Lawlessness / Ruined – part 37

RCMP and Wet’suwet’en victims

“The Politics of Pipelines, Police, the Courts, and First Nations in British Columbia” by Tony Hall (American Herald Tribune)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

(O
In recent weeks and days I have been reflecting on the deep historical, political and legal implications of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s raid of Jan. 7, 2019. This RCMP raid was directed at the people and physical obstructions blocking the construction of a pipeline project traversing across some of the most majestic and relatively unspoiled natural geography remaining on this planet.

The envisaged Coastal GasLink pipeline is meant to transport natural gas from the Dawson Creek area in northeastern British Columbia to Kitimat on the Pacific coast. The plan is to export natural gas derived from controversial procedures of fracking, a notorious environmental bane that has been banned in a number of countries, US states, as well as in the Canadian province of Quebec.

The raid on Jan. 7 of a heavily armed and militarized unit of the RCMP resulted in fourteen arrests of Land Defenders with many more individuals being roughly manhandled by the special forces unit. The action saw police go over the Aboriginal barricades to which many Land Defenders had attached themselves with a variety of locked mechanisms. Subsequently, registered traplines in the area were vandalized on behalf of so-called private sector interests as well as their government clients and patrons. The inclination on the part of those pushing the agenda of the fast construction of pipelines is to disregard existing rules in order to realize industrial imperatives.
O)

related:

““Fake News”, “Disinformation” – Canadian Style” by Robin Mathews (American Herald Tribune)

“Propaganda/Bludgeon For First Nations In British Columbia”

“US Military Fuel Tanks Threaten Aquifer in Hawaii” by Anne Wright (Consortium News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

(((
The North Korean missile scare in Hawaii a year ago was alarming. But that fear has abated. Once again the greatest perceived threat to the island of Oahu comes from our own U.S. military.

A massive complex of 20 U.S. military storage tanks is buried in a bluff called Red Hill that overlooks Honolulu’s primary drinking water supply, 100 feet below.

The walls on the 75-year-old jet fuel tanks are now so thin that the edge of a dime is thicker. Each of the underground tanks holds 12.5 million gallons of jet fuel; 225,000,000 gallons in total.

In 2014, 27,000 gallons of jet fuel leaked through a weak spot on a tank that had been repaired with a welded patch. The welding gave way and the fuel entered the the water supply…

Leaks have been going on for years. Studies have documented them since 1947. The continued corrosion of the tank liners constantly risks a catastrophic fuel release.

Concerned citizens on the island have for decades been trying to get the U.S. Navy to remove the tanks. The military’s position is that the fuel tanks are of strategic importance to U.S. national security and are being maintained as well as 75-year old tanks can be…

The military is a formidable political opponent here.

Military expenditures in Hawaii—direct and indirect combined— generate $14.7 billion into Hawaii’s economy, creating more than 102,000 jobs.
)))

“Okinawa and the US Military Link to PFAS Toxins” by Pat Elder (Consortium News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

||=
Contaminants are being detected in water samplings in communities adjacent to U.S. military installations around the world. One forerunning example—publicized more than five years ago—is the Japanese island of Okinawa, which hosts 32 U.S. bases and 48 training sites.

In 2013, The Japan Times published an exposé about the high concentrations of toxins generically known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in the drinking water in Okinawa communities adjacent to Kadena Air Base and the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

The chemicals are found in the fire-fighting foam used in routine fire-training exercises on these bases and have been found in groundwater samplings. The Military Times in June ran an article about several women who have suffered miscarriages on military bases and have begun wondering if they were tied to something in the water…

The U.S.-Japan agreement on the Okinawa bases does not allow for Japanese officials to gain access to the bases to investigate the source of the contamination. “Within the facilities and areas, the United States may take all the measures necessary for their establishment, operation, safeguarding and control,” reads the Status of Forces Agreement between the U.S. and Japan.

Japan’s SOFA differs from those in force in European nations such as Germany, where local authorities are allowed to enter bases. According to Japan’s SOFA, Japanese officials may not conduct investigations without U.S. consent. In Germany they can.

According to Jon Mitchell, a British author who wrote the 2013 article for Japan Times, when the Okinawa Defense Bureau approached U.S. military officials in February 2017 to discuss drinking water being contaminated by the aqueous fire-fighting foam, American military officials rejected the meeting, saying the PFAS-laden foam is not a regulated substance.

