Get Angry: The Year’s 10 Best Political Docs

Unfortunately Peacenik hasn't seen any of these documentaries, but Peacenik is going to try and see at least 3 of them in 2011. How is that for a New Year's Resolution.

From Eliot Spitzer to Daniel Ellsberg , documentary filmmakers didn’t lack engrossing subjects this year.


Thanks largely to personal technology and its discontents, we’re living through a renaissance of activist filmmaking—never before in the history of popular media have nonfiction films been so convenient to execute, so inexpensive to finance and so easy to distribute. Every year oodles and oodles of angry political essay-films come out now, in theaters and/or on DVD and streaming services, on every subject from war to Wall Street to industrial pollution, and no viewer can be blamed for feeling like a drowner in a sea of outrage. But you need see only 10—the best political docs of 2010.
• Inside Job (Sony) As thorough and well-researched and absolutely enraging an explication of the financial meltdown as we’re likely to get (since that seeming obligatory tsunami of thousand-page Grand Jury indictments will never be written), Charles Ferguson’s film is one of several Wall Street exposé docs this year. But it’s the one that needs to be seen, preferably with an Ativan.
Casino Jack and the United States of Money (Magnolia) Alex Gibney’s portrait of the felon-lobbyist is a lively, action-packed evidentiary affair, and if you didn’t quite understand what Abramoff did when his name hit the headlines in 2006, here’s where you’ll get it all straight. Which is what you should do, because the man’s outrageous career of graft, extortion, fraud, money laundering and possibly murder reveals the essential amorality of our federal circus so clearly that any withering hope you held that we lived in a democracy worthy of the word will be squashed.


I Believe In Father Christmas - by Greg Lake

The Who: Merry Christmas


America's New Mercenaries

Punditman says...Last night punditman watched "State of Play," the 2009 movie with Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren, Ben Affleck, and Rachel McAdams. Punditman highly recommends it. Among other issues, it deals with the subject of the outsourcing of war for profit through mercenary armies. Art imitating life.

by Tim Shorrock

As American commanders meet this week for the Afghanistan review, Obama is hiring military contractors at a rate that would make Bush blush. Tim Shorrock on the Blackwater heirs.

Top U.S. commanders are meeting this week to plan for the next phase of the Afghanistan war. In Iraq, meanwhile, gains are tentative and in danger of unraveling.

Both wars have been fought with the help of private military and intelligence contractors. But despite the troubles of Blackwater in particular – charges of corruption and killing of civilians—and continuing controversy over military outsourcing in general, private sector armies are as involved as ever.

Keep Reading


Veterans for Peace White House Civil Disobedience to End War

Peacenik informed punditman yesterday that this rally took place this past Thursday without so much as a murmur from the mainstream media. Punditman was not surprised that this important event with some leading American dissidents as well as many ex-soldiers was TOTALLY freaking ignored by the mainstream media; after all, it is hard to keep up on how much they purposely ignore, distort and propagandize. So here it is:


Getting to Assange through Manning

Fer crying in the sink. Is there any way that the Obama administration is different from the Bush administration? Peacenik thought the Obama Justice Department might prosecute some criminals. Instead the financial terrorists walk free, and guys like Manning are harassed like he was the American Taliban. And now Obama is trying to cook up some charges against Assange. It is time for the Doomsday File.

by Glenn Greenwald
In The New York Times this morning, Charlie Savage describes the latest thinking from the DOJ about how to criminally prosecute WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. Federal investigators are "are looking for evidence of any collusion" between WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning -- "trying to find out whether Mr. Assange encouraged or even helped" the Army Private leak the documents -- and then "charge him as a conspirator in the leak, not just as a passive recipient of the documents who then published them." To achieve this, it is particularly important to "persuade Private Manning to testify against Mr. Assange." I want to make two points about this.

First, the Obama administration faces what it perceives a serious dilemma: it is -- as Savage writes -- "under intense pressure to make an example of [Assange] as a deterrent to further mass leaking)," but nothing Assange or WikiLeaks has done actually violates the law.

Moreover, as these Columbia Journalism School professors explain in opposing prosecutions, it is impossible to invent theories to indict them without simultaneously criminalizing much of investigative journalism. Thus, claiming that WikiLeaks does not merely receive and publish classify information, but rather actively seeks it and helps the leakers, is the DOJ's attempt to distinguish it from "traditional" journalism...


