11.29.2015

Corporations and Captured Governments Control COP 21, the Promises and Pledges are Meaningless


Ignite your inner rebel - refuse to comply!

Just before the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, then U.S. president George H.W. Bush famously declared: “The American way of life is not up for negotiations. Period.”

The world was then, and still is, being destroyed by over-consumption. Unfortunately Bush, like most Americans, saw the issue through the narrow focus of American hubris. In reality, then, as now, the over-consumption of needless crap is the root cause of global environmental degradation but it isn't a uniquely American phenomenon. i live in Canada, we have roughly the same demographic distribution of bourgeois materialists as does the US. So to does most parts of northern Europe.

In other countries the relative class distribution numbers are different, but in every country there are some who are very rich, some who are very poor and some in the middle. Regardless, it doesn't matter to the biosphere, we all are interconnected, so where the insults caused by over consumption originate is meaningless. Bush's statement was probably based on ignorant myopic nationalism, but consciously or unconsciously it served to steer the question away from the much more important issues of materialism, the limits of growth, class consciousness and, most importantly, that unless humans to want-less, learn to live with the planet's limits, there is no  other possible outcome than collapse.

What form will the bleak future the non-negotiable lifestyle we're handing our descendants take? Whether the limits to the naked ape's cancerous, over-consumption cause economic collapse before or after environmental collapse is irrelevant. Whether war, starvation, un-breathable air or uncontrollable disease that wipes out humans and other living things is equally irrelevant.

How can we stop this disaster whose pace accelerates with each passing day? First we must acknowledge that Bush's statement is correct, there is no non-revolutionary way to negotiate a solution to the materialist lifestyle and the bourgeois worldview that underlies it. We must individually and collectively refuse to comply, we must escape the consumer culture become revolutionaries by choosing to live simply.

Any solution, or compromise that's acceptable to either the hypnotized consumers or the privileged who see themselves as entitled to their position is meaningless. Bush nailed it: “The American way of life is not open for negotiation". It was to late to negotiate then, it's far to late now.

11.28.2015

Who's Pulling Whose Strings In Syraq's Chaotic Proxy Theater of Puppets and Puppeteers?


The only thing that the pundits and media broadly agree on concerning the chaos in Syria is that it's a proxy war. What they can't agree on is everything else. A proxy war is generally thought of as a war in which two countries are not in direct combat with each other, but both have clear goals that would hurt the other country. This simplistic definition has nothing to do with what's going on in 'Syraq'.

Yes, there is of course the obvious US vs. Russia proxy war. The United States does not feel that Assad should be in power. The Russian government, however, is in favor of keeping in Assad in power. Then there's the Shia vs. Sunni conflict most recently evident between those bankrolling ISIS - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey and Qatar and those who support Assad's government - Iran and Hezbollah. Then there's the Turkey vs. Kurdistan, Israel vs. Iran, France vs. ISIS, ISIS vs. the west generally as well as the Shia and everyone else who in any way disagrees with their interpretation of the prophet's words.

Then there's all the secondary proxy wars: Israel vs, Hezbollah, for instance. Israel has long seen that keeping the various Muslim actors divided is in their best interests and more recently, according to a 'UN Report Reveals How Israel is Coordinating with ISIS Militants Inside Syria' has been, along with Turkey and the Saudis trying to assist in the overthrow Assad because they see this as the best way to cut off hezbollah from their benefactors - Iran.

China too is stirring the chaos soup with their covert support of Russia and Shia Iran, their partners in trade and banking as well as military agreements, and at the same time showing their consistent stance against the Sunni Uyghurs who they consider terrorists in China.

This must be the most difficult and cofusing set of proxy conflicts ever especially consider that the US-led coalition of 65 countries seems to be fighting both for and against almost everyone on different days. Then there's the support networks behind Washington’s coalition in Syria, each of which has its own agenda, which is comprised of many contributing covert intelligence agencies, including  the CIA, MI5/6, Mossad, France, NATO, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

All of this leads to today's question: In this chaotic proxy theater of puppets and puppeteers, who is pulling whose strings?

