Monday, February 27, 2017

Wag the Trump?

Was it a mixup at tonight's Oscars for the Best Picture prize? Or was it a message to the people of the world that news is often scripted and can be tainted?

Commentators claimed "Nobody could write this script" but it's already wrapped.

The film "Wag the Dog" speaks of how the population of America is manipulated by media. Looking beyond, the election of President Donald J. Trump was more than unexpected. Was he legitimately elected? If not, how many people were enlisted to dupe the nation, and were they Americans?

Would President Trump even know he'd been installed via deceit? Better he didn't know...

Monday, February 20, 2017

What's a moldova?

Almost half-million people have watched this 'humor' video about Moldova:

Yes, it is ridiculous.
Yes, it is insulting.

But dozens of other nations have made similar videos, and behind the jokes, it actually teaches a lot about Moldova (facts the typical person wouldn't know, and probably never otherwise hear about).

Hundreds-of-thousands of people spent 4+ minutes watching this presentation. Maybe as a marketing tool, humor & sarcasm are second to none...

I've visited Moldova for business four times, and as a member of the Swedish-Moldovan International Association I must tell you Moldova is Great in many ways. But it's too often unknown & forgotten...

"Don't believe marketing is about what you want to say. Craft something other people – the people you're trying to reach – want to listen to, read, interact with... To be interesting today: Earn people's time.  If you haven’t made that commitment you're just talking to yourself in public... who's going to make time to listen to that?"  (Mark Di Somma)

Dos Equis Beer, "Most Interesting Man" marketing campaign created a fictional celebrity endorser (and fabulously boasting about him). Most ads end with the most interesting man dressed in a tuxedo surrounded by beautiful women, at which point he says, "I don't always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Dos Equis." For a beer spokesman to admit he doesn't always drink beer, does not seem like the smartest marketing campaign decision, but the numbers have proven its worth. People want to be seen as interesting.  (Jaci Russo)

Ads can be funny to better sell the brand -- "designed to create a longing in someone who wants to be as interesting as the ads' leading man and brand spokesperson." Emotional connection: [My Nation & I are nearly as cool as America & Trump]  (Sage Marketing Group)

More nasty videos mocking the America First movement:

Please remember, FIRST to create such a video was the Netherlands:
It's Great. Fantastic.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ultra-Nationalist Japan

Some people celebrate when rabid leaders pledge to cleanse their country of foreign scum.

But racism and hate ultimately are costly & hurtful to us all.

Japan has allowed the ultra-right to flourish. In part, Japan's rightists were protected by America during the 1950s and 60s, claiming to be anti-Communist.

Now, organizations such as Nippon Kaigi 日本会議 are vigorous (link), reaching to the pinnacle of the political world. Reportedly 15 of 19 ministers, and 289 of the 480 National Diet members, are Nippon Kaigi as of 10/2014. Maybe forging sweetheart deals with Japan's Ministry of Finance?

Moritomo Gakuen 森友学園 and 瑞穂の國記念小學院 are frightening!

Kids must memorize the prewar Imperial Rescript on Education 「教育勅語」

But the waste & destruction of WWII are easily remembered in Japan, and many (probably most) people are unsupportive of right-wing extremists.

Thankfully, abusiveness is monitored & sometimes reported upon, such as sex scandals:

Dietmember Yoshitaka Shindō 新藤義孝
(English summary here)

After a funeral, lawmaker Yoshitaka Shindō 新藤義孝 reportedly goes whoring

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Theft of the Sacred

Property and community of Hawai'i's indigenous people are threatened by development of sacred Mauna Kea. Similarly, construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline by Energy Transfer Partners is being forced upon native communities, uprooting their environment.

On Mauna Kea, should cars and vehicles be allowed at the summit?

Early maneuvering by pro-development forces sought to stifle resistance through arrests claiming protestors blocked traffic.

Scientific activities have already harmed Mauna Kea. "The cumulative impacts of certain resources of past and existing development in the astronomy precinct have already been substantial, significant and adverse." (written testimony by James T.Hayes to BLNR Contested Case Hearing, Thirty Meter Telescope, p.34; link, video 3:08:15)

Worse, this person with primary responsibility for the Environmental Impact Study on Mauna Kea by the TMT, James T. Hayes, cites the existence of the road around Mauna Kea's summit as the key factor the proposed Northern Plateau site is no longer a pristine area -- see Dexter Kaimana cross-examining James T. Hayes, link, at 3:12:48

When people can tour through special places in their own messy vehicle, chugging slurpee, listening to sports or talk radio, eating a burger, they too easily overlook the fact they are guests within an honored & exceptional place.

