Of course, it could just be me…
Filed under: International Affairs, Social Science Tagged: Helpful Infographics, Public Sector, USA
This week, in partnership with Google, we launched a new feature on OpenCanada.org called the OpenGlobal Show. Each episode, I will connect with a panel of friends/colleagues/experts on international affairs through Google Hangout.
For the first episode, the panelists were:
Ivan Sigal, Executive Director, Global Voices Joshua Foust, International affairs writer, analyst, and columnist for PBS Katherine Maher, Director of strategy and engagement at the digital rights organization Access
Given the weeks events, I wanted to dive into three moments in the days following the Boston bombing that I think represent changes in the way the public engages with breaking events:
(Read more…) Was the Reddit community manhunt a positive use of the released photo? Last night: Is this our first post-cable national news story? This morning: What do we know about the suspects’ backgrounds, and can we process these assumptions usefully in real time? Next week: What will be . . . → Read More: TaylorOwen.com: The OpenGlobal Show #1
I have a piece on TechPresident I really enjoyed writing about how certain technologies – as they become weaponized – can in turn become highly destabilizing to global stability. The current rash of Cyber-Warfare, or Cyber-Spying or Cyber-crime (depending on the seriousness and intent with which you rate it) could be one such destabilizing technology.
Here’s a long excerpt:
This would certainly not be the first time technology altered a balance of military power and destabilized global political orders everyone thought was robust. One reason the world plunged into global war in 1914 after a relatively minor terrorist attack —
Imagine that you are living somewhere in Pakistan, Yemen, or Gaza where the U.S. suspects a terrorist presence. Day and night, you hear a constant buzzing in the sky. Like a lawnmower. You know that this flying robot is watching everything you do. You can always hear it. Sometimes, it fires missiles into your village. You are told the robot is targeting extremists, but its missiles have killed family, friends, and neighbors. So, your behavior changes: you stop going out, you stop congregating in public, and you likely start hating the country that controls the flying
. . . → Read More: TaylorOwen.com: Buzz Kill: The psychological impact of living under drones
There is a new arms race emerging between people who want to communicate freely and securely and governments that want to monitor and limit this communication. In democratic countries, this government interference ranges from the mass monitoring of telecoms to flirtations with cutting off social media flows and shutting down cell towers in protest areas. When autocratic countries face crisis and conflict, however, the battle for control over communication is more troublesome and the risks are more acute.
Linking the interference being run by governments in democratic and autocratic countries is the technologies being deployed by both. And therein lies (Read more…)
Here is a video of an Ignite talk I did at the International Crisis Mappers Conference in DC. It is a short summary of the historical mapping research that I have done on the US bombing of Cambodia.
This Walrus magazine article provides some further background to the project.
The Dagny Taggarts, a synchronized skating team from Ottawa get ready to do their popular routine, “Where Is John Galt?” Defence Minister Joan Crockatt is in the front row, second from right. Below: Senator Tom Flanagan; U of C economics student Kim Jong-un, in full Calgary drag; Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk, ecstatic for his boss; and Nobel Prize winner Raj Sherman with the author. Actual events may not turn out exactly as predicted.
Why wait for 2013’s headlines when you can read them here on Alberta Dairy right now? In a spirit of transparency bordering on clairvoyance, Alberta Diary
Such naivety. Filed under: Humour, International Affairs Tagged: CIA, Humour, Petraeus . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Oh Silly Droney…
“Since Israel’s brutal 21-day assault on Gaza in the winter of ’08-’09 (dubbed by Israeli politicians as Operation Cast Lead) that led to over 1,400 Palestinian deaths – of which 930 were civilians including many women and children – followed by its deadly raid on a civilian Turkish ship headed to Gaza in June 2010 [...] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Gaza and Western Media – Charlotte Silver
Here in the West and in the East we have our religious nutters. What is not being covered as much in the media here is the moderate response to the “film” the Innocence of Muslims. Avaaz.org has a great article which I’ve taken bits out of and posted for your reading pleasure.
Seven things you may have missed in the ‘Rage’:
Like everyone else, many Muslims find the 13 minute Islamophobic video “Innocence of Muslims” trashy and offensive. Protests have spread quickly, tapping into understandable and lasting grievances about neo-colonialist US and western foreign policy in the
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Oh those Zany Muslims – Rage Continues?
This just in the from insano-delusional land (credit CBC.ca):
“Many Muslims find it offensive to depict the Prophet Muhammad in any fashion, much less in an insulting way.
This week’s attacks on U.S. diplomatic outposts in Egypt and Libya, the latter of which claimed the lives of U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three others on Tuesday, erupted after a 14-minute trailer of an obscure movie by a California real-estate developer. The film was posted on YouTube in English
The overarching apparatus of state is plainly evinced by the actions of one president elected on Hope and Change.
