Thursday, 23 March 2017

Terror in London: UK Parliament attack 4 dead, many injured suffer the people



Earlier today March 22nd, an unidentified knife man mowed down pedestrians than attempted to reach inside British Parliament in London, UK. The suspect only reached in front of the main Parliament entrance before he was shot but captured alive by London's metropolitan police. Coincidentally, it happens to be the 1st anniversary of the Belgium attacks. It has been roughly 10 years since the 7/7 attacks on London. The attacker drove a Hyundai SUV purposely into 10+ people on the Westminster Bridge that connects the financial district of London on the eastern side of the Thames to Parliament and Westminster area on the West Bank. One injured woman was rescued from the Thames while other people lay on the bridge's side walks, in the road and the buses were stopped halfway on the bridge. Many pedestrians, a combination of locals, tourists, bus drivers, policemen and parliamentary workers in the area took time to evacuate the Westminster Bridge and Parliament area not thinking that the erratic driving was an attack but assumed it was drunk driving or someone unfamiliar with driving altogether. Parliament was placed on locked down. Most people in Central London have since returned home. Keep in mind that London is a huge city than it is often portrayed on TV. The city's metro area spreads out for 606 square miles. While Central London is the main focus of the attacks, other parts of the city are still safe and are adjusting to the news in kind. As can be expected, the London Tube had been closed and transportation is spotty. London Mayor Siddiq Khan has reassured the 8 million residents, the wider country and visitors that London will get on with its daily life and that the city is still relatively safe in spite of today's events.




It is worth noting that in London, gun violence and shooting massacres on the scale of America do not happen. There are armed robberies and knife attacks, but shootings and attacks on public buildings on this scale don't happen often in London or many British cities. Most British police also don't carry military style weapons only specialized police carry such weapons which is why you see some London police officers armed almost like bank security guards and why the American police resemble the military. When attacks like this happen, it shocks most Londoners, even the police who anticipated events like this.

BREAKING: Nigel Farage, famed former UKIP leader and Brexit champion is also the radio host for Nigel Farage Show for the conservative radio station LBC News. Here's Farage On The London Terror Attacks as part of a live call in discussion.




TNTV News: Young host report on London Attacks breaks into an emotional rant 

TNTV News is One of many new right wing news stations on Youtube challenging the Mainstream Media and receiving new viewers and subscribers on a weekly basis

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Canada or Bust: American refugees' journey to the far North

Canada's place in the world. Often ignored in most news reports and mistaken as an"second America with a funny accent," Canada is bordered to its South by the United States, West by Russia :) and the U.S. state of Alaskathe East by Greeland, Iceland and the British Isles. Canada also borders the Arctic Circle and is famous for its Putoine, maple syrup, health system and people. In terms of climate for being deathly cold in winter. Most Canadians live within the Southern portions of Canada along the border from Vancouver in the far west British Colombia all the way to Newfoundland and Labrador in the East.


Democracy Now: U.S. refugees going to Canada



While the focus on illegal immigration is normally turned south to the U.S. Mexico border, the northern border between Canada and United States has been getting some attention. Somali and Sudanese refugee families have been slogging through snow from Minnesota and New York to reach Canada. It doesn't matter if they make it to Toronto, rural Quebec or Alberta Canada. The American refugee families are again fleeing a second time not to the United States but out of it. Their reason for fleeing is the fear that sits in the back of many people's minds of Trump's erratic childish behaviour and swinging migration and refugee plans. Many families are worried rightfully of so of being banned or swept up in ongoing deportations that have been occurring across the U.S. Many refugee families came into the country legally through a vetting process that took years just for them to be approved for resettlement. It is the uncertainty that has many worried. Former President Obama still holds the record on deporting illegal immigrants (2 million) among his presidential peers. President Trump isn't changing his mind on his travel ban despite being blocked again by another Pacific state federal judge this time Hawaii's Judge. The West Coast states have been putting their collective foot down on Trump's travel ban more so than even Trump's home state of New York, Maryland and Massachusetts who have joined their West Coast cousins in condemning the Travel ban 2.0. The rest of the United States has rolled its eyes to the blockage of the travel ban. Trump is still trying to find a way to override the travel ban block. So far he has publicly at his latest rally in Tennessee and loudly threatened to take his case to the supreme court.