11.27.2015

Putin and Hollande Agree to Attack the Source of ISIS Funding-Oil to Turkey and Support the Kurds

Russian air force strikes convoy of trucks carrying ISIS oil to Turkey

Hour by hour the information oozing out of the Middle East shows that Putin, and now Hollande, are willing to do the job that Obama and his coalition are unwilling to do. After yesterday's meeting in Moscow, Putin and French President Francois Hollande agreed that the ‘commercial scale’ oil smuggling into Turkey, currently the primary source of ISIS financing, must be hit first and foremost in order to cripple the terrorist group. “Vehicles, carrying oil, lined up in a chain going beyond the horizon,” said Putin, reminding the press that the scale of the issue was discussed at the G20 summit in Antalya earlier this month, where the Russian leader demonstrated reconnaissance footage taken by Russian pilots.


Putin and Hollande reached a consensus Pepe Escobar says: "There will be a barrage of air strikes against the fuel tanker truck convoys transporting stolen Syrian oil across ISIS-controlled territory on the way to Turkey." Adding, "There goes in flames the profitable racket of ‘Sultan’s’ son Bilal Erdogan."

Either Turkey, or it's CIA handlers, made a huge miscalculation when they shot down that Russian bomber two days ago. Just a few days ago Turkey's dictator and the CIA were busy raking in big bucks, now the whole dirty deal is being exposed. Months ago Turkey's journalists exposed Erdogan's weapons smuggling to extremist Syrian rebels including The Al-Nusar Front, and ISIS. The story was quickly 'disappeared' when Erdogen's police arrested the reporters, confiscated the evidence and charged them with being traitors. But today it re-surfaced at ZeroHedge.


The genie is out of the bottle, the proof of the Turkey-ISIS oil connection is all over the net now. The question now is why, after 15 months of bombing by the US-led coalition have all those sorties [over 1000] not attacked the financial roots of ISIS? Most likely it's because ISIS, like the Al-Nusra Front and the other anti-Assad takfiris, are who the US pins its hopes on to be the ground force that it knows is necessary for any hope of over-throwing Assad to be realized.

That plan started to evaporate when Russia called the US Empire's bluff by sending in its Air Force to do the job. Now that Russia is kicking the crap outta ISIS oil to money to arms scheme the US coalition is spinning it's MSM propaganda but Putin has once again trumped Obama with yesterday's agreement with Hollande. The CIA obviously knew all this, it has geostationary satellites sitting over ‘Syraq’ working overtime. So then did the US military and Obama. Now Russia and France are going after all of them; the CIA weapon highway, the Turkish-enabled Jihadi highway, the ISIS-to-Turkey stolen oil highway.

Not only did Russia and France agree to focus on ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria yesterday, but France also agreed to join Russia in increasing support for the fighters on the ground; which is code for the Kurds. Erdogan, the wanna-be Sultan, made a huge mistake, but, going back to the Canadian angle, Justin Trudeau's decision to get out of the wrong-headed air-farce and instead focus Canada's efforts on expanding the training of the Kurds looks smarter everyday.

11.26.2015

Russia Responds to Turkey With Missile Batteries and the Bombing of a Covert Turkish Arms Convoy

Russians increase bombing in the area surrounding yesterday's tragedy

Yesterday's tragic events along the Turkish/Syrian border continued to spiral toward who knows what in the last 24hrs. Russia, as expected, has made a number of moves, all of which could have very negative consequences, including for Canadian forces and civilian aid workers in the area.

Besides threatening Turkey with unspecified economic sanctions [Turkey's largest import in Russian gas], the Russians have flown in and set up a S-400 anti-aircraft missile battery at Hemeimeem air base in Syria's coastal province of Latakia, just 50 kilometres (30 miles) away from the border with Turkey. They are capable of striking targets within a 400-kilometre (250-mile) range with deadly precision. The Russian military also moved the navy missile cruiser Moskva closer to the shore to help protect Russian warplanes with its long-range Fort air defence system.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the systems "will be ready to destroy any aerial target posing a potential danger to our aircraft," He also announced the severance of all military ties with Turkey and said that from now on, Russian bombers will always be escorted by fighters on combat missions over Syria.

