Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Migrant Workers Riot in Southern China

Hong Kong television showed seething crowds of migrant workers from the southwestern province of Sichuan running through the streets of Zengcheng, smashing windows, setting fire to government buildings and overturning police vehicles.
Riot police were shown firing tear gas on Sunday night, deploying armored vehicles to disperse the crowds and handcuffing protesters.
Witnesses said there were more than 1,000 protesters and at least one government office had been besieged.
Thousands of riots, protests and other forms of unrest break out across China each year over problems ranging from rampant inflation to corruption, a big wealth gap, industrial pollution, forced demolitions and abuse of power.
The Chinese Communist Party maintains strict political and media controls to quash any form of organized dissent.

The Tailor -presented by the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

Moonbat Dutch Reporter Can't Stomach Flotidiots

An eye-opening report from a Radio Netherlands reporter who really, really wanted to cover the Dutch contingent of the flotilla, but was turned off by their refusal to share any information.

I had been planning for the past three months to sail with the activists and report on their journey. But over the past week that I spent in Greece, I lost all faith in the Dutch Gaza Foundation which is responsible for the Dutch boat.

Things started going wrong from the very beginning. During our first meeting on the Greek island of Corfu, we received the usual latest updates, and then one of the organisers informed us that one of the Dutch journalists had leaked secret information to the most popular Dutch daily about the mission. She was furious: No one is as open as the Free Gaza Foundation, she proclaimed indignantly.

But I have worked as a journalist for the past 25 years, and never have I experienced such a closed organisation.

After this welcoming message, she explained the ground rules to us. There were many, many non-negotiables. "If you don't accept this, you can't come along." I wanted to make a video report, filming the two days of obligatory training sessions to convey a sense of how the activists were preparing for the mission. But the organisation declared numerous sessions off-limits. I and the other Dutch journalists present explained that we needed this footage to do our work. But she wouldn't have it. "I have worked with CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, and no one has been as demanding as you Dutch reporters."

Eventually there was a hand count and the activists voted us out of those sessions. We journalists all felt that a schism had been created for no reason. We also began to lose faith and trust in the organisation, both essential ingredients when undertaking such a risky trip.

I expressed an interest in joining the mission earlier this year when I heard that the Dutch were going to send their own vessel to Gaza for the first time. There would be over 30 participants, including prominent members of Dutch society. An Italian delegation with 20 people would also take part.

I then attended meeting after meeting in various cities in Holland. I had to be screened because - I was told - there were so many people wanting to travel to Gaza. When the organisers called to say I had passed the screening and been chosen as one of the select group of people who would set sail, I felt obliged to express my joy.

Now, back in the Netherlands, over three months later, I feel deceived. There never was a "select group". There were no prominent Dutch figures interested in joining Freedom Flotilla 2. Instead of 32 people from the Netherlands, the organisation managed to assemble just eight activists and four journalists. Yesterday [Monday], two more journalists decided to jump ship before the boat even left the port of Corfu.

Since day one, journalists, including myself, asked questions about the Dutch organisation and the boat, for example about the funding. Even simple questions about the ship's power supply for me to hook up my satellite transmitter. The answer was consistently: "I'll get back to you about that" or "we don't know". I'm still waiting for answers.

Yesterday morning I had a final meeting with the participants. I told the activists that given everything that had happened, they shouldn’t trust the organisation leading this mission. But all of them insisted the cause is too important to abandon. "We are going to break the siege and help the people of Gaza."

Good luck and bon voyage.
From the entire article it can be seen that the reporter was very sympathetic to Gazans and really wanted to help give his anti-Israel spin. But the Free Gaza members in the Netherlands were simply too hard to deal with.

The question is - did CNN, the BBC and other news organizations cave to flotidiot demands?
Elder of Ziyon

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Adam Curtis on Syria

Posted: 26 Jun 2011 12:35 PM PDT
From the fabulous British documentary film-maker Adam Curtis' blog:
What is happening in Syria feels like one of the last gasps of the age of the military dictators. An old way of running the world is still desperately trying to cling to power, but the underlying feeling in the west is that somehow Assad's archaic and cruel military rule will inevitably collapse and Syrians will move forward into a democratic age.
That may, or may not, happen, but what is extraordinary is that we have been here before. Between 1947 and 1949 an odd group of idealists and hard realists in the American government set out to intervene in Syria. Their aim was to liberate the Syrian people from a corrupt autocratic elite - and allow true democracy to flourish. They did this because they were convinced that "the Syrian people are naturally democratic" and that all that was neccessary was to get rid of the elites - and a new world of "peace and progress" would inevitably emerge.
What resulted was a disaster, and the consequences of that disaster then led, through a weird series of bloody twists and turns, to the rise to power of the Assad family and the widescale repression in Syria today.
I thought I would tell that story.
A great story well told — read it all. And you should also watch Curtis' latest documentary, All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace.

Why Did Egypt Reject Loans from World Bank and International Monetary Fund?

