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Dead Wild Roses: Ukraine – What the hell is going on?

The situation in the Ukraine has me puzzled. The violence and protests leading up to the deposing of the Ukrainian president were not given much coverage in the media that I follow/ or I just plain missed it. Whatever the case may be, I’m getting a couple of nearly diametrically opposed narratives of what is going on in the Ukraine and for my edification and yours we’ll go through them together.

For clarity, and the fact I like using coloured text, the article for Al Jazeera will be in green, and the articles from Counterpunch in the usual (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Our Mendacious Media – The Conflict in Venezuela

This article from counterpunch nails whats is wrong with how news is reported here in North America and also give a much different picture of what is going on in Venezuela. A big thanks to Mark Weisbrot for getting the down and dirty on events happening in South America.

The Class Conflict in Venezuela by MARK WEISBROT

The current protests in Venezuela are reminiscent of another historical moment when street protests were used by right-wing politicians as a tactic to overthrow the elected government. It was December of 2002, and I was struck by the images on U.S. (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Ukraine – The Renters’ Curse

What is so not-awesome about our news media is its propensity to relay to us news and events without the background context necessary have said news event make sense. Go take a look at the CBC’s reporting on what is happening in the Ukraine. I’ll reproduce the headlines here for sake of argument.

Parliament votes to oust President Viktor Yanukovych Security forces now declining to take part in conflict Jailed opposition figure Yulia Tymoshenko may be released soon President and opposition sign deal meant to end crisis President Yanukovych leaves capital for pro-Russian eastern Ukraine Yanukoych accuses opposition (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Tuesday Craft Corner

In honour(?) of the Olympic Spirit(TM), my current crochet project is a pair of Salute to Putin gloves. I’ll be able to finish them when the rainbow yarn I ordered arrives.

And, below the fold, a Fiona photobomb because I know you want more Fiona.

Filed under: Cute, International Affairs

Dead Wild Roses: CATSA – On the Cutting Edge of Airport Stupidity (errr..Security)

***TW – Extreme Incompetence ***


The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority are on eternally vigilant for dread items such as this:

or this:

Obviously items depicted above are a clear and present danger to yourself, your fellow passengers, the airplane, and Western Civilization(!). Trying to get either types of these items past airport security gets you this:


Recently though, at the Edmonton International Airport someone decided to bring another item in carry on luggage. It looked like this:


This is the security photo from the Edmonton Airport. Observe cylindrical object on (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: CATSA – On the Cutting Edge of Airport Stupidity (errr..Security)

Dead Wild Roses: Arbourist Casts Skeptical Eye Toward EU/Canada FTA.

Harper turns kitten eating grin to 11.

The European Union/Canadian Free Trade agreement was unexpectedly foisted onto the Canadian public – like driving over a deep pothole at night, the consequences of this agreement require the public to pull over and carefully examine the damage done to our society and economy. Strangely enough, our benevolent leadership has arranged for little to no public consultation and thus no debate as to what the consequences are for Canadian society. We just have to trust our leaders when they say that this is a “good thing” for Canada. In light (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Why Bother with the Stupid Nobel Prize?

This from the Raw Story:

“Yet in the peace-giving west, the award remains significantly venerated – a testament, surely, to being a dynamite idea in principle (if you’ll forgive the cliched reference to Alfred Nobel’s other gift to the world) but a mostly damp squib in practice. Understandably, it is less revered in the sort of countries to which peace tends to be done.

As for Malala, shot not in the line of duty, but in the line of living her 15-year-old life – that ordeal and the thing of wonder she has turned it into were perhaps (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Russia: The Westboro Baptist of Nations

Ms.Betty Bowers thoughts on the 2014 Olympics.

Filed under: Ethics, Gender Issues, International Affairs Tagged: bigotry, discrimination, Olympics, Russia

Dead Wild Roses: Chris Hedges’ 2003 Rockford College Commencement Address – Speaking Truth to Power

Let us take a good look at how free speech and competing idea’s are treated at a American College. You wonder why so many people just roll their eyes when the words American and enlightened are mentioned in the same sentence.

What gets me is that these are the supposed emerging ‘educated class’… the new leaders of American society. Such inanity, such ignorance such dedication to american exceptionalism. This is really a chilling video.

Speaking the truth, as always, is never well received.

[Full Text of Speech]

I want to speak to you today about (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: The Beautiful Bridge of Life

A couple nights ago I was wading about the web, waiting for sleepiness to find me when I came across this video. It exhibits the most beautiful project I’ve seen to in a very long time.

On the surface, it is a colossal exercise of empathy and caring for those in desperate need of support. On top of that, and I think much more important, is the awareness it must spread to the community. The bridge highlights a problem and inspires people to think about it, identify with sufferers, and help in preventative measures. It’s a wonderful thing.

Filed under: (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Spot the Problem?

Of course, it could just be me…

Filed under: International Affairs, Social Science Tagged: Helpful Infographics, Public Sector, USA

Dead Wild Roses: Avez-Vous Des Bigots? Je Pense, ‘Oui’

The last week or so my view of humanity world over has been severely soured. I’ve often expressed an attitude that Alberta is the ‘Texas of Canada’ when it comes to issues of equality and progressive society. Hidden in that stance is the inference that other places aren’t as backward, that in other civilized areas these issues are all but resolved. This inference, it turns out, is ill-founded. Hillbilly homophobia is running rampant even in “high culture” nations.

The French government in pushing through a bill that will legalize same sex marriage and allow same sex couples to adopt. It (Read more…) The OpenGlobal Show #1

This week, in partnership with Google, we launched a new feature on 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: The OpenGlobal Show #1 How Hackers Will Blow Up The World: China, Cyber-Warfare and the Cuban Missile Crisis

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 —

. . . → Read More: How Hackers Will Blow Up The World: China, Cyber-Warfare and the Cuban Missile Crisis Buzz Kill: The psychological impact of living under drones

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: Buzz Kill: The psychological impact of living under drones The Surveillance Arms Race

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…) Crisis Mappers ignite talk

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.

Alberta Diary: Why wait? Read 2013’s shocking political headlines right now on Alberta Diary!

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

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Why wait? Read 2013’s shocking political headlines right now on Alberta Diary!

Dead Wild Roses: Oh Silly Droney…

Such naivety. Filed under: Humour, International Affairs Tagged: CIA, Humour, Petraeus . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Oh Silly Droney…

Dead Wild Roses: Gaza and Western Media – Charlotte Silver

“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

Dead Wild Roses: Oh those Zany Muslims – Rage Continues?

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. 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?

Dead Wild Roses: So, Tell me again about Islam being the Religion of Peace – Innocence of Muslims

Islam, religion of Peace burns down American Embassy illustrating dedication to rational non-violent ways of resolving disputes.

This just in the from insano-delusional land (credit

“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

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: So, Tell me again about Islam being the Religion of Peace – Innocence of Muslims China, Twitter and the 0.1%

Earlier this month I had the good fortune of visiting China – a place I’m deeply curious about and – aside from some second year university courses, the reporting from the Economist, and the occasional trip over to Tea Leaf Nation – remains too foreign to me for comfort given its enormous importance.

As always China – or to be specific – Beijing is overwhelming. The pollution, the people, the energy, the scale. It can be hard to grasp or describe. But I want to talk about my conversations which were overwhelming in other, equally fantastic ways.

As an indirect

. . . → Read More: China, Twitter and the 0.1%

Dead Wild Roses: Obama – Worse than George Bush and Blair

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

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Disservice – “Just say no to Polio Vaccinations, Love Allah”

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

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Disservice – “Just say no to Polio Vaccinations, Love Allah”