Friday, February 11, 2011

Mubarak gone. Bankers beware!

Mubarak left a moment ago. He's gone.

I've never been more proud of our species on this planet!

This is not about Egypt folks, nor even the Middle East.

The implications for world politics and ordinary people are historic.

A century from now, the Cairo uprisings will be ranked in history along with Magna Carta, the French Revolution and the 1960's so-called 'hippie' revolution. It is a progression. The usual power brokers were left flabbergast for 17 days. All they could do was repeatedly stammer "the situation is fluid."

The word 'fluid', in this instance, meant nothing more than "we can't control this."

Egyptians, you are magnificent. You have shown the world.

Bankers beware! Insurance beware!

In time, a version of Cairo, a global version, will awake to the planetary petro-pharma-banking cabal and root them out as well.

Humanity is awakening. Cairo is a clarion call. While there will undoubtedly be copy-cat political actions around the world, the next big threshold will be world banking and the role of compound interest at the heart of almost all the world's other problems.

Environmental and economic sanity, anyone?

Can't wait for Fidel's next blog from Cuba. lol

Crafty old bugger might just frame the historical implications of this eruption more accurately than most.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Anderson Cooper Joins the Liars

Well, it's finally happened. Anderson Cooper has succumbed.

Lowered himself to the crassest elements of the Lou Dobbs syndrome. Blatantly re-parsing and re-framing. Falsifying the context of another person's statement.

He has lied.

Dem. Congressman Steve Cohen recently cited Goebbels as the progenitor of the most fundamental tenet of modern propaganda: make up a simple, tactical lie, repeat it ad nauseam, and in time the audience will come to assume it's true.

That is the meaning of Goebbelism in common vernacular. The tactic is as true and attributable to Goebbels as are fridge for refrigerator to Frigidaire, xerox for photocopier to Xerox, or kleenex for tissue paper to Kleenex.

They are elements of contemporary idiomatic English.

When Congressman Cohen recently suggested that the entire Republican, Tea Party and neocon right-wing of American political debate spent 2010 applying that tactic ruthlessly and shamelessly to Obama-care and Government-run health care, he was factually, politically and idiomatically correct.

But when Anderson Cooper repeated no less than 20 times in the space of a mere 14 minute segment that Cohen had thereby "compared Republicans to Nazis" and "abused the holocaust", Cooper himself descended into filth. Logical fallacy and rhetorical rot. For minutes on end he supplemented that audio with a capitalized ticker-subtitle shouting DEMOCRAT COMPARES GOP 'LIES' TO NAZI.

In a segment cynically titled "Keeping them Honest", Cooper didn't even have the decency to let the word 'LIES' stand on its own without the single quotation marks! Congressman Cohen had not used the word tongue in cheek, nor as metaphor; he had knowingly and deliberately called them LIES!

As Cohen parried each repetition with the simple fact that the issue and the lie were over 'insurance', not 'care', Cooper progressively raised his voice and simply shouted the congressman down with ever sharper assertions that Cohen had "... compared Republicans to Nazis".

Before our eyes, using the slimiest sort of reality-TV by example, Anderson Cooper used the very syndrome Steve Cohen was decrying, thus joining the Goebbelsian hoarde.



Monday, November 1, 2010

Bye bye Barack-bird ...

.It's over.

Setting all other issues aside for a moment, (health insurance, credit crisis, two wars etc.), my one hope was that President Obama would sacrifice any hope of re-election in order to speak the simple truth for four years.

To look the world in the eye and warn us the global financial and chemical lobbies were bald-faced lying to us.

Instead, he took his eye off the ball, in overtime, of the last match, of the last series, between Haliburton and Michael Ruppert.

"Collapse" indeed!

There are only two issues left folks. Compound interest and drought.

Wealth and water.

Riots in the streets by 2020.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Influential Liars

Time to resume after a month's break. It was good to stand back and see my blogs as a reader for a bit rather than as their author. After reviewing your many thoughtful comments, I have drawn two conclusions.

First, regarding Nunaview. I had originally hoped it would convey an idea of the Nunavut Territory as a relatively non-partisan perch from which to observe governnents, the press, and the effect each is having on North America's current self-image. Seven months later, however, I'm finding that my fellow Nunavummiut come to this blog expecting to see a picture of our own governments, our own press and our own life, not the rest of the world. More than that, they are desperate for a more constructive description and analysis of what is going on right here at home than we get from other sources.

From a second group of readers, one that includes several prestigious members of the established press in both Canada and the United States, I have heard that most blogging is a mere echo, a stream of parasitic opinion feeding off harder, genuine 'news'.

That comment cuts deep. It speaks to the original intent of this blog, which was to expose and analyse the debilitating hidden assumptions underlying much purportedly harder journalism from our so-called 'mainstream media'.

I'm as fed up as you are of the cliché embedded in those two words. I just don't know how else to label elements of our contemporary press who have voluntarily donned a straightjacket of the narrowest possible scope, with their Pablum of permissible talking-points ensuring only a few tightly controlled self-perpetuating biases are eligible for coverage.