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange granted bail

This will be a popular story in the blogosphere today. Peacenik is getting a sense that the slow dribbling out of the secret U.S. cables is lessening the impact of them. Each shocking cable is now greated with a shrug. What kind of cable would it take to get the media and the public excited. Instead this becomes a sex case, played up for the masses. Peacenik is beginning to suspect that even the Doomsday File will be greated with little more than, Ugh????

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is screened from the public as he  is led into London's High Court. - Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is  screened from the public as he is led into London's High Court. | Leon  Neal/AFP/Getty Images

A British judged decided Thursday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be freed on bail with conditions, rejecting the Crown's appeal to an earlier court's decision to grant bail to the public face of the secret-spilling website.

Mr. Assange is to return to court Jan. 11 for an extradition hearing. The judge said if he absconded, Mr. Assange would make supporters, including director Michael Moore, look "naive, foolish and deceitful."

Mr. Assange has been in prison since Dec. 7, following his surrender to British police over a Swedish sex-crimes warrant. He denies wrongdoing but is refusing to surrender to Sweden's request to extradite him for questioning.

Mr. Assange arrived in a prison van at the High Court in London, where judge Duncan Ouseley heard the appeal by British prosecutors acting on behalf of Sweden.

Read on...


Where is the protest music for 2010?

Peacenik never gets tired of "Feel Like I'm Fixin To Die" rag when Peacenik wants to hear some protest music. But this new band 'Agitator' may be worth a listen. What's your favorite protest music?

Music and protest have always gone hand in hand. But, as Britain's youth get militant, is anyone giving voice to their anger? John Harris meets the one man rising to the challenge

John Harris

The Agitator performing at UCL, London
Guitar free zone … the Agitator, the band Meins fronts, taking part in a sit-in at UCL, London. Photograph: Robbie Mailer-Howat

The last few months have proved one thing beyond doubt: that British teens and twentysomethings are far from apolitical. Some questions do, however, linger: as students go on the march and hostility to the cuts spreads, where are the musical voices channelling this new mood? If past generations of protestors were assisted by your Dylans, Strummers and Braggs, might they have any contemporary equivalents?

Early last month, I wrote a piece for the Guardian bemoaning the lack of musical protest, and appealing for clues about anyone who might fill the gap. Messages from possible candidates duly began arriving. Many were of a certain age, and had seemingly cut their teeth in the far-off days when every leftfield musician had to have a song about Margaret Thatcher – but one email stuck out. It drew my attention to a young band calling themselves the Agitator, fronted by 24-year-old Derek Meins.

Read on....

Vindication for G20 Protesters

The protesters may be vindicated but Peacenik is still waiting to see some justice. Have any police officers been charged with anything more than removing their name tags. Who gave the order to charge and assault the peaceful protesters in Queen's Park, the designated protest area? Who gave the order to not intervene when some protesters started smashing windows? When is there going to be a full public inquiry? And who will insure the safety of protesters the next time a legitimate protest comes up? A mindset has been created in the police of the country that it is ok to assault protesters. How is that mindset going to be changed? And can someone explain to Peacenik why card carrying unionized police forces side so gleefully with their fascist corporate masters....who would like nothing more than to de-unionize the police, cancel their pensions, and cut their wages. It doesn't make sense. The protesters were on the side of the police.

by Linda McQuaig
In the aftermath of the G20 fiasco here last summer, one thing Torontonians agreed on was that such summits should be held in isolated venues — on military bases, on ocean-going vessels, on melting glaciers — anywhere but where lots of people reside.

But beyond being upset with the expense and disorder that weekend, many Torontonians (and city council) sided with the police, assuming that the arrest of 1,105 people must have somehow been justified, given the rampage of a small group through the downtown core.

What is now unmistakably clear — with the release of a searing report by Ontario Ombudsman André Marin and startling new video evidence of police beatings obtained by the Star’s Rosie DiManno — is that the vast powers of the state were unjustifiably used against thousands of innocent protesters, as well as against others doing nothing more subversive than riding a bike or picking up groceries.

Read on...


