THINGS WHICH MUST BE DISSEMINATED

Pulse Media

22.12.05

Wishing you all a happy christmas and a merry new year

Flying the flag

BBC

The BBC's Hong Kong correspondent, Chris Hogg, says the defeat will probably confirm Beijing's suspicion that the territory's democrats are untrustworthy and unpatriotic - the very reasons, some analysts say, that China is reluctant to offer Hong Kong true democracy.
Sounds familiar..

21.12.05

'Terrorists' coming to Japan?

Mainichi Daily News

After the man began to run away, four male passengers, including two police officers who were on their way to work, chased him for some 50 meters before tackling him on the platform. He fell unconscious shortly afterwards, and later died. (Mainichi)
Were the four male passengers over-zealous in an attempt to prove their feminist credentials? If only japanese police officers could be this 'efficient' in tackling the mafia!

Pre-hysteric shopping


"early man venturing towards the out-of-town hunting grounds."


"This finely preserved example of primitive art dates from the Post-Catatonic era.

"The artist responsible is known to have created a substantial body of work across South East of England under the moniker Banksymus Maximus but little else is known about him.

Most art of this type has unfortunately not survived. The majority is destroyed by zealous municipal officials who fail to recognise the artistic merit and historical value of daubing on walls."

16.12.05

Inch'Allah

BBC

"He is human, he does not have the power of God," he told the AFP news agency.

"He got away once, he will not get away the next time. He will be tried for the crimes he committed against the Iraqi people."

Let's hope Mr Kamal's power of prophesy is real...

14.12.05

Why wasn't I there?!


Vadim and Yarah of One Self live on the f*****g streets of London!

13.12.05

A voice of reason


"We must, if we're going to make our country better, and more secure, and more democratic, and more multi-cultural, understand this better."
-7/7 survivor John Tulloch on why he tries to understand the bombers, and why he feels more anger for our leaders and those behind the attacks than for the suicide bombers themselves.

Why do people prefer to listen to those like the tabloids who claim to speak for survivors by supporting populistic and counter-productive anti-terror laws, rather than rationally-minded individuals who to top it all, actually have experienced terror? Anyone have an answer?

CS Monitor

So controversial is the issue that it even divides heroes and victims of 7/7. One victim, John Tulloch, said last week that he objected to a British newspaper juxtaposing his stricken image with the text "Tell Tony He's Right," strongly implying that Mr. Tulloch supported Blair's new laws. Another man, Paul Dadge, whose act of heroism in rescuing a victim made him front-page news, said he was "dumbfounded" by MPs rejection of the 90-day provision.

I guess for some democratic principles are less important than the mythical 'war on terror', even if we are supposed to be 'exporting democracy', and even if sacrificing democratic principles creates more tension than it prevents terror. Once more, the voice of reason is ignored in favour of knee jerking.

Murdoch jailed for murder

Australian mechanic Bradley Murdoch has been jailed for life for the murder of British backpacker Peter Falconio.
He has not been sentenced to death, because in Australia, as in most democracies, the death penalty no longer exists. Are there more murders in Australia than in the USA? Somehow I doubt it.


"We wish that we could find Peter - we don't get any closure until we find Peter," he added.
For his parents closure doesn't depend on revenge. What they need is to say goodbye to their son. My father died when I was 13. I'm glad my mum insisted on taking me back to the UK for his funeral. That way I could say goodbye.

Execution

BBC

"The facts do not justify overturning the jury's verdict or the decisions of the courts in this case," said Mr Schwarzenegger, who could have commuted the death sentence to life in prison without parole.
Once again, America chooses revenge. An eye for an eye.

12.12.05

And one more for the road...

PETROTHEISM

As long as those who represent (ahem!) us are in love with oil, we are doomed. However, it is up to us citizens to stop the addiction. Their power depends on our complacency.

Pokie the Punisher

POKIE

Credit to DJEB at A Logical Voice

Does closure exist? That's up to the individual to decide. However, society needs to decide whether or not revenge is the right way to reach closure.

8.12.05

Capital punishment without jury


This man has been killed for...not being a terrorist.

BBC


"I did hear the lady say her husband was bi-polar and had not had his medication," she said.

"I saw the woman... she was hysterical."

On Jean Charles de Menezes, the latest news:

Black Online
“Neither we nor Jean Charles’ family want this complaint to distract us from the main task of finding out how and why Jean Charles died. We still expect our investigation into the shooting to be completed by the end of December. The results of our investigation will be made public once the legal processes are completed.”
Watch this space at the end of December...

Stanley 'Tookie' Williams


Here is my message to the stapmother of Lora Owens:

What I would like to say to Mrs Owens, is that I have
no personal or political agenda or any axe to grind. I
merely think capital punishment is wrong. I am not a
christian, nor even a believer, but I believe in
forgiveness. Not only for the perpetratos, but also
and especially for the victims and/or their families.
I can't feel the pain you feel, but I know that it is
possible to forgive, as it has been recently shown in
the case of a murdered teenager in Britain. His
mother, a christian has said she forgives. Luckily, I
would say, in Britian there is no capital punishment.
What I am saying has nothing to do with redemption or
mitigating circumstances. It doesn't matter whether or
not Williams means what he says, or whether he is a
'changed man'. What matters is, as you call it,
closure. Closure for you, and a hope of closure
(redemption if you will) for him. I do not expect your
feelings to change at this point in time, but even if
he is put to death, I hope you eventually find it in
your heart to forgive, and to accept that capital
punishment is not an answer. Even if by then Williams
was dead, your change of heart would not be
meaningless.
I wish you strength in coming to a sense of closure.