Posted: 27 Jun 2011 04:52 AM PDT
This post has been updated below.
It's a question whose answer escapes me. Egypt is facing an economic crisis in the year ahead, even if there are some signs of recovery from the dire months immediately during and after the revolution, and has a long-running fiscal deficit problem that's only getting worse. Why is it not taking money that comes fairly cheaply (in the sense of low interest rates and not many strings attached) and that it could use for some stimulus spending to accelerate the recovery?
Reuters reported:
Egypt will not borrow from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund after revising its budget and cutting the forecast deficit, even though a loan had been agreed, Finance Minister Samir Radwan said Saturday.
The 2011/12 deficit in the first draft budget was forecast at 11 percent of gross domestic product, but was revised to 8.6 percent because of a national dialogue and the ruling army council's concerns about debt levels, the minister told Reuters.

Will Blagojevich Usher in a Better America?

It took a special character to ignore his predecessor still sitting in prison. Regardless of penalty, Blago was full speed ahead to maximize his profits from the Senate seat formerly held by President Obama. He trusted his constituents would overlook his sins. After all, conspiracy is the last refuge of the prosecutor without a case.
For over a year he blabbed his intentions over the telephone, as if the Feds had given up wire tapping. He began with a few steps to carry through on his plans inadvertently opening himself for felony prosecution. He behaved as though he held the Senate seat and the right to dispose of it.
His first trial went as he supposed it would. The prosecution spread its work too thin and the jurors paid too much respect to the Office of Governor in Illinois.The second trial left him guilty liable for a potential three-hundred years in prison.
Blagojevich's final excuse was incompetence. Despite his efforts, he did realize a red cent for his trouble. He has earned the scorn of his cohorts more adept at crime.
The public may become more bold in prosecuting officials. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Corporations Have No Urgent Need to Create Jobs

Because unemployment is still so high and the recovery still so weak, corporations have plenty of workers and productive capacity to fulfill the tepid demand.
This is the same problem that John Maynard Keynes identified during the Great Depression – an economy with high unemployment can get stuck in a trough where people are fearful of consuming and corporations are fearful of investing. The answer then, and the answer now, is for the government to put the unemployed back to work doing the vital business of the nation, even if it runs up the deficit some more. We could use a vast army of workers to weatherize buildings and to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. These are the potential consumers that could spur corporations to create jobs.  
Les Leopold

Charade w Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant

Four Demands by "Moderate" Arabs for Peace Talks

Demand #1, complete halt to all "settlement" activity (which of course includes Jerusalem) was never a precondition of talks before 2008.

Demand #2, the 1967 borders as a basis for negotiations, was similarly never a precondition - it was what the PLO wanted as a result.

Demand #3, EU support for Fatah to be reconciled with unrepentant terror organization Hamas, directly contravenes the Quartet position on Hamas. Hamas' statements since the "unity" agreement proves that it has no interest in living at peace with Israel so this demand proves that the official PLO position is that they prefer Hamas to peace.

Demand #4, support for a unilateral state, is literally a demand to rip up the entire Oslo process.

And the "acknowledgement" he is asking from the EU is pretty much self-contradictory - if the PLO gets recognition as a state then the point of peace talks is moot. It also implies that if such a state was declared tomorrow, it would not be at peace with Israel.
Elder of Ziyon

Liberal American Jewish suckers - JPost - Opinion - Columnists

Liberal American Jewish suckers - JPost - Opinion - Columnists

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Some Tips for Americans to Live Longer

Adopt singlepayer national health plan and cut costs by 50% by eliminating health insurance companies.

Future wars should be limited in duration to 30 days. If the congress does not authorize the use of nuclear weapons, the enemy is not an existential threat.

All citizens should carry concealed weapons at all times. Thus, they should be responsible for crime prevention.

Releasing non-violent drug offenders from prison would cut the population by half. We need the space for white-collar criminals.

Guilty of sedition are mortgage fraud bankers, corrupt politicians who receive graft and bribed judges. Public execution is just and informative.

All citizens who lost homes from unjust foreclosure [toxic mortgages] should return to a house without encumbrance.

There are many more, but my mom taught me to play the devil's advocate only in short doses.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Police Officer Arrest Woman in Her Front Yard for Filming the Cops

Gaza-Bound Ships Pose Danger to Israeli Civilians

25 to 30% of Saudi Men Can't Get It Up

Al Quds al Arabi has two interesting stories.

One quotes a Saudi doctor and surgeon as saying that between 25% and 30% of all Saudi men suffer from erectile dysfunction. He also goes into detail about other problems Saudi men are having in the bedroom. He also noted that the percentage of Saudi men with ED have been steadily increasing over the past decade.

The other story is from Egypt. One of the new Islamist political parties that was illegal under Mubarak has a problem: their religious leaders ruled that they cannot appear on news programs where there are unveiled women, especially interviewers. This limits their ability to use the mass media to get support.

I wonder if the stories are related.
Elder of Ziyon

The vast majority of Saudi women suffer clitoris removal at birth. Thus, they lack the ability to enjoy many of the pleasures of sexual intercourse. If Osama bin Laden was in any way typical of Saudi men, he died with a large store of pornography in his rooms. This may explain part of his hostility towards Jewish and Christian religious adherents who do not deny their partners sexual pleasures.
Can't get no satisfaction? Have you ever f**ked a pumpkin? Multiplied by 72 virginal pumpkins, the effort fails to bring a thrill.

