2011-11-13

Occupy Wall Street vs. Christine Lagarde and the Tea Party

What a remarkable week.

Municipal authorities all over North America directed their police forces against local instances of 'Occupy Wall Street' with nary a peep from the mainstream.

Of all places and peoples, you would think this continent and society, cradle of 1960s revolutions, would be among the first to realize that 'Occupy' is no adolescent prank. This is serious stuff folks and authorities who fail to recognize 'Occupy' as a legitimate sibling to the 'Arab Spring', risk sharing the legacies of Richard Nixon and Julius Hoffman.

Perhaps these denizens of denial have been seduced by the bought-and-paid-for narrative emanating from our mainstream media with their comforting saw about the movement's purported lack of cohesion.

Where is the zippy catchphrase? Where is the mobilizing slogan? Surely such a disparate hoard of vagrants and dilettantes could not possibly muster into an organized threat?

Ha! “Here come dah Judge!”

Evicted from mushrooming city-centre encampments, they will be herded into the Courts where the slander of "inarticulate clowns" will dissemble, leaving a constitutional earthquake in its place.

The monumental lie known as “servicing the debt” will be revealed for the scandal it veils. A new parable is about to emerge. Across four continents, but especially in Euro-America, torrents of us will line-up in the lobbies of our neighbourhood banks, not City Hall.

The truth will suddenly dawn across the planet that all these years of “servicing the debt” have had nothing to do with repaying the capital borrowed, nor even with paying simple interest as a fee for carrying that debt. Rather, servicing the debt consists of nothing less than the statutory and exponential rape of personal and sovereign ownership through the subterfuge of Compound Interest.

As the vast majority of humanity awakens to the fact they pay up to 300% of the value of their homes before ownership is transferred into their name, they will demand to know where the additional 200% has gone. Along with Greeks and Germans they will realize that of the billions upon billions of additional taxpayer money misrepresented as bailout, not one cent will go to repaying original debt, but rather entirely to the 200% + in still compounding interest charges.

The final straw will come when those aforementioned Court proceedings, backed by the gun-toting police we ourselves have funded, show the whole process of compounding interest has always been designed to transfer ownership into the hands of a few chartered lenders and their derivative industries of speculative investment and pseudo-insurance.

When this entire financial crisis finally focuses public attention on the transfer of ownership that occurs when borrowers default on compound interest, the 'occupy' movement will morph into a 'withdraw your deposits in protest' movement that will bring the entire global banking system and its political pawns to their knees within days.

Occupiers, leave your tents by your tens of thousands, walk quietly to your nearest bank branch, form unending cues simultaneously at all the teller windows, and simply withdraw all your deposits immediately and in cash.

That is your secret weapon. That is what terrifies them.

The ultimate risk in this global financial crisis is that we might finally foreclose on them!

The IMF (International Monetary Fund ), World Bank and BIS (Bank of International Settlements) would collapse within days. Global financial reform would follow within mere weeks.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

PS: If a layman like me saw this coming so long ago, and again more recently, where the hell are the professional financial press?

2011-10-04

Arson in Apex

Old timers in Apex and Iqaluit lost an old friend to arson today. The original 1955 school was destroyed by fire.

Both Nunatsiaq News Online and Igalaaq's nightly Inuktitut newscast initially reported it as the Sir Martin Frobisher federal day school, but that was a different and much later institution located downtown near the site of today's Iqaluit post office.

Along with the Apex Nursing Station, Power Plant and Garage, the victim of today's malicious stunt was the original Two-Room School built during the summers of 1955 and 1956, with strong memories for many survivors.

These four remaining buildings, along with a carpentry shop and other trades facilities were part of a 'Rehab Center' established to help Inuit patients returning from Southern tuberulosis sanatoria. Some had been away for years and the younger among them spoke little Inuktitut. Others had lost parents and siblings to the disease while in the south and faced a difficult transition back to their various communities elsewhere on Baffin Island.

My own extended family attended a heart wrenching memorial service in Hamilton a few years ago when Inuit graves were refurbished and rededicated. It provided some real healing and 'closure' for family members who had never seen where their relatives disappeared to. One was my father-in-law's sister, Aunt Josie, who was also mother to recent Nunavut Commissioner Ann Hanson.

