November is right around the corner, and befitting the monotonous return of a least loved season, this year it means too another turn of the civic election cycle. It's also time for our neighbours south to head to the polls for mid-term elections; and, as with all things it seems, America's November contest has outshone us again, with the big time fraud and election-fixing Stephen Harper and his insipid robo-callers can only envy.
Reporting investigator, Greg Palast is just returned to New York after a trip into the heart of Republican America, where he and his crack team of researchers recently wrapped a year-long investigation for Al Jazeera America; obtaining among other things the first-ever copies of the lists of targeted voters, that is; voters subject to being “scrubbed” from voter rolls. And surprise surprise, the list lurches heavily towards Blacks, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans. Who could be behind such skullduggery? Stay tuned...
Greg Palast has been on the trail of ballot bandits for a long time now; breaking the story on George W. Bush's 2000 election win assist by orange juice heiress Katherine Harris' mass purgative of Florida's voter rolls.
Then, as an elections official, Harris disallowed thousands of Black "felons" access to the voter's booth. Small problem: they were innocent. Palast is also the author of several books, including New York Times bestsellers: 'Billionaires & Ballot Bandits,' 'Armed Madhouse,' and 'The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.' His latest is 'Vultures' Picnic,' named by the BBC's Newsnight Review as "Book of the Year for 2012."
In addition to appearing in Britain's Guardian newspaper, (who regard him as "the most important investigative journalist of our time...") and on the BBC flagship news program Newsnight, Greg's reports are featured stateside by The Nation Magazine, Rolling Stone, Harper's Magazine, and online at Truthout.org and at GregPalast.com. Palast film exposés include: 'Billionaires and Ballot Bandits - The Movie,' 'Vultures and Vote Rustlers.' 'Why We Occupy - Palast Live!,' 'Big Easy to Big Empty,' 'Bush Family Fortunes, ' 'The Assassination of Hugo Chavez,' 'Palast Investigates,' 'The Election File,' and with Jeremy Scahill 'Big Noise: From Black Water to White Powder.'
Greg Palast in the first half.
And; though mere pikers compared to America's anti-democrats, Canadian politicians are learning how to spike the process here too. Federally, Stephen Harper's New Government of Canada has stifled federal employees of all stripes, barring especially scientists from talking un-minded to the press, and has allowed tax agency intimidation tactics against non-profit organisations with inconvenient politics to continue. Right here in BC meanwhile, the Chirsty Clark government recently proposed changes to the Society Act - something promising to effect, according to the West Coast Environmental Law Association, "community development organizations, church groups, secular groups, community organizations, and hunting groups" among many others. Particularly contentious is the seemingly innocuous provision, s.99.
Zaria Stoffman is an articling student with the Environmental Law Centre Society, or ELC right here at UVic. That society's mission is to "provide research and advocacy on public interest environmental issues" and provide for an social environment where "local communities, environmental groups, and First Nations have the legal tools and resources to advocate effectively for the restoration, conservation, and protection of this province's unique and diverse environment."
Zaria Stoffman and BC Liberals' Society Act engineering in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news from our city's streets and beyond there too. But first, Greg Palast and the purge this time.
Resistance takes many forms, and in the fight against the criminality and impunity enjoyed by Canadian-flagged mining corporations around the world a diversity of tactics is required. With that in mind, the Victoria's Mining Justice Action Committee or MJAC is hosting Communities in Resistance and the Art of Solidarity Project, a visual arts exhibition and spoken word performance event presented this Friday at the Fernwood Community Association Theatre.
Nedjo Rogers is a playwright and performer, coordinator for the BC-Peru partnership project, (focused on the environmental impacts of Canadian mining) and member of MJAC. His mock epic verse play, The Trois-Rivières Tales featured in this year's Fringe Festival.
Nedjo Rogers in the first half.
And; the recent Hollywood release 'Kill the Messenger' has rekindled interest in investigative reporter, Gary Webb. Nearly twenty years ago, Webb's expose on CIA involvement in creating the 1980's crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles threatened a political firestorm. Instead, the story was effectively extinguished by major media outlets who rather than expand on Webb's Dark Alliance series, chose to intimidate the publishers and challenge the reporter's credibility.
