Archive for October, 2009

Afghanistan – Change We Can Believe In?

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

After decades of suffering under brutal Soviet occupation and no less brutal Taliban rule, the people of Afghanistan deserve freedom, dignity and prosperity. We should do all we can to help them build a stable democratic system and a modern market economy. But we need a serious debate about the right means to achieve these goals – and we need it now!

Watch these two equally impressive, informative and important documentaries about war and everday life in the graveyard of empires:

PBS-FRONTLINE: Obama’s War

Brave New Foundation: Rethink Afghanistan

Stars file FOIA request about music used to torture Guantanamo inmates

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Imagine you’re Tom Morello, guitarist of well-known rock troupe Rage Against The Machine. Suppose you’ve spent almost your entire artistic career rallying against suppressive politics, militarism and war – and all of a sudden you realize some guy in your own government has been using your music to torture people! Wouldn’t you be p*ssed?
Guantanamo protest by FutureAtlas.comWell, according to this article on the Huffington Post, Morello obviously is:

“Guantanamo may be Dick Cheney’s idea of America, but it’s not mine. The fact that music I helped create was used in crimes against humanity sickens me — we need to end torture and close Guantanamo now.”

And he’s not the only one: Among the group now addressing an FOIA request at the National Security Archives are such illustrious names as Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails), R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Jackson Browne, and the Roots.

“We have spent the past 30 years supporting causes related to peace and justice,” read a statement from REM, “to now learn that some of our friends’ music may have been used as part of the torture tactics without their consent or knowledge, is horrific. It’s anti-American, period.”

Music Stars Demand Records On Bush Administration’s Use Of Music For Torture @ The Huffington Post

Twitter chart porn

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Whether you like it or not, Twitter is pretty much out there, and it’s hard to deny it has even managed to achieve a certain degree of relevance in today’s ever-changing media landscape (think, for example, Iran’s 2009 revolution).

"total mention" by peoplebrowsrThis comprehensive analysis however, provided by social media expert Brian Solis, focuses on the lighter side of Web2.0’s recent shooting star. If you’ve always wanted to know which celebrity has the most followers, is most mentioned in Tweets, follows the most other people, this is the place!
You’re in for a couple of surprises, too (Britney Spears follows 430,000 people w00t!).

Bono on Obama’s Nobel, world peace

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Almost a regular on NYT’s Op-Ed pages, Irish philanthropist/activist/musician Bono contributes a vigorous piece on US president Obama’s recent Nobel Peace Prize and the big responsibilities that come with it – for all of us.

Nobel Prize by Nobel FoundationThe millennium goals, for those of you who don’t know, are a persistent nag of a noble, global compact. They’re a set of commitments we all made nine years ago whose goal is to halve extreme poverty by 2015. Barack Obama wasn’t there in 2000, but he’s there now. Indeed he’s gone further — all the way, in fact. Halve it, he says, then end it.

Despite the objections many have expressed recently, his point is that, by and large, Obama may just be the right man at the right time to shoulder the immense tasks on the agenda.

“Rebranding America” – Bono @ NYtimes.com

How Property Rights Can Empower the World’s Indigenous People

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Watch this impressive and uplifting documentary by Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto and the Institute for Liberty and Democracy:

The Mystery of Capital among the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon.

“A documentary of significance with findings from indigenous communities in Alaska, Canada and the Peruvian jungle.”