Given this close family and community connection, many Iqalummiut were disturbed when the school building was scheduled for demolition after its last commission as a teaching materials development and resource center for the then NWT Department of Education. When local contractor Rick Guimond began to tear the three exterior porches off, we pleaded with him to allow us to buy it in an attemtp to save the building. I ended up trading an equally surplused old Bell Telephone hydraulic ladder truck for it and he ceased demolition.

There followed many years of trying to assemble a volunteer group of citizens and institutions to manage a project to turn all four buildings into a sort of communal museum and tourist attraction to commemorate the difficult 1950 and 1960 transition years in what was then Frobisher Bay. Despite persistent vandalism and a previous attempt at arson by young vandals, we managed to keep patching the building up and prayed it would survive until the project could be launched.

Due to my age and ill-health over recent years, I passed the torch to my daughter and she was on the verge of great success in recent months, having obtained strong commitments from various agencies and begun preparations to proceed next season. The refurbished facility was to include various art and film studios along with a few single or elders' apartments, the income from which would make the remainder a self-sustaining community arts center.

The school and the neighborhood project had become even more significant as the other buildings passed to private ownership. The power station had served as elder Mary Peters' corner store for some years and was eventually sold by her estate. The nursing station, once part of a volunteer Iqaluit and Apex historical society is now Rannva's private home; and the venerable old garage continues to serve the City of Iqaluit as overnight shelter for water trucks in case of a fire in Apex.

So, it is with tremendous sadness that long term Apex residents watched this historic memento finally succumb to the repeated attacks of very young vandals and the indifference of guardians responsible for them.

The accompanying photographs (with fond thanks to Doug Wilkinson) show the property in its former glory; (a) the school itself in 1956; (b) Maxine Sunderland, the first teacher; (c) Alookie, one of the first students; (d) Billy Joamie, with wonderful irony given the history of relations between Dene and Inuit, reading "Ten Little Indians"; e) Inookie and family returning from a summer hunt with the garage in the background; and (f) today's tragedy.

Perhaps the saddest and most telling comment of all is that for those of us who loved the building most, the predominant emotion after a few weeks might be relief from the constant worry in the pit of our stomachs that someone would be hurt in the next mindless attack.

2011-09-23

Compounding Idiocy

German taxpayers are idiots.

They are furious because they think their taxes are going to help Greeks.

They have been fooled into believing their precious Euros will be applied to fixing a Corinthian bridge, paving a Spartan road, or feeding a homeless Athenian. Some Germans think it would be better to revert to controlling their own old currency, undiluted or contaminated by greasy Mediterranean Euros.

Don’t they realize they are being lied to just as much as the rest of us? The German Government isn’t taking existing money from tax revenues to give to Greece. They are borrowing it!

Every cent is channeled through the machinery of international finance in the form of extended credit and loan guarantees known as bailouts. Don’t they understand these are just more ‘debt’ owed to the same lenders, as all the previous loans were.

The fact is we are all German. We are all Greek. We are all idiots.

So long as the world’s financial institutions are chartered and structured as they are now, every cent of so-called bailout money goes first to 'service' existing loans, i.e. to pay the accumulated interest layered onto all previous interest. Not one penny will reach Greece. Greece will only go further and further into debt, owing more and more interest, until they collapse from exhaustion. They will then awake to find the lenders have not only pocketed all the interest that has already been paid, but that they now own all the assets pledged as collateral to obtain the original loan.

Are you really still distracted by interest rates being so low for a while? Don’t you see that's how they keep us hooked? It’s not the current rate Dummy, it's the accumulation!

Do you still think this is about Greece? Do you think the Arabian Spring is about Arabia or that the anger in the streets will remain in Athens and Cairo?

Wake up folks.

Compounding!

Lending is OK. Charging a service fee to cover expenses and even make a profit during the loan is OK. But charging and accumulating additional interest on the interest itself is compounding.

Compounding!

