Sunday, March 29, 2009

Notes from the War Zone

The first note needed is my sincerest apology to those who had their life effected by association with me. To you I offer my deepest apology. It was never my intention to bring any kind of harm into your lives.

I was taught by some fascinating people from around the world while in College. They had worked in many industries, in many countries, before they entered the educational system. Their wisdom, intelligence and keen perspective came from India, Australia, England, France, Germany and Italy to name a few.

It was a part of a Canadian experiment to bring people into the educational system that actually worked in industry. They brought with them, along with their own education. a brilliant perspective by having travelled the world. Over the 3 years I was in College none of my instructors were purely academic in the sense that they poured out their knowledge, from a textbook.

We were taught to question anyone in the government on a policy to which they adhered.We were taught to ask questions of the media on any reported news. We were taught the fundamentals of a democratic system while given all the known information about communism and socialism. Our minds were taught to remain open and seek out missing pieces on almost any topic. In my 3rd year I had a major battle with the instructor of political science. It was his way or the highway and obvious to most that he had a tarnished opinion on the capitalist and/or democratic system.

The experiment would be replaced with one of purely academic instructors in the coming years. They had written many books, without ever having experienced the working world, or traveled it.

Exception can be the Rule of the Measurement.

Since my first big love was the broadcasting industry that is the path I choose to follow. The political system plays a big part in that industry, almost to the point, where the two are indistinguishable.
During the time period up to the 1980s it was unheard of to have one person or corporation owning more than a few dozen broadcasting platforms. One corporation that I worked in owned 29 radio and television stations covering Ontario eastward. That company was the biggest one at the time.
This kind of media created a diverse look into the world for the viewers and listeners. In one case I wrote articles for three different publications in the same city. Three different publications owned by 3 separate people in the same city. (an article about music with another about entertainment and one political commentary)

We had to research our material before we wrote it down or opened up a microphone to the public. In other words it was necessary, to be as close to accurate, in order to create something that was thought provoking. It gave our audience the opportunity to share many viewpoints without creating fear of an unknown “boogie man”.

After coming this far in life I can now assure you that I am not one of the bad guys. In the short time that I still have remaining , I will do my best, to explain how the balance of supply and demand went wrong. It is this supply and demand principle that is the major pillar in our democratic system.
This series of articles opening welcomes your input.

Here is a piece of the puzzle that will be written on in this series. Having worked and traveled in an open way there are no borders from my perspective.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Media "Factual" Lies about Durban 2009

The US, Colonial Canada and Italy have announced they will not attend the United Nations Conference on Racism out of their misplaced fear. They are using the Israeli cover story so they can side step this overlooked fact. On March 14, 2009 Der Spiegel, the ezine that wants Germans to stay in perpetual apology for WWII, repeated the same lies as previously reported by this blog. Colonial Canada is also hiding behind the fact, that in January 2009 it was the only UN member to vote NO, on a statement being issued to Israel regarding Humanitarian Principles regarding Gaza. When are these small minded countries and their media going to join the human race? When are they going to stop selling lies as factual disinformation? After they were hood winked into a preemptive attack on the people of Iraq a person might believe they would change.

Within a few hours of each other, back on 9 and 10 December, the Wall Street Journal and The Australian – both serious newspapers with long-established records of honest, factual reporting – published editorials focusing partly or wholly on an international conference on racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance that is scheduled to take place in Geneva next April. The purpose of this Durban Review Conference (sometimes misleadingly referred to as 'Durban II') is to examine the implementation of the outcome document of the World Conference against Racism which took place in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.

Unfortunately both newspapers replay a number of factual distortions which have become increasingly widespread on the Internet over the past year, including numerous references to the review conference as an anti-Semitic "hate-fest."

A Google search on 10 December, using "fest" in conjunction with 'Durban' and 'hate' or 'anti-Semitic,' produced 49,900 web-page hits.* "Hate-fest" is not a common phrase, but it has been used in connection with the Durban process by people ranging from the Canadian Prime Minister to other politicians, academics, journalists, anti-Durban NGOs and a huge number of bloggers and other commentators.

The 2001 World Conference was indeed marred by the grotesque behavior of some anti-Israel NGOs at the parallel NGO forum. Their inexcusable anti-Semitic actions, coupled with some difficult debates at the state level, have unfortunately cast the entire 2001 Conference and next year's review in a negative light that is, by and large, unmerited.

This year's conference will focus on the 2001 outcome document, known as the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action (DDPA), which was adopted by consensus at the end of the 2001 World Conference. The DDPA consists of 341 paragraphs, of which six refer to the Middle East, anti-Semitism and directly related issues.

The first of those says: "We recall that the Holocaust must never be forgotten." The second says "We recognize with deep concern the increase in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in various parts of the world, as well as the emergence of racial and violent movements based on racism and discriminatory ideas against Jewish, Muslim and Arab communities."