North of the border, the popular Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and parliament has opened its arms and a sympathetic ear to refugees scorned by Trump and wider American society. Canada prides itself on being a nation of immigrant and acknowledges that it was once an sovereign, indigenous nation. Canada also has a larger indigenous population than does the U.S. Canadians at times boast that they have been more welcoming to refugees, immigrants and the oppressed than their neighbours to the South. Especially when the ostracised groups needed protection the most. Canada has taken in a lot of migrants and refugees from Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Somalia and now the USA. Nowadays, the Canadian welfare system is overwhelmed by asylum claims and illegal entrants.


Canada has always been seen as a refuge for oppressed Americans throughout history. Enslaved Africans travelled to Canada in the 18th-19th centuries to escape the brutality and horrors of slavery and ethnic cleansing via the Underground RailRoad. Nearly half of African Canadians are of African American descendant and the rest from the Caribbean and Africa. Conscious objectors, draft dodgers and court martial Vietnam soldiers also fled North during the Vietnam war from 1960-1975. More recently Iraq war resisters have found themselves in Canada. It is worth remembering, that various film actresses, actors and millionaires announced no matter what, they'd move to Canada if Trump won the 2016 elections which he did. Six months later, neither the millionaires nor the actresses have raced towards their imagine Canadian promise land. It is the ordinary Americans and refugee families who are practising what the wealthy preached. There is no 1,000+ mile border iron wall on the U.S. Canadian border line. As a matter of fact the Northern border has been wide open (quite literally by the way) with several less militarized border entry points since the modern United States came into existence in 1776. The indigenous peoples of Canada and U.S. like the peoples along U.S./Mexico border didn't care much for physical border walls on indigenous lands since they'd been able to cross without trouble to visit their familial and cultural ties that live on both sides of the border. On the Southern border, the indigenous Tohono O'odham have argued that the more militarized, existing border walls have done more harm in preventing needed access to healthcare and visiting familial ties.


WLWX News: A Senegalese mother was recently deported from Cincinnati, Ohio after being in the U.S. for 20 years.


27 Jamaicans deported from the U.S. in early March


Sunday, 12 March 2017

For Sinclair Lewis, It can happen here on fascism in US


Sinclair Lewis, the 1930s author who predicted (without knowing) the rise of charismatic authoritarian leader to rule the United States 80 years after his prophetic book was published.


Following up on George Orwell's foreshadowing of alternative facts and Big Brother in 1948, another author and journalist from the past appeared to have prophesied the likes of Trump and a creation of a uniquely fascist America. Sinclair Lewis, the first American to win a Nobel Price for Literature was the author of It Can't Happen Here, a fictionalized account of how America becomes a Fascist country in the aftermath of the hotly contested 1936 Presidential elections. The book was published in 1935. Flash forward 80 years later and the book's plot resembles the plot of a TV series. See The Man in the High Castle series by Philip K. Dick based on the novel of the same name where in alternative history, the United States looses World War II and is occupied by both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan respectively. The fear of a possible Nazi-Japanese occupation was a real and imagined fear by many Americans throughout the 1930s-40s. The book was published as a play in 1936 and was and is still performed across the country even today. Depended on the region, the story's settings and characters change to fit a specific region but the basic storyline remains the same.


The first cover of Lewis' magnum opus. It was meant to be a satire of American politics. 

