Saturday, March 31, 2007

It has begun ...

According to some sources there are 50,000 orange supporters and 30,000 Yanukovich supporters on the Maidan.

Apparently Tymoshenko, Lutsenko and Kyrylenko are jointly leading the orange demonstration.

Webcam shots here. Great still shot here.

More on current unrest in Ukraine

Vasyl, who runs the UAmuzik blog, has been working on a film in Kyiv ... he's done editing the script and now needs to consult with a filmmaker. But, as he writes on his latest post, political unrest is getting in the way of their work:

As I walked from my apartment [Thursday] morning down Liuteranska Street near the Presidential Administration I experienced an extremely high presence of police and Berkut, special tactical forces, along Liuteranska in three buses on the street itself and a number of other buses parked in the courtyards behind the houses that line the street.

I felt like I had just returned to the time leading up to the Orange (R)evolution. I met the film maker and we introduced ourselves to one another. I told him a little about our company ... He explained his situation, gave me a synopsis ... and a promotional DVD of the film. ... I told him that my partner and I would take a look at it and see how would could help in finishing the film and how we would market it.

This morning [while having coffee at a friend's apartment] my mobile [phone] rang. It was the film maker, with a air of anxiousness in his voice."So what's your decision regarding my film?" I explained to him that I had only spoken to my partner and would only know today when he would return from L'viv and Ivano-Frankivsk.

"I guess I will see you out on the barricades today at 17:00," he said. As I watched the Nasha Ukraina meeting live on Channel 5 and read the ticker at the bottom of the screen "20 buses of Party of Regions supporters have gathered by the river port" I thought to myself. /Yes, it's going to be a tense day! /

Then I thought about what my room mate Myroslav Levytsky had said as I headed out of the apartment. "Stay out of the way of the cops! These guys are under different orders, and from different people!"

He was right. We are possibly on the brink of a different (r)evolution. ...

Full report posted here.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Orange Revolution - Part 2?

Rumour has it we may soon see the sequel to the 2004 Orange Revolution.

Unless it’s just another hoax, a number of telltale signs suggest that mass mobilization has begun.

... Yushchenko stated his willingness to take appropriate action to defend Ukrainians’ constitutional rights. A draft directive to dissolve parliament arrived at the Vice Speaker’s desk during an emergency session of the Anticrisis Coalition.

Reports began to emerge of train and busloads of Donetskites being shipped to Kyiv. Rounded up at their workplaces, they will provide ground support for the PRU ’s Friday forum ... This event is designed as a counterweight to the first meeting of the National Rescue Committee ... The opposition rally will be held on Saturday...

Is this the real thing ... ? Stay tuned and you’ll find out.
Read more here.

New film: Crossroads – Ukraine and the Triumph of Democracy

Just released and now available on DVD. Looks like a fabulous film!

Through the eyes of six Ukrainians,"CROSSROADS" examines the history and current events of Ukraine as context for exploring the even deeper question of democracy and what it means to be – or to become – an autonomous, free, and self-governing people.

... [This one-hour documentary is] about Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution, contextualizing the struggle for democracy within a history of outside encroachment and juxtaposing candid profiles of revolution participants with poetic footage taken by Ukrainian filmmaker Aleksandr Dovzhenko.

... The film has screened in Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles and London. It was an official selection at the 2006 Philadelphia Documentary and Fiction Festival and the 2006 Asheville Film Festival.


A 3-minute trailer and more info here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Moscow closing its only Ukrainian library

While Russians in Ukraine complain about their language rights, it certainly appears that Ukrainians in Moscow have just a wee bit more to complain about, since local authorities are planning to close...

... the one and only Ukrainian library in a city with an estimated one million people of Ukrainian descent. (This is not to mention that Moscow was founded by Yuriy Dolgorukiy, Prince of Kyiv, in 1147.) The library opened a year ago. ...

Full article here.

H/T to Ukrainiana blog.

MSM still sugar-coating Stalin's crimes

It appears the ruling elite in eastern Ukraine is stepping back in time ... and that some in the mainstream media are also pining for the "good old days" of the Soviet era.

A story has appreared in several media outlets about an energy company operating in Donetsk that has summoned up the spectre of Stalin in an attempt to intimidate the working poor.

Prices have risen so high so rapidly that many residents have been refusing to pay. So the company put up posters of the old Soviet dictator with a caption saying that those who don't pay up will be punished.

