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Gender: Female
Hometown: Saskatchewan
Home country: Canada
Member since: Sat Jul 9, 2005, 11:46 PM
Number of posts: 11,583

Journal Archives

Israel’s Assault Obscures Racism, Occupation, Colonization

By Rashid Khalidi
Source: Alternet
July 12, 2014


Despite its potential for getting out of the control of the protagonists, and despite the psychological impact of the rocket attacks on Israelis, this conflict has certain advantages for the Israeli government. Its forces are once again using potent American weapons to shoot human fish in the barrel that is Gaza, an open air 360 sq. km. prison for 1.8 million people. This is taking place under dehumanizing and racist rubric dear to Israeli security specialists of “mowing the grass” – as if the civilians who are falling by the score are no more than inanimate weeds. This video game war (that is what it is for the Israeli drone operators and pilots doing the bombardment) serves to let off ultra-nationalistic Israeli steam while simultaneously changing the subject at a moment when, for the first time, the West has really gazed at settler violence and the regular abuse of children by Israeli state, after the burning alive of a Jerusalem boy and the brutal beating of his young cousin. Those atrocities, well reported, with video footage of the beating and graphic detail about the murder, were too awful to ignore. Even the spin which tried to describe the perpetrators as outcasts in Israeli society could not disguise the fact that, as an Israeli journalist wrote, those who carried out the atrocity are “the children of the nationalistic and racist generation –Netanyahu’s children.” That said, we have yet to see the US media report regularly on the 1407 Palestinian children NOT engaged in hostilities who have been killed by Israel troops and settlers since 2000, with an average of over two of them dying every single week of those 14 years. Nor have we heard about the Palestinian minors regularly kidnapped, detained (214 of them were being held in May 2014) and even tortured by Israeli forces without charge or trial.

Earlier, the murder of three young Israelis living in a West Bank settlement gave the Israeli army the excuse to launch its dragnet across the West Bank, targeting Hamas (which to this day has not claimed the kidnapping-killings). This was mainly designed to achieve another cherished Israeli objective: wrecking the recent Palestinian unity government. Heaven forbid that the Palestinians unify their ranks and strengthen their debilitated national movement. This is unacceptable from Netanyahu’s point of view, as it might enable them better to resist Israel’s so far unstoppable colonial land-rush. Advancing this colonial settlement project is the core objective of the Netanyahu government, as it has been the core objective of most of its predecessors since at least 1977.

Rockets fired from Gaza also have the inestimable value for Israeli leaders of letting them do whatever they want to Gaza while receiving the usual pious US support for Israeli “self-defense.” This blanket support enables them to disregard the recent warning of a White House official that “Israel confronts an undeniable reality: it cannot maintain military control of another people indefinitely. Doing so is not only wrong but a recipe for resentment and recurring instability.” As usual, the besieged and incarcerated people of Gaza will pay the highest price, while those of the West Bank and East Jerusalem will continue to suffer the humiliation and routine brutality of occupation and dispossession. And as usual the media will swallow the standard hasbara red herrings, will ignore background and context, and will report this story with the clock starting a month ago with the abductions of the three Israeli settlers, or with the first rockets fired from Gaza.

But like most recent Israeli encounters with the Palestinians, like every previous assault launched against Gaza, this will be a losing maneuver. In the long run it will it backfire, producing another crack in the edifice of Israel’s illegal and morally bankrupt project of perpetual occupation and unceasing colonization. Just the other day, Netanyahu let slip what he had never uttered before: in future negotiations, Israel will insist on permanent occupation, meaning permanent subjugation of the Palestinians. All of this is in service of the Revisionist-Likud dream of unlimited settlement to achieve a greater Eretz Israel. However, the ongoing unrest in Arab East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied territories as well as in Palestinian communities within Israel is another warning. It is the third such warning since the first intifada began in 1987, that this inhuman and racist project is unsustainable, and there is simply no way that it will pass: it cannot proceed in calm and tranquility, as some dream, because it cannot force the Palestinians to submit.

Full article: http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/israels-assault-obscures-racism-occupation-colonization/

The Return of George Orwell and Big Brother’s War on Palestine, Ukraine and Truth

By John Pilger
Source: teleSUR English
July 12, 2014

In February, the US mounted one of its “colour” coups against the elected government in Ukraine, exploiting genuine protests against corruption in Kiev. Obama’s assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland personally selected the leader of an “interim government”. She nicknamed him “Yats”. Vice President Joe Biden came to Kiev, as did CIA Director John Brennan. The shock troops of their putsch were Ukrainian fascists.