In addition the Russian Air Force, immediately after rescuing it's one living downed pilot, bombed the crap out of the [rebels-terrorists-civilians depending on ones perspective] in the area surrounding where the other parachuting pilot was killed in mid-air and the a Russian rescue helicopter was downed by a US supplied TOW missile.

In the last few days Russia has struck ISIS and the other confusing array of anti-Assad forces repeatedly. One being widely reported in Russia, Turkey and Syria was an attack by Russian fighter jets on a Turkish convoy, which according to reports from all 3 countries, was transporting weapons from Turkey to Al-Nusra Front in northwestern Syria. The Hawar news agency reported that Turkey repeatedly sent convoys with arms to the Al-Nusra Front and other terrorist organizations under the guise of humanitarian aid. The trucks are said to belong to the Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) who have said "the convoy wasn’t sponsored or organized by the IHH."

How this affects Canadians is two fold.

First, and of less danger probably, is the deadly anti-aircraft missile batteries which could, if a mistake were made, shoot down Canada's F-18s. Mistakes happen in all wars. And we've seen the quality of intelligence directing the bombing missions in a conflict as confusing as this one is questionable at best. On countless occasions in Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and this one the west has attacked innocent civilians or even their own allies when someone with a score to settle with a rival turned them in as terrorists to the west's 'intelligence' people. Accidents and mistakes happen, the presence of Russian missiles combined with their now hyper pissed off attitude, could spell disaster.

Second, and even more worrisome for Canadians, is the fact that Turkey has a huge Kurdish population that has fought for independence since the Ottoman Empire conquered Kurdistan, and still is. The Kurds are terrorists in Turkish eyes, Kurdistan used to be located in parts of what is now Turkey, Iraq and Syria. Itt was divided up after WW! by the French and British Empires when they re-drew all the borders to suit themselves not the regional ethnic realities or history.

Yesterday Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, director of the German Marshall Fund in Ankara, said "that along with economic moves, Russia may also increase its support to Syrian Kurdish groups, which have been fighting against IS but not against the Syrian regime. So far, Russia has refrained from doing so as not to anger Turkey, but now it could go ahead with plans to open an office in the Syrian Kurdish regions and supply arms to the fighters."

So the Peshmerga - the Kurd's Army -  the only ones willing to fight ISIS on the ground who are the sworn enemies of Turkey [which is probably why they aren't attacking Assad - who Turkey is doing everything to destroy it can] will soon be getting more Canadian trainers and Russian arms which will piss off the Turks who will...who knows what ... but it can't be good news or the Canadians who will increasingly be under the Turkish guns.

As everyone i've corresponded with agrees the situation [who's fighting who and why] is so confusing it makes one's head spin. The Mud Report will try to provide a dose of metaphorical Gravol in the coming days...

11.25.2015

Turkey is at War With the Kurds and Assad not ISIS, and Canada's Troops are Training Those Same Kurds

ISIS oil tanker trucks heading for Turkey

Why did Turkey shoot down of a Russian bomber along the its border with Syria? The answer is, according to experts not on the US, CIA or NATO payroll, because Turkey is that Turkish officials, including Erdogan’s son Bilal, have ‘direct financial interest’ in the oil trade with the terrorist group ISIS.

According to The Nation article by James Cardon 'Turkey Brings NATO to the Precipice of War With Russia', Turkey has been aiding and abetting ISIS for some time. And Middle Eastern expert F. William Engdahl's article  'Erdogan’s Dirty Dangerous ISIS Game' goes into more detail explaining that "Turkey has aided, abetted, and funded ISIS by keeping its southern border open with Syria, allowing radical jihadists from Europe to cross back and forth from ISIS-controlled territory, thereby enabling them to return to Europe to plot and execute such attacks as were recently carried out in the French capital."

Engdahl goes on to say: "Turkish commodity dealers have funded ISIS through their purchase of, by one estimate, $50 million a month in black-market oil. Indeed, reports have surfaced alleging that none other than Erdogan’s son Bilal has been a key financial benefactor of this unseemly business." and that one of Turkey's motives was to undermine the move "by French President Fran├žois Hollande to bypass NATO and instead appeal to to the EU to invoke its mutual-assistance clause, all the while advocating for a coalition against ISIS that would include the Russians."

The Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev also said: Some Turkish officials have ‘direct financial interest’ in the oil trade with the terrorist group Islamic State. “Turkey’s actions are de facto protection of Islamic State,” Medvedev said, calling the group formerly known as ISIS by its new name. “This is no surprise, considering the information we have about direct financial interest of some Turkish officials relating to the supply of oil products refined by plants controlled by ISIS.” And a few days ago, as was widely reported, at the G20 summit last week in Antalya, Turkey, Putin revealed aerial surveillance and satellite imagery showing a miles-long line of oil-tanker trucks stretching from ISIS-controlled territory into Turkey.

Then there's the question of who were the Russians bombing at the time? They were bombing Turkmen militias who are supplied with weapons and intelligence by the US. The border between Syria and Turkey, like all Middle eastern borders was determined a century ago after WW! by the victorious Imperial powers of Britain and France in accordance with the easiest routes to export the resources of their newly conquered x-Ottoman Emipre domain and had nothing to do with cultural or historic boundaries, consequently Turkey still considers those Turkmen to be countrymen that they should protect.

Which bring up the question who is Turkey actually fighting against? is it ISIS? Is it Assad, Syria president and or dictator [depending on who listen to]? Or it actually the Kurds who are their long standing enemies and the only group willing to actually fight ISIS on the ground? A member of the expert council of the Russian Oil Industry Union Eldar Kasayev said Islamic State is selling oil at $15–25 per barrel, which is much cheaper than the Brent benchmark, trading at $45-50. “By reselling it, Ankara has the opportunity to earn extra income and continue to bomb the Kurds, saying its bombing radicals,” he said.

Who Russia is actually fighting for and against is equally complicated. So is the long twisted history of the Western Empires meddling in Middle Eastern affairs. More on that in the next few days.

But for now, i live in Canada and considering that Canada's troops have been training the Kurds and that the new Trudeau government here is set to send over many more troops to train those Kurds and that those Kurds are the ones who recently took back the city of Sinjar from ISIS while under attack by the Turkish Air Force's US made and supplied war planes all this becomes very important to my fellow Canadians and their family's back home and very complicated indeed.

11.23.2015


We're all immigrants or the descendants of immigrants, even the FNs people who came from Asia long, long ago. i'm of Irish descent, when my ancestors came here a few generations ago they were widely defamed and beaten though they too were simply trying to escape an unjust situation that threatened the safety and future of their families. The same was true of those from India, China, Italy, etc. down through Canadian history.

The fear mentioned in today's Tyee article 'As Assaults on Muslims Increase, Canada at a Crossroads' is the fear of 'other' which is part of the widespread human fear of the unknown. We are, fortunately, getting better slowly as a species at overcoming the fear of 'other' through the combined effects of education and the shrinking of our modern world through communications and travel.

We are all cousins, but, as the powerful have long known and exploited, we can be divided by the power hungry few who would use our fears as their wedge. As long as we remain divided our focus will be on some imaginary 'other' not on those who continue to pillage every corner of the earth.

What i fear is that we won't wake up in time.

11.22.2015

An Open Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau Asking Him to Help Stop Site C and Save the Peace


Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

I'm writing today to ask you and your new government to help the people of BC stop the Site C dam project from proceeding any further. Why? Well for starters despite the thousands of hours and millions of dollars invested into the Joint Review Panel's review, both the Provincial and Federal governments have ignored the advice of their own expert panel on Site C who concluded that BC Hydro has not proven that there is any need for the power it would generate. Further the JRP said that the BC government was bypassing its own regulation by refusing to submit the project to the BC Utilities Commission.

As the BC NDP has recently said there are other, better ways to move forward on the energy front including energy efficiency retrofits, upgrading existing BC Hydro infrastructure and allowing the Crown corporation to develop its own renewable energy projects. "Energy efficiency retrofits create twice as many jobs as building a new dam, and the jobs are long-lasting, good-paying, and close to home in every community across British Columbia," John Horgan said, "Energy-efficiency retrofits to private buildings are a win-win-win," according to the BC NDP's background document. "They reduce your energy bills, increase the value of your home, and create good-paying jobs and spur economic activity close to home."

