The occupation is not being televised. Or is it?

At this point in time the lack of mainstream news coverage of the ongoing Occupy Wall Street event is becoming news in itself. As more people become aware of the now week-long effort to raise awareness of the 99% of the population who are NOT reaping the benefits of Wall Street shenanigans–the more glaring the lack of coverage becomes.  Yet this lack is not really surprising. It is most predictable considering the present nature of the media that flows nightly into the homes of millions of Americans.  Ironically, many of these same Americans unknowingly have a vested interest in the efforts of the occupiers who are from their non-Wall Street ranks.  Yet, showing Americans other Americans engaged in protests like the recent Tar Sands Keystone XL arrests in front the White House for two solid weeks during which over 1,253 were arrested, seems to make the Americans who own and run news broadcasts in America very uncomfortable. Why is that? Have they forgotten that the goal of their occasionally respectable profession is to inform people?  Naw….they haven’t forgotten.  They’ve been co-opted, sold out, and/or taken over by certain interest groups who are distinctly uncomfortable with anyone/anything that rocks the boat of the status quo–no matter how badly that boat is taking on water. Like climate change deniers, news media deniers cannot make the reality go away. Climate change is not invisible nor is the Occupy Wall Street protest.  Tuning into the livestream video at Peaceful Uprising and elsewhere online may not bring stunning images of dramatic nonstop action into your brainpan. But it will provide a sense of what is involved in such activism. Yes, there are scenes of Police presence and arrests when the occupiers are on the move. There are interesting arenas of group communication and consensus reaching efforts during the General Assemblies. There’s a great deal of dealing with the practical issues of everything from keeping the video operating to information on where/how to donate food supplies. Occupations require the necessities of daily life. Who knew? In many ways this is a practical primer for such activist efforts. Is it any wonder the mainstream media is avoiding it like the plague?

Lively streaming from Liberty Park and NYC —

Do you know “Someplace with a Mountain”?

 The other night by pure chance  I viewed “Someplace with a Mountain” on my local PBS station KCPT 2.  Lately, as in ever since the GOP attack on funding for PBS the station seems to have found some sort of backbone and has been airing programs dealing with environmental issues. Perhaps this schedule was lined up long ago–but the timing is currently rather interesting from my perspective. Now if they start giving air time to Al Jazeera news as they do for the BBC news late at night, then we’ll know for sure that a revolution is at hand in American media. But, for whatever reason, this wonderful and terribly disturbing independent film aired during prime time. Thank you, KCPT, for presenting “Someplace with a Mountain.” This film is the result of one man’s encounter with some very traditional people living on the Island of Puluwat.  The Islanders have a serious problem caused by US. Yes, US, if you’re living in an industrialized country while reading this then you too have contributed to their problem in one form or another. Why? Because it’s the industrialized countries, USA at the top of the list, that are responsible for the pollution that is affecting the lives of the Island people.  These people don’t pollute the Earth. Their traditional sustainable lifeways have not created any toxic oil spills. They don’t drive cars. They don’t have money. They don’t destroy their environment for profit like we do. Yes, we do, every one of us by virtue of how we  currently LIVE.  Our actions have led to rising sea levels which are responsible for the destruction of the atolls on which the Puluwat have lived for thousands of years. Think about that for a moment—people living in the same place for a few thousand years and it’s not a toxic waste dump. What are they doing right and what are we doing wrong? They live in harmony and balance with nature. We do not. We rape the world for everything we think we “need.” Or we allow the people who run oil corporations to do it for us.  Or we allow the use of nuclear power and suffer the consequences as are the Japanese–who will  share the toxic waste with the entire world in one form or another over time.  All because of what we think we require in order to live what we deem is the “good life.” Well is it the good life when your water can be set on fire? When your soil is full of toxic chemicals? When our children are born with diseases due to the food and water consumed by their parents? If we have such a “good” lifestyle, then why are so many people addicted to legal and illegal drugs? If life is so great then why are we waging war around the globe? People talk about escaping to islands with beaches and no stress. Hmm. Gee, why is that? Well consider that such islands with peaceful beaches will be no more because of our greed and how that plays out in environmental ways.  Heat the planet, melt the ice, raise the sea levels and the islands are the first to feel the pain of going under water. Bye, bye atolls everywhere. So sorry but since you have no oil or diamonds or anything else that feeds our  industrial addictions your islands mean nothing in the Wall Street–World Bank scheme of things. Okay, have I rained on your Earth Day? Well, I’m not apologizing because we’re all past due for accepting responsibility for the way we live and how the way we live affects us, the Earth and other people who don’t live as we do.