7.12.05

Revenge


Here's a message to the Singaporean government. The people in this picture are honouring the life of a man. Not a drugs smuggler, but a human being. As I have already written on this blog, humans need forgiveness. This has nothing to do with Christianity or any other religion. Vengance is UN-human. Vengance is barbaric, unnecessary, violent and counter-productive. The idea that people are going to stop taking drugs, because of the death penalty, and that therefore drugs smugglers will cease to exist, is fantasy. You know that, and the Australian PM knows that, despite his call to Australians to refrain from smuggling BECAUSE of the death penalty in Singapore and elsewhere.
If we are to believe the story of this man, he smuggled drugs out of love for his brother who had incurred debts when he was a drug-addict. Nguyen was probably killed for trying to help his brother. Furthermore, by putting this man to death, you have inflicted terrible pain on his mother, his brother and the rest of his family and friends. Do they, if anyone, deserve such pain? For this reason alone, the death penalty is a vicious and hateful practice.
I would like to repeat my belief that executing someone is not only IN-human but also UN-human.

5.12.05

Roman Catholic priest defends marriage...

BBC

"To put beside marriage an alternative or what appears to be a perfectly approved legal alternative lifestyle I think does not help the institution of marriage at all."

Aliens in South Africa


Is this John Howard?

Freedom of Speech

Britain is going down the French path. While in France, criticising religion is included in the crime of 'inciting racial hatred', the UK government, which already has a 'racial hatred law' wants to bring in a 'religious hatred law'. While it is true, that as Rushdie writes, Britain is an 'exception to European secularism', secularism is not a safeguard for freedom of speech, as we see in France with the threats to sue the 'intellectual' Alain Finkielkraut for expressing his xenophobic and islamophobic opinions.

Guardian

Philip Pullman:

I'd better say why I would like to be free to criticise religion, and think about its effects on society, without fear of prosecution. Religion is something that human beings do. Like art, it's a phenomenon that has characterised every society we know about. Thanks partly to the Enlightenment, it's been possible in the past couple of hundred years or so to consider religions dispassionately, to look at their historical development, to examine their social effects, to appreciate the art they inspire, to question the philosophical implications of their claims to truth, and so on.

3.12.05

Robert Fisk on the BBC

BBC


Yes, my latest book is called The Great War for Civilisation after the inscription on the back of my father's World War I medal.
After WWI the British and French created the borders of Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia and the Middle East.
I've spent my entire professional career watching the people within those borders burn.

For me it's all about linking history with the present.

Oddly enough, that's true of Bin Laden as well, he talks about the Balfour declaration, the Sykes-Picot agreement and the loss of Andalusia to the Christians in the 15th Century.

It seems that in many ways, history haunts us and maybe we should all carry a history book in our back pockets.



I think I might become a born-again...


BBC

Forgiveness

Do I forgive them? At the point of death Jesus said 'I forgive them because they don't know what they did'.

The Sun believes her response is "too good" for the killers, who it says "deserve to rot in jail".

"Lets show the minority that this will not be tolerated. Let's show them that this is Huyton and Liverpool and the people here are different and special and they will do something about it."

I think forgiveness is paramount. Not only for the perpetrator, but fot the victim and/or the victim's family. I don't think one has to have religious faith to practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is not the monopoly of religion. It is a humanist belief too. However, is it possible to forgive if the perpetrator fails to ask for forgiveness? Seemingly, in this case, he has asked for it.
What the last comment shows, is that, despite what tabloids and populists would like us to believe, forgiveness does not mean tolerance of hatred and violence.

More on Dr Sentamu

The Times


The Ugandan-born Archbishop, who fled Idi Amin’s regime in 1974, said he would not be where he was today were it not for the British Empire and the English teachers and missionaries who worked in Africa.

And maybe Idi Amin wouldn't have got to where he was if it hadn't been for the British Empire...

Dr Senatamu on multiculturalism


The Times

“Multiculturalism has seemed to imply, wrongly for me, let other cultures be allowed to express themselves but do not let the majority culture at all tell us its glories, its struggles, its joys, its pains,” he said.

30.11.05

Is this Britain?

Statesman


One day recently in south Belfast a Catholic priest told a room full of Protestants that they were "like the Nazis". At about the same time in north Belfast a group of loyalists picketing a service at a cemetery threatened Catholic mourners that they would "dig up your graves". Sectarianism, the force that fuelled more than three decades of bloodshed in Northern Ireland, hasn't vanished with the coming of peace.
Perhaps the history of Northern Ireland is such, that we must be patient. Still, it is amazing that in this day and age, in Britain, such a case of segregation exists.

Support for moderate parties has evaporated and David Trimble and John Hume, never a happy match but at least able to sit in a room together, have given way to Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams.
I don't expect non-Britons to understand, but this made me almost piss myself laughing! Ok, I'd had a few too many glasses of Chardonay...

I wonder how many staunch supporters of bombing the shit out of innocent Arabs a long long way away would agree with tax-payers' money being spent on segregation within these beautiful isles...

I expect tomorrow, when I wake up with a hangover, I will regret my naivety...

Just a bit of fun

What about lesbians?


Washington Post

One has to wonder how the Catholic church defines being homosexual when you're celibate...does it mean playing Madonna albums to the congregation? Or serving rosé wine as the 'blood of Christ' perhaps...?

