John Furlong and VANO C should be ashamed of themselves for embarrassing all Canadians by allowing an Austrian-born American with no connection with this country or with the Olympics to carry our torch.
How Schwarzenegger, a national symbol of American violence and mindless U.S. media culture was deemed suitable to carry the Olympic torch for our Canadian ceremonies simply boggles the mind.

On a more serious note, the bills for this two week party for the rich, famous and connected are piling up, with cost overruns through the roof and security costs at the top of that heap. Turns out it was more expensive than they estimated to turn our beautiful city of Vancouver and the Whistler/Blackcomb resort towns into militarized security zones. Things like military helicopters, navy warships in the harbour, troops stationed on mountaintops and in town, snipers, private contractors, the US Department of Homeland Security, RCMP, local police, bylaw officers, high tech crowd control weapons, spy balloons, enhanced airport security and extra border controls don't come cheap! At least everyone will be safe, right?

Olympic security estimated to cost $900M

"It would be nice if we could do it for less, but our approach has not been to set a budget and then deliver security for that budget," said Peter van Loan, the federal minister in charge of Olympic security.

The province initially estimated its contribution for providing security for the Games would be $87.5 million. As recently as last July, Hansen announced the entire security budget would be $175 million.

And then of course there is this to think about along with the fact that the head electrical inspector for the 2010 Olympics was mysteriously let go about two weeks ago.

Could Vancouver 2010 be the next 9/11? (UPDATED 5pm EST 2-7-10)

" attack during the Olympics while it is being highly guarded would be the perfect way to bring in more police state measures and to more fully integrate the US and Canada into a functioning North American Union; I will provide some evidence of this taking place already but there may be another motive at work here to expand the “war on terror” into more nations while blaming an attack on their scapegoat for everything, Al-Qaeda; however, the question remains, is that what will happen? In more recent news, it looks as if Iran may be the one to take the blame."

Top electrician dismissed weeks before Olympics

The City of Vancouver has drawn fire from safety experts after letting go of its chief electrician just weeks before the opening ceremony of the 2010 Olympic Games.
"The chief electrical safety officer has all kinds of things to do in a busy time like this. There's all kinds of temporary installations going up, tents and all those activities that have electrical power in them."

Dave Jackson worked with Tsissereve until his retirement in 2007, and said he is one of the best of his profession.

"I was totally surprised to hear Ark had been dismissed," Jackson said. "He's probably recognized as the number one expert in Canada on electrical codes."

Industry leaders have written to Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson demanding Tsisserev be reinstated -- but the mayor says his plate is already full.

And finally from the HFF (that's the Holy F**k File).

A scheme only psychopaths could invent: Israeli mind-scanner planned for airports

As part of stringent measures to beef up airport security, US authorities may use an Israeli-made mind-reading scanner that allegedly predicts whether a passenger is a potential threat or not.
the system aims to project images onto airport screens, such as symbols affiliated with a terrorist group or signs only a terrorist would recognize.

Givon said while the WeCU system would use humans to do some of the observing, it would rely largely on concealed cameras or covert biometric sensors that can distinguish a rise in body temperature and heart rate, however slight it may be.

"One by one, you can screen out from the flow of people those with specific malicious intent,"...

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Canada's Pro-Democracy Movement

As I mentioned in an earlier comment I attended my first rally ever last weekend. A pro democracy rally smiling . Here is a small run down on what has been going on in Canada.

It's been estimated that on Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 more than 25,000 Canadians demonstrated in over 60 cites in Canada and around the world. They were protesting Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Proroguing (closing) of parliament for the second January in a row. What's notable is that it was a spontaneous protest having it's roots on a Face Book group started by University of Alberta student, Christopher White. Within 2-3 weeks it's membership rose to almost a quarter million (the largest and fastest growing FB Group in Canada). Canadians across the country finally began to wake up to the fact that their democracy was under attack.

Last year Stephen Harper prorogued the Canadian parliament to avoid a vote of non confidence in the house that would have brought his government down. This year it was to avoid having to answer the questions of a parliamentary committee. The committee was looking into the abuse and torture of Afghan detainees who were transferred to Afghan authorities by the Canadian Military. The proroguing of parliament means that over 30 bills that were making their way through the house have been dropped and have to be reintroduced, parliamentary committees are ended and must be restarted from scratch and government accountability offices (watchdogs) are closed for business. Making matters worse, Stephen Harper and his ministers then took to the airwaves to tell Canadians that the suspension of parliament was a routine procedure and that we really weren't concerned about what was happening to Afghan detainees. It was a big mistake on his part. It turns out Canadians actually do care. His Conservative government has dropped 10 points in the polls since then, putting them in a dead heat with the Liberal opposition.