See “Someplace with a Mountain” and consider how you’ve helped destroy a people’s home and potentially their culture and them.  Yes, they have the hope of relocation thanks to Yap. But that is not  a reality yet.  The Puluwat have done nothing to you or me. But we have done plenty to them–ignorance is no longer an excuse thanks to Steve Goodall’s film. This is the age of information. We’ve got it at our fingertips. Now how are we going to use it for the future of our survival–and that of the Puluwat Islanders?

Meet The Last Navigators at  

Click the photograph to visit “Someplace with a Mountain” for trailers, photos and information.

Someplace with a Mountain “Like” on Facebook.

No, this is NOT a happy happy, joy joy, Earth Day to everyone–to say so would be a huge LIE.

Egypt News: Friday, 8-10 am EST, 2hours Democracy Now!

Heads up for all current events information junkies:  On Friday, 11 February, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! will be streaming live for a two hour special broadcast on Egypt. Broadcast commences at 8 am EST.   Democracy Now! has Sharif Kouddous and Anjali Kamat pounding the pavement with the thousands of  people in Tahrir  in Cairo for ongoing coverage via written and audio blogs– and twitter when service is available to them– posted online at After Mubarak’s last speech, who knows what may unfold on Friday. Incredible drama is underway in Egypt. Kamat’s latest audio blog report covered the thousands marching to the Egyptian State TV Building. 

NOTE: Ongoing frequently updated and live coverage is also available online via Al Jazeera English.

Shanti Om

Peace to all

Egypt Takes Center Stage Big Time.

It’s been interesting watching the masks of world leaders slipping during the protests in Egypt.  Usually it’s the “governing bodies”–and the BIG MONEY folks– who push which way the world will flow, how and where. But Egypt’s common people seem to have grabbed the tiger by the tail in order to swing the government beast their way. In America it’s been disturbing to observe how these protests have been reported by the mainstream news media and all the talking heads. I wonder how many of these folks realize the possible implications IF IF IF the demands of the Egyptian protesters are met–or not. Here is change that the US spook teams have not set into motion nor seem to have any control over.  Every time I see Obama, his spokesman, and Hilary Clinton I get a distinct sense of well controlled panic behind their constantly shifting eyes. Oh the corporate run media in America had better keep the public hypnotized by mental junk food or there could be trouble–the sort of trouble that comes from ideas stimulated by the ideas put into action by other people.  While the yet to be manifested IDEALS of America have inspired people everywhere around the world at different points in time, the same ideals don’t seem to have much impact inside America these days.  Is this because the American people suffer from apathy, depression, legal and illegal drug maintainance programs, educational pedagogy that destroys critical thinking skills –and a seriously hollow cultural value framework that encourages them to deny even the reality of climate change and that we in the USA are the biggest polluters in the world? Is anyone else watching the public masks of the political puppets of the military industrial complex cracking under the stress of dealing with the potential for “things” to slip beyond their control? Frankly, when the cracks split apart the illusionary public masks and  result in the blatant display of the true nature of the movers and shakers who will care in America? Who will notice while the masses are wondering if the president dyes his hair? Between Wikkileaks and the huge world-class drama playing out center stage in Egypt there is a great unveiling of the very very dark workings of the political-economic world. It’s all there to be seen by anyone willing to see it–even if the masks have not been broken apart entirely.  To see it and accept it without question is to condone it–and perhaps to condemn ourselves to the fate of being devoured by it.  I’m watching the Egyptian stage intently. However this drama unfolds and whatever “conclusion” it arrives at, there will be consequences for all of us as it sets into motion the next act in the power play for the way the world will “be.”  I have no doubt that every politician and businessperson in the world is paying very close attention to Egypt–much closer attention than any American Idol fans pay to their wanna be super stars. What a great game of misdirection and distraction the corporate media displays day in and day out in America–and around the world.  What could possibly get Americans to wake up? Empty grocery store shelves? Gasoline at ten dollars a gallon? Having to wear gas masks when outside climate controlled buildings?  Being lied to, manipulated, censored, and spied upon has not had much effect on the American masses.  What sort of alarm clock is required? Or does it matter any more at this point?  Well, the doctors and lawyers  have taken to the streets in Egypt.  But, so far the Suez Canal is still operating. IF the people ever get their hands on that then Suleiman’s nasty “bats” will probably be freed.  Oh the drama of it all. Eat your heart out Shakespeare, because the Egyptians are acting out one hell of a grand historical morality play on the world stage for a captive global audience.