But in Rome, the head of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, said that the problems of homosexual and heterosexual candidates are not equivalent. Although many people think homosexuality is a "normal condition of the human person," he told Vatican Radio, it "absolutely contradicts human anthropology" and violates "natural law."
Right. And presumably rising from the dead three days after being buried is anthropologically natural...?

28.11.05

One step forward, half a step backward

Mainichi

"I only expressed my personal feelings, and it has nothing to do with my official duty as justice minister. It would be regrettable if it had caused misunderstanding, and I'd like to correct my earlier remarks," Sugiura said in a statement released an hour after his controversial statement.

A man is on the verge of being hung. Act now!

If you oppose the death penalty or simply wish to save a man let your voice be heard.

NAP-NT

On Friday 21st October 2005, Singapore's President Sellapan Ramanathan rejected Nguyen's call for clemency. The Singapore Government has announced that the execution will take place on Friday, 2nd December 2005. Unless a last-minute reprieve is granted, Nguyen will become the first Australian since 1993 to be executed overseas. Act now!

27.11.05

25.11.05

The Problem of Freedom

Philosophy Matters


“It is always our responsiblity to acknowledge where something has gone wrong, but never our right to punish.”

In God We Trust

LA Times

A lawyer recruited 29 people, including some from a Bible study class, to stage more than 60 automobile crashes on Los Angeles freeways and collected millions of dollars in bogus insurance claims, authorities said Wednesday.

Such crash rings are not new to Southern California.
A family of three burned to death on the Long Beach Freeway in 1996 in an accident linked to a crash ring.

Bigga Uppa Fleet FM!


Listen here

Special shouts to Hooch@31 Flavours, Scary D@Dead Air and Gwaan Gal! And a very special one to Larb-iful Sasa(-:

Woodward on The Leak

Washington post

Woodward testified before Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald last week but said the source would not release him from his pledge of confidentiality on the question of publicly discussing their off-the-record conversation.
Perhaps I am a tad naive, but since when do journalists (especially of Woodward's sature) need permission to disclose such vital information?

24.11.05

Hirsi Ali and Muhammed

Sappho

- You have said that you would like to make a muslim "Life of Brian".
"Yes, Muhammed is a much more colourful personality than Jesus. Such a film could be a learning instrument for muslims. There are some islamic films but they don't show the image of Muhammed and they are not really about him. They are more about how islam was established. I would really like to make a critical film about him. I could write a script very quickly."
Never mind about offending Muslims, as a Python fan, I am offended! I'd like to point out, that as I understand it, The Life of Brian was not a critique of Jesus, but rather of his followers up to this day.
That said, I would defend Hirsi Ali's freedom of speech to the death(no, not litterally!). What I would say, is that what needs to be fought is religious fundamentalism, not Islam.

If you refrain from making cartoons of Muhammed to accommodate Islamic intolerance, then you will go back to the time of Christian intolerance.
When would that be:at the time of Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ? Bush's 'crusade'?

22.11.05

The blog of a week

Brother Kenya's paradigm

Nightmerica is where we live now, citizens, five years on. It's a place from which, I'd like to think, we might some day awaken and find that it was nothing but a cautionary tale, but something tells me that's too much to hope for.

Permaculture ethics

Permaculture Reflections

All this leads us back to permaculture ethics, or, using Zizek’s approach, Permaculture’s guidelines for avoiding excess. The first tenet is to care for the Earth. Obviously, puerile fantasies of space colonization aside, we are all dependent on a healthy planet to sustain us. To endanger life on this planet is to endanger ourselves. This is clear enough. All life has an inherent value. Once this is recognised, thoughtless environmental destruction can be avoided. The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development is a step in the right direction: “In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied…”

The second tenet, contained within the first, is to care for people. People need access to clean air and clean water. To borrow from Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, [sensible, sustainable] housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

20.11.05

Terror compensation

BBC-File on 4

Tony Blair stepped in to speed up compensation for those injured in the London bombings - but other victims of violent crime have to wait years.
Speaking of Tony Blair's recent intervention to help the victims of the London bombings get their pay-outs quicker, Mr Reid said it would be an "injustice" for those out of the public eye to experience longer delays.
An important question is why are they out of the public eye? Why is the victim of a homophobic, racist or even of an Northern Ireland-related (see Omagh) attack less important than the victim of Islamist terrorism? Could it be, that it is more useful for the PM to express outrage at such attacks and sympathy for it's victims than in other cases?

Police deaths

I'll just send you to Colcam on this one.

I'll add this from Reuters.

Oh and on the killing of Menezes? Well, here's something from UPI:

The bullets, which expand and splinter inside the victim's body, were prohibited for military use under the Hague Convention of I899. However, the Home Office said Wednesday there was no restriction on their domestic use.

Oh right, so it's ok to use something domestically which is forbidden in warfare...twisted logic.


And anybody charged? Well not yet, it would seem...
BBC
The report will then be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service, which will decide whether to bring charges against any of the officers involved.

Jez takes on the plight of the elephants

News 24

There is a growing concern that the underlying motivation for the cull was profit from the sale of elephant meat, skin and by-products - estimated by The Earth organisation at R6,5m for every 800 elephants killed.

New births would ensure a stead supply of meat - and income - if the cull took place over many years, as was planned.