For the first time since 1945, a neo-Nazi, openly anti-Semitic party controls key areas of state power in a European capital. No Western European leader has condemned this revival of fascism in the borderland through which Hitler’s invading Nazis took millions of Russian lives. They were supported by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), responsible for the massacre of Jews and Russians they called “vermin”. The UPA is the historical inspiration of the present-day Svoboda Party and its fellow-travelling Right Sector. Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok has called for a purge of the “Moscow-Jewish mafia” and “other scum”, including gays, feminists and those on the political left.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States has ringed Russia with military bases, nuclear warplanes and missiles as part of its Nato Enlargement Project. Reneging on a promise made to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that Nato would not expand “one inch to the east”, Nato has, in effect, militarily occupied eastern Europe. In the former Soviet Caucasus, Nato’s expansion is the biggest military build-up since the Second World War.

A third of the population of Ukraine are Russian-speaking and bilingual. They have long sought a democratic federation that reflects Ukraine’s ethnic diversity and is both autonomous and independent of Moscow. Most are neither “separatists” nor “rebels” but citizens who want to live securely in their homeland. Separatism is a reaction to the Kiev junta’s attacks on them, causing as many as 110,000 (UN estimate) to flee across the border into Russia. Typically, they are traumatised women and children.

On 2 May, in Odessa, 41 ethnic Russians were burned alive in the trade union headquarters with police standing by. There is horrifying video evidence. The Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh hailed the massacre as “another bright day in our national history”. In the American and British media, this was reported as a “murky tragedy” resulting from “clashes” between “nationalists” (neo-Nazis) and “separatists” (people collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine). The New York Times buried it, having dismissed as Russian propaganda warnings about the fascist and anti-Semitic policies of Washington’s new clients. The Wall Street Journal damned the victims – “Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says”. Obama congratulated the junta for its “restraint”.

Full article: http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/the-return-of-george-orwell-and-big-brothers-war-on-palestine-ukraine-and-truth-2/

The Map: A Palestinian Nation Thwarted & Speaking Truth to Power

By Juan Cole
Source: Informed Comment
July 13, 2014

… As part of my original posting, I mirrored a map of modern Palestinian history that has the virtue of showing graphically what has happened to the Palestinians politically and territorially in the past century.

(Juan Cole's link to map is broken but I snagged it)

Andrew Sullivan then mirrored the map from my site, which set off a lot of thunder and noise among anti-Palestinian writers like Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, but shed very little light. (PS,the map as a hard copy mapcard is available from Sabeel.)

The map is useful and accurate. It begins by showing the British Mandate of Palestine as of the mid-1920s. The British conquered the Ottoman districts that came to be the Mandate during World War I (the Ottoman sultan threw in with Austria and Germany against Britain, France and Russia, mainly out of fear of Russia).

But because of the rise of the League of Nations and the influence of President Woodrow Wilson’s ideas about self-determination, Britain and France could not decently simply make their new, previously Ottoman territories into mere colonies. The League of Nations awarded them “Mandates.” Britain got Palestine, France got Syria (which it made into Syria and Lebanon), Britain got Iraq.

The map attracted so much ire and controversy not because it is inaccurate but because it clearly shows what has been done to the Palestinians, which the League of Nations had recognized as not far from achieving statehood in its Covenant. Their statehood and their territory has been taken from them, and they have been left stateless, without citizenship and therefore without basic civil and human rights. The map makes it easy to see this process. The map had to be stigmatized and made taboo. But even if that marginalization of an image could be accomplished, the squalid reality of Palestinian statelessness would remain, and the children of Gaza would still be being malnourished by the deliberate Israeli policy of blockading civilians. The map just points to a powerful reality; banishing the map does not change that reality.