Filed under: International Affairs, Politics Tagged: International Standards, Noam Chomsky, Obama, Terrorism
Watch what happens when you mix broken foreign policy with religion…
“One of Pakistan’s most influential clerics has renounced his support for polio immunisation, claiming that the programme is a cover for American spies.”
Pakistan needs less of this particular brand of religious stupidity. The stupid is compounded by the bullshite American cloak and dagger games being played in Pakistan.
“But now he says he cannot back the policy after it emerged that the CIA had used a fake hepatitis drive to hunt for Osama bin Laden last year.
Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who organised the vaccination
I’m sure this new legislation in France will impress the hell out of libertarians world wide. The French have identified that statistically, alcohol is involved in some 30% of traffic collisions. The solution? Mandatory breathalysers in every car. Al Jazeera breaks this story wide open:
“A new motoring law has come into effect in France, whereby it will be compulsory for drivers to carry breathalyser kits in their vehicles.From Sunday, motorists and motorcyclists risk facing an on-the-spot fine unless they travel with two single-use devices. The law is part of a government initiative to reduce
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: No Breathalyser – Mon Dieu!
From Alter.net Richard D. Wolffe writes:
“In May 2012, I had occasion to visit the city of Arrasate-Mondragon, in the Basque region of Spain. It is the headquarters of the Mondragon Corporation (MC), a stunningly successful alternative to the capitalist organization of production.
MC is composed of many co-operative enterprises grouped into four areas: industry, finance, retail and knowledge. In each enterprise, the co-op members (averaging 80-85% of all workers per enterprise) collectively own and direct the enterprise. Through an annual general assembly the workers choose and employ a managing director and retain the power to make
Al Jazeera: “Hundreds of prisoners are believed to have escaped from a jail in northwest Pakistan after it was attacked by anti-government fighters armed with guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
Some of those who escaped from the facility in the town of Bannu, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, early on Sunday morning were “militants”, an intelligence official told the Reuters news agency.
“Dozens of militants attacked Bannu’s Central Jail in the early hours of the morning, and more 300 prisoners have escaped,” Mir Sahib Jan, the official, said.
Not our problem? Or is it? The hawks on security and protecting America abroad
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Jailbreak – Bannu Pakistan Edition
Where to begin with such a malodorous concept? Starting with irony is always good, so… for instance how about the blinding irony of the Conservatives dedication to ‘austerity and smaller government’? How this equates with creating nebulous departments with equally nebulous goals defies rational comprehension.
“It was a Conservative campaign promise meant to promote religious freedom worldwide.
The promise, the Tories said, was to give a Canadian foreign policy focus to oppressed religious minorities in places such as
Seeing history from a different perspective is often an enlightening experience. Noam Chomsky is a excellent guide to a historical narrative that makes sense and fits the facts of the situation, as opposed to what we are told by approved sources. It is a long read, somehow sadly classified as a radical perspective, but well worth your time. The media in the US often do not publish Chomsky’s work despite its accuracy and veracity, because publishing it might actually stir public opinion and motivate people to get involved with their government. It is left to alternative
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: ‘Losing’ the World:American Decline in Perspective
Poking wasps nests with chopsticks seems to be the motive behind much of US foreign policy. The cesspool that is Afghanistan needs only a couple of gentle stirs to spray its fetid lunacy and violence on everything and everyone. Case in point, burning paper turns the people bug-frack crazy:
”Afghan officials say at least two demonstrators have been killed in northern Afghanistan as protests over last week’s burning of Qur’ans turned violent.
It marked the sixth day of deadly protests over the burning of Qur’ans and other religious materials at a U.S. base. The White
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Afghanistan – Mission Accomplished…(?)
So, is this how it must be?
I’m thinking that we get Anonymous when the structures of your democratic institutions are corrupted and ineffective. When the voice of the people is lost in the swirl of corporate dollars and lobbying, we get Anonymous. When the elites believe that they are truly untouchable and are a gift to the rest of us, we get Anonymous.
Do I agree with their all of their methods? No, but the message they broadcast has a certain resonance that I’m sure the power-brokers of the world detest and fear, and that, friends,
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Anonymous – A Message to Congress
Watch, gentle readers, what happens when elite interests are not given priority. The outcry, the wailing and gnashing of teeth, the injustice of it all. The MPAA CEO Chris Dodd called out the irresponsible websites – Wikipedia, Reddit etc on their egregious behaviour:
“A so-called “blackout” is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals.”
Ah, so the authors and money men who sponsored and rammed through the DMCA legislation are back for more, and of course it is
Ethics are what make people stand against tyranny. Saying “no” to the crowd is one of the most difficult challenges we face as social animals. Bradley Manning had the courage to make an ethical stand, we all possess similar characteristics, we just choose to dismiss these ethical impulses. When we do so, our the moral fabric of our society degrades.
“Washington, DC – Private Bradley Manning was just 22 years old when he allegedly leaked hundreds of thousands of US State Department cables and video evidence of war crimes to the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks. For
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Bradley Manning – A lesson in Ethics
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