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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Canada's national broadcaster ignores genocide of Ukrainians

My first reaction to this is that the CBC is just toeing the UN line. The UN's erudite experts continue to squabble over what constitutes the definition of genocide and what ethnic groups get to use the label. (Meanwhile, the killing continues... )

It's true that the UN still hasn't declared the Ukrainian Holodomor a genocide, even though Ukraine's government has, as the CBC itself covered a couple of months ago (here) .

But it hasn't declared the carnage going on today in Darfur is genocide either, as I gathered from this recent UN newsletter ... although anyone with half a brain knows that's exactly what it is.

So good on CBC for including it, and for de facto calling it the genocide that it is.

But why leave out the Holodomor? The parallels between the methods and the architects of genocide in Darfur, in Rwanda, in Nazi Germany, in Armenia, et al., are so clear ... but apparently only to those who are open to seeing them. Clearly, there are those in academia and the media who aren't. Still, I just cannot comprehend such utter, cold indifference to Ukrainians who were murdered by the millions just because they were Ukrainian.

Sigh. Heaven forbid humanity would bother to really learn, much less actually apply, the lessons of the past.

Apart from totalitarian dictators, that is. They learn and apply those lessons very efficiently.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Cancelled: Yulia's talk in New York tonight

The talk by Yulia Tymoshenko, member of the Parliament of Ukraine and leader of Ukraine's main opposition party, the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) scheduled for tonight at Columbia University has been cancelled.

Details on the Harriman Institute's homepage here.

Vancouver audio archives for Feb. 25, 2007

On Nash Holos ... why petrushka (parsnip) and other root veggies are so good for you (... and how to make them taste great!), all about rail travel in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, the semantics as well as the spirituality surrounding the Sunday of Orthodoxy, and of course, plenty of Great Ukrainian music! CD of the Week: Етнічна Україна (Ethnic Ukraine).

On Chetverta Khvylia (4th Wave) ... music, news and views from Ukraine, exclusively in Ukrainian, with host Pavlo Manugevych.


Media consolidation - two views

Below are two views on the issue of media ownership consolidation that came out of the FCC hearings going on in the U.S. I imagine the core of the issue would be quite relevant to Canada or any other country.

A pastor calls for the abolition of congomerates to let diversity flourish (here).

Meanwhile, a small media company calls for regulated consolidation to let smaller companies grow and provide genuine competition for the big moguls (here).

It appears that both of them have the same idea in mind, just that they express them a little differently.

I must say that I have always believed that there should be checks on big conglomerates to keep them from becoming monopolistic and holding consumers hostage.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ukraine: Emerging from the Catacombs

The persecution of the Church in Ukraine under the Soviets (and before) is little-known, and generally even less acknowledged in the public discourse.

EWTN has produced a 7-part series called Ukraine: Emerging fromt he Catacombs. You can find part 1 on YouTube here.

Great promo of Ukraine on YouTube

Check it out here!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Film "Harvest of Despair" now on YouTube

Harvest of Despair, the acclaimed documentary film on the Holodomor, the 1932-33 Soviet-engineered Ukrainian famine, is now available on YouTube.

During that year, 25,000 people died of starvation every single day (you do the math for the year) in that "worker's paradise." Not because they couldn't produce enough food to survive, but precisely because they could. And when the government takes all your food away from you, you'll inevitably starve to death.

If you haven't heard of the film or, for that matter, the Holodomor, it's because Stalin's loyal holocaust-denying apologists worked hard to make sure you didn't.

Go here to view the film on YouTube.

To get a copy for yourself, or your school or organization, go here or here.

More on Telnyuk Sisters

An interview of the Telnyuk Sisters' producer Rostyslav Shtyn appeared on this website ... it discusses their approach to music and some trends in the Ukrainian music industry.

The Telnyuks are fabulous, an incredible talent. Contemporary rather than traditional, polished yet quite soulful.

An earlier post on the Telnyuk Sisters can be found here ... in English :-) And make sure to click on the video link!

World's oldest living man

A couple of UkeTube video clips (Reuters) on 115-year-old Hryhory Nestor, a Ukrainian living in Stariy Yarychiv, presumed to be the world's oldest living man. Quite the character!

See him here and here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Telus - independent corporate thinkers

You gotta hand it to Telus, that forward-thinking good corporate citizen that holds its customers' concerns so dear to its (black ink stained) heart.

Why, this company is so in tune with its customers that it caters to them using 20/20 hindsight ... after they've taken their business to their more, um, reputable competitors who have a different take on "responsibility" vis-a-vis pumping (should that "u" be an "i"?) pay-for-porn cell phone service.

Read all about the flexible minds and morality at Telus here.

Cross-posted at The Natashas.

Corporate double speak Orwell would recognize

Sirius Satellite Radio CEO Mel Karmazin likes the synergy between Sirius and XM Satellite Radio...

Since when did "synergy" become a synonym (or more accurately perhaps, a euphemism) for "cost-cutting"?

Read the whole litany of "synergies" here.