Full article: http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/the-map-a-palestinian-nation-thwarted-speaking-truth-to-power/

Gaza civilians waiting ‘for the slaughterhouse’

By Amira Hass
Source: Haaretz
July 13, 2014

“On Thursday afternoon a building in the neighborhood was bombed. With a missile. All the air filled up with light, a sort of big ball of fire we only started seeing during this attack,” a woman I will call T. related at noon on Friday. Like all Gazans, they didn’t sleep at night and fell asleep only at around 8 A.M. Later on, A. said the target was presumably a Hamas institution located in the building, in Gaza City’s Tel al-Hawa neighborhood, but the missile missed and killed Dr. Anas Rizaq Abu al-Kas, 33, in his clinic. He was one of 114 Palestinians killed by the Israel Defense Forces, as of Saturday morning, including 26 children and 18 women. (By Saturday night the death toll had already reached at least 151).

The physician’s “father and mother were also killed, also in error, during Operation Pillar of Defense, in 2012,” A. added.

T., in an uncharacteristically weak voice, continued. “At night we wait for day. In the day we wait for night. Waiting for our turn in the slaughterhouse. We heard just this morning how the entire Ghanam family, from Rafah, died. Another family that was killed,” T. says.

A. tells me that one member of the Ghanam family was an Islamic Jihad member. In its daily report issued late Friday, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights wrotethat early Friday morning: “Israeli warplanes launched 3 missiles without a prior warning at a house belonging to ‘Abdul Raziq Hassan al-Ghannam, 58. As a result, he, his wife, his son, his daughter and his relative were killed: 1) ‘Abdul Raziq Hassan al-Ghannam, 58; 2) Ghalia Deeb al-Ghannam, 57; 3) Mahmoud ‘Abdul Raziq al-Ghannam, 28; 4) Wissam ‘Abdul Raziq al-Ghannam, 31; and 5) Kifah Shaker al-Ghannam, 33, who is deaf. The owner’s son, Hussam, 20, survived the attack although he was wounded. Seven neighbors were also wounded.”

Full article: http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/gaza-civilians-waiting-for-the-slaughterhouse/

Oops! Just more collateral damage. Sickening.

Putin, Ukraine and the Future of Europe

By Jack Rasmus
Source: teleSUR English
July 14, 2014

As the military crisis in the Ukraine has intensified with the fall of key rebel cities, like Slavyansk and Kramatagorsk, and as new decisive conflicts for the capitols of Donetsk and Lugansk regions are about to take place, in the West some are beginning to ask why Putin has not more directly intervened on behalf of the rebels in the eastern breakaway regions? After initially having mustered Russian forces on the eastern border of Ukraine late last winter, why has Putin pulled back and ordered them to ‘stand down’?

When the Ukraine crisis entered a new stage last February 2014, the question of the day five months ago was ‘would Putin and Russia’ directly intervene militarily’? Today the key question has become ‘why hasn’t Putin intervened’ and ‘why does it appear increasingly that he will not’?

Over the past decade, the USA built up its support among proto-fascist elements on the ground in the Ukraine, funding these forces to the tune of a US admitted $5 billion. It then elbowed aside EU negotiators and intervened directly last February, when it appeared the European Union was about to strike an economic deal that was not politically aggressive enough in the USA view.

The USA has clearly wanted political regime change all along, not just a favorable economic deal with Ukraine. The so-called ‘Orange Revolution’ initiated a decade ago had succeeded only in part in breaking the Ukraine from the Russian economic and political orbit. The Ukrainian crisis of 2013 offered a new opportunity to complete the unfinished political task of the Orange Revolution. But the Europeans, mired in their own economic problems, were not interested in taking the lead.

Full article: http://zcomm.org/zcommentary/putin-ukraine-and-the-future-of-europe/

Tormenting Gaza

By Richard Falk
Source: Aljazeera
July 14, 2014


Symbolic gestures

On the basis of this disillusioning global response to Israeli aggression, it should become clear that the Palestinian struggle for self-determination and justice needs to be waged worldwide primarily at the grassroots level. It has never seemed more reasonable and morally necessary for persons of good will to lend maximum support to the BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaign that has been in any event growing rapidly. It is also time to demand that governments adopt sanctions seeking Israeli withdrawal from the occupation of Palestine.

An appropriate further response would be for the UN General Assembly to recommend an arms embargo imposed on Israel. This would be a largely symbolic gesture as Israel has become a major weapons maker, exporting arms to many countries with a sales pitch stressing the benefits of “field-tested” weaponry.

It is painfully evident that state-to-state diplomacy and the UN have failed to produce a just peace despite decades of fruitless talks.