Michael Moore offers his servers to host Wikileaks docs, posts $20,000 bail

It is hard to say who is winning the info wars. Julian Assange remains in jail, but the diplomatic cables keep dribbling out. Wikileaks now has more than one million three hundred thousand friends on Facebook. But the majority of the U.S. public thinks Assange has harmed the U.S. public interest. The U.S. leaders and their propaganda arms must be chuckling. Wikileaks helps the U.S. public. But as usual the U.S. public are so freaking dumb they oppose it. Too many boxing day sales to think about. No time to worry about freedom of speech. Or justice. Peacenik is glad Michael Moore is trying to do something.
michael moore%20d Michael Moore offers his servers to host Wikileaks docs, posts $20,000 bail

If Amazon.com won't host leaked diplomatic cables posted by the website WikiLeaks, Michael Moore will.
The liberal filmmaker and author announced in a web posting Tuesday that he had donated $20,000 to the cause of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks' embattled chief who is being held in the United Kingdom on sexual offense charges and is seeking to be released on bail.
"I support Julian, whom I see as a pioneer of free speech, transparent government and the digital revolution in journalism. His commitment to exposing the follies of government and business offers the greater society a chance to protect itself from these follies," Moore wrote in a web posting Tuesday.


Punditman Podcast: Sarah Flailing and Wikilkeaks

Assange Attorney: Secret Grand Jury Meeting in Virginia on WikiLeaks

The U.S. must be very frustrated that they cannot simply rendition Assange to Egypt or somewhere, where he can be tortured and possibly disappeared. That is their usual modus operandi. Yes the rule of law can be messy. So the U.S. will try for some secret grand jury charges, that might get Julian into their hands. And of course Sweden is slobbering to comply, if they can first get their hands on Julian with some trumped up sex charge. But this extradtion from the UK could take a while. It may have to follow the rule of law. The world is watching. Peacenik thinks it is time for Julian Assange to unlock the Doomsday File.

London -- A secret grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, is meeting to consider criminal charges in the WikiLeaks case, an attorney for the site's founder, Julian Assange, told the Al-Jazeera network in an interview.
[WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange surrendered to British  authorities last week. He is set to appear in court Tuesday.]WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange surrendered to British authorities last week. He is set to appear in court Tuesday.
"We have heard from Swedish authorities there has been a secretly empaneled grand jury in Alexandria ... they are currently investigating this," Mark Stephens told Al-Jazeera's Sir David Frost on Sunday, referring to WikiLeaks. The site, which facilitates the disclosure of secret information, has been slowly releasing a trove of more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables since November 28.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said last week he had authorized "significant" actions related to a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks' publication of the cables, but has declined to elaborate.
Read on...


"Soon come, soon come the day this tinderbox is gonna blow in your face"

punditman says...

Scanning the news lately, punditman is beginning to wonder if things aren't starting to come apart at the seams. It's not quite 1968,[1]  but you never know where things are going to end up, especially in Europe. Government austerity packages being implemented across the board in Europe should be viewed for what they are: class warfare aimed at making the middle and lower classes pay for the unpunished corruption and incompetence of an unregulated financial class.

Thanks to the meltdown of 2008, and the criminal greed of Wall Street and their cohorts and minions abroad, citizens of the world have been left with a sputtering "recovery" whose salient features include massive unemployment, deep cuts to pensions, and social servicesall overseen by the same political class who oversaw the disaster in the first place. Apparently they have no proper ideas of how to fix things. Time for a change.

Moving on to free speech and government transparency, the so-called hallmarks of democracy; those freedoms we are told that our soldiers are fighting and dying to uphold in Afghanistan, it's now official: the emperors truly have no clothes. Thanks to Wikileaks, and the dumping of just a fraction of 250,000 diplomatic cables and the earlier spilling of  hundreds of thousands of files from the Iraq and Afghan Wars, the world is being exposed to a good sampling of some of official duplicity, hypocrisy and state crimes behind American diplomacy and warcraft. To list just a smidgen: the unaffordable, depressing Iraq and Afghan wars with their massive collateral killings and the actual thoughts of cynical state apologists and propagandists who often know a war is hopeless but pretend otherwise; gossipy diplomatic spats between so-called mature nations; and, of course, the attempt to kill the messenger Julian Assange (figuratively in some quarters, literally in others) and those who do business with Wikileaks. Assange, for his part, recently wrote the following:
People have said I am anti-war: for the record, I am not. Sometimes nations need to go to war, and there are just wars. But there is nothing more wrong than a government lying to its people about those wars, then asking these same citizens to put their lives and their taxes on the line for those lies. If a war is justified, then tell the truth and the people will decide whether to support it.
Do governments have a legitimate concern to protect sensitive diplomatic information and lives, when it comes to matters of diplomacy and security? As a general principle, most would say of course they do. But what we have seen from Wikileaks ranges from bland and embarassing to revealing and disturbing, rather than endangering. Indeed Assange recently pointed out the following:
US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates admitted in a letter to the US congress that no sensitive intelligence sources or methods had been compromised by the Afghan war logs disclosure. The Pentagon stated there was no evidence the WikiLeaks reports had led to anyone being harmed in Afghanistan. NATO in Kabul told CNN it couldn't find a single person who needed protecting...
Punditman says going after Assange rather looks and feels like it is part of the more generalized trend to intimidate citizens and squash free speech by going after the messenger, rather than genuine concern for safety and security. Punditman reserves judgement regarding the allegations of sex crimes against Assange.