One of the main characters of It Can't Happen Here is a charismatic presidential candidate by the name of Bezlius "Bez" Windrup who defeats the real life President Franklin Roosevelt. Windrup takes up the cause of the common man and emphasizes the forgotten man now has a leader who won't ignore them any longer. The fascism in It Can't Happen here, is distinct from the then Fascist Italy. It is uniquely American inspired by American exceptionalism no doubt. The story itself was inspired by the attitudes of ordinary Americans who suffered greatly during the Great Depression and the immediate aftermath of the 1929 stock market crash. It was also inspired by the rise of Fascism occurring in Western Europe in the 1930s. There was also the American Nazi Party (it still exists as one of many US terrorist groups), pro-Nazi and pro fascist Americans who didn't see any wrong in doing business see IBM, cooperating and even exchanging ideas with Germany, Italy and Spain. Nor downplaying Jewish refugees' plight. It wasn't until the start of World War II, that the non chalant appeasement attitudes toward Hitler and Mussolini changed. As the story goes a long, terms that are used today pop up the Minuteman, resistance, peace through defence, the country needs discipline read the country needs law and order and even mentions people fleeing to Canada! Again, this is in 1935, some 13 years before Orwell's best seller. No wonder the pundits don't like to bring up history to explain current events. Historical mistakes have been made too many times and many lessons unlearned since the 1930s.

Berkeley Reportoire Theatre reads It Can't Happen Here 

At the Yolo County Library near Sacramento, CA. Known colloquially as the Berkeley Rep, the theatre has been performing both cultural and political plays, novels and spoken word for decades.


A Different kind of Fascism

In 1930s, the atmosphere and the public's general anxiety over the possibly of a fascist government taking over the United States wasn't as different as it is today. The only difference being that the rise of authoritarianism is in its infancy with Trump and is being watched closely by the right wing and ultra nationalists politicians and parties in Europe. When fascism comes to the United States, how fascist is the Trump presidency is still being debated, it will not be the like fascism of the 1930s with Fascist thugs i.e. the Nazi Brown shirts and Fascist beating up opposition and critics of the government. It will be more subtle, more digitized and on-line as well as more discreet. But the signs and racism are there. Yes there are a few clashes going on between the Trump supporters and the more violent left wing militants known as the Black Bloc and Anarchists in Berkeley and at the Inauguration. Most of the past weekend's pro-Trump rallies across the country were relatively peaceful and had less of a crowd than the large hundred of thousands protests against the White House. Most of the President's supporters spend more of their time on-line on various comment boards, forums, video sites, producing their own news channels, newspapers and berate the mainstream media as "fake news." It is well known that there have been mainstream news outlets have produced major false news stories to enforce real politik American Foreign Policy. Fox News is notorious for its own fake and exaggerated news. The extremists (motivated by apocalyptic political and social fear not religion) among the Trump supporters (including neo Nazi and openly racist groups) have said such reporters who criticize the president should be fired and replaced by "real patriots." Trump doesn't help ease people's anxiety by removing home grown, white extremists and terrorists from the Countering Violence and Extremism or CVE anti extremist program to focus solely on Islamic extremism. Keep in mind that American terrorists are more of a threat and immediate danger to U.S. society than ISIS. Like ISIS recruits and fighters, the home grown terrorists monitor and pay attention to mainstream news and the White House in addition to independent news too.


Black Bloc protesters wrecked up parts of the UC Berkeley campus following the cancellation of Right Wing provecautor and self describe troll Milo Yiannpoulous' speech at the campus in February 2017. Berkeley has always had large and small protests and often protests against fascism and militarism. That is what the city and university is known for. It wasn't a surprise for the larger Bay Area or the state as a whole.


The more non violent moderates, liberal and progressive protesters and activists have moved themselves from associating with the Black Bloc altogether. Even the Marxists and anarchists have critiqued Black Bloc's violence and fringe elements wanting to be disconnected from the larger protest organizations. There's always been the question of if armed resistance for liberation works better than non violent action. The Black Bloc has been around for at least 30 years but has tried to stay on the fringes of protests. The group originally emerged in Germany and has historically been made up of university students who are not the stereotypically spoiled college brats the right wing pundits often portray the left militants to be. Until Trump came into office, the Bloc militants would appear in larger violent police brutality protests ie the various G8 summits Genoa 2001, 1999 World Trade Organization protest in Seattle, Anti-NATO, Fergueson, Oakland Oscar Grant protests, Anti-Trump inauguration protests and now the most recent the cancelled speaking event at UC Berkeley by the disgraced Far Right former editor Milo Yiannpolous. For the Right wing commentators, journalists and pundits who say Liberals are violent and are fascists themselves, the self titled resistance against Trump across the U.S. have reiterated the Black Bloc doesn't represent the genuine resistance movement.