The remaining four paragraphs include references to "the plight of the Palestinian people" and "the right to security for all States in the region, including Israel," as well as calling upon "Israel and the Palestinians to resume the peace process, and to develop and prosper in security and freedom."

The contents of the DDPA were agreed by all the states present at the end of the 2001 conference. It is a fundamental, thorough and very wide-ranging framework document on racism and related issues. It takes a vivid imagination to turn it into the manifesto of a "hate-fest."

There are other specific distortions centered on two main aspects: firstly a widely repeated allegation that control of the Review Conference's preparatory process, steered by an organizational body of 20 states, has been seized by a group of three countries, namely Libya (whose representative is the Chair), Cuba (Rapporteur /Vice Chair), and Iran (Vice-Chair). Such reports imply that these three states have an enormous amount of executive power. They do not. Chairpersons of bodies of this type fulfill an essentially functional role and are not in a position to push their own country's agenda.

Such reports also routinely – and in some cases deliberately – omit to mention that, along with Iran and Cuba, there are 17 other Vice-Chairs including Belgium, Greece, Norway, Turkey, Armenia, Croatia, Estonia, Senegal, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. The role of the Rapporteur /Vice-Chair is to oversee reports on proceedings produced by UN staff. If those reports were in any way distorted, the other Vice Chairs could, and would, intervene.

The second area of distortion involves some condemnatory language on Israel that is described in both the Wall Street Journal and The Australian as being included in the "draft declaration" being prepared for the Review Conference. This is also misleading. There is currently no draft declaration in existence. The contentious language was included in one of four regional inputs, which have been combined with various other texts into a basic (and not necessarily complete) background compilation.

In the negotiations ahead, delegations will try to narrow differences, find common ground and work out compromises so as to arrive at a consensus document. As in all negotiations of this type, the text that remains at the end of the process will be something that is agreeable to all states taking part.

Another clear example of distortion is an article that appeared on the Forbes website on 4 December, written by the journalist Claudia Rosett (who also writes on occasion for the Wall Street Journal). Rosett had been briefed at great length by UN human rights officials about the limited role played by the Chair, and the fact that there are 19 Vice-Chairs whose votes and views have equal weight. She was also clearly informed that all decisions of this 20-country 'Bureau' (four countries per region) have so far been reached by consensus.

Rosett's article brushed all this aside: "Among the vice-chairs of the preparatory committee," she wrote, "are emissaries of such unfree countries as Iran, Russia, Pakistan and Cameroon (which, according to New York-based Freedom House, still tolerates slavery in its northern reaches). Cuba, where wholesale repression includes the additional frill of job discrimination against Afro-Cubans, fills two seats at this Durban II table, which features both a Cuban vice-chair and Cuba as Rapporteur."

Rosett even went so far as to try and imply the review conference process is somehow complicit in "the terrorist assault in Mumbai, in which hundreds were murdered, but where the targets most deliberately hunted down were Americans, Britons and Jews."

The issues covered by this review process, racism, xenophobia, and other forms of intolerance, are extremely important and can have a devastating impact on human rights. They affect myriad groups, and millions of individuals, across the world on a daily basis. They clearly merit serious discussion in international forum. It would be a sad state of affairs if, as a result of concerted efforts to derail this review conference, such discussion, which inevitably touches on controversial and sensitive areas, is rendered taboo.

* Google searches using the same terms on different days have produced both much higher and much lower numbers of hits. The figure cited is close to the median. A simpler search on 18 December using "fest" as the exact term, and 'Durban' and 'hate' in the 'all these words' search line, produced 49,200 hits with few false matches. Another example of the misleading information surrounding the Durban process is contained in a full-page advertisement that appeared in the New York Sun on April 3 2008. The advertisement was built around the central theme – "What does the Durban Declaration declare? That ISRAEL, and only ISRAEL, is guilty of racism." It declares no such thing.

The above article was sent on 12 December to the Wall Street Journal, The Australian and by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Given that distorted information about an up-coming anti-racism review conference is now being repeated on a regular basis in major newspapers, which operate under journalistic codes of ethical conduct, OHCHR – which acts as secretariat for the conference process – urges journalists and editors to be alert to the distortions affecting the coverage of this event.

[A Google search done on March 11 and 12th, 2009 shows the same results as those pointed to in this article. When a search is done with other less name brand search engines the results include 1000s of articles with positive results on the importance of the Durban 2009 conference.]

Share this post :

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What does one TRILLION dollars look like?

You or going to love this illustration on what a Trillion $$ is!

In the past 9 years 22 Trillion was spent on the making of war when you add it up.

This shows 1 Trillion so imagine 22 Trillion. People wonder why they are broke?


What does one TRILLION dollars look like?


Share this post :