Repeatedly charging new interest, not on the original loan, but on past interest, operates like a giant global funnel collecting more and more cream from the world economy into a reservoir of obscene wealth and hoarding by the lenders and their legislative lackeys, the Governments that manage the guns that enforce the eviction orders when the compound interest isn’t paid.

That is why sheriffs enforce mortgage foreclosures. That is why the United States military operates in over a hundred debtor countries around the world: to enforce transfer of ownership to the lenders after interest defaults.

Greece is not sinking under the weight of borrowing. Nor have the United States of America used their trillions of dollars of debt to repair roads and bridges. None of us is sinking under the weight of our original loans nor even the interest charged on those initial loans. We are sinking under the weight of additional interest charged on earlier interest, manufactured out of thin air by the lenders.

Compounding!

Why do we pay at least twice as much on our mortgages as our houses are worth?

Compounding!

What are people walking away from when they default on their mortgage and lose their house?

Compounding!

What will Greece walk away from when they finally wake up and default on their sovereign debt?

Compounding!

Why are all currencies losing value compared to real resources, materials and services?

Compounding!

Why will the riots in the streets of Athens, Cairo, Damascus and Sana’a spread to London, Shanghai, Detroit and Los Angeles between 2012 and 2015?

Compounding!

There is a human, global and unprecedented revolution brewing. Commentators who dare point it out are being ignored or ridiculed. By the time they are also being persecuted it will be too late. The Banks, insurance companies, pension plans and most of the world's currencies will also have defaulted.

Human beings will finally recognize and revolt against compounding, but by then the former Lenders will have closed shop and waltzed off with legal ownership of the underlying real assets.

There, you have it in a nutshell.

Compounding until default leads to ownership by the lender.

What remains to be seen is whether the former lenders, the financial institutions that invented compound interest, foreclosure and transfer of ownership, can maintain their current influence over the warriors that enforce that ownership.

Will government and finance remain one? Totalitarian government and financial institutions brazenly and transparently control information.

Don't you understand the roles played by Dick Cheney and Carl Rove? Are you mysteriously sickened by how Barack Obama has so inexplicably betrayed his promise?

I'm with the people who are demanding genuine regime change. The one that really matters. Athens, Cairo, Beijing, London and soon to be New York.

Now you have the answer.

Compounding.

Come talk to me in 2015.

.

2011-08-13

China, Digital Coin and the Formerly Foreign Few

Even the most prestigious journals, purporting a global perspective, continue to ask such ludicrous questions as "What can the West offer Chinese Banks"?. They worry that with the current state of western finance, Chinese banks will stick to their domestic market for now rather than use their huge cash reserves to bail out western currencies.

How much longer will the press persist in this silly narrative based on national boundaries and vertical expressions of sovereignty as if they were still a useful framework for understanding human financial affairs.

In this day and age, almost any use of the word 'domestic' when discussing world trends should be challenged.

Take the so-called Arabian Spring for example. It epitomizes the transition away from vertical towards horizontal perceptions of loyalty.

With every passing month, more people are applying this new perspective to the realms of banking and finance and, with it, their awareness of how the current use of money is sucking all the world's wealth upwards into an inverted funnel towards fewer and fewer communities of obscene wealth and privilege.

I would be interested in hearing from any readers of this blog on whether you have already converted some of your personal capital into Bitcoins or some other form of digital currency outside the control of the current banking and insurance conglomerates.

Given the technical proficiency needed to host and administer this emerging alternative, it seems likely that China and other massively productive economies might be the ones to adopt and push digital coin towards critical mass. There is no better way to parley the Arabian Spring into a truly Global Economic Awakening?

Any economy that produces and grows real goods and services, as opposed to he fraudulent virtual derivatives typical of western banking, will have all it needs to begin using digital coin in a disciplined way to value and exchange those same real goods services.

With the vision and nerve to be early adopters, emerging economies could forever step outside the vicious mantra of IMF extortion: "Trap them with compound interest, milk them until endemic default, then transfer ownership to a few ('foreign') friends."

2011-08-03

Triathlon? Try-poke-along!