It is time to acknowledge that these talks were carried on in bad faith: while the diplomats sat around the table, Israeli settlements relentlessly expanded, apartheid structures deepened their hold on the West Bank and Jerusalem, and Gaza was cordoned off as a hostage enclave to be attacked by Israel at will and a bloody sacrifice exacted.

Full article: http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/tormenting-gaza/

Big Oil: buying Canada's silence?

Pipeline giant TransCanada just secured an entire town's silence with a $30,000 "gift" -- preventing the town council from speaking out about a dangerous new tar sands pipe. But a massive uproar can still kill this dirty deal and win back the town’s voice.

Giant oil companies are fighting hard to snake these tar sands pipelines across our country -- and deals like this let them plow through without resistance. But now the company is on the defensive and says that they will cut out the silencing clause “if necessary”. On Monday, Mattawa’s town council will meet and have the chance to demand they to do just that.

It isn’t easy to stand up to a huge corporation, but the small Ontario town of Mattawa can do it. We only have days to act! Click to sign the petition, and Avaaz will deliver it straight to the city council meeting.


TransCanada is building its “Energy East” pipeline carrying tar sands oil just 60km east of Mattawa. In 2012 they donated money for a rescue vehicle for the town -- and now a condition bars the council from publicly commenting on the pipeline. But another part of the contract gives a way out if both sides agree. On Monday, Mattawa town council can pass a resolution demanding that the silencing clause be removed -- and put the pressure on TransCanada to return freedom of speech to the town.

No town in Canada should be prevented from looking out for the interests of its citizens, especially in the face of pipelines that could devastate their areas with a leak. And critics say this one could hurt our climate even more than the Keystone Pipeline! TransCanada says this isn’t a gag order, that it actually protects the town from having to say nice things about the pipeline. But that’s ridiculous – the deal itself describes the ban on comments as a “benefit” the town must provide for the company.

On Monday, Mattawa’s town council can stand up to Big Oil on behalf of all of Canada’s communities and say that our silence can’t be bought. Click now and tell Mattawa that we’ve got their back.


The Avaaz community has never been afraid to take on the power of Big Oil in Canada, from backing the people of BC against the Enbridge pipeline to supporting the rights of First Nations communities against the tar sands. Let’s do it again now against TransCanada’s big pipeline payoff.

With hope and determination,

Jeremy, Danny, Ari, Emma, Ricken, Melanie and the rest of the Avaaz staff


TransCanada donation to Ontario town comes with ‘no comment’ condition (Toronto Star)

TransCanada's Contract With Mattawa Requires Town To Stay Silent About Company (Huffington Post)

TransCanada Buys Town’s Silence On Tar Sands Pipeline Proposal For $28K (ThinkProgress)


Whoot! Things are going as expected for the far-right wing Ukrainian coup!

'The coup army drove 500 miles to the east to conduct these atrocities. The people of the east did not invade the west. The separatists are defending their families and way of life. There are 7.5 million ethnic Russians in the east. They should have never been labeled terrorists. They are the good guys. They are the sons and fathers of the women and children of east Ukraine. The people who have fled to Russia as refugees. Please quit kidding yourself. The media has lied to you and continues to cover it up. Innocent people are dying and being tortured and kidnapped. Open your fucking eyes and please help stop this madness. Peace.' - from a good DU'er whose articles showing the truth of what's been happening are banned over and over ...... for no other reason than to protect those people by some here who have no skin in the game themselves, but are so quick to dismiss the suffering of these people in favour of more IMF control and right-wing horrors for those they'll never have to ever think about again. I've gotten to know that DU'er and he has more compassion in his little finger than most have even the capability of pretending to show. So knock yourselves out and alert on this, too ....... I shared his views from the start and do so to this day. Maybe you can get everyone banned whose opinions disagree with your own, but it's pretty cowardly, Foxy news-like behaviour. Do your best, though.

Ukrainians fleeing to Russia for safety


'Half a million refugees have now fled the fighting. He also states that they all blame the Kiev coup military that is trying to kill them.'


'Refugees report the Ukrainian military is trying to wipe them out and indiscriminately bombed civilian houses in Slavyansk for a month and a half. It also explains how children and families have been terrorized and have been living in dark basements for 2 months with no electricity, food or water.' (Strange, I see no other reporting, compassion or empathy whatsoever for these people .... it's like they've been forgotten. Where are their new IMF overlords, do they have no say at all in this suffering? After all, these are their new subjects).