Apparently, bills are being paid again.

Well, hey, intimidation and fear worked in the past, why not cash in on a tried and true method?

Good story. But it has a distinctly anti-Ukrainian element.

For example, in this BBC article, there's a photo of Stalin with a caption reads:

Stalin accused of creating the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine.

Similarly, a story in Business Week refers to Stalin as "a man whom many Ukrainians blame for killing one-third of the country's population during the famine in the 1930s."

Huh? Would these same people write that Hitler is merely accused of creating the Nazi death camps then? That Jewish survivors of the Holocaust merely blame Hitler for trying to wipe them off the face of the earth, and that other survivors merely blame him for killing how many millions of their people?

Not bloody likely.

I find it utterly appalling that while a few members of the media have the balls to acknowledge that Stalin mass murdered three times as many people as Hitler did, most are still in denial and unwilling to hold "Uncle Joe" fully responsible for his crimes. To the latter, the loss of millions of Ukrainian lives appears to be merely academic... just like the definition of genocide.

Both holocausts are documented well enough that it's quite safe to go beyond mere accusation and blame, and state outright that both tyrants did in fact create their respective instruments of mass murder.

So it makes me wonder what exactly these MSM deniers are afraid of.

The truth, maybe?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Helping the poor (RIAA) ...

[A radio station in] Chicago has announced it will no longer give away any free music. This new policy stems from the recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board, which greatly increases the rates that music streamers will have to pay to the collection arm of the RIAA known as Sound Exchange.

“When I read that the RIAA needed money so badly that they were going to start to price gouge independent web streamers and radio stations who stream online, I knew we had to do our part,” said Matt DuBiel, PD at 9-FM.

“In the face of the RIAA’s struggles,” DuBiel continued, “it just doesn’t seem fair for us to be giving away free CDs to music fans who are fully capable of paying for the music themselves. That’s why we’re inviting everyone who has won a CD from 9-FM or any other radio station in Chicago this year, to return it to us and we’ll exchange it for a 9-FM T-shirt and give the CDs back to the RIAA. Perhaps with all of those CD’s back, the RIAA will have enough money so radio stations like 9-FM and other independent music sites can continue to affordably stream online.”


Newsweb Radio Company’s 9-FM trimulcasts on 92.5 FM (WDEK), 92.7 FM (WKIE), 99.9 FM (WRZA) and streams online at WePlayAnything.com, they say, “for now.”

Full article here.

There's more information at WePlayAnything.com (here), including a petition that U.S. citizens can sign to try and persuade their legislators to come to their senses and repeal that despicable law.

In a way, this seems like a contemporary re-telling of the story of David and Goliath, adapted for broadcast and internet radio of course. It will be interesting to see how it all ends. (And how many CDs the station collects!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus concert tours

The all-male Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus (UBC), under Artistic Director and Conductor Oleh Mahlay, announces its 2007 concert series Bandura – The Soul of Ukraine.

The concerts begin in late March and culminate in June. They will take place in Windsor and St. Catharines, ON; Syracuse, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; New York City; and Chicago.

In October, the UBC will embark on 10-day tour of the eastern United States and Canada.

Bandura – The Soul of Ukraine will tell a many-centuries story about cultural identity, survival and mystery. Because its development closely reflects the history of the Ukrainian nation, the bandura is more than a national musical instrument: It is the voice of Ukraine.

This inspiration has been a guiding force for the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus since its inception in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1918.

For more information on the concert series, please visit their website here or call UBC President Anatoli Murha at 734.658.6452. Check your local newspapers for concert advertisements and announcements.

Play on human sex trafficking

If you're in the Toronto area, consider attending the play "Becoming Natasha" ... there are two performances this weekend (Fri and Sun) Mar 23 and 24. Presented by the CAW and Stop the Trafficking Coalition.

Poster and press release here.

Monday, March 19, 2007

New Ukraine current affairs blog

I've just added a new blog to the blogroll (right).

Its focus is on current events in Ukraine. It was initiated by the Stasiuk Program for the Study of Contemporary Ukraine at CIUS.

You can get there anytime by clicking on the link in the blogroll section. In the meantime, you can find it here.

Ukrainian rocket science

For an example go here ...

Ukrainian Canadian woman seeking federal Conservative nomination

Another Ukrainian Canadian woman is entering the political arena.