U.S. media moguls merging

Nothing like having friends in high places so you don't have to worry about following the rules like the common folk do. (Article here.)

In fact it's so handy that it's apparently not even necessary to bother going through the motions.

Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin and XM Chairman Gary Parsons are confident that the proposed merger between their two satellite radio companies will make it through the regulatory process, even though current FCC rules prohibit one satellite radio company from owning another. ...

The always-savvy Karmazin also revealed that he's already speaking with members of Congress about the deal ...

Article here.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Amazing video clip of Volyn

Regular listeners of Nash Holos will likely be familiar with the ensemble Volyn from Lutsk, Ukraine, which gets a fair bit of airtime on the program. I think the entire Ukrainian community in Vancouver shared my profound disappointment when Volyn's planned concert here fell through last summer.

Well, a bit of good news. I've just heard that a DVD and 3 (count 'em!) CDs will soon be released in Canada. Stay tuned for details!

In the meantime, I just saw a 9-minute promo video clip on You-Tube. It was way too short. This group is out of this world! What grace, talent, and soul ... absolutely captivating.

Go here to see it.

Vancouver audio archives for Feb. 18, 2007

Audio archives of Vancouver's Ukrainian radio programs for Feb. 18 are now available at the Nash Holos website. The podcast RSS feed has also been updated.

On Nash Holos, find more about kapusta, a delightful destination for travellers to Ukraine, all about "cheese fare Sunday" and the mental and physical (as well as spiritual) health benefits of Lenten fasting. And an hour of wild Ukrainian music to wrap up the pre-Lenten season.

On Chetverta Khvylia, Pavlo brings you news, views and music from Ukraine, exclusively in Ukrainian.


Friday, February 16, 2007

ABC-TV weighs in on radio payola issue

Obviously, "free enterprise" and "level playing field" haven't exactly been watchwords in the entertainment biz ...

ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross targeted the radio and record industry [on ABC-TV's Primetime] in a story about 'Payola: The Dirty Little Secret Of The Music Business.'

Ross interviewed recording artists who indicated that payola was common practice and necessary to gain radio air play. Ross referred to the practice, which started in the 1950s as a “multi-million dollar secret” which continues today.

On camera New York Attorney General Elliott Spitzer stated that payola “goes to the highest corporate levels of record and radio companies.” ...

Ross interviewed a former Entercom Buffalo program director who claimed he generated as much as a $100,000 in one year for the company. ... He went on to say that most of the money went to the station and to Entercom’s bottom line ...

Full article here.

Tolerance reduces need for Russian language law in Ukraine

This Eurasia Daily Monitor article may indicate hope for the survival of common sense ... and the Ukrainian language in its own country.

One reason why the language issue is not a priority for most Ukrainians is that tolerance of language diversity is different from the election rhetoric of politicians intent on capitalizing on the language issue. The Russian language dominates in Ukraine’s print and Internet media, while television has a greater degree of Ukrainian-language content.

Full article here.

Ukraine’s President looking more healthy - and handsome!

This article is about an appearance Ukraine's president made on Germany TV ...

... Victor Yushchenko has expressed hopes Ukraine will be a full member of the European Union one day ... The President said Ukraine was now building pragmatic relations with the European Union. He added that we wanted to make it clear that the integration of [Ukraine's] gas transport system into the European market could help achieve continental stability.

Here's another article that details Germany's support for Ukrainian entry into the EU. What about the rest of Europe??? Seems their obstinate historical bigotry still blinds them to the advantages of having Ukraine in the fold. Some of the hardest working and most productive people you'll find. Sigh.

OK, I know politics is important stuff and everything, but just couldn't help noticing that the president is regaining his pre-poisoning good looks. Maybe he's eating more salo and borsch and less Russian-made sushi and salad? ;-)

Vancouver audio archives for Feb. 11, 2007

Audio archives of Vancouver's Ukrainian radio programs are now available at the Nash Holos website ...

At Nash Holos, Sylvia tells you how to make peperivka - Ukrainian spiced whiskey; Myrna has the scoop on all the good European stopovers, Fr. Bruce talks about "meat fare Sunday," and Teresa Stolarskyj reviews the film 'Acts of Imagination" that aired recently in Vancouver.

At Chetverta Khvylia, Pavlo brings you news, views and music from Ukraine, exclusively in Ukrainian.


Orthodox demand equal air time

According to this article, Ukrainian Orthodox officials are demanding air time to counter Roman Catholic proselytism.

But as this this article reveals, they'll need more than increased air time, given the bitter political rift between Orthodox (Russian vs Kyiv patriarchate) churches in Ukraine.

Pinchuk-Spielberg collaboration hits cinemas in Ukraine

The much talked about Holocaust documentary “Spell Your Name,” produced by legendary American director Steven Spielberg and Ukrainian philanthropist [sic] Viktor Pinchuk, will be premiering in Ukraine's theaters this week.

The film, directed by Ukrainian director Serhiy Bukovsky, focuses on the recollections of victims of Nazi persecution in Ukraine during the Second World War. It was made in cooperation with Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation Institute ... in Los Angeles, California.