Autumn in Kashmir

Heard the news about Arundhati Roy’s home being attacked by right wingers protesting her speaking out about the state of affairs in  Kashmir and wondering what all the fuss is about? Well Kashmir’s story is an old one that has been simmering and boiling between India and Pakistan for years and years to the detriment of the local people who have quite a long list of  “disappeared” men.  Click the photograph to read an article about the new film, Autumn in Kashmir, on Al Jazeera English.  The film premiered in  Toronto and in the US in New York today–November 1.  Oh and if you’re looking for darn good journalism all around, well Al Jazeera English is well worth discovering for news from around the world.  It’s a wonderful antidote to the knee jerking teleprompter readers on the idiot box drowning in their own ignorance.  It’s got to be tough trying to even begin comprehending the rest of the world when all they’ve ever bothered to care about is their own continental lily pad.  But I think there are plenty of intelligent, well informed, concerned and interested young people–and older former investigative newspaper reporters in search of employment–who could do a much more respectable duty of presenting world events than the all the bleached blonde giggling Barbies of all the prime time news networks combined. Seriously, how can anyone respect any journalist who fails to comprehend the importance of documents revealing a terrible depth of torture, kidnapping, and murder running amok around the world? Call me an idealist but in my ethics context paradigm murder and torture are crimes that trump truth-telling about them. Isn’t the Truth what any decent Justice system is supposed to pursue?  I may be very very wrong about this though.

Drink water? See GASLAND

What a way to start the day with a new Tuesday Morning Buzzer at KKFI–welcome to Diana Linn Ennis–and a sobering shot of Democracy Now! Ever have a day when you wish you did not learn something new.  Today was one such day for me. Fracking was my new learned thing today. After BP’s  water killing spilling I was hoping for some relief for water in general. But no such thing. If I had HBO I probably would already know about flammable tap water. But I don’t have HBO or cable and Elsa the lioness is gracing my un-upgraded fat screen television antique. Hence, I learned via Democracy Now! on KKFI–radio like you’re probably not hearing unless you’re tuning in at 90.1 fm or  Is there any place on the globe free of Halliburton?  Apparently not.  

Can you light your tap water on fire? If so, then you probably know all about the contents of Josh Fox’s film GASLAND. If you don’t know about GASLAND  and you drink water–then you need to see this film because this is not a self-contained issue. This is coming to a water supply near you–or maybe it already has.  The first video contains a map of the USA with locations of Fracking for natural gas.  Now, is there something wrong with  my logic or–if one disaster caused by deep drilling into the Earth shows the dangers of such drilling–then doesn’t it follow that more such drilling may not be very wise for the planet and all the living creatures upon it? No, I don’t see any rich corporate executives doing double time as Superman trying to save the Earth.  Wake up, America, Ironman is not a real person–nor is he based on a human prototype hiding in New York City. There’s just US–that’s right, each and every one of ‘us’ on Earth needs to take part in saving this Earth because there is no spaceship to a colony on Mars as much as we may wish it so.  As for political leadership–Reality Check–$$$$$ Talks. The White House wouldn’t even accept FREE solar panels from even though solar panels would save a lot of money at the White House. It’s not what is ‘said’ but what is ‘done’ that is so revealing. Yeah, new nice suits, nice new carpets, nice newly painted walls, but the same environmental callousness as the previous occupants.  

Well, if you are like I was at 8:30 am knowing nothing of Fracking, here’s some video and links for expanding your universe. Please accept my sincere apologies if you’re now not so calm about taking a soothing bath by candlelight.  


Dave, the Lazy Photographer's Watchman in Toronto


No, this dude is not going to solve our environmental problems for us.

Attack of the plasma screens and flip flop fungi.

Okay, I could pass off this as a vent due to the rising heat index here in the Kansas City metro area but I won’t. I can’t in all honesty just say I’ve got to blow off some real steam one way or another just because it’s way hot and humid and been so for days.  Nope, I won’t blame this rant on Mother Nature’s efforts to broil us off the face of the Earth much the same as a surgeon cauterizes infected puss oozing wounds. I’m going to blame in on all televisions blaring everywhere I venture into–coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants etc. Is no place television free? And why is every single one got CNN on the screen night and day? What is this, can’t Americans survive anywhere without a television screen? Btw, this is coming from someone with absolutely no intention of purchasing a plasma screen idiot box ever.  The antique tv squatting on a shelf has already been unplugged for the duration of its existence due to the inane nature of most of what races across its screen.  Judging from the contents of most news shows it seems Americans are assumed to be thinking with the mental clarity of a sedated five-year old. Perhaps they are if they’re engaged by the boob’s tubes. The only thing worse is the gibberish on many radio stations. I’ve managed to avoid most of this garbage by simply tuning it out. But recently I ventured into a BBQ establishment on a quest for some sweet potato fries and tender pulled pork swimming in a rich sauce. Found the food. Settled down to  feed my growling tum tum and the radio began blasting some list of strange factoids about the unhealthy nature of flip flops as footwear. I’m not kidding, this guy was actually being paid to yap and yap about flip flops on a lizard controlled radio station.  Now with environmental disasters surfacing around the Earth, a few wars running on and on and  on, and the growing anger and desperation of the  unemployed whose jobs have been outsourced to parts unknown, you’d think there was more substantial material for a radio personality to flap his jaws about. But no. Apparently we need to ESCAPE from the realities of our world and float on flip flops out to the wading pools of fantasy land. Yeah, right, like exposing flip flops fungi issues will solve anything ever.

