Saturday, August 31, 2019

Send in the Goons: Canada's 'Progressive' Liberal Regime Intimidation of Policy Critics

Liberals use RCMP in attempt to silence critics of their foreign policy

by Yves Engler

August 30, 2019  

On Tuesday two RCMP agents came to my house. Two large men in suits asked for me and when my partner said I wasn’t there they asked who she was.

Why didn’t they email or call me to talk or set up a meeting? If they have my address, the RCMP certainly has my email, Facebook, Skype or phone number.

My partner asked for their badges, took their photo and asked them to leave the stairway they had entered.

They returned the next day. Not wanting to interact, my partner ignored them.

Canadian pastime "goon" ethos bleeding
into Liberal Party political practice?

Friday, August 30, 2019

First Nations Be Damned: Bulldozing Trudeau's Pipeline Project

Coastal Gas Link Bulldozes Wet'suwet'en War Trail -Take Action!

by Unist'ot'en Solidarity Brigade

August 30, 2019

Coastal Gas Link destroying Wet'suwet'en cultural heritage


SHARE WIDELY - Coastal GasLink has bulldozed a section of the ancient Kweese war trail. In a letter to provincial officials, the Office of Wet'suwet'en described the destruction as "an act of cultural genocide." Despite failing to acquire the proper permits or complete an archaeological impact assessment in the area, CGL has cleared a section of the right of way for their pipeline directly over the trail.

The Kweese war trail is part of a vital story for the Tsayu clan, of which Kweese was a chief. The trail also passes through Unist'ot'en territory, and is important to the many clans and warriors that united to support Kweese in war against the Gitamaat. CGL's actions continue to damage Wet'suwet'en cultural heritage, and attempt to erase our presence on the yintah.

The province has stood by and supported this destruction, despite the Wet'suwet'en repeatedly voicing concerns about the inadequacy of archaeological work on the territory. Both CGL and the province are complicit in the destruction of our cultural heritage. We have not consented to the construction of this pipeline, and continue to document CGL's violations of Wet'suwet'en law and Canadian environmental and archaeological permits.


Ask BC Premier John Horgan how he plans to make BC the first province to fully implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (a promise he made in the Wet'suwet'en feast hall), while allowing acts of cultural genocide and ignoring the Wet'suwet'en right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent:

(250) 387-1715

Ask Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations, how his ministry is acting to stop the destruction of Wet'suwet'en cultural heritage:

(250) 847-6300


Contribute to the Unist'ot'en legal fund so we can continue to hold CGL accountable:

Donate to the Legal Fund


Supporters on the land who can stay for at least two weeks are needed. Indigenous people are especially encouraged to apply and funds are available for travel support for indigenous people.

To come to camp you must apply and register first: Register here

-Unist'ot'en Solidarity Brigade

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Paper of Record Veers from Obvious in Election Coverage

NYT Steers Dems Away From the Obvious Formula for Defeating Trump

by Jim Naureckas - FAIR

August 29, 2019

Thomas Edsall’s demographic analysis is almost always misleading (, 2/10/15, 10/9/15, 6/5/16, 3/30/18, 7/24/19)—and his latest column for the New York Times (8/28/19) is no exception.

“We Aren’t Seeing White Support for Trump for What It Is,” the headline complains—with the subhead explaining, “A crucial part of his coalition is made up of better-off white people who did not graduate from college.”

If “crucial” means it explains why he won, the New York Times (8/28/19) has it backwards.

Why does this matter? Edsall’s column is largely a write-up of a paper by two political scientists, Herbert Kitschelt and Philipp Rehm, who note that better-off whites without college degrees “tend to endorse authoritarian noneconomic policies and tend to oppose progressive economic policies,” and are therefore “a constituency that is now decisively committed to the Republican Party.” (By “authoritarian policies,” the researchers are mainly talking about racism and xenophobia.)

Low-income, low-education whites, by contrast, “tend to support progressive economic policies and tend to endorse authoritarian policies on the noneconomic dimension,” and are therefore “conflicted in their partisan allegiance.”

What’s at stake in presenting one of these constituencies as “crucial” is how you approach the task of defeating Trump: If he’s turning out his key supporters through race-baiting and immigrant-bashing, the argument goes, then Democrats need to take care not to be too outspoken on issues of race and immigration. And so Edsall confidently concludes:

The 2020 election will be fought over the current loss of certainty—the absolute lack of consensus—on the issue of “race.”… Democrats are convinced of the justness of the liberal, humanistic, enlightenment tradition of expanding rights for racial and ethnic minorities. Republicans, less so…. If Democrats want to give themselves the best shot of getting Trump out of the White House…they must make concerted efforts at pragmatic diplomacy and persuasion—and show a new level of empathy.

