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by Naomi Wolf
Editor's Letter from British Columbia:
Just a note to describe the political mood up here in British Columbia -- the papers, across the political spectrum, are filled with analyses of what it means that China is about to buy up one of Canada's biggest energy companies; also, after long environmental opposition, it seems that papers are also full of many entities -- from provincial governments to political fixers -- now jockeying for position to scoop up anticipated profits from what are now being called 'oil sands' (used to be called, in the US at least, 'tar sands.' Did a change in policy change nomenclature? Hard to oppose developing 'oil sands.') The Globe and Mail particularly is becoming very cozy in its editorials cuddling up to China, and commentary in its pages is supporting a new vision from former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd, who is also cozying up to China, which he's called the new 'Pax Pacifica'; what is that, one would wonder? It seems to be: accepting the decline of the US as a global or moral superpower -- accepting the decline of Western or other democracy as any kind of benchmark for global norms -- and making peace with the lucrative friendships with tyrannical autocrats: 'many voices around the table', says Rudd -- including those of people who jail artists and beat up citizens reporting on corrupt officials and dangerous policies at home. This is an especially alarming kind of spin to see emerging because of the dark echoes of the phrase, Pax Romana, which as I recall means: quiet enforced through tyranny....
Wikipedia defines the "Pax Romana" as peace through militarism: "Pax Romana" (Latin for "Roman peace") was the long period of relative peace and minimal expansion by military force experienced by the Roman Empire in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. Since it was established by Caesar Augustus it is sometimes called Pax Augusta. Its span was about 207 years (27 BC to 180 AD)."
Who is coining Rudd's spin? And what financial role does Rudd play in being such a public cheerleader for Western nations to sell of their most environmentally and socially valuable assets to China, a brutal autocracy? And -- finally -- why is the Globe and Mail, an otherwise serious publication, simply taking dictation instead of doing some investigative reporting on these motivations and newly minted PR campaigns?"
Editor's Top News Picks
From Gerald D. Rozner: "The US is giving about $8.2 million a day to perpetuate this insane madness that the US ignores." Gerald points out the craziness of the US underwriting Israeli defense systems..for millions daily...while American citizens go without health care, I would add.
Greg Manahan writes in: " Hats off to Danny Boyle with his spectacular poke in the eye Olympic opening ceremony to Toryism and Romney. One cycling event that won't be televised by the BBC was the brutal arrest of Critical Mass cyclists near the Stratford stadium." (See below for more news and calls for stories from the London Olympics.)
More from Greg Manahan, "Philip Weiss on his recent visit to Jerusalem - I cannot think of any other term that so describes the systematic separation of people by race."
Whenever you read about US debt 'soaring' and risking our entire nation's wellbeing -- please keep in mind the billions in US corporate taxes that are now being legally parked offshore...that would otherwise have helped pay down our debt; that is a vast reason for our debt.
Four star creepy alert! The NSA cozying up to hackers...next step of course is money changes hands for 'consulting'; thus making the NSA even more powerful; is a strong democracy hackers and NSA type agencies are natural adversaries.
Oooops! Barclays arranged for forty million in fees to go to a middleman -- when arranging for Middle Eastern investors to fund the bank at a higher rate than that provided by the UK government...at a time of crisis, bailout and disarray...
Hard-hitting look at militarized police brutality in the US - by Al Jazeera -- in the wake of the death of Manuel Diaz, a man killed by Anaheim, California cops as he was shot in the back and the leg as he was -- trying to run away from them.... Call out from DailyCloudt: can we please have a citizen's report? Email email@example.com or login to DailyCloudt to submit your story using our submission form .
Even gun control advocates might think it is creepy that Democrats are sneaking gun control legislation quietly into a cybersecurity bill -- if there is nothing to hide, why not debate it and pass it on its own merits? This issue -- of hiding issue B inside a big, complex bill about another issue altogether -- is behind Downsizer Dispatch's movement to simplify what bills actually address.
The billboard that stares back: face-scanning technology on the march. This is why they can hand you your photos at Disneyland...before you tell them who you are. Privacy advocates worry that the new CCTV cameras installed in public spaces in the US may include this burgeoning technology.
Editor's Call For Stories from The Olympics
Occupy London and hundreds of cyclists peacefully protest the 'Corpolympics'!
Can we please have a citizen reporter or reporters cover or tweet from this...and who in the UK will send us some firsthand accounts of life in the midst of the Olympics? Again you don't need to be sitting in a stadium...we would love to hear from you about what you notice, how it is affecting daily life in London, what you hear other Londoners saying, what the mood is like... Email firstname.lastname@example.org
As they round up hundreds of Occupy London and other protesting cyclists, London's Metropolitan Police spokesman uses EXACTLY THE SAME SOUNDBITES as Oakland, New York and other police crackdown spokespeople's spin did: this soundbite first affirms people's 'right to protest' but goes on to say that they have no right to 'disrupt business as usual.' Which is a) a lie -- that is EXACTLY what the right to protest means since the 'right to go about one's business' is NOWHERE enshrined in the Constitution or British free speech statutes, while the right to peacefully disrupt business as usual is, and b) it is very disturbing that they seem to all be getting advice from similar or identical spinmasters in dangerously asserting this mythical right to go about business as usual undisrupted..though disrupting 'biusiness as usual' is the right at the heart of free speech and expression .....Britain, don't be fooled. This 'right' to not be affected by peaceful disruptions from protest does not exist. Boris Johnson and the Met Police are just makin' it up.
Can we please have direct reports from Occupy London? Can someone also post tweets from the Occupy London and cycling protests? Email email@example.com
Also the Olympic protiocols, I gather, have insisted that athletes themselves not act as journalists -- ie not report firsthand from behind the scenes. I think this is kind of wrong -- athletes are as entitled as anyone else to report on a major public event! I am formally issuing an invitation to Olympic athletes to defy the ban on firsthand reporting...as long as you are not violating the privacy of your fellow athletes -- and go ahead and use your freedom of speech! Especially since many athletes are from closed societies, I think the Olympics are EXACTLY where these young people should try to raise their own voices and have their say....
I would LOVE to hear from women Olympians about how they feel about any objectification that they might be experiencing....or about how they feel about the British press event inflicted on the women's beach volleyball team....I would love to run a piece BY a member of the women's beach vollyball team about this....
Apparently the big issue re: women athletes competing in the beach volleyball events is whether or not they will wear bikinis....no one is talking about whether their male counterparts will wear tiny thongs...though there would doubtless be a constituency for that...nor is the focus on their training, discipline and motivation when the subject heads this way....
:: photo courtesy of sbamueller, via Creative Commons license ::
Author & political activist Naomi Wolf raises awareness of the pervasive inequities that exist in society and politics. She encourages people to take charge of their lives, voice their concerns and enact change.