The most expensive hot air

Castro with a grinLeaders from the U.S., Russia, Japan, Britain, France, Italy and Canada, hosted by Germany, are at the G-8 soon to talk about climate change, economics, poverty, and a roster of other now-familiar and perennially unsolved issues, reports Stan Persky at The Tyee.

The barbed wire costs $20 million.
The meeting will cost more than $200,000,000.

I was searching for a public photo of the G-8 players or facilities, but I think Castro’s chagrin is oddly ironic if not merely because his hot air costs less.

Update, with bonus warning:

Clowns protest at G-8Reading Stan’s column, he warns that we must not be led to believe that protest isn’t precious.

Reading other reports of the G-8 meeting, I’ve noticed the sugared feed of syndicated media that Stan Persky is warning us about.

I can see that walking along with the protesters, or as courageously with the police, will invigorate a journalist quite differently than commercial reports prepared from a prepaid hotel room or during cocktails downstairs.

A healthy curiosity about the allegations that are worth a march or worth a trouncing would serve us better. People can despise a protest merely because it’s aggravating. Groups can be unpopular merely because they are groups. Crowds can be rude, their cause unformed, and their leaders pathetic. Police can be sent to calm, to disperse, to inflame and to injure. Authority and power can be trite and callous and dangerous, and most often has proved it.

G-8 Anti-Konflikt TeamObserving in detail is important, even if only to empathize. There’s much to discover from both the people at risk and the police at point. There are policies we need to probe.

Reading Stan’s column, I’ve learned two things. One, to distrust arms-length media reports that are produced only for downstream syndication. Two, to rekindle a commitment to our right and our requirement to assemble and to protest. So then we address our grievances as in the past. So then we invent a better world.

To protest is an important right and is to be preserved always.