My recent period of reflexion has convinced me there is enough truth in each of the above two criticisms, that I should split my blogs in two. Nunaview will become a more recognizably Nunavutian view of itself, Nunavut, and I encourage you to continue checking it for more home and culturally focused posts. For the news junkies among us, or those who enjoy my ornery analysis of misleading assumptions and distortions from our leaders and news media, come here and help me expose those most "Influential Liars".

The time has come to move beyond simply thinking we are being lied to. It is time to show exactly how it is being done. With your help, let's offer specific examples from now on.

I am betting we all crave an alternative to the dreary inventory of social boils and puss heaped on us by local and national publications. I assume we expect more from our intellectual leadership than streams of rhetorical Clearasil. Our cream-hued institutions, including our press, are developing an increasingly assimilationist complexion and that only disguises the festering post-colonial zits that plague our best of intentions.

Every time a news report frames a challenge in our communities with a narrative that despairs of a solution, let's expose it. The time has come to throw off the shackling mindsets that bind us.

A tall order. I know. We will be amateurs, both of us, dabbling where the professional wolves dominate and are so expert at mocking and belittling such attempts as ours. It might take a year or two to hone our skills and our instincts.

But our firm intent should be to gradually retell our own story, using all the same truths, using all the documented history the nay-sayers love to wallow in, but to reweave that cloth into a map of a way forward, not one that keeps us going 'round and 'round an endless Ring Road of frustration.

Care to join me?


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Power of Brevity

My overly wordy rants about the hidden distortions and presuppositions in mainstream media have been put to shame by Jay Rosen's frugal summaries.

His recommendations for four segments on CNN during prime time better express what I have tried to convey over recent months.

Here are his mouth-watering descriptions:

7 pm: Leave Jon King in prime time and rename his show Politics is Broken. It should be an outside-in show. Make it entirely about bringing into the conversation ... people who are outsiders to Beltway culture and Big Media and who think the system is broken. No Bill Bennett, no Gloria Borger, no "Democratic strategists," no Tucker Carlson. Do it in the name of balance. But in this case voices from the sphere of deviance (to) balance the Washington consensus.

8 pm: Thunder on the Right. A news show hosted by an extremely well informed, free-thinking and rational liberal that mostly covers the conservative movement and Republican coalition… and where the majority of the guests (but not all) are right leaning. The television equivalent of the the reporting Dave Weigel does.

9 pm: Left Brained. Flip it. A news show hosted by an extremely well informed, free-thinking and rational conservative that mostly covers liberal thought and the tensions in the Democratic party…. and where the majority of the guests (but not all) are left leaning.

10 pm: Fact Check An accountability show with major crowdsourcing elements to find the dissemblers and cheaters. The week’s most outrageous lies, gimme-a-break distortions and significant misstatements with no requirement whatsoever to make it come out equal between the two parties on any given day, week, month, season, year or era. CNN’s answer to Jon Stewart.

11 pm.: Liberty or death: World’s first news program from a libertarian perspective, with all the unpredictablity and mix-it-up moxie that libertarians at their best provide. Co-produced with Reason Magazine.

Now that is a line-up that could rival Al Jazeera's equivalent, program's like Listening Post, People and Power, Riz Khan One-on-One and Rageh Omaar.

All that would be missing then would be an equivalent to AJE's Witness.

We would finally have an effective antidote to what Ashis Nandy calls "a world where the idiom of dissent is increasingly being defined at the centers of conformity."


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Knock Knock. Hugo's there?


Remember when Hugo Chavez wrinkled his nose from the podium of the United Nations General Assembly and claimed to detect a whiff of sulphur in the room? A sign of the recent presence of the imperial devil in the form of George Shrub (Bush Jr.)?

Three-quarters of the assembly giggled loudly, as was intended. They recognized the Michael Moore or Jon Stewart style of irony. The entire American delegation walked out, however, in what was obviously a rehearsed and planned move. They then launched a ferocious campaign depicting Chavez as some sort of unstable whacko. He must be bi-polar at least, right?

Can you imagine what hemispheric relations might be like if an American President had the presence of mind to join in the laughter and invite Hugo to Washington for some tough minded honest debate? Do you really think the likes of Cuba's Fidel Castro and Brazil's Lula da Silva could spend hours in conversation with an idiot, if Chavez were just that idiot? There must be something more to the fellow than we are led to believe by our mainstream media.

One possible source of additional information, Oliver Stone's new documentary "South of the Border", isn't showing anywhere near me yet. The DVD won't be out until October. Funny, I had no problem getting to see Michael Moore's "Sicko" when it was released. Care to speculate on the difference?

In the meantime, assuming neither Oliver Stone nor Michael Moore are scheduled to read this blog today, I will ask anyone who knows them both to make the following suggestion.

