Monthly Archives: June 2011

Harper’s Message vs Change and Hope

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I know.  It’s been nearly 2 months since the Canadian election and 40% of those who voted showed their contempt for Canada by electing a pack of crooks.

I tried very hard to bury these painful thoughts about why so many people would fall for the garbage that Harper spun and I think I’ve finally figured out part of it.

Harper’s message was the complete opposite of Obama’s ‘Change’ and ‘Hope’ themes that got him elected in 2008.

And why would this get him elected?  OK … so I haven’t quite figure that out yet, but let’s remind ourselves that the central messages were ‘Stability’ and ‘Security’.

What the F*@& do those mean?

Are they threats?

Are they promises?

What I do know is that, despite my massive misgivings for Barack Obama, they are the complete opposite of ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’.

What kind of vision does ‘Stability’ offer the people of Canada?

What kind of opportunity does ‘Security’ generate for Canadians?

I wish we had inspected these promises a little more thoroughly in the run-up to the election.

I wish we had all taken a moment to demand something more visceral from our leaders last May.

I wish we hadn’t all thought of ourselves with the smallness of selfishness that comes with the fear and paranoia that are central to these themes.

If we all had, maybe we wouldn’t be where we are today with Herr Harper in control.

Toronto G20 Use of Agent Provocateurs

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This goes in the ‘no s7!t’ pile of obvious conclusions about what happened last year during the G20 conference in Toronto, but it’s still worth reporting to the general public that what went down last year was just plain wrong.

Once again, we see that fascism is alive and well in Canada and 40% of our fellow citizens voted for this!

The Ultimate 2012 US Ticket

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Imagine towards the end of this year the following ticket: Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich.

Ron Paul is a Republican that is actually a Libertarian.  For years, he has been advocating the elimination of the Fed because it’s run by Goldman Sachs and a small cabal of other bankers (and he’s right).

Dennis Kucinich is a Democrat that is accused of being a socialist.  For years, he’s been attacking deregulation, tried to impeach George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and was the only Democray opposed to the invasion of Iraq.  His 2008 platform was one which would make almost all true progressives and small-l liberals blush with pride.

Together, they offer the perfect balance.

However, if they did seriously consider my advice, I’d offer one other recommendation:  run under your own unique banner.

They’ll have to think of a new name other than ‘Libertarian’ or ‘Socialist’.

I have always described myself as a Social Libertarian, which is why the combination of these two exceptional personalities appeal to me, but I’m not sure if this will fit either (or both).  I also doubt that it would offer any appeal to the mass of US voters.

So … should we start a naming contest for the new proposed merger of Paul/Kucinich?

Maybe the ‘American Liberty Party’?  Or ‘America’s Future Party’?

Here are a couple of links that might be of interest and that support this idea:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4DRZP9JgBA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2MzoawIhy8

http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2010/03/02/ron-paul-and-dennis-kucinich-in-2012/

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Bad Bananas

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Here’s an interesting link about Dole, banana plantations and general human suffering.

I had no idea that the original classic work of fiction ‘100 Years of Solitude’ by Gabrielle Garcia Marquez was all about this company’s efforts to manipulate various South African locales.  It looks like I’ve got one more reason to actually try to work through this piece.

The connections with the article linked above eventually lead us to the compelling documentary BANANAS!, an expose of Dole and its manipulative practices around the globe.

I’ve written in the past about various fruit companies and their impact on South America in particular.  The attempted domination of these countries to satisfy demand for ‘potassium power’ for baby boomers as they were just little kidlets is a fascinating and yet disturbing part of our history and demographics that I think very few people take the time to try to understand or comprehend.

Watch the documentary and judge for yourself. Or enjoy a little light reading that I’ve generated in the past :)

Oh yeah … whatever you do, please try to buy fair trade bananas.  I know it may not make much of a difference, but hopefully it sends a message.  Unless, of course, these bananas still come from Dole and we’re just being coaxed into paying a shitload more for something as basic as bananas under the pretense of avoiding wrong.

It’s f’ed up, isn’t it?

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Canadian Progressive Media Alternatives

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I’m not so sure that the landing of the Huffington Post in Canada is the remedy we ‘progressives’ in this country need.  Last year, Arianna sold out to AOL, making it part of the mainstream.

I’m sure the Canadian version will be equally tame and ‘available’ to the priests of conservatism in this country.  Ultimately, who ever buys ads on the media, owns the media and Stephen Harper has the deepest pockets right now.

Progressives really MUST think in terms of media and the influence that the right has on everyday citizens.  We have to build an effective alternative media network that is financially viable, influential and that ultimately blocks the Conservatives out of the daily reading of all Canadians.

There’s the growing concept of ‘citizen media’, but we need an alternative to the alternative, something that is grass-roots based and respects the opinions of everyone and not just another site or aggregator of broadcasters that could care less about the ideas of … everyone.

We must also avoid linking to and creating content for mainstream media.  It’s essential that we shut them off.  We’re their power base.  Without US, they’re useless.  As a reminder, ‘they’ are Bell, Rogers, Quebecor, Shaw, Cogeco, Canwest in Canada and AOL, Fox, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS etc in the US.  Online versions of ‘them’ are Google, Yahoo, MSN, Facebook, Twitter,

But I’m soap-boxing.  Once I get my act together, what I’ll do is start a stump on Wikipedia that provides the same list.

Anyways, until this kind of open media network is built and financially viable, we still have alternatives to the mainstream (albeit ones that are deep-seated in the traditions of talk-down editorial as opposed to speak-up from the masses):

And even more options in North America and the rest of the world:

Think tanks, advocacy groups and social institutions (mostly US):

And then there’s consumption.  What sites or companies, co-ops and other organizations do you shop from that make you feel good?  Are they local?  Fair-trade?  Organic?  All of the above?

So … it’s a good start, but many of you may agree that it’s not comprehensive.  What it all points to is that I’ve been feeling helpless following the election a few weeks ago, but there’s no need for that any more.  We own this country and we deserve to take it back, piece by piece if we have to.

I need some help with this because I think it’s the impetus we all need to gain control of the media landscape of this country.  Do you have links or stories related to progressive media in Canada?  Can you please share your thoughts on who else is doing innovative things here or elsewhere?

Do you have ideas about how we can aggregate all of the above into a truly progressive news feed and source for all Canadians and others who are interested in getting and sharing news without being blocked out or beat up by bossy editors?

Please … really, please … post your thought below.

Resources:

Mozilla Drumbeat:  https://drumbeat.org/en-US/challenges/unlocking-video/full

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_media#See_also

http://www.themediaconsortium.org/our-members/

http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/linkpage.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_activism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tactical_media

http://www.adbusters.org/about/submissions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_press

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_press_%28U.S._political_left%29

http://community-media.ca/community-media-list