bmtv58 Burma!

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BURMA! Who needs history when the mainstream media presents BURMA! to us. This is a vlog commentary on Burma with some factoids. Also testing my new camera… and apparently the battery was dying or I pushed the wrong something as you might see the sound getting out of sync.

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Fujimori, Better Late than Never

For those keeping score in the mass murdering dictators held accountable before human rights tribunals game, a big move came this weekend as ex Peruvian president Fujimori was extradited from Chilé.

This could mean that finally some truth will come out about just what took place during his presidency, as he will no doubt have to answer for the systematic murders of his opponents. Not yet clear when and how this tribunal will work, but after many years of thinking he would get away without a real investigation or trial, suddenly a sign that there might be some justice served in Peru.

My preferred source to follow this and other Latin America stories: The LAtin Americanist of course.

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Calling the Arctic

During my occasional working days here in Brussels, I have lots of time on busses and trains to think about how much I miss my bike and the topics of my next podcasts.

For the next few months I will be frequently touching upon the topic of the Arctic and the race to exploit its resources, re-claim property rights, and the ongoing accelerating process of global warming effecting the region (and in turn, the world).

While mainstream media has dedicated the occasional article on this topic, they focus mostly on the horserace or “competition” between Russia, Canada, US, and Denmark (no mentions of Norway lately). Some tacit attention is given to the political conflict and the use of “submarines” by Russia to plant an underground flag or something to that effect.

What lacks is the real details that effect people’s lives. The information regarding exactly what these nations are doing and plan to do in the name of political power, economics, and what some call progress. They leave out the communities that live in and around the arctic, how they are being effected by all these activities. Rising sea level, melting of the ice caps, increased ship traffic.. these things all come with a price. And then take that to a global level, because the arctic is such an important place for everyone that exists on this planet.. and our collective future.

Some scientific magazines and organizations are indeed dedicating time and energy to bring this information to the public. But this still leaves a huge segment of the global population in the dark, those who continue to look to the media giants for knowledge about the world around them, including the activity of their government in far off places. So long as this disfunctional information relationship continues, it remains much too easy for the powerful governments to mount an aggressive campaign to pick apart the arctic no matter what the cost.

As a podcaster, journalist, and concerned world citizen, these next few months will be dedicated to more in-depth research on the arctic crisis. More interviews with people living and breathing the situation, and with the desire to share their knowledge and experiences with a curious and concerned audience.

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Silence On Executions

Part of having a podcast/vlog/blog about under reported issues and global concerns, means that the good people around the world send me emails and comments asking that I look into certain issues. It is nothing short of an honor that people look to me for any such work, in many ways saying – I know you’d be good at looking into this – it is quite flattering. When it isn’t overwhelming.

With the most recent case of yet another human on death row in the United States for questionable reasons due to a questionable case, I received emails from concerned world citizens asking me to please talk about the case. Yet Again. Unfortunately with the United States and the state of Texas as they are at present, this seems to happen every few months. It becomes hard to count on both hands how many people were executed who had been convicted on very flimsy evidence and a very flawed case.

Yet even after receiving these emails I didn’t do much. And I wanted to explain that a bit:
I didn’t feel compelled to write much of anything because I didn’t feel the outrage. Rather I feel this stronger sense of routine and acceptance, like somehow I’ve mentally come to accept the truth – that various states in the US routinely murder the wrongly convicted, children, and the mentally disabled. It is their policy, it is their culture, it is their system, and somewhere along the way this became less of an outrage and more of a terrible despicable truth.

Likewise the objective to write about it on the internet in order to mobilize citizens to push the government to stop this practice, also stopped seeming like a productive idea. Despite all the blog posts and all the commenting and everything many concerned people do on the internet in the quest to inform and motivate the public, the government continues to kill, unphased by the benign buzzing we do in this online world. Beyond that, while a small minority on the internet become concerned and take action to oppose these murders, the majority are using the internet for watching pop music videos and chatting to their friends about last night, utterly indifferent to whomever is being wrongly killed in their name.

There are many issues I feel strongly about that I feel deserve more attention and action. The death penalty, while always one of them, has more strongly become routine – a cold shameful reality revealing the truth about the society that allows it to continue. Writing about it, while important, has proven ineffective and simply put – not enough.

PS- Yes as I write this the news came out that Foster will not be killed. An example contrary to what I wrote? PErhaps.. but how many more innocent people will still have to die?

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