A pause in my customary geo-political rant today, just long enough to keep a promise made to friends and family when I set out to make drastic changes in my physical behaviour after retirement.

The first two installments in this saga are available at: Part One and Part Two.

As of August 1, 2011, I can report that I am in the water every day now and have a full body tan for the first time since 1984 in San Diego. And Aldous Huxley wasn't even there.

This progress report can be summed up by saying that I took five months to learn how to crawl (freestyle) properly, something other enthusiasts likely accomplish in mere weeks. I should add that this leisurely pace was wholely deliberate and utterly delicious. I've gone at it obsessed only with relishing every little nuance, not wanting to skip anything. After five months, I've only just this week begun to add continuous breathing.

No kidding!

It is so tempting, and fatal to success to skip Terry Laughlin's admonition to let your belly-button learn and lead the way to air, not your fool head or neck.

So as fate would have it, this past weekend, in my euphoria at discovering that freestyle breathing can indeed be as effortless as dead-man's-float when done properly, that I decided to risk a whole new chapter in my life.

The dreaded backstroke.

Could I possibly roll faceup, with mouth and nose in the air occasionally, watching the clouds slip by like a good terrestrial mammal should?

Aha! So this is the payoff for all those months of patient 'relaxing into gravity'! Stunning. On my very first attempt I felt the water slipping past my skin like silk. Absolutely effortless. I suspect I bettered my own record for both speed and fewest stokes when freestyling for 25 yards, on my very first attempt. "This can't be" says I to myself, until I realized I was talking out loud while still swimming!

Enough! Back to making my belly-button lead the way to air in the crawl... and discovering how hard it is to manage sneaky breaths with a compulsive grin on your face.

So this particular personal narrative ends with both an intent and an assumption.

Friends should assume that my progress will continue ever so gently and steadily until, perhaps by mid-to-late 2012 I'll dare ask Terry to consider me for Mentor accreditation. Not as a business venture. That's why I retired. Just enough to acknowlege the myriad questions from seniors and kids at the lake who, on seeing me wearing goggles during endless hours of two to five-stroke drills, respectively ask either, "what the heck are you doing?" or "what are you looking for?"

Some elders are so wobbly on their feet they don't even get in the water anymore. Some get in, but feel too unsure to do more than just stand and cool off. Others get in and actually float comfortably, but only until they attempt what they think is swimming, which causes them to sink like stone.

There is nothing sweeter in this mentoring experience than the look of bemused astonishment in someone's eyes when, after superman gliding for fifteen minutes with nary a thought in their head but to relax their neck, they suddenly begin skating just as effortlessly, even competing with themselves to see how far they can coast on a single breath.

The rest is nearly self-perpetuating because the whole sensation of immersion swimming at an advanced age is that it's supposed to seem effortless compared to the way we were taught as kids. Each swimmer ambles along at their own pace with relaxed efficient comfort as the only measurement to be trusted.

Take a sunny, warm, quiet weekday with few people around. Ask for help and take an hour just getting into the water if you have to. Stand still and enjoy the weightless feeling. Watch the ducks's doing their hilarious bum-upside-down antics for a while. Gawk at the trees swaying in the breeze.

Enjoy.

Then realize there is not a single stage along the gradual path to this new way of swimming that requires you to abandon one iota of that feeling. I can still ride a bicycle a few minutes at a time. I can even walk a hundred yeards or so.

Not quite a Triathlon. But I'm beginning to relish my daily little Try-poke-along.

Mum is 22 years older than I. She has great trouble standing.

Yesterday she resumed swimming.

2011-07-08

Tahrir Square - Phase 2 - The Wikileaks Narrative

Within days of the start of the so-called Arabian Spring last February, I placed the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings in the tradition of the Magna Carta, the French Revolution and the earliest stirrings of the 1960s psychedelic awakening.

Other historic clashes have occurred horizontally between clans or nations or alliances, with loyalty expressed vertically in hierarchies of national authority.

During more significant changes in human society, however, including the Arabian Spring of 2011, these vectors are reversed. They expose the propaganda and vested interests of vertical hierarchies and lead to new loyalties running horizontally across borders towards peers and neighbours who share the new insights.