It comes as no surprise that we are being lied to or misled, but the extent of manipulation, intrigue, and "things not being as they appear" is startling. They would have us all played for fools. But a pox on all their houses, because it matters not what country we cite, be it "free" or unfree. Saudi Arabia asked the US to attack Iran; Sweden is a secret NATO member and US intelligence sharing is kept from their Parliament; Britain's so-called Iraq War inquiry was fixed to protect US interests. Fifteen thousand more Iraqis have been killed than was publicly acknowledged. The list goes on and on.

As for US foreign policy, with its murderous drone strikes, torture chambers, secret prisons, and GIs who shoot innocent civilians from helicopters like fish in a barrel, we can now add to these the fact that the US "asked its diplomats to steal personal human material and information from UN officials and human rights groups, including DNA, fingerprints, iris scans, credit card numbers, internet passwords and ID photos, in violation of international treaties." The descending superpower's paranoia astounds. Decades of supposed multilateralism and this is what we get?

Modern statecraft laid bare. Time for a change.

And what of Canada? Well, as revealed by the Wikileaks diplomatic cables, back in 2009, Jim Judd, the former director of the CSIS, met with senior advisor to US Secretary of State Secretary Condoleezza Rice, Eliot Cohen and discussed security matters. He said that Canadians had an "Alice in Wonderland" worldview and Canadian judges, "have tied CSIS in knots, making it ever more difficult to detect and prevent terror attacks in Canada and abroad." Judd doesn't seem to have much time for civil rights. Nor did the Toronto police force or the Ontario government during the G20 back in June.

Actually, the civil liberties file is in deep trouble across the Western world, with routine violations of basic human rights, police brutality, and taser deaths occurring on a regular basis. With repression on the rise, there's bound to be some payback from those with nothing left to lose.

As punditman says, things may take a turn off the rails hither and yon. At the core of all this is a profound distrust of the will of the people on the part of elites.

Precient lyrics come to punditman's mind as we see the massive injustices that dominate our age:

"One day you're going to rise from your habitual feast, 
To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast, 
They call the revolution."[2]

Hear, hear, Bruce Cockburn. Now there's a great Canadian. Or this portentous passage from the American singer-song writer Natalie Merchant:

"Soon come, soon come the day, this tinderbox 
Is gonna blow in your face, 
I don't have the gift of the prophecy, 
Telling everybody how it's gonna be, 
But you go passing wrong for right and right for wrong, 
People only stand for that for just so long."[3]

Indeed. Indications are that people will only stand for this for "just so long." For students in London facing a tripling in tuition fees (see video below), the pot has officially boiled over. Where it all goes from here is anybody's guess. Time for a change.

1. At around 3:04 of the video, Professor Chris Knight of the University of East London is introduced. He says it's just like 1968, noting that back then it started with the students. Time will tell.
2. Bruce Cockburn. "Call it Democracy." World of Wonders. True North Records, 1986.
3. Natalie Merchant. "This House is on Fire." Motherland. Elektra, 2001.


John Lennon - Power To The People

punditman says...

Thirty years ago this evening, John Lennon was murdered when he and Yoko returned to their apartment. At the time, punditman did not learn of this awful news until early the next day when he looked at the morning paper, which read: "John Lennon shot dead in New York City." Punditman went to his job that morning, loading trucks in the Sears warehouse. Like many of his fellow workers, (some of whom were undoubtedly working class heroes), punditman was very upset. Punditman is still upset.