"This would of course explain the reluctance to fully explore contraception as a viable alternative, for contraception means no births, no meat and no extra income," said Anthony.
Now, I don't know much about elephants or nature conservation, but it seems to me the argument put forward by some, that we just don't understand that there are far too many elephants and that they are endangering other species, begs the question: is it perhaps not humans and human interference which is the problem? Perhaps a cull is needed.

Sparrow shot by TV company

BBC
Credit goes to Colcam

The bird's fate was sealed when it knocked over 23,000 and organisers feared it could knock down more. An exterminator cornered the sparrow and shot it.

The backlash followed as soon as the news got out - especially as the common house sparrow was put on the endangered list in the Netherlands last year.

That makes the shooting illegal, doesn't it?

But Big Brother creators Endemol said things started to get out of hand when staff started receiving threats.

"It was something we wish would never have happened at all," Endemol spokesman Jeroen van Waardenberg told the BBC News website. "But we made a decision because the project was very important to us and is to be screened in 16 countries."
Who cares about one stupid little bird compared to the international success of a domino-record programme?

"I just wish we could channel all this energy that went into one dead sparrow into saving the species," he said.
That's just plain sick.

17.11.05

Teenage abortion

The subject came up on Question Time last week. Should parents be told before a minor asks for an abortion?
What I find infuriating is that on sensitive cases such as this one many people seem to believe that one can give a simple 'for' or 'against' answer. There are many things to be taken into account. Parents obviously have a right to know when something like this happens. On the other hand a child has a right to confedentiality, and most importantly a child needs to be protected particularly in cases when it might be dangerous for them to let their parents know. It's just not the case, that parents are always fit to decide for their children. An 'outside' protection is necessary.
So, as with other issues concerning children, it is necessary to have flexibility with regards to laws.

Banksy by Jez!


Strange...I took this photo last year not knowing who the artist was. Then less than a month ago I saw this art work in Woody Allen's film Match Point. Two weeks later I come accross Banksy on the net and I think "that's familiar...". What's the all-seing One trying to tell me...?

Guardian vs Chomsky

A well-written piece in the Mail&Guardian (ZA)

But people like Brockes don’t like being told to use their heads. So people like Chomsky have to write books and books giving methodically “unsexy” detail about this, that and the other, and still get beaten with sticks by reactionary liberals in their own backyards, effectively (though this goes unspoken) for being heretics against the New World Order (which is not so different from the old one).

16.11.05

Guantanamo UN inspection

Daily Times

“The absence of a conclusive answer by midnight (2300 GMT) on Thursday will be taken as a refusal,” Nowak told AFP. “The situation is very clear: if the United States does not accept our conditions, we will not go,” Nowak added
Now that's what I call a threat!

Who knows this man Banksy?

Institutional racism in France

FT

Gérard Larcher said multiple marriages among immigrants was one reason for the racial discrimination which ethnic minorities faced in the job market. Overly large polygamous families sometimes led to anti-social behaviour among youths who lacked a father figure, making employers wary of hiring ethnic minorities, he explained.

“Since part of society displays this anti-social behaviour, it is not surprising that some of them have difficulties finding work ... Efforts must be made by both sides. If people are not employable, they will not be employed.”
This is in fact an attempt at minimising the responsinility of the government. However, it is evidence of racist attitudes among France's politicians. It is also a mark of disrespect to the French people, as it assumes we are a nation of racists.

Strange behaviour

Cross-dressing Hindu copper

Amazing, isn't it, how something like this can be deemed a 'mental problem', and yet kneeling open-mouthed before a man with a dog-collar who then proceeds to shove a bland piece of 'bread' into your mouth is deemed normal.

14.11.05

Bloody terrorists!

Watch video
Tony Blair on Football Focus on the BBC last week blamed increased security since september 11th for not allowing him to go to footie matches as often as he'd like to...honestly!those islamists really have it in for our culture, don't they?!

10.11.05

Incredible!

Last night on Newsnight, David Davis contender for the leadership came to the defense of Simon Hughes Lib Dem MP. Jezza Paxman asked in a disapointigly tabloidish fashion, how the Lib Dems would react if somebody died because of their opposition to the terorism bill. Hughes stuttered and in stepped Davis heroically. He made an astonishingly liberal intervention about the balance between police powers and civil rights. It was funny to watch Hughes feel compelled to reassert himself by attempting to temper Davis' stance.

9.11.05

Eco-bra


BBC

Being padded, the new bra packs a little more bulk than most regular designs, but the Japanese arm of Triumph insisted the look was more chic than sheep.

"We hope this will not only help prevent global warming but also provide a little fashion chic to the office," the company said in a statement.

The US offering to environmentalism

BBC

A spokesperson for the prince described lunch as an informal affair and said subjects discussed included farming and the Bush family's desire to farm sustainably on their ranch.

7.11.05

Neuilly

Indymedia

On riots in France

I may have been unfair on the media.
Times Online

This has in turn fed the rise of Muslim radicalism, which has now become the dominant creed of the young in the French ghettos.
There is definitely a risk that the discrimination against against minorities could fuel radicalism. The fact remains, that these riots are not 'race riots' nor are they 'islamic fundamentalism' on the march.

France has always deemed its model superior to the Anglo-Saxon approach of diversity, which has enabled ethnic minorities to retain strong bonds in cultural and religious communities. France calls this “comunitarism” and says that it promotes ghettos, exclusion, poverty, race riots and religious extremism that can ultimately lead to actions such as the London bombings.
The London bombings were linked to Britain's involvement in the war in Iraq. France has witnessed more Islamist terrorism than the UK. Using the ostrich approach to cultural and ethnic differences is the preferred French 'republican' method.

