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Murders, mayhem continue to wrack Seattle’s CHAZ

“This is something that’s going to need to change,” Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best told reporters.

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Two people – including a boy – have been shot to death in and around Seattle’s notorious CHAZ and now the city’s police chief says enough is enough.

In a Monday shooting, a 16-year-old boy died and a 14-year-old boy is in critical condition.

“This is something that’s going to need to change,” Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best told reporters.

“We’re asking that people remove themselves from this area for the safety of the people. If they care about people, they’re going to have to try to help us to make it safe.”

It was the fourth shooting in or near the CHAZ zone in the past 10 days. On June 20, 19-year-old Horace Anderson died from a shooting near the CHAZ zone and a 33-year-old man was injured. On June 21, a 17-year-old male was shot and later released from the hospital. On June 23, a man in his 30s was shot in the same neighbourhood.

 “Detectives have been trying to get information from witnesses, but as has been the case in other crime scenes in this area, people are not being cooperative for our requests for help,” Best said.

The U.S. has been wracked with violent riots since the death almost last month of George Floyd, a black man who was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer.

Thousands of protesters – many hailing from the far-left ANTIFA terrorist organization – have taken over a six-square block area of Seattle – now dubbed the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) – where no police officers are allowed.

Just 24 hours a day of protesting, music, dancing and communing without a cop in sight, they have already run out of food, putting out a plea for “vegan meat alternatives” and other soy-based food donations.

At the heart of the CHAZ is a Seattle police precinct, abandoned by officers and now being used by gun-tooting warlords who have established themselves as the new keepers of law and order.

They have a list of demands, including the “abolition” of the Seattle Police Department and its attached court system, free college for all people in the state, as well as “the abolition of imprisonment, generally speaking, but especially the abolition of both youth prisons and privately-owned, for-profit prisons.”

The streets are apparently controlled by a hip hop artist-turned-warlord by the name of Raz Simone, who has established an armed private police force that does not hesitate to dole out beatings to communal scofflaws.

Another video shows Raz and friends confronting a man for making unauthorized graffiti on Raz’s turf, which results in the “police” stealing the man’s phone, breaking his glasses, and reportedly repeatedly kicking him in the head.

The video reveals Raz’s gang telling the man, “For your own safety, you need to go,” and “You might need a little love tap” before seeming to assault him.

The vandal is then ordered to hand over his phone as tribute to Raz, under the threat of more violence. “You just broke my glasses! I’m blind! You just broke my glasses and stole my phone!” the man pleads, before being told, “Yeah, we should have broken your face.”

“Don’t be making no threats … I’ll blow your brains out,” Raz says.

U.S President Donald Trump and Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan engaged in a war of words over the Zone.

“Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will,” Trump warned Durkan and Washington state governor Jay Inslee – both Democrats – in a tweet late earlier in June, calling the protesters “domestic terrorists” who have taken over Seattle.

“This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped (sic) IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST,” he said in another tweet.

Durkan replied, telling Trump to “go back to his bunker” a reference to when Trump sheltered in the White House bunker after D.C protests and riots got too close.

Inslee tweeted: “A man who is totally incapable of governing should stay out of Washington state’s business. ‘Stoop’ tweeting.”

And in an interview aired Tuesday, Seattle Police Officers Guild President Michael Solan warned CHAZ areas could become mainstream unless politicians take action.

“It’s another example surrounding the conversations which elected officials and politicians across this nation are supporting when we talk about defunding the police,” he said.

“The first thing to go when we talk about defunding the police is the training budget. And, what separates good cops from bad is training … And, what we need right now is more funding and more training and more police officers and we need to reengage, reimagine policing when it comes to reconnecting with our communities across – not only just Seattle, but across the nation.

“That is the heart of what we should reengage with. Reimagining police.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: Nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Alberta union leader says ‘sorry’ for comparing UCP to Nazis

“I, Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, apologize unreservedly for invoking the name of Adolf Hitler and the monstrous Nazi government of Germany.”

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The head of an NDP-affiliated union in Alberta has apologized for comparing the UCP government to Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party.

“Hitler’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, famously said “always accuse your enemies of what you are doing yourself.” That’s exactly what’s going on with Jason Kenney’s union-busting Bill 32. It’s the UCP & its corporate friends who are gaming the system,” Alberta Federation of Labour head Gil McGowan tweeted Monday.

“And, yes, I’m accusing the UCP of adopting tactics pioneered by the Nazis and being implemented right-wing authoritarians today. Hungary, Turkey, Brazil, India, Trump’s America. These are all countries led by authoritarians who Kenney calls friends. This is what we’re up against.”