Would John Lennon still be upset in our war-ravaged world? Would he have continued to rebel against war and injustice? Punditman likes to think so. All power to the people. Rest in peace, John. Punditman is still upset.

Ombudsman charges G20 secret law was ‘illegal’

The Premier of Ontario has just admitted having failed on the secret law enacted during G20. So who committed more crimes during the G20? The citizens of Toronto? The Black Block? Or the Police? Every one of those detainings all over the city, in which police demanded identification of  people were illegal. All the self justification. All the justifying. Every defense of police action. 'Twas all bullshit. The people of Toronto were subjected to a police state during G20. And our elected officials, the media, and the police, all thought it was just hunky dory. Peacenik wants to see a public inquiry. Peacenik wants to see charges laid against offending police. Peacenik wants to see compensation paid to those who were mistreated. Peacenik wants to see some justice. Don't you?

Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin releases his special G20 report into  the province's so-called "fence law" at Queen's Park, Dec. 7,  2010.
Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin releases his special G20 report into the province's so-called "fence law" at Queen's Park, Dec. 7, 2010.
Robert Benzie and Rob Ferguson
It was “illegal” and “likely unconstitutional” for Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government to pass a secret regulation that police used to detain people near Toronto’s G20 summit of world leaders last summer, says Ombudsman Andre Marin.

In a scorching 125-page report entitled Caught in the Act, Marin said the measure “should never have been enacted” and “was almost certainly beyond the authority of the government to enact.”

“Responsible protesters and civil rights groups who took the trouble to educate themselves about their rights had no way of knowing they were walking into a trap – they were literally caught in the Act; the Public Works Protection Act and its pernicious regulatory offspring,” he told reporters.

Hackers strike back at perceived enemies of WikiLeaks

Sounds like World Info War I is heating up. Has there ever been such an effort by international police agencies to pursue an apparently obscure sex crime. And the mainstream media continues to march lock step with governments and their intelligence agencies. I guess all the mainstream pundits would be happy to have the CIA and the White House press office vet their work. Wait a second. They already do. Peacenik continues to eagerly await the key to the Doomsday File. Free Julian Assange now.

Raphael G. Satter

WikiLeaks supporters struck back Wednesday at perceived enemies of founder Julian Assange, attacking the websites of Swedish prosecutors, the Swedish lawyer whose clients have accused Mr. Assange of sexual crimes and the Swiss authority that froze Assange's bank account.

MasterCard, which pulled the plug on its relationship with WikiLeaks on Tuesday, also seemed to be having severe technological problems.

The online vengeance campaign appeared to be taking the form of denial of service attacks in which computers across the Internet are harnessed — sometimes surreptitiously — to jam target sites with mountains of requests for data, knocking them out of commission.

The online attacks are part of a wave of online support for WikiLeaks that is sweeping the Internet. Twitter was choked with messages of solidarity Wednesday, while the site's Facebook page hit 1 million fans.

Read on...


Campaigners Rally to Defense as Attempts to Muzzle Site Mount “I Am Wikileaks”

Peacenik thinks it is time for Wikileaks to launch its Doomsday File, which has been available for download since August. It is heavily encrypted. If anything happens to Julian Assange the key to the encryption will be released. This is really getting weird.

by Jerome Taylor

Renewed cyber attacks on Wikileaks servers in Sweden closed down sections of the whistle-blowing website today as the information war over the State Department cables escalated dramatically.

The attacks came as the Swiss post office announced it had frozen a Wikileaks bank account containing 31,000 euros, leaving the website with limited ability to raise money.

The ongoing attempts to halt the release of US government communiqués has created a backlash amongst grassroots online campaigners who have rallied under the Wikileaks banner to keep the website online.

Using the moniker "I Am Wikileaks", supporters are using social network sites to publicize new outlets for the State Department cables when old ones get closed down or taken offline. They have also now created more than 570 mirror versions of the Wikileaks website and have called for a boycott of Paypal, Amazon and EveryDNS, three US-based websites that recently severed ties to Wikileaks.

Read on...

A second look at G20 police assault

Peacenik said there was no police forensic analysis of the video showing the assault of Adam Nobody. Chief Blair just keeps digging himself a deeper hole. When will the officers who assaulted Adam Nobody be arrested? When will Chief Blair resign? When will the rule of law return to Toronto, and when will it return to civilized society?

