Friday, February 28, 2014

The Vatican re-Brands

Sometimes PBS Frontline does investigative journalism. Other times they do branding, and work as partners with their subjects.

Two Frontlines:

Hand of God
A moving, and frankly told story of a family's confrontation with the church that betrayed them, and how they survived it all with their humanity and humor intact.

Secrets of the Vatican
An inside look at the scandals that rocked Benedict’s Papacy.

The top one was produced by the brother of one of the estimated 10,000 children who are victims of Catholic Priest sexual abuse in the United States.

The bottom one is a narrative that seems to indicate that the Vatican and the church's 'embassies' world-wide are infected with a multitude of sin - and that the past pope, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) sacrificed himself for the church by leaking the "Vatileaks" - and then resigning; which has resulted in the beginning of a rebirth of the institution in likeness of pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Francis).

The top one is a stirring piece of journalism.

The bottom one ... I feel like I just got played. I'll only believe it if the sanction against sexual conduct is ended, and the Catholic Church allows women equal access to all positions in the church.

The business stuff, the banking, the arms dealing, and the acquiescence to fascist death squads sponsored by the CIA in Central America ... well, the most progressive form of government to date - the Republic of the United States of America - is breaking under that paradox (Military Industrial Complex), so I won't put it on the church in rome to lead that us out of that particular hell. That's on us.

Both programs are very important. I recommend watching them.

(Both are available online in Canada at the links provided.)


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

#Ukraine - Jan 30 2014 - Democratic #Euromaidan has defeated Government - #fascists hold the street - want to overthrow the State and pivot to power

2014-02-25 - This piece was written Jan 30, 2014 - I held back this piece as the situation was unclear and very volatile. Since the weekend of Feb 19-22 the situation has some-what clarified. I'm corralling my sources and real-time documentation now, for my next piece on this unfolding situation. At this writing according to several sources in the field, the situation seems to have pivoted as I had feared it might when the article below was written. The State has collapsed as revolutionary "People's Rada" have sprung up all over the country. Around Kyiv to the proximate east and South - and especially to the West - Right Sector has lead in an apparently focused, organized and well timed  popular uprising that resulted in the decapitation of local government offices and institutions - which has resulted in the collapse of the central government and it's Constitution.

Jan 30, 2014 - The #Euromaidan movement is represented in Parliament by the United Opposition - which includes the fascist Svoboda "third position" neo-nazis.

With an understanding of the situation that flows from an historians perspective - what I see is that the fascists at this moment - in this very fluid situation - hold the keys to the next developments - and that - it appears that if western liberals remain divided and in this state of considering all the facts - the moment may be lost to effect this in a positive fashion - and at the same time, and most importantly - prevent a fascist government from coming to power in the Ukraine.

I just listened to Russian Studies expert Professor Stephen F Cohen's way-to-short debate with Anton Shekhovtsov on DemocracyNow! (Debate: Is Ukraine’s Opposition a Democratic Movement or a Force of Right-Wing Extremism? | Democracy Now!).

Professor Cohen says the fascists, through their control of the street demonstrations - have control of the #Euromaidan democratic movement - just at this moment now - .

At this time Professor Cohen is reading the situation as I see it also.

Here's how I saw the last 9 days play out:

When the government fell last week and all power resorted to Parliament, we saw the government fire all it's Ministers and dissolve the session of Parliament and promise the first new order of business would be to repeal all the anti-protest laws. (the laws that turned the peaceful protest into a week long running street battle run by the fascists, and which caused an ungovernable state of affairs --- the exact occurrence that toppled the government).

At that point the President proposed a power sharing government of national reconciliation. And the deputies of the opposition at first began to respond to that by asking the street to give up the occupations of the government buildings. That resulted in divisions on the street with one group holding the Agriculture Ministry being fired upon by the Svoboda fascists:

According to a NY Time Opinion piece from today the Agriculture Ministry is still occupied - by the fascists:

"Another problem is that the opposition is united largely in its disgust with the corruption and authoritarianism of the Yanukovych-led political elite and a vague longing for Westernization and transparency. Beyond that, the protesters are sharply divided. The differences were on display Wednesday when five people were wounded in a spat over who would control the occupied building of the Agriculture Ministry."

(NY Times Editorial - Time for a Deal in Ukraine - by The Editorial Board - JAN. 30, 2014

After prolonged discussion in Parliament the amnesty law was passed by the majority government party - without the support of the United Opposition deputies:

Tiahnybok votes to fight on
5:48 a.m, Jan. 30 -- EuroMaidanPR report: After parliament voted to pass the amnesty laws, Svoboda Party opposition leader Oleh Tiahnybok addressed protesters from the main stage of Independence Square, saying that until all the main demands of the opposition are fulfilled, the opposition will continue fighting. Tiahnybok added that the opposition demands are aligned with those of the protestors and that the opposition will continue representing the protesters’ interests and demands. -- Brian Bonner

(EuroMaidan rallies in Ukraine (Jan. 28-29-30 live updates)

It was at this point - and how it stands now - that the fascist hold the trump card in what happens next. If they won't give up the street positions the United Opposition can't negotiate with the majority.

I think it is important to understand that the Ukraine is a capitalist liberal democracy in name only - it has none of the deep institutions of a robust liberal democracy we understand here (that are very tenacious and difficult to dismantle). So the Ukrainian State is very fragile - with just a little push this Ukrainian state could fall - and a fascist government could come to power in the centre of Europe.

As the US has been funding this radical element in an attempt to destabilize and disrupt the Russian Commonwealth of Independent States region (a geopolitical plan that is diametrically opposed to NATO's plan for the region - a US plan to weaken Russia systemically - and at the same time provide for the moving of Southern Eurasian oil and resources West, rather than East or North.

Therefore the US will have no choice but to support this new Ukrainian fascist state - or lose this particular round in the 'grand game' at a moment when it's economic house is collapsing.

This fact of a fascist state in the middle of Europe will have the effect of a cancer inside Europe. Like a house divided - it will either become all one thing - or all the other.

And as the lynch pin of American hegemony in Europe - it must therefore become all fascist - and so then too the fascist forces inside America would also then gain ascendancy in the grand game inside the gates of Rome Washington.

As the fascist maintain their pivot point at the centre of the Ukrainian popular revolution - so too will we see a continuation of the inability of the opposition to negotiate in Parliament.

A continuation of the dysfunction of the state will lead to further economic hardship in the very short term - thus drawing more and more angry young men to the fascist barricades.

Maintain the truce at the barricades in the squares - but end the occupations of the Government buildings and let the government begin to do it's work.

Begin the coalition government that the majority party has offered. Politically dislodge the fascists from that pivot point they now occupy.