Then there's the short-sighted stupidity of of drowning or severely impacting over 30,000 acres of the Peace River Valley’s “extraordinary” farmland, land whose exceptional alluvial soil agrologists say could feed a million people at a time when BC is already seeing the effects of long term drought in the desert southwest, which now supplies most of BC's produce. These obvious effects mean that before long not only will BC need all the agricultural land they have but that increasingly BC will see an influx of immigrants flocking to BC's still relatively sustainable region.

In addition to the BC NDP's very common sense economic alternative above, another sound economic assessment by the Suzuki Foundation - 'The Peace Dividend' - quantifies the enormous natural wealth in B.C.'s threatened Peace Region. The report concludes the economic benefits of keeping the Peace River region's remaining farmland and nature intact are enormous. Saying, "These ecosystems play a critical role in providing clean air, clean water, habitat for wildlife and many other ecological benefits that sustain the health and well-being of local residents, and contribute to the cultural and traditional ways of First Nations."

Then there's the First Nations who are currently in court fighting to force the governments, including yours, to uphold their treaty obligations. West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations action against the Site C dam which is demanding a judicial review of the construction permits is but one of the 6 lawsuits that have been launched in an attempt to force governments to do what they have promised and, as usual historically, the governments are fighting tooth and nail to squirm out of those commitments. If your government is actually going to be one of 'Change', here is a great place to start.

Of course a full list of reasons why the Peace River Valley Landowners and First Nations are 'all in' to save the Peace River Valley from this unnecessary and destructive project would fill volumes. So i'll conclude by saying that the protests by thousands of good people in the streets, the numerous studies by influential scientists, the many articles everywhere and the opposition BC NDP's new alternative plan all show this battle to Save the Peace will be won by the people of BC not by its corporate captured politicians. Please join us - the residents and ratepayers of BC - in our battle to Save the Peace.

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This letter is one of many hundreds submitted through the RealSiteCHearings.org site that are being sent to the Prime Minister and key cabinet ministers before they meet with BC Premier Christy Clark on Monday. Letters sent in after Monday will continue to be sent to the PM and cabinet ministers regardless.

11.19.2015

Tom Mulcair Must Resign, Canadians Have Spoken, the Only Place He Can Lead the NDP is to Oblivion


Like most NDP members i've been waiting patiently, up 'til now at least, for Tom Mulcair to come to his senses and admit to himself that the reason the NDP lost so many seats in the recent election is him, but he just doesn't get it. Tom Mulcair must resign...the problem is him and his cadre of right-wingers who have an iron grip on the party.

The NDP's plummet started on Aug. 25th, the day Mulcair shocked his political base by announcing the NDP would deliver four years of balanced budgets, despite record low borrowing rates and growing evidence that Canada was slipping into another recession, despite the fact that even borderline progressive economists like Krugman and Stiglitz were writing that running small deficits and spending the money on infrastructure improvements was the way to go. Canada was ready for a Bernie Sanders or a Jeremy Corbyn to inspire them, instead, Tom talked austerity.

Another turning point IMO was the NDP's failure to capture the anti-capitalist spirit of the nation in regards to the corporate friendly TPP. During the summer, when the NDP led in the polls, NDP trade critic Don Davies said pragmatism is the guiding principle for his party’s policy on international agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Davies said the NDP’s support of free-trade deals with South Korea and Jordan in the last session of Parliament were the first two such agreements the party has supported in its history. Then late in the election campaign, when it became obvious that Tom and the NDP were in trouble, Tom flip-flopped and the Liberals pounced immediately accusing Mulcair of saying whatever is "convenient." "He pretends to oppose TPP today, but he was 'enthusiastically in favour' of it at the beginning of this campaign," Liberal John McCallum said. "It's just transparent politics."

Mulcair made other glaring mistakes too. Like the day he said "Israel has no greater friend than the NDP" in response to a question about the way candidates Paul Manly, Morgan Wheeldon, Sana Hassainia and Jerry Natanine were ousted for mildly supporting Palestinians. Mulcair's silencing of opposing opinions on Israel/Palestine or the Tar Sands then cutting ties with any candidate who speaks his/her mind and disagrees with current policy, especially foreign policy, was Orwellian.