(This is an argument Edsall has made before—see “What’s a Non-Racist Way to Appeal to Working-Class Whites? NYT’s Edsall Can’t Think of Any,”, 3/30/18.)

But there’s an entirely different conclusion that one can draw from the 21st century political terrain—one that is better supported by the data presented in Edsall’s column. Take a close look at the graphic he presents depicting “the shifting voting patterns of whites”:

Bear in mind that these are not equal slices of the electorate: As Edsall notes, the low-income, low-education voters are about 40% of white voters; the high-income, low-education voters are 22%; the low-income, high-education group is 14%; and the high-income, high-education make up 26% of the white vote.

So the supposedly “crucial” better-off white non–college grads are about half as plentiful as their poorer counterparts—and they have been voting Republican fairly consistently since 1972, through good years for Republicans and bad. What was actually crucial to Trump’s 2016 success is that the larger group of poorer less-educated whites, which traditionally leans Democratic or splits its vote, went decisively Republican.

And while this group was susceptible to Trump’s racist appeals, equally important (according to Edsall’s political scientist sources) was his “repeated campaign promise to protect Medicare and Social Security.” The false impression that Trump was a moderate Republican on economic issues “removed cognitive dissonance and inhibitions” that might deter such voters from supporting an economic conservative, leaving them free to be swayed by Trump’s appeal to a white racial identity.

Where the votes are: sorting Trump and Clinton supporters by views on economic and social issues (New York, 6/18/17; see, 10/28/17).

If that’s the truly crucial group, then Democrats will not win the 2020 election by embracing, as Edsall seems to suggest, an agnosticism on the issue of race (or “the issue of ‘race,'” as he puts it), but rather by advancing a strongly progressive, redistributionist economic message.

It’s political common sense that if the voters who are up for grabs are those who are socially conservative and economically progressive, then Democrats should emphasize left-wing economics and Republicans should stress right-wing social policies—while crucially reassuring their bases that they maintain their commitments to a progressive social agenda or a conservative economic program, respectively. (See, 6/20/17.)

But this common sense runs against the New York Times‘ historic role of guiding the Democratic Party away from positions that threaten the wealthy. This is why Adolph Ochs, great-great-grandfather of the current Times publisher, was bankrolled by bankers to buy the paper in 1896 (, 10/28/17), and it’s why the paper today has an editorial page editor who proudly declares, “The New York Times is in favor of capitalism” (, 3/1/18).

Edsall, it seems, has the task of providing the intellectual arguments for why the Democrats should not adopt the progressive economic agenda that would benefit them electorally—a job that necessarily involves a great deal of doubletalk and hand-waving.

You can send a message to the New York Times at (Twitter:@NYTOpinion). Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective. Feel free to leave a copy of your message in the comment thread of this post.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Amazon Narrative More Smoke Than Fire?

Amazon Burning? – well maybe not so much

by Catte Black - OffGuardian

August 23, 2019

 Statistics indicate this is an average year for wildfires, so why the above-average hysteria?

 One of many misattributed photos doing the rounds. 
This is from another fire entirely.

Today on Twitter OffG stepped into the current panic-inferno and thick forest of screaming hashtags that is the “Amazon Forest Fire Crisis.” The results were thought-provoking.

The mainstream media message is very simple. There are “record” numbers of forest fires currently in the Amazon basin. It’s mostly Bolsonaro’s fault. The G7 – soon to be assembling – needs to act. (Business Insider and The Guardian are also both very keen we send money to some rainforest charities)

Now, I’m not a fan of Bolsonaro personally, and that goes for all of us at OffG. I’m equally very supportive of preserving the rain forests and wild spaces of the earth. So, the broad sweep of the message is something I’m inclined to be sympathetic toward.

But something isn’t sitting right. This is the mainstream media in full and united chorus, flooding the news space with this one single message. This means there’s a fairly major agenda, and it’s unlikely to be saving the Amazon for all the little future babies.