Some, such as Nicolas Sarkozy, the iconoclastic Interior Minister who is at the centre of the present crisis, have provoked outrage by saying that France should copy aspects of the Anglo-American model, starting with policies to favour the entry of ethnic minorities into education and jobs
And at the same time, he ignores the root of the anger, dismissing the rioting youth as 'scum'. This man is an opportunistist.

Both Left and Right see them as a breach of France’s republican tradition and believe that affirmative action would play into the hands of the anti-immigrant Far Right, led by Jean-Marie Le Pen.
The reality is discriminatory treatment from both socialist and conservative governments. Le Pen is but a scarecrow mainstream politicians love to use in order to rally the masses.

Jean Charles de Menezes

Colcam

Cressida Dick, "gold command" of the operation that led to the death of Jean Charles de Menezes in the bungled Stockwell tube shooting incident shortly after the July bombings in London, says she never gave the seven letter code word telling police they should kill.
Times online
Commander Cressida Dick, 44, the Oxford graduate who was “gold command” of the operation,
Oxford University or Oxford Brookes?
Police have admitted that there were difficulties keeping in contact with the police teams once they went underground at the station
'hang on aminute chief, I've got bad reception...what's that?Shoot?'

Investigators from the Independent Police Complaints Commission have been unable to use the radio transmissions to the marksmen to discover exactly what was said because they were not recorded, unlike 999 calls, which are kept.
How bloody convenient.

Ten officers including Ms Dick have been served with police regulation warnings that they may face disciplinary action.

6.11.05

Thankyou Radio 4!

I had been trying to think of a suitable translation for Sarkozy's 'karcherisé'. Well, the BBC reporter in Paris found it: 'cleaned away with a high power hose' (talking about what he's going to do to the the so-called youths of Paris' poor suburbs). Well, I suppose, if you have 'scum' and you don't want to scrub...

Revolution vs riot

When oppressed people in an enemy state take power in a revolution, Western governments and media applaud and talk of history in the making. When oppressed people in a client state stand up and resist, Western governments train the oppressors and give them weapons to murder the opposition. When oppressed people in a Western 'democracy' let their anger explode, 'our' leaders dismiss them as 'thugs' in areas which need to be 'cleaned up', 'our' media talk of 'Islamisation', and 'our' police move in, like the dictator's military, to suppress the anger.

And this from Fox News!

Anger was fanned days ago when a tear gas bomb exploded in a mosque in Clichy-sous-Bois (search) -- the northern suburb where the youths were electrocuted.
The unrest is forcing France to confront long-simmering anger in poor suburbs ringing the big cities which are mainly populated by immigrants and their French-born families, often from Muslim North Africa. They are marked by high unemployment, discrimination and despair -- fertile terrain for crime of all sorts and Muslim extremists offering frustrated youths a way out.
Government officials have held a series of meetings with Muslim religious leaders, local officials and youths from poor suburbs to try to calm the violence.
And now it seems that 'bearded Muslim brothers'(the words of a 'youth' interviewed on French radio)are acting as a 'proximity police force', trying to calm everyone down...As another 'youth' said, it shouldn't be their job, but that of the police, but not provocative police who fire tear gas bombs into a mosque.
So, it would seem that if anyone is encouraging Islamism in our immigrant suburbs, it isn't rioting, but irresponsible and provocative policing.

Fascists on the block

Yesterday, a march was held in memory of a man who was killed last week at the start of the riots in the suburbs of Paris. During the march members of an extreme-right-wing group, Bloc Identitaire, called for people to 'open their eyes' to those who 'don't like France, don't like the French'. Most of the marchers, were extremely angry about this sickening opportunism.

5.11.05

More Race Hatred


BBC

And, by the side of a swastika on the front cover, it said: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.
Poor sad people.

Race hatred

BBC

Leaflets were scattered, with insults against Muslims which were attributable to "Black Nation".
Is this a new kind of supremacism, or what?

Honour Killing

BBC

The pair met in 2003 through school friends, who described them as devoted to each other, with Miss Begum becoming pregnant in August 2004.
The girl must be crushed. I feel terrible for the younger brother too.

3.11.05

How bizarre!

Daily Mail

Just hours after Sun editor Rebekah Wade was arrested for assaulting husband Ross Kemp, the ex-girlfriend of his co-star Steve McFadden was also arrested for assaulting him.
According to the Sky News anchorwoman, who was bearly able to keep a straight face, it is not thought the two incidents were linked...

On Chomsky

Prospect


Chomsky openly admits he prefers "pacifist platitudes" to belligerent mendacity. This makes some wrongly charge that he is "passive in the face of evil." But neither apartheid in South Africa, nor Stalinism in Russia, nor military rule in much of Latin America were defeated or dismantled by bombardment and invasion. Chomsky had no difficulty supporting the ultimately successful campaign against apartheid, or for the Indonesian withdrawal from East Timor. He simply opposes putting US soldiers in harm's way—also meaning where they will do harm and acquire a taste for it.

Smoking ban

On the BBC's Question Time last week, a member of the audience said that he had the "right to do what [he] wanted"
Apart from one member of the audience, nobody pointed out that right stops with harming others unless it's in self-defense.