Tom and the NDP abandoned the NDP's long held principles in an effort to gain votes in the mushy middle and in the process lost election. Mulcair must resign and the NDP must put socialism back in the constitution of the party. The NDP must once again become a leading advocate for the environment, for the little guy not the corporations, for fair trade not free trade. Tom Mulcair must resign and allow new leadership to take the party back to its roots, back to being the people's party. If he continues to refuse to resign the membership must show him the door by way of the mandatory secret ballot leadership review during this coming spring's national convention.

The only place Tom Mulcair can lead the NDP to is political oblivion.

11.18.2015

The NDP's Alternative Plan, Court Cases, Protests and Studies Will Stop Site C and Save the Peace


Yesterday's article at the Tyee announcing some of the details of the BC NDP's alternatives to the duplicitous Site C dam building project are to be commended. In it John Horgan says: "Instead of building the controversial Site C dam on the Peace River, a British Columbia New Democratic Party government would spread jobs around the province by retrofitting buildings and supporting renewable energy projects."

The BC NDP's plan includes energy efficiency retrofits, upgrading existing BC Hydro infrastructure and allowing the Crown corporation to develop its own renewable energy projects. "Energy efficiency retrofits create twice as many jobs as building a new dam, and the jobs are long-lasting, good-paying, and close to home in every community across British Columbia," adding, "Energy-efficiency retrofits to private buildings are a win-win-win," according to the background document. "They reduce your energy bills, increase the value of your home, and create good-paying jobs and spur economic activity close to home."

This announcement comes at an auspicious time for the many opponents of the damned Site C dam as today, Nov. 18th, is the beginning of the court hearings being held to address West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations action against the Site C dam [November 18th to 20th] and the 'Stand up for the Peace'  rallies in Victoria and Vancouver. This hearing on the request for a judicial review of the construction permits issued for Site C. The Treaty 8 First Nations are putting all they have into their legal strategy to stop to this destructive and unnecessary dam

Meanwhile, the Peace Valley Landowner Association [PVLA] also continues to pursue legal action against Site C.  They are appealing the BC Supreme Court ruling which dismissed its court challenge on the issuance of the environmental assessment certificate for the dam.  The PVLA is arguing that the ministers must consider the recommendations made by the Joint Review Panel and that not to do so undermines the environmental assessment process.  Details on the PVLA’s court action can be found here.

As part of the PVLA's continuing campaign, they will urge the new federal government to respect UNESCO’s request to halt any work that would cause irreversible damage to the Peace Athabasca Delta – a World Heritage Site.  There are plans for a UNESCO mission to the delta in the spring of 2016 to investigate threats to the delta from Site C and other projects.

The Mud Report has written numerous articles in the past on the many dubious aspects of Site C. One titled 'Who Needs the Damn Site C Dam? Bank, Concrete and Steel Shareholders, Politicians, Speculators...' explains why the Site C Dam is just another pack of lies whose actual purpose is the transfer of the people's hard earned money into the hands of the rich focuses on the real reasons for building the damn Site C Dam starting with the $1.5+ billion windfall in interest payments to the bankers and all the yummy profits for the concrete, construction and steel tycoons who support the BC Liberals financially both above and below the table. The Chamber of Commerce, the big unions, the shareholders in the banks, market speculators, the equipment producers, etc. all have never seen a mega project they didn't love, meanwhile it's the ratepayers and taxpayers, you and i, who'll foot the bills.


Another titled 'Despite Calif's Mega Drought BC's Liberals Want to Flood 30,000 Prime Peace River Valley Acres' focuses on the absurdity of drowning or severely impacting over 30,000 acres of the Peace River Valley’s “extraordinary” farmland, land whose exceptional alluvial soil agrologists say could feed a million people at a time when BC is already seeing the effects of long term drought in the desert southwest, which now supplies most of BC's produce. These obvious effects mean that before long not only will BC need all the agricultural land they have but that increasingly BC will see an influx of immigrants flocking to BC's still relatively sustainable region.

