Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Banksy is Brilliant

It's always interesting to recognize one truth that has survived the test of time.

A number of years ago, I posted a blog regarding the work and opinion of that Graffiti Artist, and I know he is far more then just that, a social and political commentator perhaps might be a better description. A person who uses the sides of buildings and bridges to express his theories and opinions certain sums him up.

It is funny to consider that. I posted a picture I found through the Internet of one of his works. This could be considered negative, a little girl has just lost her balloon. A balloon that is shaped as a heart. Has she lost heart and therefore lost hope? As I type these words, one would suspect that might be our sad reality. There's a lot of hate out there, or perhaps it's always been there, but with our 24 hour news cycle, or perhaps it's now shorter, we hear of the disasters, tragedies and general nastiness of our world.

We become like the writer of Psalm 73:

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. 3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Even though people put up the tricolours and share #prayfornice, there is the sense that evil is winning.

The balloon is out of our grasp and floating away. Then there is that simple little side message: "There is Always Hope". Is that what Banksy was trying to draw out attention towards, it's not the loss but the holding onto something very profound. Hope is that which pushes us forward to the better.

Anyway, if you want to see more of the artwork of Banksy, you can visit the Banksy Artsy Page. It will a thought-provoking visit.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Deal with the Noise

Been listening to the book "The Start up of You", by Reid Hoffman the co-founder of LinkedIn.

It is a good listen, or a good read.

There was comment he made that made grab a pen and paper. Of course I was driving so I had to wait until I stopped, re-wind and then make the notes.

The quote was 'when the naysayers get loud, turn up the volume'. When you are surrounded by negative people who can't say anything good about the idea, stay true to your idea. This not to say you ignore the wisdom of people who have best interest and can give insight which might also be concern. However we all know of people who are negative for the sake of being negative.

So now the challenge is to discern the difference and keep true to the vision.

Turn up the Volume

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Last Gasp of the Corporate World Order

The Last Gasp of the Corporate World Order
I'm not sure, but I think having the logo of the London Olympics may be illegal according to the draconian rules of engagement that is now in force. Seems anything that gives at very most a hint of the Games is subject to search and seizure. If you have any wording that gives an idea of the Olympics, a cease and desist order may be forthcoming. So much for union of people from across the planet. In all its ugliness, the Olympics is being completely revealed as the shrill of Corporate Branding and Culture. What caught my eye was an article in a recent edition of the Toronto Star. Please don't faint, I do read the Star. Usually when I want to get at the world, I read the Star. Usually they are a source of information and attitude that is all things wrong with the point of view of the Star. Yet I digress. The article in question dealt with the security detail surrounding the events. If the numbers are true, 51,000 people will be involved with the security of the Games, and no doubt, their powers of arrest will be greatly expanded. What I've been thinking about is this might be the true last gasp of the corporate power bloc that seems to be running the western world. I believe the mistake of all power elites is they do something so outrageous that their power can no longer be accepted as the norm. They almost force the hand of those under their control to finally say 'enough is enough'. I'm not sure how it will happen, but the corporate elite, through their flunkies in government will make a mistake, perhaps it will be the killing of a protester or an innocent by-stander that will finally make it stop. With all that security, it is bound to happen. With all the cutbacks taking place in the public sector, there will be an increase in the use of private security companies, that know less of civil liberties and the proper use of restraint. Someone is going to die and that will signal the end of the nonsense that has been controlling society for the last 35 years. The cracks of the erosion of power are starting to show, from nearly 1/2 million people involved in protests in Montreal to the development of 'blue flu' in Chicago, those cracks are starting to show. The issue in Montreal was an over-extension of power. In Chicago it was the commencement to the realization the apparatus of suppression are realizing they are on the wrong side. Police are not the riot gear clad instruments of oppression, they are called to serve and protect the community. The Olympics will be the catalyst of the change because it is too over the top. The Corporate elite that has been controlling the discussion and dialogue will go out of their way to ensure the unwashed do not spoil 'their' party. Even though they will attempt to control the Commons, they can't. When the horrible occurs, I believe it will be like the media will awake from their decades long funk. For too long the media has been in the pocket, more then usual of the Corporate Elite. While they've been busy chasing down the last story of what some lame actor or actress wore, or projecting the lives of the non-talented into our collective conscience, the CE has been doing whatever they like. Now the time will come when that cloud of indifference will be lifted. It will be a glorious moment. It's when we will take back the streets of the world.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Battle against Government Corruption