Artificially and undemocratically promoting a language


Economist via Livejournal

The Welsh Language Society, a pressure group that has seen many of its
demands incorporated into law, wants restrictions on house-building in
Welsh-speaking areas and a language act that would require businesses to deal
with customers in their preferred language.

Mitchell brother beaten by wife


Channel4

Missed this in the news...

Thanks to this hate site for bringing this to my attention.

Guardian

Zubeidi says he feels responsible. "I pray for her to be freed," he says. "Especially because she is a woman. Men are stronger - though Tali is stronger than all the men." He says Fahima is by no means the only Israeli to have visited him and maintains she never sought to assist in any acts of terror. "She never said she wanted to betray her people, to help me in an attack or anything , because that's a treacherous thing, and Tali is not a traitor. She came here to help the Palestinian people ... to help is not to attack her people."

2.11.05

Lazy journalism and integration

BBC

Days of rioting in the bleaker suburbs of Paris have highlighted discontent among many French youths of North African origin.

As part of a series on French Muslims, the BBC News website's Henri Astier looks at the issue of discrimination, a leading source of frustration in France's unemployment-riddled ghettos.
France's Muslims are not all of north African origin, and North Africans in France are not all Muslim. Kabyles are very secular. Is an aetheist American still described as a Christian? It is not possible to tell a person's religion from their ethnic looks or the sound of their name.

"People always talk of the need to 'integrate' Muslims. But the youths are French. Why should they need integrating?" asks Samia Amara, 23, a youth worker near Paris.

Mr Sabeg agrees that "integration" is just hot air. "What does it mean? Are some French people supposed to integrate and others to be integrated?"
Indeed. 'Integration' in France is based on a 'republican' ideal that everyone should fit in to a French republican mould, and suppress their roots and original culture. Despite being an island and a monarchy, Britain integrates not only immigrants, but also their original cultures.

His country, he points out, has no black or Arab TV presenters, and all MPs from mainland France are white.

Mr Valls is a firm believer in "positive discrimination" - a very un-French concept that is beginning to gain acceptance.
I disagree. The media, however, should show more images of multicultural integration in Britain and the US for example.

It's the Muslims!

YARGB

This looks like it might be the beginning of large scale clashes between Moslem youth and Police in Europe.
These are the words of someone who either doen't know what he/she is talking about, or choses to ignore the facts. While France's minorities are predominantly North African and Muslim, there is no such thing, in France, as a 'Muslim ghetto'. There is nothing to suggest that rioters in french suburbs are predominantly Islamic funadamentalists or that the riots represent a clash between Islam and Christianity.
Religious, cultural or racial profile has little to do with these riots, except in the sense that the majority of those parked in inhospitable areas of french cities are immigrants and their children born here.

Veils

BBC

"Some teachers would not see beyond the scarf and judge us - it's best if we have to take it off," says Siham, 15.
I agree. It should be a matter of choice, though.
But the key to the ban's success has been its enduring popularity. All political parties endorsed it.
There is, in fact a lot of opposition to the ban-and not only from Muslims. Many who oppose the ban are secularists and feminists-they oppose the ban because they believe in a school for all, regardless of beliefs, ethnicity or whatever. In France, school-children no longer wear a uniform. If the so-called republican leaders want to tell kids what they can and can't wear, why not bring back the uniform?

It remains contentious, not so much for the French Muslim community as a whole - which includes many secularists - but for youngsters with North African roots who have found a sense of identity through religion.
I certainly don't wish for violent reaction, but this law is yet another example of colonial and latent racist attitudes in France. This is not the sole reason for violence in certain suburbs of Paris, but I doubt it favours integration.

30.10.05

Dissent in the US


Indymedia

Tom vocally exercised his free speech rights which included a tee shirt with a powerful message, prior to being forcefully removed from Chrysler Hall by security personnel.
Tidewater peace activist, Tom Palumbo, of Virginia Beach was given an admittance ticket to President Bush's recent speaking event at Chrysler Hall.
That's democracy for you:get a ticket and support your president!
Bloody great T-shirt!

Kashmiris claim responsibility


Reuters India

A previously unknown Kashmiri militant group claimed responsibility for Saturday's serial blasts in New Delhi, television reports said on Sunday.


We can only imagine the pain.
I hope this doesn't lead to a backlash against India's muslims(or anywhere else for that matter).There may well be muslims among the injured and dead.
Pakistan and India are moving forward. India is, despite it's faults, a relatively good example of religious cohabitation. The president is muslim. The PM is sikh, and India almost had an italian born PM. Let's hope this relative harmony isn't broken.
It's important to remember, that just as nationalist Hindus don't represent Indians, fundamentalist Christians don't represent all Christians, and Israel doesn't represent Jews,neither do islamic fundamentalists and dictatorships represent Muslims.

29.10.05

Where was the UN?

Open your mind's eye

Usoooooo!!!!!!!

You Are a Henna Gaijin!

You're not Japanese, but you wish you were!
You can use chopsticks with your eyes closed, and you've memorized hundreds of Kanji.
You even answer your phone "moshi moshi."
While the number of anime videos you've seen is way higher than the number of dates you've been on, there's hope.
Play the sexy, mysterous gaijin, and you'll have plenty of Japanese meat.

Mais bien sûr!

You Should Learn French

C'est super! You appreciate the finer things in life... wine, art, cheese, love affairs.
You are definitely a Parisian at heart. You just need your tongue to catch up...

How sick!