Raya Shadursky is seeking nomination in the federal Conservative party in the riding of Mississauga South.

We need people with integrity and strength of character in the political arena to rid ourselves of the old corrupt cronies that have had too easy a ride in the past.

Best of luck, Raya!

Audio archives updated for this week

The most recent audio archives for Vancouver's weekly Ukrainian radio programs are now available.

On Nash Holos (bilingual), a recipe for Ukrainian-style pork roast, some travel tips on the Carpathian mountains, the story of St. John's ladder, and an interview with world-renowned Ukrainian folklorist Dr. Natalie Kononenko, who will be visiting Vancouver this coming weekend to give a workshop on Ukrainian Minstrels (and autograph copies of her book). As well, the usual proverb of the week and plenty of Great Ukrainian music!

On Chetverta Khvylia, a roundup of the latest in music, news and views from Ukraine, delivered exclusively in Ukrainian by host Pavlo Manugevych.

Enjoy!

Ukrainian Canadian woman seeking federal Liberal nomination

Well-known Toronto broadcaster Christina Chernesky is seeking the Liberal nomination for the Federal riding of Mississauga-Streetsville.

Let's hope the people running the party (and the others) are smart enough to realize the electorate is becoming much less tolerant of corrupt old cronies hoodwinking and fleecing the taxpaying public, and that they are *all* genuinely trying to bring people of integrity back into positions of leadership.

OK, that may be pure pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking, but a person can (and should) dream ...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Interview with Ambassador of Ukraine

Roman Bytan, host of Radio Zhurnal in Edmonton, recently sent round this email:

Just to let you know that I had the pleasure of interviewing two fascinating people on my program Wednesday.

Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada, Ihor Ostash, was in town, as was his wife, Maryna Hrynych.

The importance of the ambassador is self-understood, but pani Hrynych was also very interesting to chat with. She is a well-published author of academic and fiction works, and her specialty is in ethnology.

You can listen to the interviews here. Click on "audio archives." The date was Wednesday June 14. Select the 6 - 7 p.m. slot. The Maryna Hrynych interview begins at 01:59 and ends at 19:44. The Ihor Ostash interview begins at 44:34, and continues onto the 7 - 8p.m. slot, where it ends at 04:58.

Enjoy!

Problems of contemporary Ukrainian culture

Vasyl Pawlowky, an ex-pat Montrealer now working with a local Ukrainian promotions agency in Kyiv, has been ruminating on the problems of contemporary Ukrainian culture.

"...there is a long battle to be fought in the cultural arena in Ukraine. I hope that the diaspora understands that Ukraine has to not only undergo mass reforms politically but also culturally – Ukraine has to understand how to protect its interests in this sphere. "

More on his excellent blog here.

Bookmark it, or better still, add it to your RSS feed reader. You can count on Vasyl to give you a true insider's perspective and sound analysis of the contemporary music scene in Ukraine.

This week's Vancouver radio now archived

The latest audio archives for Nash Holos and Chetverta Khvylia (4th Wave) are now available!

On Chetverta Khvylia , enjoy the latest music, news and views from Ukraine, delivered exclusively in Ukrainian by host Pavlo Manugevych.

On Nash Holos, Sylvia Pidraziuk Molnar shares a recipe for potato-filled holubtsi (you read that right!) on Ukrainian Food Flair, and Father Bruce has some Travel Tips on planning for a visit to Ukraine, and on A Spiritual Moment talks about God's great Rescue Mission.

Also, an interview with Mary Gavan, an organizer of the upcoming World Storytelling Day on March 25, on the "handshake" between the Vancouver Storytellers and the Ukrainian community.

And of course, plenty of Great Ukrainian music!

Internet offers alternative to radio's cash-over-content model

In the radio biz, cash has been trumping content for some time now. The internet has levelled the playing field somewhat, but once the heavies enter the game, they tend to take over. This article illustrates how the internet is now helping the rich get richer ...

JP Morgan has released statistics showing that terrestrial broadcasters are doing well when it comes to Internet radio. According to their research, unique visitors to terrestrial radio streams were up 37% in January.

According to Nielsen-NetRatings, ... the Internet radio audience has grown at a 1.6% monthly compounded rate since Jan 2006.

The 22% Y/Y growth in unique visitors was driven by the terrestrial radio operators, whose unique visitors grew about 71% year over year and about 2% sequentially.