Robert Parry is an investigative reporter, author, editor, and co-founder of Consortium News.com, the internet's first news magazine website. Parry broke many stories from Latin America during the Dirty War years for Newsweek and the Associated Press, and followed those with revelations of the Iran-Contra scandal that contributed greatly to George H.W. Bush's single term presidency. Parry, along with Brian Barger, first exposed the Contra-cocaine scandal for the Associated Press in 1985, and recently wrote a piece about the Washington Post's attempts, in light no doubt of its unflattering portrayal in 'Kill the Messenger,' to smear again the late Gary Webb. The Post says Webb's story made "extraordinary claims [and] require extraordinary proof" not provided.
Robert Parry's book titles include: 'Secrecy and Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq,' 'Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush,' and his latest 'America's Stolen Narrative: From Washington and Madison, to Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes, to Barack Obama'.
Robert Parry and the press sliming again Gary Webb in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of good things and otherwise going on on our streets, and beyond there too, in the coming week.
But first, Nedjo Rogers and the Arts of Resistance.
If you feel there's a disconnect between the kind of values we in the West espouse and the actions our agents in government take to protect and project those values it's important you know a couple of things: First; you are not suffering cultural dissonance, and secondly; the government you see is neither yours, nor what you think it is.
Lurking below the waterline, more ominous than any iceberg, lay the real power running this country, that country, and perhaps every country.
Averse to the light, and invisible at night, it's the Shadow Government that rules you, and it doesn't share any of the values its daytime doppelganger maintains.
Tom Engelhardt is an educator, journalist, news and book editor, co-founder of the American Empire Project, creator of the Nation Institute's news website, TomDispatch.com, (where his too numerous to iterate articles appear) and author whose book titles include: 'The American Way of War,' 'The United States of Fear,' 'The End of Victory Culture,' 'Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050,' with Nick Turse, the novel, 'The Last Days of Publishing,' and his latest, 'Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.'
Tom Engelhardt in the first half.
And; local elections are looming with contests for municipalities, city councils, mayoral and CRD board positions just a month away. Though not on anyone's official radar screen, amalgamation so far seems to be one of the key talking points on the stump.
In Victoria, incumbents will have to face the electorate and answer for massive infrastructure project cost overruns - any buyers out there for a nearly designed blue bridge? - while the CRD and myriad municipalities try to explain why the lower island can't get its shit together on a sewage treatment solution stagnating for years now.
Richard Atwell knows all about that debate, he's director of STAG, or the Sewage Treatment Action Group, a collection of citizens promoting the R-I-T-E solution for our daily pollution; one that is: Respectful of communities; uses Innovative technologies; is Taxpayer friendly; and, Environmentally sound., and campaign organizer for StopABadPlan.ca, the group most responsible for the CRD's about face last year on its plan to locate a biosolids plant in a Vic West neighbourhood. Now the software engineer and Saanich resident has entered the race to unseat Saanich's near perennial mayor, Frank Leonard.
Richard Atwell changing gears to change the old guard in Saanich in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of some of the good things going on on the streets of our city and beyond there too. But first, Tom Engelhardt and lighting the corners where the Shadow Government lives.
Stephen Harper's New Government announced it will render a decision on the fate of the Peace River Valley on October 22. The crux of the matter involves the long-proposed and ever contentious scheme to dam again the Peace. Site-C would be the third hydro dam on the river, and if placed where planned would reduce already dwindling wildlife habitat, submerging First Nations hopes of maintaining traditional livelihood opportunities in the region, while flooding too some of the province's best farmland. Naturally, there's more than a few local detractors, and many more from down south are opposed; so, just who supports Site C? Andrea Morison is spokesperson for the PVEA, Peace Valley Environmental Association. She holds a Masters of Natural Resource Management degree and has worked in that field in both Ontario and BC for more than 25 years; the last three years of which has been devoted to the PVEA's involvement with the environmental assessment process for Site C. Her prior experience is in forestry, and the oil and gas sectors. Andrea Morison in the first half. And; way down south, Argentina way, President Cristina Kirchner's government has done the unthinkable and defied foreign "adventure" capitalists' attempts to cash in on Argentine debt they bought for centavos on the peso when the country was on its financial knees. A US court has upheld the so-called vulture's claims, but Kirchner has so far refused to budge. It's meant massive pressure being brought to bear on the country, still digging itself out of a