BBC

The editor of the programme, which goes out on the Talpa TV station, said it was a shame Tanja was leaving because she had been "good television".

Iran

I can't believe there is even a debate as to whether Iran should be attacked after it's president's remarks over Israel. Anybody with half a mind knows his remarks were just that:remarks. Iran is not going to attack Israel. That would be daft to put it mildly-just as it would be daft for North Korea to attack Japan.
Iraq was attacked 'pre-emptively'.If the same happens to Iran, Bush and co. will just prove themselves to be the crazed fanatics that they are. These people have acted, whereas Ahmadinejad merely uttered words. Words which had they been uttered with regard to any other country than Israel, would hardly had been noticed. After all, the Islamic Republic of Iran has always(as farback as I can remember)called the US 'big Satan', and Europe 'little Satan'. Where's the difference? When are people going to get it in to their heads that Israel does not represent Jews? Israel is a state like any other, albeit a state defined by a religion, similarly to most middle-eastern states.

Apologies, yer highness

BBC

9. Prince Charles may not live the most carbon-neutral of lifestyles, but he does drive a hybrid car.

BINGO!

Now, this is funny.

Conservative Liberalism

I've finally understood what it is about conservatives and limited government. It isn't that they are some kind of right-wing anarchists who want to do away with government. No, they love government-just in the right places. As song as government gives to them and their causes, they are fine with government. If government defends minorities, the oppressed, those without money and/or power,it's called the 'nanny state'. However, if it gives to powerful oil barons, if it spends money building oil refineries, if it comes to the defense of powerful political and economic lobbies, then government is doing it's job.
The 'I'm for personal responsibility, not for intrusive government' argument is used to oppose those who call upon governments to defend the poor, the power-less, the planet.

Heroes of the day


Joe Wilson

Patrick Fitzgerald

God on Tv

BBC
Do communists believe in god?

"For me he is a god," Maradona said of the veteran communist leader.
Hero-worshipping?
He has a tattoo of the Cuban leader's face on his leg.

28.10.05

I'm in tears!(honestly)

BBC

Then there's Eddie Izzard, recounting how he saw a London Underground guard checking an unattended bag by shaking it: "Oh, Captain Clever! Rattle it, if it doesn't go off it can't be a bomb!"

And the king of sarcasm, Basil Fawlty, when Mrs Richards complains about the view of Torquay: "What did you expect to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom window? Sydney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically...?"

Burger Bill

BBC

The bill's opponents included California Democrat Bob Filner, who said the fast-food industry marketed fatty food to children and should take responsibility.
Indeed. Do we accept marketing of alcoholic beverages and tobacco to children? I don't think the fast food industry needs defending. As for the 'loony' cases of suing fast-food restaurants for spilled coffee etc., these cases are often used and abused by the fast-food industry to deride those who sue them.

Meanwhile...
Nutrition information will now be written on the majority of McDonald's product packaging using an easy-to-understand icon and bar chart format.
This is a positive step, but far from enough. If we know fast-food is unhealthy, marketing it, particularly to children, should be banned as it is in several countries with cigarettes&alcohol...

We want right to be selfish polluting b***ards!

I wonder if the tobacco industry finances the 'pro-choice' brigade...
Forces.org

Vancouver smoking ban disappoints tourist

I have been reading the Forces page for several months now as I live in California and my husband and I are both smokers. I thank you for taking the fight for choice into Canada as I have been following Vancouver's fight to outlaw smoking in their restaurants. We have found, in the past, that Vancouver, B.C. was a nice place to visit and on two past cruises have spent an extra day. I must say however if they continue this anti choice policy we will not be visiting again.

I must say that getting stuck in Vancouver airport's International terminal was much like the story related by the gentleman who was in the Seattle airport.

We just got back from a cruise in Scandinavia and Russia and I must say that their approach to accommodation is refreshing. For the first time in a long time we did not feel as if we were plague infested rodents, as in the United States. I hope it stays that way although I fear getting there on a smoking flight will be much more difficult as time goes on.

I have just received word that next year British Airways will go non smoking on their SF to London flights which they said they would not as they already have a completely non-smoking flight and one that is both. I have come to understand that since American Airlines and BA are talking a companionship and American went the way of non choice this year it is probably in the best interest of this partnership for BA to do the same and was encouraged to do so.

Keep up the good work as your partner in the Bay Area is doing and continue to encourage smokers to speak up as those ambivalent smokers are our worst enemy.

I don't know why people cannot see that today it is cigarettes, tomorrow it will be whatever the antis choose it to be. It scares me to think that my grandchildren might be living in a "police state." And everyone will look at the situation and say "Gee, how did it get this way?"

Thank you for listening.

-- Sheila L. Johnson

Taiwan and bird flu

Forbes.com

'We will continue efforts seeking a patent authorization from the Swiss company Roche to mass manufacture Tamiflu but the trial production will go ahead to meet emergency needs,' said Li Jih-heng from the health department.
The taiwanese government has taken the right course of action here. Let's hope it gets support if it is attacked by the big drug pushers, Roche.

27.10.05

More to the point

BBC

Tony Blair has expressed "revulsion" at the Iranian president's assertion that he wanted Israel "wiped off the map".
Would he have been so 'revulsed' if, say, Dagestan had called for, hmmm, let me think, Northern Ossetia to be wiped off the map? How about if Israel had called for Iran to be wiped off the map-would his choice of words have been so strong?
Call me 'anti-semitic' if you so wish. Don't forget to add 'self-hating Jew'.