In addition to the BC NDP's very common sense economic alternative above, another sound economic assessment by the Suzuki Foundation, 'The Peace Dividend', quantifies the enormous natural wealth in B.C.'s threatened Peace Region. The report concludes the economic benefits of keeping the Peace River region's remaining farmland and nature intact are enormous. Saying, "These ecosystems play a critical role in providing clean air, clean water, habitat for wildlife and many other ecological benefits that sustain the health and well-being of local residents, and contribute to the cultural and traditional ways of First Nations."

Despite the thousands of hours and millions of dollars invested into the Joint Review Panel's review, both governments ignored the advice of their own expert panel on Site C. Now we see Premier Christy Clark in her endless barrage of bullshit announcements saying that the battle to save the Peace River Valley from this unnecessary and destructive project is over, but that far from true. 6 different solid and important lawsuits have been launched against the federal and provincial governments with regard to Site C by First Nations and local land owners. Protests by thousands in the streets, numerous studies by influential scientists, the many articles everywhere and the opposition BC NDP's new alternative plan all show this battle to Save the Peace will be won by the people of BC not by its captured politicians.

11.12.2015

How Vulture Investment Funds Use Free Trade's ISDS Suits to Create and Exploit a New Asset Class


Another very troubling aspect of the TPP and all the modern 'free trade' schemes that include the ICSID appeal mechanism to settle investment disputes and the ISDS secret tribunals to adjudicate them, is that these investment suits against democratically legislated objectives, besides undermining the democratic process, are becoming valuable even before claims are settled. What the corporations do now is take the money they hope to be gained in an investment depute to the market, not just to finance their legal case but to that expand their business.

International investors are using this system "...not only to sue for compensation for alleged expropriation of land and factories, but also over a huge range of government measures, including environmental and social regulations, which they say infringe on their rights. Multinationals have sued to recover money they have already invested, but also for alleged lost profits and “expected future profits”. The number of suits filed against countries at the ICSID is now around 500 – and that figure is growing at an average rate of one case a week. The sums awarded in damages are so vast that investment funds have taken notice: corporations’ claims against states are now seen as assets that can be invested in or used as leverage to secure multimillion-dollar loans. Increasingly, companies are using the threat of a lawsuit at the ICSID to exert pressure on governments not to challenge investors’ actions." - The Guardian

Over the last 10 years, and particularly since the global financial crisis, a growing number of specialized investment fund vultures have moved to raise money through these cases, treating companies’ multimillion-dollar claims against states as a new “asset class”. There are now thousands of international investment agreements and free-trade acts, signed by states, which give foreign companies access to the investor-state dispute system.

Though Canadians sometimes hear bits about how our national government is paying out huge sums to the US corporations through the secret tribunal rulings of NAFTA, abroad it's another story, where Canadian mining companies play the role of aggressor both on the land and in the courts. In a number of countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Columbia, Chile, Peru, El Salvador, Macedonia, Greece, Romania and Papua New Guinea it's Canadian corporations who wear the black hats.

Here in Canada we never hear about the abuses by the Canadian corporations in the mainstream media because the MSM is itself corporate owned and plays ball so as to keep the advertising revenues rolling in. But when traveling abroad or reading counter-culture media accounts it's apparent that Canada's corporations and investment funds are no better or worse than those in the US, EU, Australia, Germany or any other 'developed' country.

Call the enemy what you will: The New World Order - totalitarian world government - Dictatorship Of The Corportariat, the Bankers and Billionaire's Club...the fact is we are, and have long been, fighting a class war between the few and the many. National boundaries are irrelevant other than as corrals to be used by the elites to contain the many while the assets of the few move through them unimpeded. These bogus 'free trade' agreements are one theater in that war, they are tyranny. Tyrannies have to be crushed and excised. If the many are to survive in any capacity other than slave, corporate rule over the planet MUST be stopped.

11.10.2015

Canada's New Agricultural Minister's Support of the Corporate Vulture Designed TPP Misguided At Best



This morning's announcement by Canada's new agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay that he is likely to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP] is troubling in many ways. The most obvious perhaps is the TPP's ISDS clauses that will make any and all attempts by any current or future govt. that tries to adopt progressive agricultural policies - like ending subsidies to industrial ag, helping establish local food production, curtailing the feedlot system, and the future adoption of perennial grassland and prairie restoration, which will soon become a necessary part of meeting any 'real' targets for atmospheric carbon sequestration - subject to the damned secret corporate tribunal's rulings and fines.