Growth is much stronger for the terrestrial operators Y/Y than it is for the pure play Internet players, reflecting the terrestrial operators’ recent investments into their digital/online operations. As a result, terrestrial’s share of total unique visitors hit a new high.

So. If the internet can expand their audience reach to this extent, to the big radio stations the huge hike in royalty fees recently imposed on them is a drop in the bucket. In fact, it actually works to their benefit, keeping the content-rich but cash-strapped indie players out of the game.

That's why Creative Commons makes so much sense for niche broadcasters ... and the artists they feature. It helps keep the internet playing field level for the "little guys" by creating opportunities similar to the early days of radio when content was king.

Let's just hope we can maintain net neutrality so it stays that way.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Contemporary Canadian propaganda

Being a writer who has long studied Ukraine, including during the dark period under communism, I couldn't help but think that this CTV article is a classic example of the agitprop type of propaganda that was de rigeur in the old Soviet Union.

[A] study, based on an analysis of pollution data filed by companies to Environment Canada, found that Alberta businesses led the provinces in GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions... The oil-rich province was well ahead of second-place Ontario ...

Interestingly, and not surprisingly,

The survey was put together by two Toronto-based conservation groups...

After a shopping list of industrial sins and sinners the article wraps it up with a less than subtle attempt at manipulating hasty readers into inferring that the government alone is responsible for GHG emissions and that the current ruling party isn't doing anything about it.

The Conservative government has essentially abandoned the Kyoto Protocol target for Canada ...

It appears that balance is no longer a requirement in the western press. There certainly is little in this article, which appears to have adopted and adapted the pseudo-religious spin so typical of old soviet agitprop.

The study is presented as gospel, and Alberta's big bad industry as the devil's playground, all as evidence supporting the a priori belief that greenhouse gas emissions are a) the sole cause of global warming and b) produced primarily by industry.

If studied by serious scientists and industry leaders to find practical, positive and methodical applications to reduce industrial GHG emissions, this survey could be enormously useful. But typically, it has instead become yet another political football for partisan hacks in the mainstream media.

Sure, the article is effective at demonizing the ruling political party and proselytizing the position that Kyoto is the saviour that will deliver us from GHG emissions and furthermore that the fault lies with industry (rather than, say, people who drive gas guzzlers, fly around in jets, eat too much beef, live wastefully, etc.).

But at what cost success? In the end, the article will quite probably only escalate western alienation and further polarize Canadians politically. Meanwhile, the study will likely end up as little more than grist for political jockeying, and the baby will (again) have been tossed out with the bathwater.

Way to build a nation, eh? Going backwards instead of forward. Sigh.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ukraine still fighting for freedom

A video is circulating of a crowd of Ukrainians blocking Berkut, Communists & Socialists from placing flowers at the Taras Shevchenko memorial.

It doesn't say where, but it's obviously in Ukraine.

I suppose it doesn't matter which city, specifically. Pretty symbolic that it's happening at all, in this day and age.

See it here.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Coming out of the closet ...

While many public people (wisely) choose to keep their politics private, I am officially "coming out of the closet."

A little nervous, tho, like the girl in the polka-dot bikini. So bear with me.

Ok [deep breath]. Here goes.

I admit it. I am a ...

swing voter.

Yes, 'tis true. Hard to believe, no doubt, but there you have it.

I have voted Liberal. I have voted Conservative. I have even voted NDP (albeit when I was *very* young). I also have cast protest votes. The only thing I refuse to do is not vote or spoil a ballot, although I must say lately those options have been very tempting.

My problem is that I am very naive. I repeatedly make the mistake of believing persuasive politicians, particularly those who make promises they don't, can't, or never intended to keep once in power. And of course you can never tell in advance which it will be. So all that makes me *very* testy these days. Because so far, whatever the political stripe, they all seem like clones to me.

Well, except for those with a sense of humour. Those I have time for. But alas, they are excessively rare. (Where's a Rhinocerous Party candidate when you need one?)

Anyway, enough about me.

If you're following the pedantic politics of who promised how much money (but never delivered it) to the Ukrainian community when, there's another episode coming up next week. (Backgrounder here and here).