Take one part "Inconvenient Truth' using the format of a TED-like lecture with giant graphs showing the numbers, perhaps with Paul Krugman playing the part of Al Gore; add a zest of man-in-the-street or women talking around a kitchen table interviews to illustrate the realities of life, somewhat the way residents of France did in "Sicko"; now add a double shot of Oliver Stone doing the kind of intimate interview with Paul Volker that he did with Fidel Castro in "Comandante'; juxtapose that segment with Fareed Zakaria facing a panel of three: Michael Moore, Oliver Stone and Jesse Ventura, not as the host, but as the guest for a change, with Fareed on the hot seat to answer questions concerning his own proud capitalistic economic assumptions; and finally, perhaps as a special feature on the eventual DVD release, have Noam Chomsky lay down a voice-over audio track analyzing and restoring the deep structure underpinnings of a good number of the ambiguous statements likely to merge from all the preceding.

Oh, what is the theme for all this you ask?

I suggest the title be 'Confounded Interest' and that the task be to show the role and impact of compound interest on human behaviour. Whether on credit card debt, national and international debt, mortgage debt, or the crowbar wielding friendly neighborhood loan shark.

Oliver, Michael, I dare you. Nobody could do it the way you two could. Jesse is there to protect you.

Don't worry about distribution.

I'll pitch it to Tony Burman for you.


Why Fidel? Why not Lula instead?

Friends are asking why I follow Fidel Castro's blog so faithfully and why people like Oliver Stone are giving the likes of Hugo Chavez any benefit of doubt. Why not Lula da Silva instead, the remarkable President of Brazil?

That is a legitimate question, more subtle than we think.

Is my harping on Fidel naïve or ignorant of reality under that controversial regime?

I certainly hope not. For those who might not know, I speak Spanish fluently and the perspective of Cuba in this blog is based on pretty close interest since 1962.

I am not oblivious to the fact that a significant minority, perhaps even a majority of Cubans are keen for domestic change. The same old faces and political leadership can seem pretty dreary to us after as little as eight or ten years, let alone after 51 years, which is the case in Cuba.

What I still find fascinating in the midst of this disquiet, however, is how insightful old people can become when they no longer need to embellish the truth for tactical effect. They begin to tell it as it is. That is what I am hearing from friends in Cuba who are old enough to remember life before the revolution, some who have supported the revolution, grown fed up with it at times, but still see powerful and truthful elements in its rationale.

Now even Fidel has begun to comment more philosophically on foreign policy at least. Few of us ever expected him to soften because he has been so stridently defensive about his domestic record over the years, but he is surprising us recently with some pretty pithy cracks about his own political naïveté, especially as a proxy during the Cold War.

I think his speech to the National Assembly on August 7th should be taken in that context, as one more in a sequence of recent blogs he's written that differ substantively from anything prior.

The speech was framed as a direct plea to President Obama to deviate from standard military dogma on nuclear confrontation, especially when married to the Bush-Cheney approach to pre-emptive intervention. Fidel pleaded with Obama to explore alternative scenarios that include more third-world and southern hemispheric perspectives.

What seems sincere in Castro these days is his placing such pleas in a context of environmental and historical concern typical of someone who is now looking beyond the immediate, someone considering longer term human and planetary considerations. He is indeed sounding more like an old warrior digging deeper into even his own motives and earlier justifications for the preemptiove use of force.

In a somewhat ironic twist, I think he has been influenced as much by the likes of Lula da Silva and other modern southern leaders as he might have once inspired them.

A whole new generation of leaders has emerged in the southern hemisphere and in parts of Asia that the industrial empire and media have yet to understand and that emerging alternate information channels such as Al Jazeera English and Internet social media are now by-passing.

Yes, Obama recognizes the inherent danger of so many nuclear weapons and he has made efforts to reduce that arsenal. But his most ardent supporters are concerned by the apparent impact on him of the remorseless daily briefings from a Defence establishment permeated by precedent, wealthy vested interests and, most of all, deep secrecy camouflaged from civilian oversight.

Hence the drama over the recent WikiLeaks documents.

The reason WikiLeaks so easily fought off ferocious accusations of betrayal and troop endangerment last week is the sinister and cynical disregard for the truth to which the world grew accustomed during the Nixon and Cheney dynasties in foreign policy. Truth be known, the deception has been pervasive in all imperial regimes and we goof badly by dismissing such allegations as mere neo-con ranting or off-beat whacko conspiracy theory. A case could be made that only Eisenhower and Carter were honest American brokers in the last century

Careful semantic, syntactic and logical analysis of the utterances of our current crop of leaders and their legions of lobbyist sponsors would expose an immense subconscious maze of pre-supposition and deception to which we, the consumers of that propaganda seem oblivious.

That stupor is the cause of my increasignly strident diatribe against our press and commercial massmedia. If this blog has any dominant obsession, it is that our paid language professionals are failing utterly in their duty to expose the underlying presumptions and breaches of logic in the public and democratic dialogue.

The challenge for me in this blog, now that I've identified that as a scope and theme even when I no longer have such an easy target as Lou Dobbs to pick on, is to gradually morph from merely saying the media are perverting democratic dialogue to explicitely demonstrating how they do it.

That is what I aspire to over the next two to three years, drawing examples from local, national and international reportage.

In the interim, placing the contemporary speeches of Fidel Castro side-by-side with those of other world leaders is not a bad place to start given the themes Fidel has decided to highlight in his 'legacy' years.