Lewis passed away in 1951 one year after Orwell.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

La Nina partially halts CA's drought, year supply of rain is too much




La Nina's flood story in CA

The recent Oroville Dam spill and flood shook up the small towns and villages in Butte County North of California's capital Sacramento. January and February's cyclical floods across the state follows the old saying be careful what you ask for. For years, Californians had asked for rain no matter how large or small to end the drought. La Nina was predicted to come soon all last year. However, Mother Nature has a good sense of humor. The rains did come down early this year. No one in California anticipated literally one year supply of rain dumped on the state in the form of La Nina a large rain storm building up in the Pacific. La Nina delivered more than what ordinary Californians could've imagine in less than two weeks. The highest dam in the United States, Oroville Dam located in Butte County, was so back up with water and overwhelmed that the dam's few spillways had to be open to relieve the water's built up. The dam's few spillways couldn't hold back the water leading to 100,000 people in neighboring towns and villages being evaucated. SoCal or Southern California also experienced flooding in the flatlands and the hills to the shook of many residents. Once the shock of La Nina subsided, the state has been counting its fortunates. Farmers and reservoirs are happy for the time being. Los Angeles' reservoirs has been replenish. The diehard skiers and snowboarders have been enjoying the extra powder ie snow in the Sierra Nevada resorts Lake Tahoe and Carson City. People still have to conserve water as the drought is still ongoing. There has been few rains the last few weeks but they have been on and off. The soil is also overwhelmed with the water. When allowed and left alone to do so, the Earth can heal itself. It just takes time and the right opportunity of rain, sun, moon and oceans to cooperate. Everything in Earth's tandem ecosystem relies cooperation and interdependence from other living organisms to thrive. Changing it does more harm than is realized. As much as Mother Nature causes grieve in the form of floods and destroyed homes, she also brings new life.

Upclose Spillway coverage in Oroville, CA


Melting snow causes flooding concerns in South Lake Tahoe


Sunday, 5 March 2017

Trump regime as a dictatorship: Orwell rolls in his grave


Remember that most business people who act out as Trump does would be reprimanded for their misconduct and unprofessional behaviour by both customers and investors.




The Trump Presidency is proving to be exhausting and stressful for all Americans. Beyond politics, most Americans are literally exhausted by the month long Trump presidency. It feels as though Trump has been in office for a year already. The pundits, journalists and ordinary people long ago anticipated Trump turning the White House into a reality show a la Celebrity Apprentice. But no one anticipated the Mussolini like persona of Trump or the need to publicly curse the media as "the enemy of the American people."

White House bans top media outlets including BBC from White House press briefings



The United States is currently witnessing what many countries have witness and continue to when economic crisis and political instability do long standing harm to society, a prelude to a dictatorship. This is not an exaggeration or a joke. Trump has so far been following the steps toward a dictatorial regime. Trump himself is the clinical definition of a narcissist who sees no fault in his actions or public outbursts nor has shown any remorse. He blames everyone else like a spoiled child. These are some of the personality traits of stubborn leaders who eventually become leaders for life. He takes charismatic passion to another level. George Orwell, the author of the Magnum Opus 1984 and Animal Farm is spinning in his grave. The book 1984 has become a best seller once again. It is required reading in schools and is quoted for its warning on "newspeak" government propaganda (which is not new even in the U.S.) to quiet society's worries over the uncheck power of a corrupt government. Orwell who often wrote about propaganda and society's fear of Big Brother have come to fruition in a country he would've never guess would experience some of his two books' woes, the United States. Unfortunately, Orwell is not around to offer his take on the likes of Trump or his regime. He passed away in 1950 just as the Cold War was heating up. As expected, Trump has not let Orwell down in his use of newspeak aka "alternative facts" when referring to defence and national security state. The topping of the cake, Trump and his councillor Kellyanne Conway have been making up terror attacks Bowling Green Massacre and a non existent terror attack in Sweden that had former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt scratching his head wondering if Trump had smoked something. Most Swedes just laughed at the failed attempt by Trump to terrify his supporters with images of terror abroad that could harm the United States.



