Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Banksy on the O Circus - 24 July 2012

Banksy is at it again.

This time Banksy,  the justifiably famous guerrilla artist is a "bread not circuses" theme when it comes to a certain high profile, now apparently militarized, sports meet that is to take place in London starting the last week of July, 2012.

Below are a few images for you to ponder about and while you are at it, think about why it is that the establishment is trying to have these pieces of art removed today. Shame on them to limit free speech and expression. Is this censorship the new "book burning"?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The new feudalism: corporatizing our common life - 20 July 2012

This post was written by Sam Smith and was originally posted here .

JULY 20, 2012

The new feudalism: corporatizing our common life

by Sam Smith

One of the best metaphors for what is happening to our culture was the firing of a lifeguard for rescuing a swimmer outside the boundaries of the beach controlled by the corporation for which he worked. The first problem was that the town had turned over part of the beach to a corporation. The second was that the corporation punished an employee for engaging in the most profoundly decent of human behaviors: saving the life of another human. 

Imagine if this corporation had been in charge of a whole city and a fire or other disaster occurred just over the city’s boundary. In fact, you don’t have to imagine. That’s the way fire departments worked in the early days of America and is one reason we have public fire departments today.

The beach incident illustrates in clear, simple terms why the privatization of formerly communal space and activities is not only anti-democratic, it can even be anti-human. This is not capitalism, but a form of robbery, taking from the public lands, powers, or roles it formerly owned and turning it into a profit center for the few.

We have been there before. Just watch any PBS program on medieval times and you’ll realize how much of what the current American right is up to is a corporate revival of ancient feudalism, but without any responsibility to the underclass. Or consider the abuse of common lands that led to national and state parks, conservation areas, and environmentally based zoning laws. And don’t forget the private fire companies that wouldn’t save your home if you didn’t have their plaque on your outside wall.

The other day, in an article about music, I listed a few of the places where corporater feudam is spreading:
What has happened to music has happened to other aspects of our lives and can perhaps be best described as the corporatization of communal culture. In each case matters of non-fiscal but enormous common value have been translated into just another market item controlled by megacorporations. For example:

- America is politically defined by its Declaration of Independence and Constitution but these have become merely marketing icons in a political culture now overwhelmingly controlled by corporations and wealthy individuals. Our freedom and independence have just become another item on the syntactical shelf. What counts is money.

- Physical play has followed a similar path. As budgets for playgrounds and parks come under attack, the definition of good sports is no longer Olympian or back yard but determined by Olympian sponsors and major league owners. As with music, we have turned over much of our cultural property to the money grabbers.

- Corporations have seized control of public education through various cons ranging from No Child Left Behind to charter schools and for profit universities. Among the victims, incidentally, is time for music.

- Corporations have commercialized that most basic connection we have with nature: food - through pesticides, genetic modification, industrial farming and additives that make us less healthy and gain more weight.

- And in a similar fashion corporations have seized the culture of music making it theirs in as many ways possible.

In each case our lives within a community have suffered.
And a friend involved with Amnesty International has reminded me of another example: the corporate takeover of large non-profits. The weakness of many of these institutions – such as large environmental groups – is directly connected to where they now get their funding, often enemies of their purpose for existence.

We should start calling it what it is: corporate feudalism. A system in which our politics, education, recreation, music, food and non-profits have become profit nodes for big business and we are its vassals.

These corporations are stealing our communal property and make us their serfs living in a new Middle Ages.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

2012 Sunset Music Series at Charles Daley Park - 10 July 2012

We have many requests about Charles Daley Park. Folks have asked about the scheduled performances, parking availability and what the park is like on weekdays.

If you want to see one or more of the performances at the Rotary Shell at the park, then arrive early to catch the 7 to 8:30 P.M. shows.  For a listing of the shows, go to www.SunsetMusicSeries.com .

 A few of the upcoming events at the 2012 Sunset Music Series:

July 3 – Toasted Western Swing Band with Walter Ostanek
July 10 – The British Invasion Band
July 17 – Hometown Bluegrass
July 24 – Un Poco Latino
July 31 – Jam Night with Flat Broke…..Sign up now!
August 7 – The Lincoln Concert Band
August 14 – Johnny Cash Tribute with Bill Culp
August 21 – Steve Burnside & The Marquis
August 28 – Sandy Vine & The Midnights

Here is a link for those who would like directions to Charles Daley Park.  The park is a favourite place for locals to watch sunsets but everyone should be aware that the park is locked and closed to vehicles at 10 p.m. Here are a few photos.

And a few photos:

As can be seen in the photo above, there are free concerts on Tuesday evenings in July and August 2011 between 7 and 8:30p.m.
If you have comments on this or any other content or if you wish to suggest a review, please email us.

Free Concerts at Montebello Park in St. Catharines - 10 July 2012

Here is the Calendar of Band Concerts in Montebello Park for 2012 -

This summer visit the Walter Ostanek Pavilion at Montebello Park. Free concerts every Sunday and Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in 2012. Montebello Park is the main park in the Downtown St. Catharines. The park is located along Ontario Street at the south end of Lake Street.

Don't forget to bring your lawn chairs, etc..

2012 Concert Schedule

July 3 - Marty Allen Band (honky-tonk, rockabilly)

July 8 - Lincoln and Welland Ambassadors (swing band)

July 10 - Lincoln Concert Band (concert band)

July 15 - Walter Ostanek (polka)

July 17 - Vox Violins (accoustic/ambient/folk)

July 22 - Winston James (50s, 60s Rock 'n' Roll)

July 24 - The Cruisers (50s, 60s do-wop)

July 29 - Sandy Vine Trio (party band)

July 31 - British Invasion (60s music)

Aug. 7 - Frankie Phelan Five (jazz)

Aug. 12 - MacPherson Rant (celtic, blues and pop)

Aug. 14 - Kindred (a cappella to swing)

Aug. 19 - The Retro Rockers (pop, rock and R & B hits of the 50s, 60s and 70s)

Aug. 21 - Solstice (Latin)

Aug. 26 - Solid Brass (big band, 40s)

Aug. 28 - Old Thyme Fiddlers (traditional, old time fiddle)

Monday, July 09, 2012

Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism - 9 July 2012

Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism

By Dr. Lawrence Britt

Source Free Inquiry.co    5-28-3

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread
domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

From Liberty Forum