We too often give precedence to motor vehicles.

Ban cars from upper Mauna Kea. Heavily tax every allowed vehicle, with revenues to Native Hawaiian programs.

Political Scum?

Americans who've been shaken awake by the first weeks of Donald J. Trump's presidency are surely partly to blame for wider national crises.

America's many troubles have grown up under the carelessness of both Democrat & Republican lawmakers, "public servants" who serve themselves and their funders before anything trickles down to the masses.

Nancy Pelosi and her husband are not people I admire. The Republican leadership is no better. It seems clear to me the people Hilary Clinton most wished to help were wealthy financiers. Fatcats threatening hellfire to the insufficiently Christian?    -- No Thank You.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

All For Profit

Moves by the new U.S. Federal Administration to deify profit & aggrandize market economics are dangerous. The powerful who now control resources will gain more. The great majority will lose everything valuable (which now is not much). Social Darwinism is unsustainable!

All government operations are being reinterpreted as potential business opportunities. Troublesome information is being hidden, data gathering discontinued, and regulations dismantled in areas such as conservation and human services.

So sad.

How Dirty is the FBI?

For many or most in my generation, the FBI was admirable. They upheld the law without falling into the squabbles, nepotism and petty politics of local sheriffs and police departments. The "G Man" was highly-trained and above corruption. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover reportedly was highly concerned with the Bureau's reputation, even interviewing and organizing training for Efrem Zimbalist Jr. for his TV role depicting the FBI.

For Boston & New England people, the saga of James "Whitey" Bulger and his brother Billy dirtied the FBI's reputation. Whitey was collaborating with the Bureau even as he murdered people, and FBI agent John Joseph Connolly, Jr. provided the tip-off allowing Whitey to escape justice in late 1994.

Subsequently, Bulger was highlighted as America's "Most Wanted" by the FBI for awhile, but it became clearer his insider knowledge of important people's dirt may have led to him being "America's least wanted."

We common folk will never know the full truth. Yet there remain troubling points:

1) Was Mr. Bulger truly captured? If so, where's Whitey now?
We're told this infamous criminal is safely locked-up (in US Federal Penitentiary Coleman II, Florida). But is he really there? Whitey & the Feds did bad shit together. The government should supply periodic photos & updates of his alleged incarceration.

2) Whitey was on the run for 16+ years; thousands of tips & leads were supposedly tracked, and the FBI offered a US$2 million reward for Bulger's capture. In 2008, Keith Messina reported seeing Whitey in Santa Monica, California. Three years later, a more precise tip by an Icelandic woman led the FBI to the doorstep of Bulger & his fugitive girlfriend. Perhaps the FBI could easily disregard domestically-generated tips, but an Icelandic TV crew finding Bulger would surely be a black-eye to the Bureau -- they needed to act. The Icelandic tipster was paid her reward, but her name and personal details were leaked to media & publicized. Nasty take-away lesson: collaborating with the FBI is very dangerous! Surely policing is more effective when working together with the public. Government promises of confidentiality must be enforced.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

U.S. Senate Confirmed

During the Senate confirmation hearing for a new U.S. Attorney General, the senior Senator for Massachusetts, Vice Chair of the chamber's Democratic Caucus, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, was officially rebuked by the Republican majority. The measure barred Warren from speaking further during Sessions' nomination hearing.

Warren was slapped-down for questioning past motives & conduct of a Senate colleague, Jeff Sessions from Alabama.

Ultimately, this confirms the U.S. Senate is doing a poor job. The Senate is entrusted with offering advice, and must consent to the appointment of key nominations. For the national interest, the confirmation process is not meant to be a whitewash, and should allow debate. It seems ridiculous when historical documentation and negative background of potential Cabinet appointments cannot be mentioned.

Regardless of the fitness of Sen. Sessions to become U.S. Attorney General, this incident was a black-eye for the U.S. Senate and underlines the shoddy tenure of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

We Know Things Are Bad...

It's 40+ years since the (link) 1976 film Network ...

We carry-on as string puppets controlled via media.
Parasitic corporate interests suppress community & suck dry the output of each modest life.

Did YOU get free public money from the bipartisan Bush/Obama bailout? If not, you're simple normal social scum -- a badly connected outsider. Deplorable.

USA = 99% Deplorable

 ... enjoy this audio clip ( link )

Who Won?

This posting will evolve, but the key concept is wondering:
Who won the 2016 Presidential Election?