 

Nixon, Republican not like us

Former Sen. Bob Dole, "GOP is too Extreme" on today's GOP

 

Richard Nixon, who is regarded as one of the worst presidents (alongside G.W. Bush) in recent American history, at least had the decency to hold back on being vulgar in public and acknowledge the Watergate scandal's far reaching consequences and resign in the middle of congressional hearings for impeachment. Nixon also cursed the media but again did it in private by referring to the press as the enemy. In 1970s America, Nixon was regarded as a conservative Republican yet flexible when it came to compromises. Flexibility is what Trump appears to be avoiding. It is worth mentioning, Nixon wanted to create an Affordable Care Act some 40 years before the current program, he also created the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in response to the burning rivers around the U.S. at the time. The Cuyahoga River had become so polluted from the combined steel mills and industrial waste that it literally caught fire in 1969 and was America's most polluted river. It sits east of Cleveland, Ohio and feeds into Lake Erie. It was well known then that environmental problems were a national priority. Decades before climate change become part of everyday vocabulary, environmental protectors and advocates (not protesters), warned of future consequences of ignoring environmental destruction and damages. OSHA came into existence under Nixon and he supported Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs. He criticised various government agencies but knew when to be diplomatic. During the 70s, Liberal Republicans still exists under the term Rockefeller Republicans. Nearly 45 years later, Liberal Republicans have nearly disappeared from the party. The history of Liberal Republicans is unknown by many Americans today even the historians. By today's conservative standards, Nixon would be too moderate for Trump and his supporters. Ronald Regean, Bob Dole, John Kasiach, John McCain, even Mitt Romney are moderate Republicans who listen to ordinary people and their Democratic opponents. They have criticized the Trump supporters and Tea Party as being so far right that they refuse to hear the other side and dismiss the left and moderates as weak and in some instances emasculated by feminism. They are perhaps the last of the Eisenhower Republicans. Trump is indifferent to the EPA, doesn't believe in climate change despite the evidence and is currently seeking to crush Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare as quickly as possible.

Nixon's Resignation Speech compared to politicians of today


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Hollande speech interrupted by accidental gunfire from sharpshooter 2 injured prez okay

Map of the LGV fast trains rail network criss crossing France. The fast train between Tours and Bordeaux is in the West of the country.  



On February 28th, the soon to be outgoing French President Fran├žoise Hollande, who was given a brief inaugural speech during the grand opening of a new fast train  TGV "Sud Europe Atlantic" between Tours-Bourdeaux to was Bordeaux was startled by accidental shot from a sharpshooter. The sharpshooter is part of the French gendarme: military police. The shot wasn't malicious intent. But it is a rare mistake by the sharpshooter perhaps caused by shifting the wrong way while in position. Two people were lightly injured but Hollande appears to be okay. The gunfire was more of a brief surprise than anything else to the president and the rail road company audience and media gathered. Ironically, the sharpshooter is assigned to protecting the president. The injured rail road maintenance worker and were taken to hospital. The accidental misfire comes as France has faced month long protests by students and young French against police brutality (there have been onging protests against police brutality going back decades) and an alleged sodomy crime against a youth by a police squad in a Paris suburb.