These people don't blame the separatists (who incidentally are the fathers and sons of the refugees themselves) instead they blame the monsters in Kiev.

Ugh .... we've been flooded here in southeast Saskatchewan.

I was away for the weekend and got back to this in my back yard. The water had already gone down quite a bit by the time I made it home.

- Obie is wondering what the heck is going on with his play place.

Had to drive 4 extra hours to find roads that weren't washed or cut out just to get home. No. 1 highway closed all over the place with bridges washed out and in some places, no road to be seen. My nephew has little calves lost somewhere, they've taken canoes out to see if they can find them. The fields are completely under water. Mine and many other towns have been declared disaster areas so hopefully the farmers can recoup some of their losses. Lots of basements with walls caved in, vehicles swept off roads into 'rivers' that used to be streams ... it's a mess.

These are just a few pictures of my part of town.

A bridge and dam near me:


My friend's house:

HOT 107 Edmonton
June 30

Like many parts of Saskatchewan, the town of Welwyn has been hammered with rain as of late. Some residents there noticed some stranded foxes who were in real trouble because of the flooding. So what did they do? Swam and saved them!!! Amazing.

But we had a great Canada day working to pump stuff out, feed everyone and then watch fireworks!

And completely unrelated, but how cute is this!:


We're sand-bagging today, sooooo sore and tired. But the weather looks good for the next little while, so YAY!!!! And we got to meet Brad Wall - he's flying around in a helicopter stopping at many communities. He was nice, concerned and sad for people who've lost so much. The Red Cross has offered to house families here whose houses are unsafe or were destroyed when basements caved in, the provincial Haz Mat crew was also here doing their thing. It's great to see the outpouring of caring in these small towns. The kids are having a blast, and so far I haven't heard of one fatality or even injury.



But poor Manitoba They've already been flooded in many areas, now they get our run-off. So sad for them, they get the flooding worse every year than we do.



The rains have eased across southern Manitoba, but flooding concerns remain.

Why? Blame southern Saskatchewan.

Manitoba is being inundated by rivers flowing from its westerly neighbour.

READ MORE: Southwestern Manitoba prepares for floodwaters from Saskatchewan


To make matters worse, rivers like Saskatchewan’s Qu’Appelle – which has itself endured heavy rain over the past weekend – is causing headaches as it nears the Assiniboine River in Manitoba.

“The Qu’Appelle is a major contributor to the Assiniboine flow,” Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization Minister Lee Spencer said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Seventy-eight provincial roads and hundreds of municipal roads have been closed as 17 rivers and streams crest their banks.

16-year-old Tyler Domeier saved two fawns drowning in flood waters yesterday. Shortly after, he spotted a mama deer that quickly took the two babies in.

A happy story. Good job Tyler.

Beware of the Robobee, Monsanto and DARPA

Posted by Reverend Billy Talen at 8:03 am
June 5, 2014

Let's consider for a moment the Honey Bee and its anticipated replacement, the RoboBee. Let's pay a visit to the frankenbee's parents, Monsanto and DARPA.

The RoboBee is a mechanical bee in the design stage at the Micro-Robotics Lab, housed in a well-appointed building at Harvard University. The RoboBee project's Intelligence Office declares that the robotic inventors are inspired by the bee. The RoboBee project's website and press releases use the imagery of the golden bees that we remember from our love of the cuddly, buzzy honey-maker.

But something is wrong with this enterprise. While the RoboBee's press is nearly all positive, and open-faced students have posted euphoric YouTube reports of their robotic work, the whole thing looks quite different to the people of the beekeeping community, who can't help but point out that the real-life honey bees and bumble bees are plummeting toward extinction.

After one of our singing rituals at the laboratory, a public relations man named Paul followed us out proclaiming, "But we have nothing to do with colony collapse, and we're sorry that the Honey Bee is dying..." And yet the RoboBee project's top goal, as stated on their website, is to achieve mechanical pollination. So Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta, et al - the Big Ag companies whose agricultural chemicals are driving the honey bee's die-off, must be very interested in this honey bee drone. How couldn't they be waiting in the wings? A robot bee would be invaluable as a pesticide-proof pollinator.

Full article: http://www.alternet.org/speakeasy/reverendbilly/beware-robobee-monsanto-and-darpa?paging=off¤t_page=1
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