The tweets drew cross-country condemnation, especially from Jewish groups.

McGowan initially stood by the tweet, but then Wednesday finally apologized.

“I, Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, apologize unreservedly for invoking the name of Adolf Hitler and the monstrous Nazi government of Germany, in my criticism of political tactics adopted by the UCP government of Alberta,” he said in a statement Wednesday.

“While I continue to believe that the world is experiencing an alarming rise in right-wing authoritarianism which threatens the rights and well-being of millions, including historically persecuted people, like the Jewish population of the world; and while I also continue to believe that the UCP is exhibiting a troubling willingness to implement tactics, strategies and policies inspired by these new populist strongmen, I was wrong to use the Nazi regime as a point of reference.

“After engaging in conversation with a representative of the Calgary Jewish Federation and the Jewish Federation of Edmonton, it became clear to me that my use of a quote widely attributed to Hitler’s propaganda chief could trigger traumatic memories for survivors of the Holocaust and their descendants.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Alberta crude reaches NB refinery after 12,000 km journey

Cenovus announced Canada Day is first shipment had been loaded onto tanker Cabo de Hornos in the Trans Mountain loading area in Burnaby, and was on its way to the Irving refinery.

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Alberta’s first shipment of crude has reached the refinery in New Brunswick, after a circuitous journey of nearly 12,000 km.

Cenovus announced Canada Day is first shipment had been loaded onto tanker Cabo de Hornos in the Trans Mountain loading area in Burnaby, and was on its way to the Irving refinery.

But instead of flowing along an Energy East pipeline which was kiboshed, the oil was sailed down the Western seaboard, through the Panama Canal, and up the Eastern Seaboard to New Brunswick, a distance of 11,900 km.

“We were pleased with the economics of this transaction and excited to work with another strong Canadian company like Irving Oil,” said Keith Chiasson, Cenovus Energy Executive Vice-President, Downstream, in a statement when the ship left Burnaby.

“This is a one-off shipment for now, but we think there’s tremendous potential for more oil from Western Canada to make its way east, expanding our customer base here at home. It’s truly a Canadian success story.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Alberta’s gambling profit should be used to create new welfare payment, says think tank

“Those at the margins of society are paying disproportionately into the coffers,” the report concludes.

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Alberta’s more than $1.4 billion in gambling profits should be used to give the province’s poor a monthly payment, similar to welfare, says a national think tank.

Think tank Cardus, in a report released Wednesday, said the lowest-income households in Alberta pay the provincial government an estimated 7% of their annual incomes through gambling – triple the proportion that the wealthiest Albertans pay.

“Those at the margins of society are paying disproportionately into the coffers,”  the report concludes.

The report, called Royally Flushed, outlined ways to turn Alberta Gaming and Lottery Corporation (AGLC) revenue toward reducing poverty instead of mixing it in with the province’s general tax revenue.

It recommends creating a gaming equality benefit, which “would re-direct AGLC’s $1.4 billion annual contribution away from general government revenues toward low-income families through monthly support payments similar to the province’s social assistance system.”

It also says AGLC profits be used to incentivize savings – “one of the best ways to ensure families don’t turn to usurious payday loans. This can boost the savings accounts of low-income families, following a model similar to government top-ups of RESPs contributions or through prize-linked savings accounts.”

“I hope Alberta’s government takes this research seriously and seizes the opportunity to turn bad habits into good,” says Johanna Wolfert, a Cardus researcher and report co-author.

The report also found: 

  • AGLC generated more than three quarters of its 2019 profit from slot machines and video lottery terminals, which are designed to override players’ conscious, rational control.
  • Albertans are likely spend almost six times more on gambling than they report.
  • AGLC revenue is treated exactly the same way as general tax revenue; it is not designated specifically for community improvements.

“Alberta made a mistake in 2019 when it started shovelling AGLC’s casino, lottery, and slot machine proceeds into general government revenues,” says Brian Dijkema, Cardus Vice-President of External Affairs and co-author of Royally Flushed.

“That simply solidified the status of Alberta’s gambling system as a regressive form of taxation, disproportionately taking money from those who can least afford it.”

Royally Flushed: How gambling can work for, not against, Alberta is available online.

Cardus is a “non-partisan, faith-based think tank and registered charity dedicated to promoting a flourishing society through independent research, robust public dialogue, and thought-provoking commentary.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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