While doing some research for yesterday's blog I came across a few interesting documents that in way had to deal with the Class War that is going on throughout the world. The first document is called the Prague Declaration on Governance and Anti-Corruption. the purpose of this declaration and that meeting which brought the document into existence was to:
Participants in the first World Forum on Governance, representing governments, business, investors, media and non-governmental advocacy groups from around the world, convened in Prague in November 2011 to analyze the link between governance and corruption and to find practical solutions that can begin improving the situation. The Forum was unique in bringing together representatives of both the public and private governance communities to discuss the problem of corruption in both its broad and narrow senses and develop an integrated analytic framework reflected in the Ten Principles below.
The Conference established that corruption—the abuse of entrusted authority for improper gain—is a significant contributing factor in the worldwide governance crisis that cuts across cultural variations and levels of economic development and modernization

There is actually some good points in the document and that implemented would bring about a change of opinion that people have towards government and corporations.

I think one of the better points of the ten articulated is number 4, it deals with the theme of open government:
OPEN GOVERNMENT. Governments should actively implement open government which, among other virtues, powerfully counteracts corruption. Every government should have and follow a freedom of information law with judicial review available for denied applicants. Government budgets, including both expenditures and revenues, should be fully transparent and take advantage of innovations in integrated financial systems and online disclosure. Public procurement should be subject to laws and regulations that provide for transparent, online and competitive tenders and selection among bidders that is independent, professional, and merits-based. For large bids, an independent and expedited review system should be available to assess appeals by disaffected bidders. We encourage both public and private parties to raise procurement integrity standards through voluntary agreements and monitoring by civil society organizations.

The problem with this document is that it leaves in the hands the very group that suffers from the temptation of corruption, namely big business and big government. While these are great words, what would cause a government to change? Please understand I'm not talking about the third and fourth worlds here, while we tend to think of only those nations when we hear the word 'corruption'. Their corruption is probably minor in comparison to what's going on in the west. As well, their's tends to be straightforward and almost quaint, a simple few dollars to grease some wheels or make sure there is a unnumbered Swiss account somewhere.

However the West does believe in sophistication. Consider what`s going on in the UK right now with the Prime Minister David Cameron; it seems he`s got a bit of a scandal going on and it has to do with influence peddling. He has been accused of inviting some very wealthy people over to his house for dinner. Oh and if they come, they need to bring a cheque book, for his dinners cost a whole lot of money. In fact he raised over £25million. Of course this was just for future elections, after all a party needs money to run a campaign. It`s not as if PM Cameron is the first nor shall he be the last. Even though a nation can have spending limits, there`s always a way around them, and who better to know then the government of the day.

Of course the government has called for an independent inquiry to study the issue, the question is, why study the obvious. If he took the money with the promise to bring about or change legislation that would favour the donors, then this is corruption plain and simple. This is the sort of thing the Prague Declaration wants to end throughout the world, but obviously their comments fell on deaf ears in the UK.

The concern is the government will have whitewashed the whole thing and when the inquiry brings the report it will be quickly ignored.

The problem is not, let me say, the money, it`s all about the elections. In some nations it seems they are on permanent election footing. It could be said that this is the case in the UK, where there is a minority government that is kept alive by a coalition and so they must always be ready. Or consider the US, where the campaign for the next presidential election starts almost the day after the Inauguration. It takes money to operate a three-four year campaign and we`re seeing huge amounts raised to pay the cost of a campaign. The candidates need the money and if that money comes with an I.O.U. then so be it, after all, its not corruption, its simply have other interested parties express their concern and help the government understand how some things need to be directed.

By the way, the Prague Declaration has something to say about campaign finance:
All forms of campaign and party finance should be transparent, with prompt and publicly accessible internet disclosure of direct, indirect and third-party contributions and expenditures. States should criminalize official favors provided as quid pro quos for campaign finance; offer a small-donor matching system or other means of public funding of campaigns; and have bans or strong limits on corporate funding of campaigns and parties. In countries in which corporations are permitted to participate financially in elections, corporate and investor rights groups should target corporations’ political spending practices to establish accountability for their decisions to allocate resources for political campaigns and to require full disclosure of all such spending to the board of directors, shareholders, and the general public.

This has to be the standard, democracy is not a means of raising funds, nor is political office a commodity that goes to the highest bidder. I`m not saying it`s never happened before, of course it has, bribery has to be the second oldest profession but now we the citizens have a tool to keep an eye on them.