First, it seems (somewhat) clear Hilary Clinton LOST -- while the Democratic National Committee was LOST from long ago

My Question is not the choice of A or B, but rather X
 - did Russia interfere & actively intervene?
 - is Trump working for Russia?
 - why did / (does?) Trump want the job of President?
 - why was there no recount in the key states where requested?
 - is American DEMOCRACY an illusion?

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Selling a Pollution Pit

Entergy is the fat corporation owning Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts. They've sucked revenues from the nuclear reactor, but have no proper plan for dealing with the dirty aftermath.

Now they suggest selling the aging plant to another (newly formed) corporation.

Some support the sale. Former Massachusetts State Sen. Daniel Wolf (D) is quoted as calling the potential transaction "really exciting news." (link)


A similar process is happening at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear plant. There's no reasonable vision for optimism. Entergy would exploit profitable decommissioning, if there were such a thing. They instead plan to wash their hands by passing the muck to a newly-formed shell corporation.

This new firm may perform correctly, but tens of millions, maybe billions of dollars urge them to default, defect, and pass most costs to the public.

Don't let Entergy off the hook for their obligations.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Cruelly Corporatist Korea

Gangjeong Village is among the furthest points from Seoul as exist in South Korea. Some 480 km from Seoul and far from mainland troubles, Gangjeong sits on beautiful Jeju Island's southern coast. Threats to develop the region were first put aside through legislation and edict. (link) The coastal area was designated a Cultural Protection Zone by the South Korean government in 2000 and 2004. In 2002 South Korea's Ministry of Land defined the region a Marine Ecosystem Conservation Area, and that same year it also became a UNESCO Biosphere Conservation Area. In 2006, the government of Jeju Island named the Gangjeong Village zone a Marine Provincial Park, and the central government's Ministry of Environment designated it an "Ecological Excellent Village"; in 2007, the Jeju Island government identified it as an Absolute Retention Coastal Area; and in 2008, the Ministry of Environment designated it a Natural Park.

Then, against the wishes of the local people, distant militarists decided to develop the area as a strategic naval base. Both the Korean Government in distant Seoul and the U.S. Government in Washington D.C. pushed to reclassify the area for development, overturning all objections. Jeju Naval Base (제주 해군기지) is now operational.

But serious struggles continue (link). Many local people and their supporters were arrested & fined. Worse, because construction was slower than expected due to local opposition, the large private-sector chaebol construction companies demanded compensation for the delays, Seoul's right-wing government is forcing the local villagers to pay these costs (link).

In other words, refusing to quickly stand aside when government tries bulldozing your neighborhood will lead to bankruptcy. Forcing the local population to pay restitution & indemnity is horrible -- closer to fascism than a democratic process. Shame on Korea's politicians!

Artist Carlos Latuff (Brazil) supports Jeju villagers against the menacing naval base

Unfortunate blowback from a global imperialist alliance is deployment of foreign military forces in places otherwise peaceful, thus distressing the local population. Korea, Japan and Hawai'i are in a feudal relationship with Washington D.C., forced to accept American military installations into such places as Jeju's Gangjeon coastline, Okinawa's Yanbaru forest, and O'ahu's delicate Mokapu Peninsula. Tough.

Targets & Tiaras

The first combat death for the new US Government came in an engagement which killed an 8-year old girl.

Obama's government assassinated the father & his 16-yr old son. Both were U.S. citizens targeted without trial. Trump's first combat mission (on his 10th day as President) now kills the daughter.

We wholly condemn extrajudicial targeted killings (link). Neither should American forces suffer tragic death. President Trump has vowed to withdraw American troops from many overseas trouble-spots, leaving local forces to protect & police themselves. "We cannot be the Policeman of the World" said candidate Trump (link)

But assassination is not an acceptable substitute policy, and all the more terrible when it targets family members.

President Trump declared we must kill the families of America's enemies, but surely that's illegal under international law, and shortsighted policy (we should hope to avoid reciprocal targeting of American leaders' families).

The US Government already has a bad history:
1986  US bombs kill Libyan leader Gaddafi's infant daughter
2003  American forces target & kill Saddam Hussein's two sons & 14-yr old grandson
2011  US / NATO bombs kill Gaddafi's son & grandkids, 5-mo & 2-yr old twins (30 April)
2011  US drone attack kills Anwar al-Awlaki, dissident American Muslim cleric (30 Sept)
2011  US drone attack kills Anwar al-Awlaki's son, US teenager Abdulrahman (14 Oct)
2017  American SEAL Team 6 kills Anwar's 8-yr old daughter, Nora Al-Awlaki  (29 Jan)