Hence I offer up Democracy Now! which airs on over 800 radio and television stations much to the chagrin of media outlets who ‘follow’ their lead when they’re not too afraid of the content.  I remember reading the Chicago newspapers as a kid. Newspapers with all sorts of independent reporters and serious columnists  like the late great Mike Royko who raised serious issues and debates. That sort of journalism and thoughtful writing is getting harder and harder to find. But it’s there at Democracy Now! and other independent news reporters.  Haven’t seen anything like on those plasmas sprouting everywhere. I wonder if they do double time as Orwellian spy machines?

Democracy Now! airs at 8 am Monday thru Friday on KKFI. Other news programs like Counterspin, GRIT Radio, Alternative Radio, The Heartland Labor Forum and War News Radio among others can also be discovered at which streams online .

So if you’re sick of listening to grown men yap about flip flop fungus surf into  RADIO LIKE YOU’VE NEVER HEARD IT BEFORE while you’re blogging about more than summer toe fun.

To discover more about Mike Royko- here’s a start

four flicks

In an effort to retreat from the never ending mania of war-mongering and other means of death dealing our species just adores wallowing in, I indulged in a mini filmfest via dvd rentals.

Your views are invited regarding the following or any other films you might recommend for extending my retreat from all things idiot box related.

The Edge of Heaven

The Secret of the Grain

The Band’s Visit

Everlasting Moments

What have you been ‘watching’?

We Shall Remain Shallow

Okay, after looking forward to what seemed MIGHT be a serious presentation  of a few Native American historical events via the PBS series We Shall Remain, I am utterly disgusted at the overall shallow treatment given to all all segments of the series. The final episode on Wounded Knee of 1973 did not even bother to present a behind the scenes segment. And what was with that strange presentation of childish drawings for illustrating the boarding school experience of Indian children? What was that mess? Why did the series present such an issue in that manner instead of interviewing those who endured this form of cultural genocide and are still living to tell about it? I think veteran journalist Tim Giago could have enlighted an audience with his own vast knowledge of the boarding school experience. I  know Dr. Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart-Jordan could have explained how boarding schools added to the ongoing trauma  of historical issues and their ramifications for the Lakota until this very day. She could have also dealt with how the denial to grieve in a culturally appropriate manner  has had lasting consequences through the generations. But did We  Shall Remain search for depth, substance,  and dialogue that might have built some tenouse awareness of such ongoing cultural issues and values? No, they went for the lowest level of presentation. 

And for all the touting of lots of unseen footage–well there was not a single image presented that I had not viewed elsewhere.

But the more distrubing issue is that the series focused on Wounded Knee of 1973 rather than the insanity of Wounded Knee, Decemeber 29, 1890.  Now there’s a horror story that apparently no one wants to really deal with. I have my own ideas about that terrible ‘mess’ of inhumanity–and they don’t include who shot who first—let’s question the entire LACK of any true state of war —there was no ‘Indian War’ in 1890—perhaps the series researchers/writers discovered that if they ventured into the National Archieves to dig into the military records and agency records. Once they made the discovery that no Lakota people were on any warpath then they were at a complete loss as to how to deal with Wounded Knee 1890? Think about that PBS American Experience.  Yes, consider the possibility that at least 300 children, women, infants and men were murdered because of a lie constructed by a military looking for a reason to continue its own existence after the Civil War.  

And as for the segement on Geronimo—here is an important name the We Shall Remain folks declined to mention:  Charles Gatewood—he was sent to get Geronimo to surrender—unlike Lawton and Wood who were sent with orders to search and destroy.   Louis Kraft wrote a very enlightening little tome titled Gatewood and Geronimo–if nothing else, you can learn just how ‘close’ to the actioon Nelson A. Miles truly was not.

Hmm…and where was Sand Creek? the hanging of 38 Indian en masse and why? Black Kettle’s second go round with a massacre at Washita? and on  and on it goes…America has a long and dark history that no one wants to face and the likes of We Shall Remain did little to bring anything to light.   Then again, the series is a step up from the textbooks used in history classes across the country. Or is it? Is anyone aware that the poorest counties in the United States are Shannon, Douglas, Bennett —-or the Pine Ridge,  Cheyenne River, and Standing Rock Reservations. 

For a real step in the right direction regarding some of the ongoing issues facing Native American women see Amensty International’s report–“Maze of Injustice”—unless you’re the squeamish sort…….

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