Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Actors Get Brains?

Source: Pisqa
Finally, after decades of being little more than pretty faces, actor activists (actorvists (I didn't coin that)) are getting smart....at least George Clooney is anyway. You've probably read that Clooney, unlike most uber famous hollywood stars, has taken on a cause that might easily one day lead to his untimely death: Sudan.  According to a recent Time magazine article, Clooney had the bright idea of using charity to fund the use of satellite reconnaissance to keep a watch over Sudan after its January referendum on independence for the south. If you're like me, you probably have no idea what is going on in Sudan thanks to our media that would rather inform us about weather and....ah hell, in a post wikileaks world, the mainstream media is too easy to pick on.

Sudan? Let me break it down for you.  The islamic totalitarian government (big fucking surprise) in the north (composed mostly of Sunni Muslims (yeah, the dudes from Iraq and Saudi Arabia) are nothing more than dark skinned Hitlers who use religion as an excuse to commit rape & murder.  What do you think the barbarians in question want in the south which is inhabited mostly by Christians and Animists?  You guessed it--oil.  Thus the south wants to declare independence from the north. (good idea)  The Sudanese government does whatever they want simply because they have no fear of the sentiments of civilization....perhaps mainly because civilized humanity is largely unaware of the Nazi-style brutality taking place there in Darfur.   But now, the threat of modern satellite imaging which could provide evidence of atrocities and troop movements, there may just be a small hope for a new way forward.  Make up your own mind about whether it could be useful.

Personally, I think Clooney has a brilliant idea  here.   I know this is the case because I sat in a philosophy course stumped one time when the Prof asked if anyone knew what the number one deterrent to crime was.  The typical answers of education, lack of poverty, etc were thrown out.  Wrong, wrong, wrong came the reply.  D E T E C T I O N.  It may be different where you are, but where I am, people don't commit crimes when they are in full view of everyone.  Surveillance cameras, alert citizens and an underlying rule of law prevent crime.  Feel free to debate this but the idea of using satellites to keep an account of what is going on in Sudan is fantastic.  The thing I like about it is the Sudanese warlords are on notice that everything they do could have a photographic record.
Source: huffington post

The problem I have is that private charities have to fund this.  Why can't all of the largest countries in the world agree to pool all of the govt satellites and keep them over Sudan and similar world hot spots all the time?  I know---the unrealistic words of a dreamer...  or maybe the reality is much simpler:  people don't complain enough to political authorities about this.   It is 2010, why can't we get smarter with modern technology and political conflict?

The firms providing the private satellite images are GeoEye, DigitalGlobe and ImageSat.

Clooney's charity is here:  http://notonourwatchproject.org/

In the past, I have made liberal use of my right to petition my government representatives on the topic of Darfur. The responses I receive from elected officials are often bland and impotent, unfortunately.  But don't let that prevent you from taking 15 minutes to write to your representative at his or her website which typically makes it extremely easy to do just that.

Also, I note that Not On Our Watch has a ton of media (images/videos). Is there some reason why you jerks haven't made it embed-able?    It's not like you should be worried about copyright you media geniuses.  What are you going to do, make a few million off a documentary?  Geeze.