RT News: Police brutality protests in Paris and across France


Not your Mama's French elections

On top of the protest, France is awaiting its upcoming April 2017 presidential elections pitting far right FRont National's Marine Le Pen against Emmanuel Marcon. After Donald Trump's shocking victory in 2016 US Presidential elections, Europe is bracing for possible upsetting elections that might give birth more far right governments. Macron represents the centre or moderate between the two. Macron's French identity has also been the butt of jokes in the French media since he is less inclined to see France as a monocultural, homogeneous country a la Japan or S. Korea. But more of a multicultural France that was never really a homogenous country to begin with. Fillipe Fillion, a former prime minister is also popular but doesn't have enough votes to make it to the run off elections. Marine Le Pen is also facing ongoing defrauding scandal in which Front National is accused of creating fake jobs garnering finances while Le Pen was EU MP and has been stripped of her EU parlimentary immunity over he own tweets. Le Pen's time in the EU contradicts Front National's anti-EU platform and arguments for France leaving the EU.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Sirte and Qaraqosh Iraq liberated from ISIS: Displaced returning home

Qaraqosh is a small town outside of Mosul West of Erbil and Northwest of Kirkuk. Qaraqosh is part of Iraqi Kurdistan, the autonomous region of Northern Iraq that borders Syrian Kurdish region of Rojava and Western Iran. Map from infocatolica.com


The city of Sirte in North central Libya south of Misrata had been under ISIS control for the past two years. ISIS originally entered the city via Eastern Libya in 2015. Hundreds of IDPs have slowly and cautiously returned to Sirte from nearby camps and distant relatives' homes. Like in Syria and Iraq, ISIS fighters had held the city under siege while executing civilians particularly Coptic Christians and Eritreans (also Muslims) on Sirte's beach and in the city's destroyed neighbourhoods. Pro Government forces and other armed militias have been battling ISIS for the last year to regain control of the city. Now, ISIS has regrouped to the Libyan desert that makes a large chunk of Libya's countryside. Libya still has two governments Libya Dawn based in Tripoli and Derna and Tobruk Government in the far east of the African country. It's not too different from Bosnia's political system where it has three presidents all at once. Unlike Bosnia, only one of Libya's government is seen as legitimate by Western countries. The Tripoli based government has been fighting for its survival since the original transitional national council transferred power to General National Congress in October 2012. Sirte was destroyed during 2011 Libyan Uprising turned war. It is most famous for being the home town of the late Maumar Gaddhafi. After he was killed by rebel forces in October 2011, the multiple militia groups whose raison d' etre was to get rid of Gaddhafi refused to disarm. Six years later, the militias are still in control of Tripoli, parts of Benghazi, Bani Walid, Misrata and Tarwegha which remains a ghost town after Afro Libyans were expelled from the town 6 years ago as revenge for the battle of Misrata.



Sirte: ISIS HQ taken


Tel Keif, Iraq Chaldean Patriarch reopens Tel Keif Church after ISIS leaves RUDAW Tv Kurdish



In Iraq, the Assyrian Christian town of Qaraqosh aka Bakhdida, has been liberated since Oct 21st of last year from ISIS rule by Iraqi Army joined by US NATO coalition have launched an aerial and ground campaign dubbed the "Battle of Mosul" to recapture Mosul, Iraq's second largest city after Baghdad from ISIS and its takfiri cousins. Qaraqosh is near the ancient ruins of Nineveh and Nimrud. Yes, the same towns of the Ancient Assyrian Empire and biblical stories. The residents of Qaraqosh have slowly started to rebuild their destroyed homes and streets. Despite the town's destruction, some Qaraqosh residents refuse to live anywhere else or become migrants.







Mosul's full liberation from ISIS chaos has come far slower compared to Aleppo's liberation from ISIS by Syrian Army and Russian airforce which took a little over a month to begin and complete. The outer villages and suburbs were cleared of ISIS soldiers and terrorists first as the Iraqi Army approached and surround Mosul. Fighting is continuously ongoing between Iraqi soldiers and ISIS. Iraqi Kurds have been doing more than Iraqi Army to fight back ISIS and push the takfiris back not only from Erbil and other parts of Iraqi Kurdistan. In neighbouring Syria, Syrian Kurds have also been helping themselves against ISIS.