They’re right. The EPA continues to allow their use.
=||

Stephen Gowans (Baraka Books)

“When liberal democracy means plutocracy” by Stephen Gowans (what’s left)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

)=-
Early in a series of lectures delivered in 1965, the political scientist C.B Macpherson observed that, “Democracy used to be a bad word.” [1] Little did he know that in 2019 “used to be” would no longer fit, and that democracy, the concept, would become a foul thing in the pages of the United States’ newspaper of record, the New York Times, even if democracy, the word, would retain its favourable connotations.

In what is surely an extraordinary pair of articles, the first on 1 November (“The weaknesses in liberal democracy that may be pulling it apart”) and the second on 21 January (“When more democracy isn’t more democratic”), Max Fisher, whose job at the New York Times is to “explore the ideas and context behind major world events,” presents an essentially Marxist critique of liberal democracy, albeit in a non-Marxist idiom, and with the Marxist valorization turned on its head; rather than praising majority rule and the popular will as good things, Fisher presents them as evils…

Voting creates the illusion of legitimacy—that the system is responsive to the popular will, when, in reality, it resists it—while liberalism checks the popular will so that establishment interests remain ascendant in the face of the latent threat of the majority to elite interests.

In “recent years a series of changes, including the rise of social media and online fund-raising, have severely weakened the establishments’ power,” Fisher observes, undermining its ability to hold the popular will in check. This is the danger inherent in democracy, or its promise, depending on whether you come down on the side of the establishment or the majority. In Fisher’s account, the only tolerable democracy is one that isn’t a democracy—that is, one in which liberalism, the instrument of the elite, is used to negate majority rule, the instrument of the many.
-=(

I don’t see democracy the way most progressives do. I agree with it, but not unconditionally. If majority-rule is holy but only according to imperfect, godless humans – most of the world is spiritually and mentally ruined – and not in God’s eyes, then How is that good? There’s two things – that are actually one thing – wrong with plutocracy. The minority who rules the world today are godless. They are self-modified people – and we are all free to self-modify, but not without consequences – who broke rules and agreements, written and unwritten (and much of what was written was written by inspiration by God), in order to come into positions of power and authority. They rule – for now.

“US Air Freight Company that Smuggled Weapons Into Venezuela Linked to CIA “Black Site” Renditions” by Whitney Webb (Mint Press News via Global Research)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

==== === == =
Two executives at the company that chartered the U.S. plane that was caught smuggling weapons into Venezuela last week have been tied to an air cargo company that aided the CIA in the rendition of alleged terrorists to “black site” centers for interrogation. The troubling revelation comes as Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has rejected a U.S. “humanitarian aid” convoy over concerns that it could contain weapons meant to arm the country’s U.S.-backed opposition.

Last Tuesday, Venezuelan authorities announced that 19 rifles, 118 ammo magazines, 90 radios and six iPhones had been smuggled into the country via a U.S. plane that had originated in Miami…

Steffan Watkins, an Ottawa-based analyst, told McClatchy in a telephone interview that the plane, which is operated by U.S. air cargo company 21 Air, had been “flying between Philadelphia and Miami and all over the place, but all continental U.S.” during all of last year. However, Watkins noted that “all of a sudden in January, things changed” when the plane began making trips to Colombia and Venezuela on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times a day.

According to Watkins’ analysis, this single plane had conducted 40 round-trip flights from Miami International Airport to Caracas and Valencia — where the smuggled weapons had been discovered — in Venezuela, as well as to Bogota and Medellin in Colombia in just the past month.

Publicly available flight radar information shows that the plane, although it has not returned to Venezuela since the discovery of its illicit cargo, has continued to travel to Medellin, Colombia, as recently as this past Monday.

Multiple CIA ties

In addition to the dramatic and abrupt change in flight patterns that occurred just weeks before U.S. Vice President Mike Pence prompted Venezuelan opposition member Juan Guaidó to declare himself “interim president,” a subsequent McClatchy follow-up investigation also uncovered the fact that two top executives at the company that owns the plane in question had previously worked with a company connected to controversial CIA “black sites.”
= == === ====

Tienditas International Bridge (was was ‘never’ opened)

“A bridge too far: US claims Venezuela blocked aid deliveries… at a crossing that was never open” by ? (RT News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

====—
Photos and video of oil tankers and shipping containers blocking a bridge between Venezuela and Colombia were used as proof Caracas was “blocking” US aid. Left out was the fact that the bridge was never open for traffic.