... the documentary will be added to the state educational program. ... After the screenings at cinemas, the film may then be distributed to television stations. The documentary constitutes the first part of a trilogy which will be dedicated to the “three great tragedies of the Ukrainian nation,” as Viktor Pinchuk says – the Holocaust, Holodomor and Chornobyl disaster."

Details in the Kyiv Post here. More articles here and here.

U.S. president a short-sighted hypocrite?

After reading this article, I had to ask what (if anything) U.S. President Bush and his cronies could possibly be thinking...

... with Russian President Vladimir Putin bullying his neighbors, manipulating the Russian media and throwing increasingly audacious anti-American tantrums, one would think U.S. policymakers would have the sense at least to maintain relatively modest VOA operations in and around the Russian Federation.

Yet President Bush`s recently released 2008 budget proposal does just the opposite... The White House`s proposed reprioritization of VOA broadcasting moves money out of operations aimed at the large and largely Muslim country of Uzbekistan. Broadcasting into neighboring Kazakhstan is also being cut.

The citizens of both countries live under illiberal regimes, and Uzbekistan`s brutal dictatorship is of the sort that incubates religious fundamentalism and anti-Americanism.

Voice of America`s half-hour of radio and half-hour of television programming in Uzbek ... provide about the only direct contact Uzbeks have with the United States and the only unvarnished news in the region. Meanwhile, the highly controlled Russian media beam their often misleading programming in with ease.

Mr. Bush`s budget also proposes reductions in Ukrainian-language VOA programming to serve a country struggling to Westernize in the shadow of Mr. Putin`s increasingly lawless regime.

Mr. Bush should be eager to encourage democratic forces in Ukraine, as well as in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, not further limit their sources of information about the United States.

The price of such programs is so low that federal financial constraints are hardly an excuse to kill them; a relatively tiny increase in the VOA`s budget would make a world of difference. ...

Gee, could it be that protecting Iranian (and Russian?) oil interests may be be higher on his priority list than supporting fledgeling democracies?

In direct contrast to America's corporate myopia, Ireland has demonstrated both generosity and interest in Ukraine, contributing 1,000,000 euros to support civil service reform there. Full aticle here.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Neither decency nor common sense

This article illustrates why it's as hard to legislate against indecency as it is against stupidity.

Democratic FCC Commissioner Michael Copps ... said that the FCC is not likely to impose a maximum fine of $325,000 on smaller stations for a violation of federal decency standards.

Still, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves told an audience at a conference sponsored by Common Sense Media and the Aspen Institute that he believed the possibility of a fine as high as $325,000 has an adverse impact on freedom of speech. Moonves explained that since the ceiling on fines has been raised, “People are more afraid of what they put on air." ...

How pathetic is it if media people will only do the right thing when there are unpleasant repercussions for doing the wrong thing?

Right from the top down, it appears the mainstream media industry's concept of "freedom" is merely the lack of responsibility.


Monday, February 05, 2007

US astronaut visits Ukraine, meets President

American astronaut, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, recently travelled to Ukraine, where she met President Yushchenko and visited her ancestral family villages.

OK, true, this has nothing to do with Ukrainian music or radio, but it is still very cool!

Read about it here.

Vancouver audio archives for Feb. 4, 2007

Vancouver Ukrainian audio archives and Nash Holos podcast are now available for download.

At Nash Holos, Sylvia will tell you all about kalyna (cranberries) on Ukrainian Food Flair; Myrna’s travel tip is on Contiki tours for young people, and Fr. Bruce on Із Духові Твоєму talks about the Feast of the Presentation. As usual, a Ukrainian proverb and plenty of great Ukrainian music! CD of the week: Zhyttia (Life) by Millenia of Edmonton.

Chetverta Khvylia archives coming soon.

Mammon strikes again - shoots self in foot

Here's another report of the short-sighted corporate greed dominating the mainstream media industry's executive suites:

Viacom [has] asked YouTube to remove more than 100,000 unauthorized clips from its video-sharing website,

Viacom said ... “it has become clear that YouTube is unwilling to come to a fair market agreement that would make Viacom content available to YouTube users.”

A YouTube representative said it would comply with the request, and added, 'It's unfortunate that Viacom will no longer be able to benefit from YouTube's passionate audience, which has helped to promote many of Viacom's shows.' "

Well, duh. But no doubt Mammon is happy... for now, anyway.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Wise regulation

As this article illustrates, someone at the FCC has the wisdom of Solomon.

... Clear Channel, CBS Radio, Entercom and Citadel would make payments valued at about $10 million under a proposed settlement of the probe by the FCC into claims of payola in the music industry.

The investigation focuses on claims that stations owned by the nation’s Big Four radio companies accepted cash or gifts from music labels in exchange for playing their songs. ...

Under settlement terms proposed recently, the broadcasters would devote $7 million of airtime to independently produced music. The four group owners would additionally pay $3 million [towards] training to member stations to stop payola. In addition, the companies would draft compliance plans detailing which practices are unacceptable.

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