Image By Rosie DiManno

I see you, Mr. Policeman.
I see your mustachioed face, the visor so helpfully lifted up.
I see your arm — in short-sleeve uniform shirt — pumping back and forth, brutally beating.
I see the baton in that hand.
And do you, Police Chief Bill Blair, recognize this cop? Was he one of yours, pounding on Adam Nobody that awful day, June 26, 2010, when peaceful G20 protesters were assaulted by some law enforcement thugs at Queen’s Park?
If so, what do you intend to do about it now, sir?
The Toronto Star has come into possession of a new piece of videotape shot by a bystander that afternoon. It is 12 minutes and 20 seconds long — 23 seconds of which capture a vicious cop pile-on, officers pounding on Nobody, a stage designer who changed his name two years ago from Adam Trombetta for the pun value.
Read on...

Don't shoot messenger for revealing uncomfortable truths

It is World InFo War I. The world against Wikileaks, and Wikileaks supporters. Apparently the Wikileaks servers were being attacked at the rate of 10 gigabytes of information per second in an effort to shut it down. Here is a just released op-ed piece from Julian Assange who was arrested several hours ago. Peacenik wonders what the anti-Wikileaks crowd are afraid of. Peacenik hopes Peacenik will find out.

Julian Assange

WIKILEAKS deserves protection, not threats and attacks.

IN 1958 a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide's The News, wrote: "In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win."

His observation perhaps reflected his father Keith Murdoch's expose that Australian troops were being needlessly sacrificed by incompetent British commanders on the shores of Gallipoli. The British tried to shut him up but Keith Murdoch would not be silenced and his efforts led to the termination of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign.

Nearly a century later, WikiLeaks is also fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public.

I grew up in a Queensland country town where people spoke their minds bluntly. They distrusted big government as something that could be corrupted if not watched carefully. The dark days of corruption in the Queensland government before the Fitzgerald inquiry are testimony to what happens when the politicians gag the media from reporting the truth.

Read on...


Cyber Attack Forces Wikileaks to Change Web Address

'Free speech has a number:'

Watching companies cave to U.S. pressure and to the banks pressure is making Peacenik sick. Corporations, mainstream media, politicians, etc. are all in it together. Has there ever been such a blatant display of how fearful they are, of the truth? In this case, the truth will come out. Nutbars like Joe Lieberman will want to shut down the Internet. Julian Assange is not a one man operations. The truth will come out.

Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has been forced to change its web address after the company providing its domain name cut off service.

EveryDNS.net said it had terminated services because Wikileaks.org had come under massive cyber attacks. But Wikileaks has already reappeared using a Swiss web address.

Wikileaks has also used micro-blogging site Twitter to urge its fans to redistribute its "raw" net address so it can be viewed at any time.

This numerical internet protocol (IP) address remains live and accessible even when web domains - the normal "www" addresses used to access most sites - are unavailable.

Experts say it is likely that Wikileaks has done deals with lots of web hosting companies, although many are likely to back away from dealing with the controversial site in the light of recent web attacks.

There is also a published list of mirror sites, which Wikileaks hopes will provide constant access to the site.

Read on...

Big Five tapped Fed for funds during financial crisis

Peacenik seems to recall lots of talk about how strong Canada's banking system is. How it is different from the U.S. banking system (which is bankrupt). Lots of talk about how Canada won't suffer the same housing meltdown that is occurring in the U.S. Peacenik didn't believe it then and Peacenik doesn't believe it now. The black hole of debt that is sucking European countries into its vortex right now is getting bigger and bigger. And of course the media accepts glib explanations from the banks. Peacenik wonders why it is not a matter of public record that a publicly traded company is borrowing big sums of money from the U.S. fed. What about all that superior Canadian bank regulation? Peacenik doesn't believe the banks and Peacenik doesn't believe the politicians. Something stinks.

Bay Street - Bay Street

Canada’s major banks were among numerous financial institutions across the globe which accessed funding from the U.S. Federal Reserve as part of its efforts to stave off economic collapse.

Among the thousands of transactions revealed by the Fed on Wednesday were a number involving Canadian banks, which took advantage of one program to borrow roughly $111-billion (U.S.) through their operations in the U.S.

Obliged to disclose the information under a new financial-reform law, the Fed provided an unprecedented look Wednesday inside a host of programs it used starting in 2007 to shore up a tottering U.S. banking system. The records show in stark terms how the Fed acted as a lender of last resort to a variety of players in the U.S. and beyond, extending low-cost loans and other sources of funding in a desperate effort to get financial markets functioning again.

