ne of the charms of the future is its powerful element of unpredictability, its ability to ambush us in lovely ways or bite us unexpectedly in the ass. Most of the futures I imagined as a boy have, for instance, come up deeply short, or else I would now be flying my individual jet pack
through the spired cityscape of New York and vacationing on the moon.
And who, honestly, could have imagined the Internet, no less social media and cyberspace (unless, of course, you had read
William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer 30 years ago)?
Who could have dreamed that a single country’s intelligence outfits would be able to listen in on
or otherwise intercept and review not just the conversations and messages of its own citizens -- imagine the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century -- but those of just about anyone on the planet, from peasants in the backlands
of Pakistan to at least 35 leaders
of major and minor countries around the world? This is, of course, our dystopian present, based on technological breakthroughs that even sci-fi writers somehow didn’t imagine.
And who thought that the Arab Spring or Occupy Wall Street were coming down the pike or, for that matter, a terror caliphate in the heart of the former Middle East or a Donald Trump presidential run that would go from success to success amid free media coverage the likes of which we’ve seldom seen? (Small career tip: don’t become a seer. It’s hell on Earth.)
Created on Sunday, 24 January 2016 20:40
Written by Finian Cunningham
Another fine mess: NATO’s 'Laurel & Hardy act' in Libya not getting laughs
by Finian Cunningham
23 Jan, 2016
ashington and its NATO allies are stepping up more military involvement in this devastated North African country, now experiencing an uptick in terrorist activity, in some kind of macabre reprise of the classic comedy routine.
Earlier this week, Libya’s skirmishing factions announced
that they were forming a new “national unity government”. The administration, backed by the United Nations, was forged from two erstwhile self-appointed rival governments based in the western city of Tripoli and the eastern city of Tobruk.
But the chances of implementing national governance remain wafer-slim. The real power in the country resides with a plethora of warring militias that have an overlapping relationship with the Islamic State terror group and have carved up the country into fiefdoms.
Created on Saturday, 23 January 2016 22:20
Written by Press Release
Hundreds Rally Outside NEB Pipeline Hearings: Citizens and First Nations Call on Trudeau to Scrap Kinder Morgan Review
BURNABY, BC - Local residents, First Nations representatives and environmental groups gathered today outside the National Energy Board (NEB) hearings on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project to call on the Prime Minister to keep his promise and scrap the flawed federal review process.
Affected communities voiced their opposition to a review that has been widely criticized for ignoring climate change, failing to pursue Indigenous consent, flouting proper procedures and shutting hundreds of people out of the process.
They criticized the makeup of the NEB panel whose members come almost exclusively from the oil and gas sector, and the review process that excludes citizen participation and allows no cross-examination of Kinder Morgan.