What Canada and the world needs is Fair Trade not globalized, corporate profit driven Free Trade. In the agricultural arena there are multiple losers if the TPP is adpoted. For instance, as the Pesticide Action Network concludes the TPP is part of the race to the bottom in the developing nations as well as Canada. The TPP may make a few imported foods slightly cheaper in the short run, but at what cost to the health of the people producing those foods in those far less safety regulated countries? At what cost to the water, air and soil that we all share? At what cost to social justice beyond Canada's borders when land grabbing corporations are allowed to buy up the land with imaginary fiat currency, land that for centuries has fed the peasants sustainably and now will be turned into cash crops for export to the developed world most often in the form of bio-fuels.

Where not long ago, as La Via Campesina points out, peasant agroecology fed their families and their communities with carbon sequestering sustainable local agricultural, now global investors can buy up those lands when the peasants can no longer afford to pay the taxes being demanded by their govts who now claim those lands are worth much more in a Free Trade economy. The peasants are forced to take out loans to pay the taxes, loans that are only granted to those who follow the 'best practices' programs demanded by the banks. Those best practices usually include the use of GMO crops, industrial chemical fertilizers and pesticides - the industrial ag. model. Of course those practices require equipment like tractors, they require costly chemicals and un-replantable seed.

All of these 'inputs' mean more loans the peasants can't pay and soon they face bankruptcy, their land is auctioned off to the highest bidder - the vulture investment funds typically - and the peasants, who have long lived a healthy life, move into the ghettos surrounding some huge city only to find their only option is to go to work at near slave labor rates and conditions for the global criminals. This of course rebounds back here where Canadians lose their jobs in agricultural industries who can't compete with the far lower wages in those foreign lands, just as they have in previous Free Trade schemes. The result, hard working Canadians no longer pay taxes, our communities languish and we all suffer.


Free Trade is a weapon of the 1%, Fair Trade is a tool of the 99%. Our new Prime Minister understands all this, he has spoken about the value of Fair Trade in the past. Hopefully this announcement is just one minister's opinion and not what could be the beginning of the road from Camelot to Waterloo for our new govt. In this, and every modern Free Trade boondoggle like it, i think it's our duty to hold the Trudeau government to its promises of transparency and fair play by standing up quickly to let them know that corporate rule over the planet MUST be stopped.

11.05.2015

Camelot, It's Said, Can Be Anywhere But At This Shining Moment It's in Canadian Hearts


Yesterday, like Canadians everywhere, i watched Justin Trudeau's inauguration as Canada's 23rd Prime Minister. It was a magical day for Canada, the dawn of a new era. Everywhere from coast to coast to coast the feeling that a huge dark storm had lifted permeated the hearts and minds of us all. The incomparable feeling of lightness began just over two weeks ago on election night and continues to grow.

Nothing i've ever seen compared to Justin and his beautiful young wife and children, followed by his new cabinet, as they walked up to Rideau Hall for the inauguration. To say it was historic that the son of one of Canada's greatest Prime Ministers, Pierre Trudeau, was the new P.M. is a vast understatement. The Government changed and so did every Canadian. Yesterday Camelot revealed itself for another shining moment in Ottawa.

Camelot first appeared in 12th-century French romances as the castle and court of legendary King Arthur, its precise location is never revealed. As Arthurian scholar Norris J. Lacy commented, "Camelot, located no where in particular, can be anywhere" Camelot lives in our hearts not our geography.

Of course, the pundits call this the 'honeymoon period' and warn that as the realities of governing come to bear the shining light from Camelot will dim and one day disappear and it may well do so, but as Jackie Kennedy said, quoting the Lerner and Loewe musical in Time magazine's famous edition shortly after the assassination of her husband, "Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot".

Justin Trudeau's 'sunny ways' are already forcing old foes to mend fences, real change is possible in Canada and everywhere. Camelot can be anywhere, including in our hearts.