This time, I am fascinated by the reaction of the western press who are themselves subservient to corporate financial hierarchies.

Desperate for a context that edifies their hierarchical masters, they have shamefully appropriated much of the credit for Arabia's awakening by claiming it is almost entirely a consequence of Internet technology and social media software. To hear them talk, the globe has evolved thanks to the tools of horizontal, one-to-one and one-to-many communications that are now undermining the vertical propaganda machines of sovereign political tyrannies.

While seemingly plausible on its face, this view ignores the fact this new horizontal alliance has introduced a unifying theme, an overarching dialectic with which the emerging community identifies and spurs itself into action.

The underlying dialectic of the Arabian Spring is spreading wildly, "going viral" to use the recent jargon, and will soon prove to be global.

The conceptual foder provided by progressives from the Arabian crescent is churning up humanity's self-defining narrative like no other in history.

Our Muslim peers have arrived on the scene bearing a keystone. After centuries of world-wide human conflict across tribal and ethnic boundaries, reinforced with a play-by-play narrative supplied by highly Euro-centric interests, this Arabic-speaking and predominantly Muslim cluster of societies is defying all sovereign hierarchies, including our own, and reaching out horizontally to all who share a ground swell of progressive aspiration.

Embedded in every report emanating from Benghazi and flowing to Beijing, Athens and Washington is an irresistable crescendo of demand for an end to political and journalistic fraud, to be replaced by an establishment of free debate and dignified work. This millenial awakening is exposing the raw core of global financial compounding and its hoarding of humanitiy's resources by a self-serving corporate few.

The new regicide will focus on the industries of global banking and insurance far more than on pharmaceuticals, agriculture, or petroleum.

Which brings us back to the astonishing and inspiring leadership being shown by our Muslim contemporaries in the Arabian crescent.

Of all the major religious orthodoxies, including their most secular heirs, contemporary Islam alone retains a modicum of real admonition against Usury. Neither modern Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, nor Hinduism, whether secular or religious, focuses on Usury at the core of its analysis and dialectic.

Attention to this single issue of financial vested interest – exacerbated by the massive effects of banking and insurance industry compounding, will soon provide the central dialectic and rallying point of a truly global human revolution.

Exposing the Global Financial Cabal is the only alternate and shared human narrative with enough 'oomph' to overthrow the current tyranny of pharmaceutical, agricultural and petroleum lobbies with their ruthless and subversive military and propaganda instruments.

In a relentless sequence of steps, Venezuela and Cuba will continue to explore a direct exchange of oil-for-doctors that bypasses the currencies of international settlement; the neo-Bolivarian regions of Latin America will continue attempts to hoe a financial and economic row more faithful to the social values of their aboriginal roots and apart from the hegemony of global empire; and someone like the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, a modern scholar of Sharia Law, will continue to surprise us by winning the prestigious annual 'Best Banker' award from the Financial Times of London despite his remarkable tendency to tell the truth.

If you care to venture beyond these populist musings of mine into a far more literate equivalent between two of this era's intellectual titans, I recommend you take time to understand the nuances in today's posting from DemocracyNow.org.

2011-06-09

Akaka Sataa - Grace-Filled

Every death over the years feels like a piece of life ripped away. A hole left in the very air we breathe. When it concerns an elder, we often add the phrase "end of an era" to emphasize our sense of loss.

But this time, with the passing of Akaka Sataa, the watershed is real, the demark historic, and the significance worth pausing over.

Others will testify better than I can to the sheer competence that would have led to pride and impatience in most other men. But Akaka's humility was utter. Gentleness radiated from him. His strength was profound, bespeaking a phenomenal courage acquired and tested in solitude.

What made him an archetype, however, a rare example of human potential, was the sheer intensity and purity of his attention.

In later years, as his body bent and the daily trek into the public square left him almost unable to straighten, his impact on anyone who greeted him remained electrifying.

I have met very few people during my own nearly seven decades of life who, when their gaze turned towards another human being, it almost bowled them over with its sheer openess. English doesn't have as good a word for this as French does: "disponibilité". The closest we can come to it is 'availability', but that doesn't convey the active intensity. Somehow, 'available' leaves us still aware of the distractions that have temporarily been set aside.