financial hole largely dug by the fascist regimes of the 1980's. Reporting investigator, Greg Palast trained at Chicago's infamous School of Economics under Milton Friedman, Godfather of Trickle Down Economics and inspiration to the Gordon Gekko mantra of the era, "Greed is Good." He transitioned into journalism because the reporters he was feeding stories of malfeasance in high places routinely screwed them up, or allowed their editors bleed them white. But, as a trailblazing DIY investigator, he soon discovered; having a great story to tell doesn't mean the media will tell it. Palast ventured across the Atlantic, finding a home with London's Guardian newspaper, and later presenting his investigations on the BBC flagship television news program, Newsnight. Greg Palast is the author of several books, including New York Times bestsellers, 'Billionaires & Ballot Bandits,' 'Armed Madhouse,' and 'The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.' His latest is 'Vultures' Picnic,' named by the BBC's Newsnight Review as "Book of the Year for 2012." In addition to Britain's Guardian, (who regards him as "the most important investigative journalist of our time...") and the BBC, Greg's reports are featured Stateside by The Nation Magazine, Rolling Stone, Harper's Magazine, and online at Truthout.org. Greg Palast film exposés include: 'Billionaires and Ballot Bandits - The Movie,' 'Vultures and Vote Rustlers.' 'Why We Occupy - Palast Live!,' 'Big Easy to Big Empty,' 'Bush Family Fortunes, ' 'The Assassination of Hugo Chavez,' 'Palast Investigates,' 'The Election File,' and with Jeremy Scahill 'Big Noise: From Black Water to White Powder.' Greg Palast and Argentina's circling vultures in the second half. And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news from our city's streets and beyond there too. But first, Andrea Morison and seperating Site C promises from reality. 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.uvic.ca. And now heard at Simon Fraser University's http://www.cjsf.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/ G-Radio is dedicated to social justice, the environment, community, and providing a forum for people and issues not covered in the corporate media.
Yesterday, the World Wildlife Fund's biennial Living Planet Report reported: "World populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles fell overall by 52 percent between 1970 and 2010." Imagine; within most of our lifetimes, half of the world's non-human inhabitants are no more, primarily due to anthropogenic activities. And yet, human desires are demanding ever more from the natural world even as our designs on nature diminish it.
Nowhere perhaps is that incongruity more palpable than right here in British Columbia where the majestic Pacific ocean's coming to shore is met by deforestation, industrialization, over-population, and the introduction of foreign species into an ecosystem unprepared to cope.
Scott Renyard is a filmmaking scientist whose screen credits include more than a 100 film and television projects; projects that have seen him wear many hats, including: writer, director, and producer; as he did for the award-winning documentary, 'Who Killed Miracle?' Long-time Victoria residents may remember the controversial death of the orphaned Orca "adopted" by the now defunct Sealand of the Pacific aquarium in Oak Bay. Renyard's latest film, 'The Pristine Coast' debuted last week at Vancouver's International Film Festival. In it, Scott chronicles marine biologist, Alexandra Morton's epic undertaking to document the effects of Atlantic Salmon fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago and her efforts to protect the migration routes of wild Pacific Salmon all over the province.
Scott Renyard in the first half.
And; Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the United Nations' General Assembly this week. Just weeks after causing the deaths of more than 2100 Palestinian civilians, and destroying much of the Gaza Strip, an unrepentant Netanyahu lectured the Assembly on the need to further isolate and sanction Iran, a nation that has attacked no-one; ever. As the news circus moves on to other hotspots, the fate of captured Gaza and the Occupied West Bank is again overshadowed and forgotten.
Jon Elmer is a Canadian freelance photographer and journalist who has lived in and filed reports from Occupied Palestine on and off for the better part of the last dozen years. He has too reported on indigenous movements in the Basque country, Western Sahara, and right here in Canada. Jon's work has appeared at myriad sites on the internet, including; Inter Press News Service, Le Monde Diplomatique, The Progressive, and Al Jazeera English, and at his web site JonElmer.ca.
Jon Elmer and staying with the Palestinian story in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us newz from the streets of the city and beyond. But first, Scott Renyard and defending British Columbia's pristine coast.
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.uvic.ca. And now heard at Simon Fraser University's http://www.cjsf.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/
G-Radio is dedicated to social justice, the environment, community, and providing a forum for people and issues not covered in the corporate media.
Dedicated to social justice, the environment, community, and providing a forum for people and issues not covered in corporate and state media, Gorilla Radio airs live every Monday, 5pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM; online at: Gorilla-Radio.com