As of tommorrow, I'll be out of Sackville and on the road. I'll be stopping in the following cities, and possibly the places in between. If you want to get together, email firstname.lastname@example.org as usual.
and a little later, Vancouver
The Dominion: "A Dream Only American Power Can Inspire": The Project for the New American Century’s vision of global military dominance
So this is what I've been working on for too many hours per day for the last week, and in general for the last two months.
It's a not-unambitious project to start a new national newspaper in Canada. And (I can't quite believe it yet) we just finished the first issue: eight ad free pages of fairly solid stuff. There's nothing in there that I'm not happy be associated with. In other words, go read it!
The associated Dominion Weblog has been launched simultaneously. I thought, for a moment, that Misnomer would suffer as a result, but I think I'll make this the new home of longer, more disciplined work which doesn't quite fit in a newspaper. After all, I need to do something to fill up all the time I used to spend writing essays (and I wouldn't want to do anything like get a job...).
In any case, my "newsblogging" will more than likely move over to the Dominion Weblog for the most part, for those who came for the frequent links.
Finally, I'll be on the road for a few weeks, so updates will be slow on all fronts until early June.
Updates will continue to be slow; most of my blogging is happening at the (still-in-beta) Dominion Weblog, and I've been spending all my time trying to get the first issue together.
Dean Allen: "Folksy wisdom. If in the warzone of a breakup your instinct is to cut loose and part with whatever pride you can salvage, then fair enough and on your bike. But know that in doing so, it's entirely likely that elements of what attracted you to the person on the other side of the burning bridge in the first place, and indeed all the reasons you even care enough to be upset in the moment, are going to congeal and ferment and blow spitballs at the back of your head forever."
Reuters reports that "A Norwegian parliamentarian nominated President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair for the Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday, praising them for winning the war in Iraq."
That it's even conceivable for someone to win a peace prize for waging war is preposterous, that these two get it for this particular war seems especially ridiculous.
Online Journalism Review: JanJan: Japan's Little Online Daily with Big Dreams
With nearly a million dollars in startup funding and support from a team that boasts a solid track record in liberal politics, JanJan appears to be the first serious alternative online newspaper in Japan.
The Japanese word jan-jan means "a vigorous, continuing activity," as in the constant ringing of a bell. The English meaning attached to JanJan is "Japan Alternative News for Justice and New Culture."
This, in addition to the previously mentioned OhMyNews in Korea.
The Guardian reports that while the Australian government is spending billions constructing and maintaining maximum security facilities in which to store refugees, officials are overlooking a whole other set of immigrant workers who are essentially enslaved. Non-white people who arrive in boats and ask for asylum are locked up in facilities like Woomera and deported, but young women from the Phillipines and Thailand who are forced into prostitution, and workers from South Africa who are paid $100 for three months work are overlooked.
This seems to be a side effect of the horrible conditions that await people who officially request asylum: people who work as slaves, or those who are in a position to testify about it, are so afraid to be caught that there is little possibility for legal recourse. The privileges of white people in Australia are protected, both by ensuring that non-white immigrants can't work legally, and by delegating the worst work and the worst working conditions to those who manage to avoid places like Woomera. Selective, racist enforcement of fascistic immigration policies doesn't only keep people out, it keeps the people who are in quiet and unwilling to resist abuse or exploitation.
According to the report, though, the use of pseudo-slave labour is being used by right wing officials to weaken the construction unions, among others. So while white Australians may benefit from the influx of labourers who will accept any conditions not to get caught, it is undoubtedly the rich Australians who benefit disproportionately. David Fickerling, the Guardian reporter who wrote the story, puts it even less delicately than I do:
Let us be charitable. Perhaps, just perhaps, someone might have recognised that - were it not for the cruel conditions under which they are living - a decent population of hard-working, committed immigrants might even be good for the country.
And without them, what would people do when they needed a bathroom tiled on the cheap, a shonky watertower built, or fancied screwing a heroin addict with the body of a child?
Chris Shumway: Participatory Media Networks
All of the previous arguments clearly point to the need for a healthy public sphere in which free and spirited communication can take place so that individuals can recognize their connection to the greater community and thus make genuine democracy possible. In accordance with this need, a group of radical media activists, calling themselves the "immediast underground", advanced the idea that an underground media democracy movement should attempt to reconstitute the public sphere using modern communications tools and old-fashioned community organizing. Actually, to be more correct, they suggested that it was necessary to liberate public space not so much by rebuilding one public sphere, but by creating a network of hundreds of non-commercial, local public spheres for the exchange of political, economic and cultural news. These spaces would be physical, working newsrooms, or "public production libraries" in which citizens could produce their own stories and disseminate them through grassroots media networks. Further, each autonomous node in the network, each point of resistance, could be connected by the Internet. These newsrooms could also serve as community organizing centers where activists, journalists and citizens could meet to exchange notes and discuss strategies and tactics for advancing their movement.
Rick McGinnis: "Passage to Ottawa tries to do something almost unheard of in this country, or elsewhere - make our nation's capital an exotic, even magical place."
Path of the Paddle "Separatism is a Canadian tradition, and Ralph Klein's thoughts on separating from Canada only make him more of a Canadian."
Mediageek: "I contend that $4 million spent on free speech and disobedience like underground newspapers, pamphlets and pirate radio could be worth way more than $40 million tossed down the drain of lobbying Congress and the FCC. How do we test this contention?"
Patrick Watson in the Globe: Why We Need a Public Newspaper
The same concerns that prompted the Senate to launch a new inquiry into the Canadian media ï¿ a high degree of ownership concentration, and a tendency by some owners to impose their own views and values on content ï¿ also prompted me to go before the Senate last week, and to reiterate a proposal I first made three decades ago. I said it was time Canada had a national public newspaper. This newspaper would be a print equivalent of CBC News, beholden to no commercial interest ï¿ produced, driven and governed by journalists, not investors or advertisers.
I published a public newspaper once. Well, "published" is going a bit far. In 1971, I delivered a cabinet document reporting my work with the Task Force on Citizen Participation in the Democratic Decision-Making Process. We accompanied our cabinet document with a huge paper envelope stamped with the flag, containing examples of our proposals. One was that national newspaper, Season 1, Number 1 — the one and only, which was assembled and edited by Peter Gzowski.
I've attached the article below, since the Globe's website sucks, and links break, sometimes immediately.
NYTimes: Online Newspaper Shakes Up Korean Politics
Although the staff has grown to 41, from the beginning the electronic newspaper's unusual concept has been to rely mostly on contributions from ordinary readers all over the country, who send dispatches about everything from local happenings and personal musings to national politics.
Only 20 percent of the paper each day is written by staff journalists. So far, a computer check shows, there have been more than 10,000 other bylines.
The newspaper deals with questions of objectivity and accuracy by grading articles according to their content. Those that are presented as straight news are fact-checked by editors. Writers are paid small amounts, which vary according to how the stories are ranked, using forestry terminology, from "kindling" to "rare species."
"My goal was to say farewell to 20th-century Korean journalism, with the concept that every citizen is a reporter," said Mr. Oh, a wiry, intense man whose mobile phone never stops ringing — and who insists his name has no connection with the newspaper's.