Two Liberal politicians have called a press conference on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. at the Ukrainian National Federation Community Centre, 145 Evans Ave. Toronto (2nd floor Board Room). For more information call Borys Wrzesnewskyj, M.P. (416) 249-7322. Scuttlebut has it a few Conservative supporters may show up with some tough questions, so it might even get interesting.

Darn, and I have to miss it, being stuck in Lotusland, far far away, where the daffodils are in full bloom, World Storytelling Day is almost here, and all manner of exciting things are coming up in the local Ukrainian community!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wikipedia loses its innocence

According to this article, Wikipedia has just discovered that sometimes people lie about things like credentials if they're not held accountable.

As a result, Wikipedia now requires that contributors who claim academic credentials reveal themselves:

... [Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales had] suggested such a plan two years ago, but the idea suddenly gained currency after the recent discovery that a prolific Wikipedia contributor who wrote under the pen name "Essjay" and claimed to be a professor of theology turned out to be a 24-year-old college dropout...

You'd think that the bizarre and twisted rantings of neo-Stalinists here would have cured Wikipedia arbiters of their gullibility long ago. But, whatever.

Generally speaking, I like Wikipedia and frequently link to it, as regular readers of this blog may have noticed. ;-) And I'm noticing a distinct improvement in Wikipedia entries on Ukraine and Ukrainian history and folklore. (Kudos and thanks to those vigilant Ukrainian experts for their diligence!)

Although Wikipedia is two years late, I think they are doing a good thing to insist on proof of academic credentials.

I trust that now the folks at Wikipedia are more appreciative and cognizant of the genuine experts (credentialled or not) who work hard to maintain Wikipedia's credibility.

You can read the full article here.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A new musical discovery

Another Ukrainian treasure discovered!

If you like jazz and Ukrainian folk music, you'll love Mlada, a lovely young artist from Ukraine who blends both musical styles into her own unique jazz-folk fusion.

There are downloadable MP3s at her wonderful trilingual website ... here.

H/T to the discoverer Vasyl!

Staggering statistics

This has nothing to do with Ukrainian music ... at least directly. But OTOH I suppose it could be argued that it has everything to do with everything.

OK, that arcane observation is about a short slide show called "Shift Happens" ... here.

The stats boggle the mind, and made me realize why everyone these days, even kids, feels that time is speeding up!

H/T to Vasyl at his awesome uamuzik blog.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Come to World Storytelling Day in Vancouver!

This year the Vancouver Storytellers partner with the Ukrainian community for World Storytelling Day on March 25, 2007 at St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Centre, 3150 Ash St. in Vancouver.

There's lots to see and do!

1-3 p.m. - workshop on Ukrainian Minstrels at 1:00 p.m. with Dr. Natalie Kononenko, Kule Chair of Ukrainian Ethnography at the University of Alberta.
4 p.m. - humour workshop by a New York storyteller Bob Reiser
4 p.m. - Childrens concert featuring Danny Evanishen telling several Ukrainian folk tales
5:30 p.m. - Yarmarok (marketplace) and Edibles by INdulgences
7:00 p.m. - Adult concert featuring Stefan Petelycky with his real-life collections of life in UPA leading up to his capture by the Nazis during WWII. (In Ukrainian, and re-told in English by Bowen Island storyteller Doreen Giesbrecht.)

In the yarmarok there will be books and CDs by the various storytellers, including Danny with his folk tale collections. I'll be there with Stefan hawking copies of Kobzar's Children: A Century of Untold Ukrainian Stories. This is a good time to get a copy if you haven't yet, as you can get it autographed by all three BC contributors.

More information and printed materials can be found here.

Vancouver audio archives for Mar. 4, 2007

Nash Holos archives are now updated to last Sunday!

A yummy chicken recipe (not Chicken Kiev!) on Ukrainian Food Flair, Fr. Bruce Power on Travel Tips with several reasons to visit Romania, a Spiritual Moment on healing spiritual paralysis, and of course, plenty of Great Ukrainian music! CD of the Week: Olya (Olya Fryz).

Enjoy!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Political football update ... no change in score (Ukrainians still 0)

Another press release was just delivered into my email box regarding this bizarre situation.

This time Mr. Kenney is accusing the Liberals of "fibbing" on the Ukrainian redress issue. I must admit he does make a convincing argument. He even provided a link to the original agreement (here), in which he points out that it:

... commits "the Government of Canada to provide an initial amount of $2.5 million…" to the community. ...