With Akaka, you were everything. The universe paused and focused on your next breath to the exclusion of all else. A moment of pure awakedness.

Those who could make the transition quickly enough had an opportunity to tumble into a sample of eternal peace. Those whose own attention was too preoccupied to surrender to the moment could mutter a perfunctory greeting and move on without giving offence. Yet the experience lingered. Perhaps for a few seconds, perhaps to return days or months later. A realization of an opportunity squandered.

With Akaka's death, what has passed from the experience of life in Iqaluit might indeed be epocal. An era in which interpersonal grace could seem routine, if we chose to indulge.

2011-06-08

FIFA - Eurocentric Racists

After years of promoting policies and sanctions against racist slurs by both fans and players, the international federation of the world's soccer authorites, FIFA, has just banned Iran from the 2011 Women's World Cup.

The Iranian players wear head scarves. FIFA claims to be concerned for their safety, fearing they might choke, or be choked during agressive play.

I won't pretend to be expert on sport safety, but I don't get this one. I've played enough soccer to say this smells like a crock of the proverbial bovine dung to me.

Now don't get me wrong. I remain firmly opposed to full face coverings in most public circumstances. Nothing to do with religion, or freedom of expression, or women's rights. I am simply expert in matters of identity and authentication as they apply in this urban century. I understand the levels of authorization required during important social and financial transactions.

You want to cross a border, drive a car, cash a cheque, or fill a prescription? Then show us your face so we can authenticate your passport, driver's licence, bank card, or Health Care photo.

If you want onto the flight deck of a Boeing 747, or into a Level 4 Epidemiology Lab, we will settle for nothing less than your right eyeball and your index finger.

Period.

But this has nothing to do with the Iranian women's soccer team.

Soeur Marie-Hélène de l'Assomption - ssa, wore a veil every blessed day of her life and it didn't interfere one iota with her teaching me to conjugate the pluperfect subjunctive of the verb 'accommodate', nor did it prevent me or my Grade 6 classmates from donning balaclavas to play hockey outdoors at 24 below zero.

Soeur M'Laine as she was affectionately known behind her back playing on Edith Piaff's 'Milord', could also drive a fastball deep into left field, then unceremoniously hawl her skirts up to knee level and race around the bases to notch up doubles and even the occasional triple. Only dispensing with sliding prevented many more of the latter.

When I recall her typical 1950s 'penguin' getup billowing out behind her tall racing frame, veil streaming at dead horizontal behind her, I can't help but juxtapose that image with the phalanx of testosterone deficit post-menopausal male faces gathered around Sepp Blatter in Zurich to pontificate on safety for the Iranian women's World Cup soccer team.

What a crock!

2011-06-06

Fed up with 'America'.

. They have become a straightjacket on humanity. Not their geography. Not the people. Just the words: 'America' and 'American'.

They are all the more restrictive coming from such a frequently thought-provoking journalist as Fareed Zakaria. I realize he has chosen to work within their borders, but last night he used them as often as the word 'innovation', in a program about, well ... Innovation!

'America' has lost the lead on Innovation to Asia. 'America' has lost the lead in Education to India. 'America' has lost the lead in manufacturing to China. The 'American' dollar will cease to be the world's settlement currency. 'America' is fostering anti-Americanism with its war on terror. 'America' perpetuates organized crime by criminalizing soft drugs. 'America' isn't preparing for global warming. 'America' doesn't get Hugo Chavez's jokes.

I hadn't realized how nauseous this mindset made me feel until I heard George W. Bush stand at ground zero mere hours after 9-11, amidst the legacy of three thousand human beings from all over the globe, and speak to the planet about an attack on 'America'.

What a travesty. What a lost opportunity for humanity to look at ourselves as a community, for a change. Ten years later, the so-called Arabian Spring has come along to awaken us all to those overdue sentiments.

Against all odds, I'm glad to say I saw it coming. Highly unusual for Nahonky. (A North American of undiluted Caucasoid genealogical ancestry.)