Read on...


University Of Calgary Professor And Senior Advisor To Canadian PM Calls For Julian Assange Assassination On National TV

The casual call for the murder or assassination of Julian Assange shows how far society has collapsed. How corrupt it is. Why does the mainstream media give these psychopaths airtime? Christ, the interviewers were yukking it up like it was a big joke, like they had a scoop. And this guy is an adviser to Harper. Will Harper disavow him? Will he be forced to come on tv and say he misspoke himself? Probably not. Peacenik is worried about the welfare of Julian Assange. Peacenik hopes he is somewhere safe.

It is not a good week for Wikileaks. Following yesterday's Interpol arrest warrant, also yesterday, Tom Flanagan, a senior advisor and strategist to the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, called for the assassination of Wikileaks director Julian Assange. On CBS News. On Live TV. As the video notes, "it is believed to be the first ever televised "fatwa" since the edict by the Iranian leadership of the late Ayatollah Khomeini against British writer Salman Rushdie in February 1989." It's a good thing western society, where due process used to mean something, is so much more evolved than that of Iran. Additionally, although news anchor Solomon afforded Flanagan the opportunity to retract his statement, Flanagan balked at doing so and instead reiterated that U.S. President should put out a "contract" on Assange or use "a drone" and that he would not be unhappy if Assange "disappeared." Flanagan who is a trusted member of PM Harper's inner circle of Tory strategists joins Sarah Palin in calling for the death of the Wikileaks director as retribution for the website's release of confidential diplomatic and intelligence "chatter" this week. How long before any senior political advisor has the freedom to issue fatwas on national TV on anyone who dares to utter or publish something that they consider offensive?

Documents Show NYT and Washington Post Shilling for US Government on Iran Missile "Threat"

punditman says...One can still be distrustful and indignant towards the Iranian regime and its buffoon-leader while also recognizing that a) there has been a campaign of US-led hysteria and distortions of known facts surrounding their nuclear program, including the supposed complicity of North Korea; and b) these tall tales are aided by the big media. 
Here is a clear example of how the mainstream media distorted a key Wikileaks document. They hope we wouldn't notice. Fortunately, Gareth Porter did.

Wikileaks Exposes Complicity of the Press


A diplomatic cable from last February released by Wikileaks provides a detailed account of  how Russian specialists on the Iranian ballistic missile program refuted the U.S. suggestion that Iran has missiles that could target European capitals or intends to develop such a capability.

In fact, the Russians challenged the very existence of the mystery missile the U.S. claims Iran acquired from North Korea. 

But readers of the two leading U.S. newspapers never learned those key facts about the document. 

The New York Times and Washington Post reported only that the United States believed Iran had acquired such missiles - supposedly called the BM-25 - from North Korea. Neither newspaper reported the detailed Russian refutation of the U.S. view on the issue or the lack of hard evidence for the BM-25 from the U.S. side. 

The Times, which had obtained the diplomatic cables not from Wikileaks but from The Guardian, according to a Washington Post story Monday, did not publish the text of the cable.

Noam Chomsky: WikiLeaks Cables Reveal "Profound Hatred for Democracy on the Part of Our Political Leadership"

Yep, the mainstream media by and large is coming out against Wikileaks. Interpol is trying to arrest Assange on sex charges. Bill O'Reilly thinks Assange should be executed. The White House is discombobulated. But. Will there be any consequences? Probably not. George Bush confessed to approving torture and the mainstream media yawned. What does it take to get someone, other than a whistleblower, arrested in the US? Peacenik continues to hope for some leaked bombshell that justice cannot ignore. But that hope is fading.

In a national broadcast exclusive interview, we speak with world-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky about the release of more than 250,000 secret U.S. State Department cables by WikiLeaks. In 1971, Chomsky helped government whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg release the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret internal U.S. account of the Vietnam War. Commenting on the revelations that several Arab leaders are urging the United States to attack Iran, Chomsky says, "latest polls show] Arab opinion holds that the major threat in the region is Israel, that's 80 percent; the second threat is the United States, that's 77 percent. Iran is listed as a threat by 10 percent," Chomsky says. "This may not be reported in the newspapers, but it's certainly familiar to the Israeli and U.S. governments and the ambassadors. What this reveals is the profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership." [Rush transcript below]

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