The bridge figured prominently in last week’s push by official Washington to paint the elected government of Venezuela as hostile to the people, and build support for the US-backed self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido. A USAID convoy arrived in Colombia on Friday, but media outlets reported that the government of President Nicolas Maduro had “blocked” it by setting up fencing and obstacles on the Tienditas International Bridge.
—====

“British troops given free hand to shoot civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan” by Jean Shaoul (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

[=-
The British Army’s rules of engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan allowed troops to shoot unarmed civilians they suspected of keeping them under surveillance.

This resulted in numerous casualties, including children and teenage boys.

An investigation by Ian Cobain, based upon statements by former UK soldiers and published by the Middle East Eye (MEE) website, points to war crimes having been committed.

Cobain, who writes for the Guardian, has covered six wars, including the 1991 Gulf War and the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. In September 2005, he revealed that the UK was supporting the CIA’s illegal extraordinary rendition program. While the MEE was unable to independently verify all the interviewees’ accounts, several ex-soldiers serving in different units at different times and in two different theatres of war made broadly similar allegations. In what can only be construed as an admission of guilt, the Ministry of Defence refused to comment…

The response of the British media is significant. None of the mainstream media outlets in Britain have mentioned Cobain’s findings. The only English-language media channels carrying reports were Al Jazeera and several Russian and Iranian channels.
-=]

“Veto power to please lobbyists – corporations behind Commission power grab over services” by ? (Corporate Europe Observatory)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

|[|
New documents increase concerns over the controversial reform to the Services Notification Procedure (“Bolkestein Directive”), which could radically expand EU Commission powers over national and municipal services regulation: 55 files obtained via access to documents requests show the heavy influence of big business lobbies over the proposal. The next negotiation round on the proposal is imminent – a deal would constrain democratic decision-making in member states on everything from housing, to water and local planning.

Opposition is growing over the European Commission’s proposed Services Notification Procedure. This directive threatens to undermine local democratic decisions, and constrain public interest policy-making in a wide range of sectors, including city planning, education, affordable housing, water supply, energy supply, waste management, and many others. The proposed directive is part of a wider Services Package (a follow-up to the 2006 Services Directive, also known as the Bolkestein Directive which provoked mass protests in several EU countries due to concerns about its social impacts and was only approved after being scaled down).

Many, from city councils to trade unions, have expressed alarm at the sweeping new powers the draft directive will give the Commission. It will be able to annul new laws and regulations developed by national parliaments, regional assemblies, and local governments across Europe, or impose significant delays in order to change proposals… New documents obtained by Corporate Europe Observatory now confirm that, in drafting the proposal, the Commission has taken its cues from the corporate lobby groups who will benefit most, whilst largely ignoring concerns raised by other interests.
|]|

Green Lacewing (photo by Joseph Berger)

“Rigging the Science of GMO Ecotoxicity” by Jonathan Latham (Independent Science News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

|(|
Researchers who work on GMO crops are developing special “artificial diet systems”. The stated purpose of these new diets is to standardise the testing of the Cry toxins, often used in GMO crops, for their effects on non-target species. But a paper published last month in the journal Toxins implies a very different interpretation of their purpose. The new diets contain hidden ingredients that can mask Cry toxicity and allow them to pass undetected through toxicity tests on beneficial species like lacewings (Hilbeck et al., 2018). Thus the new diets will benefit GMO crop developers by letting new ones come to market quicker and more reliably. Tests conducted with the new diets are even being used to cast doubt on previous findings of ecotoxicological harm…

Cry toxins are controversial. Although the biotech industry claims they have narrow specificity, and are therefore safe for all organisms except so-called ‘target’ organisms, plenty of researchers disagree. They suspect that Cry toxins may affect many non-target species, even including mammals and humans (e.g. Dolezel et al., 2011; Latham et al., 2017; Zdziarski, et al., 2018)…

The biotech industry is also very much aware of the steady stream of research, from evidence of allergenicity, to toxicity, of their Cry proteins towards so-called ‘non-target’ organisms. Organisms affected by Cry toxins include monarch butterflies, swallowtail butterflies, lacewings, caddisflies, bees, water fleas, and mammals (Losey et al., 1999; Bøhn et al., 2008; Ramirez-Romero et al., 2008; Schmidt et al., 2008; Sabugosa-Madeira et al., 2008; Mezzomo et al., 2015; Zdziarski, et al., 2018). Much of this research does not get the attention it deserves (e.g. COGEM 2014), but if swallowtail butterflies can succumb to just 14 pollen grains of Syngenta’s BT-176 corn (Lang and Vojtech, 2006) the industry is aware it can hardly truthfully market GMOs as environmentally beneficial.
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“Ruin”

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