Two years ago I discovered Al Jazeera English. I devoured its new look and feel, its bold invitation to view news and information from a global perspective. The relief from relentlessly Eurocentric, northern and western hegemania (sic) was overwhelming. I actually cried sometimes watching Witness, Listening Post, People & Power and Empire. Such an oasis in the media desert we otherwise face in North America.

No more Lou Dobbs! A break in the Blitzer-krieg. A refuge from the shrill staccato of embedded propaganda and pharma-petro-dollar advertising.

By contrast, Al Jazeera deliberately highlighted their low-key tone and matter-of-fact delivery with devastating content and unprecedented honesty. Outright daring. Their deeper intent became obvious when, amidst exclusive broadcasts of the earliest Bin Laden tapes, Al Jazeera's most senior editor was threatened with death for broadcasting the simple question, "How can we possibly aspire to democracy when we aren't even allowed to argue with our own fathers?"

The stage was set. Those who had ears, heard.

That ground breaking thrust in the global public narrative came from the Arabic-speaking crescent of our planet. After more than a century of Euro-centric obsession with national boundaries, ethnic loyalties and inter-ethnic conflict, an arabic-speaking and predominantly Muslim cluster of societies defied all sovereign hierarchies and reached out universally, horizontally, to neighbouring contemporaries who shared this ground swell of aspiration.

I beg of you, Al Jazeera, do not surrender the tone, nor the accent, on which your remarkable trust is based. Do not succumb to the temptation to CNN-ize your presentation during the North American segment of the global broadcast day.

We in North America need to know, viscerally, that we are hearing of the world through Doha, Kuala Lumpur and Lima. Not through London, and not through Laurel. (Maryland)

It is simply too soon for the overly affable 'American' likes of Tony Harris.

2011-06-02

Swim or Sink - Part 2

When I began this story, (please see Swim or Sink), I described a certain aspect of my personal history which culminated on February 3, 2011 in real time. On that date, my sixty-sixth birthday as fate would have it, I was 5' 8 1/2 " tall, weighed 245lbs, and hadn't voluntarily left my chair or couch for thirty years. Disgusting.

Yet, after watching a video clip of Shinji Takeuchi slicing through time, space and twenty five meters of water with what can only be described as pure grace, I dreamed of resurrecting that element of my inner past in which long hidden photographs suggest I might once have been an athlete.

So on February 12, 2011, I left home in Iqaluit on a pilgrimmage to the shrine of Total Immersion swimming in New Paltz, N.Y..

Founder and Head Coach Terry Laughlin was just heading home from Japan that day, so I was greeted by Betsy and the Beast, respectively Terry's daughter and the indescribable Shane Eversfield.

Never in your life have you ever seen such a ludicrous juxtaposition of visual icons as my 5'8" 245 lbs slab of rent-a-carcass standing beside Shane's meticulously tuned 6'6" world class triathlon frame. I wish I had filmed it for posterity, but it is still much too soon and embarrassing to post 'before' and 'after' photos. Maybe in another six months.

Over four days, two hours per day, Shane introduced me to the barest rudiments of Total Immersion swimming. Good thing I have a gift for understanding theory, because I was teat useless at execution all that week. Shane's endless patience only left me feeling even more embarrassed. I kept wishing he'd yell at me, mercilessly tease me and shame me into some sort of overt howl of repentence.

But no. Not Shane. Instead I had to suffer the even greater shame of a four day litany of the sweetest 1960's California (Hawai'i) freak-rap ego strokes, replete with groovies and neats and renaissant cools... until, as the week mercifully drew to a close, I was treated to the ultimate blessing of, "... now THAT came dangerously close to swimming!"

As I drove off for Montreal and airplane rides that would eventually take me back to my arctic home in Nunavut, I knew something profound had changed. In later conversations with Shane and Terry, I got a little carried away with analogies to the 4th Century Desert Fathers, St. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avilla, but the truth remained that Terry has gifted the world with a kinetic counterpoint to contemplation that is ideally suited to North America, the boomer generation, and the next third of human life. Sixty to ninety. 6290

This realization seemed so fundamental that I decided to demote all my other priorities for a full year to recover my physical health and, literally, save my life. All my other priorities can darn well fall by the wayside if need be, until I am firmly established in a new routine of easy perpetual motion that might culminate in moments of infused contemplation.