This news clip from the Real News Network is a fairly decent rundown of events.

Stephen Harper's official excuse for shutting down parliament (there are a whole list of secondary excuses) is that his government needs to recalibrate their economic plan. No one seems to know for sure what exactly that means but apparently they can't walk and chew gum at the same time.

On a humerous note lots of Canadians have had fun with this piece of history.
Off with his head:
King Charles I dissolved the Parliament of England in 1628, after the Petition of Right, he gave a prorogation speech that effectively canceled all future meetings of the legislature, at least until he could get his finances in order.
King Charles I was subsequently captured, tried and convicted of high treason. He was beheaded Jan 30, 1649. The monarchy was then abolished and a republic called the Commonwealth of England was declared.

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Best Of The Season To All You Winter Patriots

Well the stockings are hung, and all that, and it is now Christmas here in BC.... I have written a hundred blog posts in my head over these past few months but just haven't managed to get them out and onto this screen.

Missing you cyber friends
And wishing you...


...and other good things to eat and drink. beauty, eh

Borrowed from Catherine Austin Fitts Solari Blog

"...Vermont Royster’s Christmas message of 1949 has been republished by the Wall Street Journal every Christmas since. As I can not think of a more beautiful way to celebrate the birth and life of Christ, it is reprinted here in its entirety, as it was in 2007."

In Hoc Anno Domini
When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.

Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.

But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression — for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?

There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?

Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.

And the voice from Galilee, which would defy Caesar, offered a new Kingdom in which each man could walk upright and bow to none but his God. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And he sent this gospel of the Kingdom of Man into the uttermost ends of the earth.

So the light came into the world and the men who lived in darkness were afraid, and they tried to lower a curtain so that man would still believe salvation lay with the leaders.

But it came to pass for a while in divers places that the truth did set man free, although the men of darkness were offended and they tried to put out the light. The voice said, Haste ye. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you, for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

Along the road to Damascus the light shone brightly. But afterward Paul of Tarsus, too, was sore afraid. He feared that other Caesars, other prophets, might one day persuade men that man was nothing save a servant unto them, that men might yield up their birthright from God for pottage and walk no more in freedom.

Then might it come to pass that darkness would settle again over the lands and there would be a burning of books and men would think only of what they should eat and what they should wear, and would give heed only to new Caesars and to false prophets. Then might it come to pass that men would not look upward to see even a winter’s star in the East, and once more, there would be no light at all in the darkness.

And so Paul, the apostle of the Son of Man, spoke to his brethren, the Galatians, the words he would have us remember afterward in each of the years of his Lord:

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

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Open Thread: Stand By Me

I have been gathering up a lot of info on a variety of subject so I thought an open thread might be a good place to put it.

What's everybody else been up to? It's been kinda quiet around here lately. What's on you mind? What have you been reading? What are you listening to? Let's hear form you. typing away

Stand By Me: The International Version
Stand By Me is a favorite song of mine as well as everyone in my family. This version is from the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", the first of many "songs around the world" being released independently. This cover of the Ben E. King classic is by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it traveled the globe. It was ten years in the making. Producer Mark Johnson was interviewed by Bill Moyer on the Journal about the documentary. You can watch the interview here.

You are in for a treat if you haven't seen this before. This is way cool. cool Enjoy!

After you watch the video, if you cut and paste - Playing for Change: Song Around the World "One Love" - into the search box that appears at the top of the embedded video it will find another of these international musical collaborations - a cover of Bob Marley's 'One Love'. Just click on the first choice it gives you.

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George Galloway labeled a terrorist supporter and banned from entering Canada for giving humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza

The outspoken peace activist and five term British MP, George Galloway, is scheduled to give a series of speeches titled "Resisting War from Gaza to Kandahar" in four Canadian cities this week. Earlier this month Mr. Galloway led the 99-vehicle 'Viva Palestina' convoy bringing a generator, medicine, food, clothing and toys from the UK into the Gaza strip after an historic 24-day journey through Europe and Africa. 300 people made the 5000 mile journey in a convoy that stretched for 3 miles.
This incredible, humanitarian accomplishment, that went unremarked in the main stream press, was
a moment cherished by the Palestinians in Gaza. In a letter of thank you to George Galloway, Dalal Alhusseini Muhtadi writes:

"I welcome you as a Palestinian brother of mine...I think Mother Palestine is weeping today with joy not sadness, for having such a son, a hero, that along the many, many long years of suffering, refused to forget.... Refused to forget the horrifying suffering, the tremendous pain, the inhumane genocide...Her rape and torture in every way possible...And he kept on going and going...Until justice and defeat of the siege prevailed. Sir, this is not just a victory for Mother Palestine....but rather a victory for all of humanity indeed.