Mr Blair added: "Can you imagine a state like that with an attitude like that having a nuclear weapon?"
The US is and has been a far greater threat to the world than Iran ever was. We all know the US has nuclear weapons, but that is not what constitutes it's threat. It's threat is foreign intervention and support of state terrorism all over the globe. But of course, that's 'our' kind of terrorism. I feel revulsion at your cynicism, Mr Blair.

The Eco-Prince


Beeb

"We should be treating, I think, the whole issue of climate change and global warming with a far greater degree of priority than I think is happening now," he said.
Yes, how's about getting the Rolls converted to LPG, yer HIGH-ness?

Alcoholism

BBC

"We're disappointed, there's been these awful bouts of drinking which have gone on and he's had all these other sorts of social problems," he said.
Alcoholism should be treated as an illness. Obviously, only the sufferer can decide to get help, but it should not be treated as merely a matter of will-power, as that would be to deny the seriousness of the affliction.

Have to comment on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Like he would shout it out loud in front of reporters and diplomats if he really planned to 'wipe Israel off the map'. Yeah sure. I wonder if the Foreign Office found Mr Bush's talk of 'axis of evil' or 'crusade' "deeply disturbing and sickening".

What happens when the media fails to check it's sources

PR Watch via A Logical Voice

Media Matters for America, began raising questions about the story, which by then had been cited in publications ranging from the Christian Science Monitor to the Wall Street Journal.
(...)
"He's cooked this whole thing up," Dunkley said angrily.

25.10.05

'Human Nature'

I have been moved to write a few deep thoughts of mine about the nature of Homo Sapiens.
Disclaimer:if anyone recognises themselves as having influenced this post, let no offense be taken!
Too often, one hears the phrase "It's human nature" or a variant of the "Humans will destroy the earth" kind. I'll be brief:it's a cop out. Either that or it's an attempt by those whom it best serves at 'brainwashing' the masses.
Personally, I don't buy the 'human nature' explanation. I am a human(or so it would seem). Yet, I do not view myself as one intent on destroying the MOTHERSHIP in order to satisfy my own greed. As far as I can remember, I have never picked up a weapon and lunged at my fellow human beings, and I certainly have never declared pre-emptive war on some guy/girl down the street 'cos he/she wouldn't play by my rules after I'd helped he/she beat up his/her neighbour.
What's more, I am a human being, and I am capable of rational thought. This means I am able to see the difference between what is right and what is wrong. I know that it is wrong for me to hate someone because they are of a different colour, religion, culture, birthplace or whatever. I know it is wrong to beat someone up because they don't live on my side of town. I know that ideally we would all live in harmony respecting each other's choices, tastes and opinions. In addition to that, I know many people who can see the difference between what is right and what is wrong. What I cannot understand is why among these people some continue to talk about 'human nature' being the root of all evil.
The war in Iraq was started by the US and UK governments with the help of big oil-not by the human race.
The Iran-Iraq war was a war between two sets of fanatical(in different ways)dictators-not by ordinary Iranians and Iraqis, and most definitely not by the human race.
Six million(give or take a few)jews were gassed by the Nazis, not by the german people, and not by the human race.
Need I go on ad vitam eternam?
I think the point I am trying to make is this: there are people who are responsible for atrocities and the destruction of our environment. We, the people are responsible for demonstrating our disaproval, and doing all we can to stop the pain, misery and environmental destruction going on around us, but we as humans are not responsible for the acts. There is much opposition to the evil powers that be, much of it in Britain and America.
It is all too easy and at the same time it is a magnificent gift to the elites to blame all the world's problems on 'human nature'.

24.10.05

Terrorist Profile

gizmonaut

Behavior. Does the individual act oddly, appear fearful, or use mannerisms that do not fit in? Examples include repeatedly circling an area on foot or in a car, pacing back and forth in front of a venue, glancing left and right while walking slowly, fidgeting with something under his or her clothes, exhibiting an unwillingness to make eye contact, mumbling (prayer), or repeatedly checking a watch or cell phone. [...]
I predict a few petty criminals are going to get shot. But they're expendible, right?

Update

BBC

All 117 passengers and crew of a commercial airliner which crashed on an internal flight in Nigeria on Saturday were killed, the government has said.
Beware of hasty news reporting...

23.10.05

It's a family affair

The Law and justice

Our aim is to build an inexpensive state - to do away with the waste of public money and corruption. As mayor of Warsaw, my brother has shown that public expenditure can be cut by several dozen percent.

Birmingham clashes

The Hindu


Riots erupted in the Lozells area of west Birmingham after members of the Afro-Caribbean and South Asian communities held a meeting Saturday over the alleged rape. The meeting was partially meant to calm tension in the community and encourage the 14-year-old girl _ reportedly an illegal immigrant _ to come forward.

Police State

Guardian
(with thanks to Colcam)

Under current laws the police are not only entitled to keep my fingerprints and DNA samples, but according to my solicitor, they are also entitled to hold on to what they gather during their investigation: notepads of arresting officers, photographs, interviewing tapes and any other documents they entered in the police national computer (PNC). So even though the police consider me innocent there will remain some mention (what exactly?) in the PNC and, if they fully share their information with Interpol, in other police databases around the world as well. Isn't a state that keeps files on innocent persons a police state? This erosion of our fundamental liberties should be of concern to us all. All men are suspect, but some men are more suspect than others (with apologies to George Orwell).