Katrina at 14: Remembering the Storm

Katrina: Two Weeks in September

Fourteen years on from Hurricane Katrina, I dug around in the old Peace Earth and Justice website for some of my posts and writing on the storm as it unfolded. - ape

Katrina: A Two-Week Timeline

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - Today, ominous developments in the aftermath of the disaster wreaked on the Mississipi delta region continue. Press lockdowns, military occupation, and disturbing stories about the fate of those evacuated the city are being widely reported, on the net. Below, a timeline of Katrina from first landfall in Florida to the present produced by PEJ News.

Katrina: A Two-Week Timeline

C. L. Cook
PEJ News
September 11, 2005

Florida Smote by 'Stealth' Storm
August 26, 2005

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - In a record year of tropical storm warnings, many in southern Florida took the approaching tropical storm Katrina casually. But, what came ashore, killing several people and wreaking havoc with the state's power grid, was no mild blow.

New Orleans Sinking? Mammoth Katrina Spurs Evacuations
August 28, 2005

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - The storm Floridians discounted as minor last week has spent the weekend gathering strength over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Katrina has now ballooned to an unprecedentedly large and powerful Catagory 5, with sustained wind speeds nearing 280 kph, and gusts topping 300kph.

SuperDome Lockdown: Katrina's Prisoners
August 30, 2005

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - New Orleans' least fortunate, those too poor or infirm to flee Monday's killer hurricane, taking refuge in the city's Superdome football stadium today find themselves prisoners in a fast deteriorating situation.

[breaking 2:06pm pdt- Louisiana Governor announces an evacuation of one of New Orleans' emergency shelters due to rising water caused by the failure of a second levee protecting the city. Water too is accumulating in the biggest area of refuge, the SuperDome: Says situation "untenable" and the entire city must be evacuated as levee waters rise. And the rains have begun again.]

New Orleans Funeral March a Funeral for America?
August 30, 2005

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - It is a total disaster. The slow death of New Orleans, though defying worst case scenarios that have furrowed the brows of experts for years, is nevertheless a fait accompli. The failure of two vital levee guardians of the sub-sea level city means one of America's cultural icons, and arguably most important commerce ports is, as Louisiana Governor, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco says, "untenable." As analogue, the demise of the Big Easy mirrors the disaster that is George W. Bush's America.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Howard Breen, Tasha Diamant, Janine Bandcroft August 29, 2019

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

August 29, 2019

Ten days ago, Catherine McKenna, Canada's minister responsible for her government's environmental policies, paid a visit to Victoria.

Unlike her Tory counterparts, Catherine is convinced of the reality of climate change, and says those who aren't "should ask their kids & grandkids about how they feel about the fact that the Amazon is burning, the oceans are filled with plastics and pollution is choking our planet."

Here in British Columbia, where forests are clear-cut, marine habitat wantonly destroyed daily, and pollution of all sort "regularized" by Ms. McKenna's department as the price of doing business, the "kids & grandkids" need to know how Catherine feels about that.

Listen. Hear.

Howard Breen is long-time social and environmental activist. He calls our city home now, and when Minister McKenna came to visit he and his fellows from Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island greeted her with a citizen's arrest warrant for crimes against nature.

Howard Breen in the first half.

And; fragile as nature, we humans are born naked, wide-open-defenseless. And, from that quavering first moment society is quick to the rescue, swaddling us in layers of culture. But at which turn of cloth does shelter become prison, walling us from one another; ultimately leaving us confined in solitude?

Tasha Diamant is a Victoria-based performance artist, activist, and creator of the Human Body Project. Tasha has presented her exploration of radical vulnerability at Fringe Festivals around the World, and on the streets, using her naked body as medium to challenge conventions of personal narrative and public engagement. And, Tasha Diamant is part of the Victoria Fringe Festival, happening right now, with her show, 'Atrocities Я Us'.

Tasha Diamant and holding vigil for Vulnerability in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

Extinction Rebellion North: Impolite Canadians Impatient, Not Impolitic

Extinction Rebellion activist speaks: troublemakers can change the world 

by Socialist Worker

August 27, 2019

Howard Breen is a veteran activist and member of Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island. On August 19 he was arrested while trying to make a citizen’s arrest of Liberal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. He accused her and her government of environmental crimes.

By the end of the day, all charges against him were dropped.

He spoke to Socialist Worker:

Can you tell us a bit about your background. How did you come to be an environmental activist?

In my teens, I joined the Young Socialists and was active in student politics and the anti-Vietnam war movement. I became an elected executive member of the local of the International Typographical Union. Not long after, I became active in the nuclear disarmament and peace movements, against the cruise missile, NATO, DND, South African apartheid, OKA solidarity and the like.