Upon entering Gaza, Mr. Galloway handed over the vehicles and supplies to the Hamas authorities.

Last week, after receiving letters from the Jewish Defense League (JDL) and B'nai Brith urging the Canadian government to do "everything possible to keep this hater away", the Canadian Border Services Agency informed Mr. Galloway he was considered a threat to the national security of Canada and would not be allowed to enter the country. The story is rather confusing (mostly because the officials involved keep changing their stories and passing the buck) but initially we learned it was because of his views on the Afghanistan war. Now, we're told it is because under Canada's anti-terrorism laws he is considered to have "financially supported" a terrorist group when he delivered humanitarian aid to Gaza's Hamas government.

Jason Kenney, Canada's Minister of Immigration and Multiculturism, has been under fire all week for the decision as Canadians rallied in protest. In a bizarre statement, Kenney's spokesman Alykhan Velshi, told Britain's Channel Four news that Galloway was an "infandous street-corner Cromwell" that would not be allowed into Canada to "pee on our carpet". (Watch here.)

George Galloway fired back with a statement of his own saying a "quick trawl" established that Kenney is "a gay-baiter, gung-ho armchair warrior, with an odd habit of exceeding his immigration brief" who "three years ago...attacked the pro-Western prime minister of Lebanon Fuad Saniora for being ungrateful to Canada for its support of Israeli bombardment of his country." And further said,

"being banned by such a man is like being told to sit up straight by the hunchback of Notre Dame or being lectured on due diligence by Lord Conrad Black – a Kenney ally, now breaking stones in the hot sun. On another, and personal, note for a Scotsman to be excluded from Canada is like being turned away from the family home."

March 20th in a Channel 4 News interview, Meir Weinstein (of the JDL) took credit for having had George Galloway banned from Canada. Galloway, who has legally challenged the Canadian Government's ruling, vowed to speak to Canadians by other means if he is not allowed to enter Canada. Weinstein threatened that "we will see to it that the Canadian government will be monitoring every individual and organization that will have anything to do with it” and that he and the JDL "will be looking into these organizations that invited him… their links to terror groups as well” and that he will “see to it that the Canadian Government will be monitoring every individual and organization that has anything to do with George Galloway”.

Galloway's lawyers were in court today to have the ruling overturned. The court room was packed for the hearing and there was a demonstration outside the court house. The judge will make a decision on the case before 2 pm tomorrow. Regardless of the outcome, a large convoy of lawyers, MP's and antiwar activists will be meeting Mr. Galloway at the US/Canada border on Tuesday.

Galloway is currently on his US leg of the speaking tour, having no problem getting into the US because he is not considered a terrorist supporter there. Unlike Galloway, the JDL has been called by the FBI "a violent extremist Jewish organization in their report "Terrorism 2000/2001" and whose activities have since been described in congressional testimony by FBI agents as terrorist".

George Galloway will be on "The Hour" with George Stroumboulopoulos, Canada's award-winning late-night TV talk show, on Monday, March 30. If you're in Canada, tune in on CBC at 11 pm. If not, catch the interview after it airs at (I'll embed the video here if I can.)

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Like totally bff, Zippy and Condi Clinton

Juan Cole informs us that Clinton is in for a mess of critical emails from far rightwing Revisionist-Zionists because she 'slammed Israel' on their planned demolition of 88 Palestinian houses in Jerusalem. She said, "Clearly this kind of activity is unhelpful and not in keeping with the obligations entered into under the 'road-map'... It is an issue that we intend to raise with the government of Israel and the government at the municipal level in Jerusalem."
Well, I'd hardly call it 'slamming', more like whimpering, but then any sliver of a hope for that promised change we've heard so much about is a good reason for us to "[send] her a supportive message for daring to speak out on the issue." Right? wink
What she didn't dare to speak out on was Israeli's atrocious actions in Gaza. In fact, she didn't even bother to go there. I think it was because she was totally excited to see her bff Zippy. Check it out - what do you think?


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