Such has been my focus since I arrived back in Nunavut and entered our tiny Iqaluit municipal swimming pool for my first session at 11:30 AM on March 14th.

I will leave you with only one additional tiding until the next installment in this story.

I awoke this morning, with no pain, no hunger pangs and no penitential compunctions. After barely three months, I weigh 220 lbs rather than 245 and can reasonably expect to reach 210 by Labour Day, 200 by Christmas, and 180 by this time next year.

( continued here ...)

2011-02-11

Mubarak Gone. Who's next Nunavut?

Mubarak left a moment ago.

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

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

The implications for world politics and ordinary people everywhere 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 have been flabbergast for 17 days. All they can do is repeatedly stammer "the situation is fluid."

The word 'fluid', in this instance, meant "we can't control this."

Egyptians, you are magnificent. You have shown the world what can happen when ordinary people wake up.

Bankers beware! Insurance beware! Stephen Harper and GN beware?

In time, a global version of Cairo will awake to the oppressive impact of the petro-pharma-banking lobbies on human life and root them out as well.

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

Television reporters usually try to appear so objective. Today, several actually cried on air. They couldn't help it.

In their gut, in our gut, we deeply sense the Mubarak issue was way bigger than Egypt.

A funk of depression had settled on humanity the last two years due largely to Barack Obama's pathetic wussing-out in the face of the wealthiest liars and vested interests.

Today, that tension exploded. The relief is enormous, a glimmer of hope, real hope for which the global leadership class cannot claim an iota of credit.

None of them.

What's next? Environmental and economic sanity, anyone?

Can't wait for Fidel next blog from Cuba.

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2011-01-20

Anderson Cooper Joins the Liars

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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.

Shame!

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2011-01-19

Jose Kusugak - RIP

Tearing up. What a hole this leaves in our space.

Feels like some of the very air I breathe has slipped away.

Jose ... err ...

Sigh ...

2011-01-10

Nunavut in Crisis?

Have you ever read the rules that stiffle civil servants as long as they remain in the Government's employ? Have you ever wondered what risks that generates the day one of them ceases to wear the muzzle? Right now I feel like a Wikileak infopipe clogged full of Nunavutian collusion, illusions, delusions and allusions ... and ready to down a can of liquid plumber.

The worst of it? I needed a doctor's prescription before taking such medicine. Was I too much of a wuss? Too stupid to see through the sham? Or just another starry-eyed believer hoping that Nunavut would finally be different?

The mindless, knee jerk, simplistic civil service bashing that passes for political narrative in this community has become the exclusive domain of hypocrites who haven't the cojones to get into the ring and actually do something. They just take the money and run, whether as salaries, advertising revenue, or contract dollars. Do we really lack the wit or daring to confront our false assumptions?

Political scientists write books upon books advising us to "Speak Truth to Power?", but in this instance, we don't even speak to each other. We haven't a clue how influence flows in our case. Are we just lazy? Do we deliberately turn a blind eye. Are we embarrassed? Or are we just not quite sure what to do about it yet? No use shouting until we have a solution, right?

So our civil servants sit in frustrated silence while our politicians pontificate and our media messengers masticate, on the same old cud.

As our much bludgeoned linguistic saviour, Lord Noam Chumpski, says in verse 13.7 of his Sermon on the Ice, "Beware clichés and jargon, for they are the ring through your nose, not the ring in your ear; neither the embellishment in a marine mammal pelt, but the blubber of apprehension that seals your mouths and clogs the arteries of your humanity."

Nunavut in crisis? Damned right.

The good kind.

We're on the brink of a revolution, a civil war over how we think of ourselves. Over how we speak of ourselves. Over what we dare say about ourselves. And the discussion is about to break wide open.

The purveyors of jargon will call it a debate over 'governance'.

This blog will air the people's play-by-play.

(remember to click on the pics...)

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