After a few more swipes at the Liberals he points out that:

It was Conservative governments that have led the way on redressing past wrongs, from Japanese war time internment to the Chinese Head Tax. After thirteen years in power, the Liberals failed Canada's cultural communities, including the Ukrainian community, which only got more broken promises from the Liberals.

We can only hope that today's Conservative government is disinclined to break that impressive record by similarly failing the Ukrainian community.

Because it's not just the Ukrainian "community" that will benefit from this redress settlement. It is the entire country.

Crippling copyright law

Alarming industry development in the U.S. that has its parallel up here. I first learned about it in this article :

The Copyright Royalty Board on Friday issued a decision that ... Internet radio stations must pay each time a single listener hears a song. In doing so, the board rejected the pleas of Internet radio providers that sought royalty rates based on a percentage of revenue. ...

The RIAA is very much threatened by internet radio and its long-tail economic model so it is desperately trying to protect its turf. (The Copyright Royalty Board is a creation of the RIAA, of course.)

If life were fair, rather than strengthen their cultural monopoly, this new law would backfire and reduce their stranglehold on the pop music industry.

It's more likely, however, that this is just the first of many steps for the North American oligarchs to control the internet. And that of course would make life more difficult for the little guys, as the article points out:

Attorney Dave Oxenford, who represents several webcasters involved in the case, [says], "This decision just makes it that much harder for people to make any money streaming. Some of the big broadcasters may reconsider their streaming operations." ...

And, surprise surprise, Canada is fast following suit. SOCAN wants to levy a tariff for internet radio feeds, which means many smaller stations will just discontinue their internet feeds to avoid the crippling costs. And that of course, will affect every Ukrainian (and other ethnic) radio program that has been available on the internet.

UVic's independent newspaper reports in this article that:

The tariff was first filed with the Copyright Board of Canada in 1996 and filed again in 1997 with minor changes. It was reviewed by the Copyright Board in 1999. The Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal asked for changes to be made in 2004. Subsequently, SOCAN filed again in 2006 with the changes in place.

The hearing takes place on April 17, 2007 in Ottawa.

How Orwellian our world has become, when a law (copyright) originally intended to protect artists is now being used against the listening public to protect the interests of oligarchs.

Maybe it's time for the listening public to start standing up for its rights.

Listeners of the world, unite! Let's fight back!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Playing political football - Politicians 1, Ukrainians $0

Recently I was reminded again of why so many Ukrainian Canadians scorn politics and politicians.

The other day I got a press release by email. It documented an argument in the House of Commons between (Liberal) MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj and Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity, Jason Kenney.

The argument was, ostensibly, about redress for the WWI internment of Ukrainians and other East Europeans. I just can't help wondering, tho, if pitting the Canadian taxpayer against the Ukrainian community wasn't just a convenient smokescreen for Jason and Borys to continue an old grudge match from a different game.

But, decide for yourself. Read the press release and the ensuing argument here .

To me, it seems rather odd for politicians to be spending so much time and energy arguing over what amounts to a drop in the taxpayers' bucket. So I am beginning to doubt this issue will ever be more than a handy political football for opposition politicians.

After all, for the past 30 years, Prime Ministers from Jean Chretien to Stephen Harper have wasted little time tossing it back to the opposition benches once they got into power. (Even the NDP wants into the Ukrainian Redress game, judging by MP Peggy Nash's well crafted, heartfelt statement.

Anyway, to me this little political (melo) drama really isn't a whole lot different from those in Ukraine. I've long felt that since 1991 Ukraine has been getting a crash course on "democracy" from the west, and is a very quick study.

I mean, how much more likely is it that Canada will cough up the money to enact Bill C-331 than Ukraine will to prevent piracy of music CDs or ensure foreign movies are dubbed into Ukrainian?

It seems politicians the world over are way better at making promises than keeping them, and Canadians have no right to feel superior to Ukraine. (Don't get me started on income trusts and museum funding cuts!)

I wonder if anyone else shares my disappointment in politicians, or if am I just being a Pollyanna and expecting too much ...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Squabling over monopolies

Isn't it heartwarming to see foxes fighting over who rules the chicken coop?

[The NAB President & CEO said at a ...] hearing called to review the proposed merger between XM and Sirius [satellite radio] that neither company can be trusted with the monopoly power [he] believes the combination would create.

Read about it here.