Princess of Africa Yvonne Chacka Chacka

Yvonne Chaka Chaka's musical career and philanthropic work have earned her the title "Princess of Africa" by people around the world. 

A singer for over two decades, she rose to fame during the height of apartheid with her infectious pop melodies and dance music. Since then, her music has spread across cultures as she has travelled to perform with top musicians, including Bono, Angelique Kidjo and Annie Lennox. 

Yvonne Chaka Chaka's passionate commitment to mothers and children in the fight against malaria earned her the honour of serving as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador. In her documentary film entitled The Motherland Tour she shares grassroots stories about this cause from across the African continent. 

Her philosophy is "when we are born we come with nothing and when we die, we die with nothing". Her dynamic energy and passion for life continue to inspire women and communities worldwide.
Source: Aljazeera

Friday, June 24, 2011

Murdered 13th Century Jewish Family Found in English Well

From BBC:

The remains of 17 bodies found at the bottom of a medieval well in England could have been victims of persecution, new evidence has suggested.

The most likely explanation is that those down the well were Jewish and were probably murdered or forced to commit suicide, according to scientists who used a combination of DNA analysis, carbon dating and bone chemical studies in their investigation.

The skeletons date back to the 12th or 13th Centuries at a time when Jewish people were facing persecution throughout Europe.

They were discovered in 2004 during an excavation of a site in the centre of Norwich, ahead of construction of the Chapelfield Shopping Centre. The remains were put into storage and have only recently been the subject of investigation.

Seven skeletons were successfully tested and five of them had a DNA sequence suggesting they were likely to be members of a single Jewish family.

DNA expert Dr Ian Barnes, who carried out the tests, said: "This is a really unusual situation for us. This is a unique set of data that we have been able to get for these individuals.

"I am not aware that this has been done before - that we have been able to pin them down to this level of specificity of the ethnic group that they seem to come from."

Eleven of the 17 skeletons were those of children aged between two and 15. The remaining six were adult men and women.

Pictures taken at the time of excavation suggested the bodies were thrown down the well together, head first.

A close examination of the adult bones showed fractures caused by the impact of hitting the bottom of the well. But the same damage was not seen on the children's bones, suggesting they were thrown in after the adults who cushioned the fall of their bodies.
(h/t T34)
Source Elder of Ziyon

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thousands of Visionary Nurses Confront Wall Street and Advocate for their Patients in Rollicking Wall Street Rally | | AlterNet

Thousands of Visionary Nurses Confront Wall Street and Advocate for their Patients in Rollicking Wall Street Rally | | AlterNet

Fullbright Scholar's Eyes Gouged Out Nose Bitten Off by Husband

Syeed Hasan gouged his devout wife's eyes out with his fingers and chewed part of her nose off in front of their young daughter. "There is a possibility that her husband will get away with it."
UBC scholar blinded by husband Vancouver Sun
Rumana Manzur as beaten, maimed and blinded last month in front of her daughter by her jealous husband in Bangladesh. Now UBC's president and others are rallying to support her and all women who are victims of domestic violence
Family and friends of a celebrated University of B.C. scholar who was savagely beaten and blinded in Bangladesh by her husband are calling for justice.
Rumana Manzur, 33, a Fulbright scholar from Bangladesh, has been completing a master's degree at UBC.
In May, she returned to Bangladesh to visit her five-yearold daughter and husband.
Shortly after her return, Manzur's husband brutally attacked her.
Syeed Hasan allegedly gouged her eyes out with his fingers and chewed part of her nose off in front of their young daughter during a bitter argument over her education.
Manzur was slated to return to UBC in August to complete a thesis on climate change.
Marleen deRuiter, a St. John's College residence roommate of Manzur's, described her as very devout, cheerful, caring and a doting mother who called her daughter every day in Bangladesh.
"She is very, very upset that she will never see her daughter again and there is a possibility that her husband will get away with it," said deRuiter.
Saif Islam, a UBC student who works on behalf of Bangladeshi students at the university, has been in contact with Manzur's family.
Islam said Manzur's husband attempted to evade the police and defended his actions by accusing Manzur of having an affair.
Manzur appeared on Bangladeshi television from her hospital bed to defend herself against her husband's accusations and plead for justice.
The accusations of an affair have outraged her family and friends, and Islam published an open letter from Bangladeshi families in Vancouver condemning the "baseless" assault on her character.
Islam said her husband, who is unemployed, attacked her and blinded her to prevent her from continuing her education.
Manzur's plight has drawn public protests in Bangladesh, where she was also a professor at the University of Dhaka.
"After protests in Bangladesh, and from St. John's College, [her husband] admitted he made up [the accusations of infidelity]," said Islam. "After assaulting her physically, he assaulted her character."
Islam, a PhD student studying domestic violence and women's networks in Bangladesh, said that country only recently passed a law protecting women from domestic violence.
"I have not seen any good enforcement of the law," he said. "I just saw her on TV. Her eyes were covered, part of her nose was taken off by her husband and there are bandages and bruises all over her face and hands."
Manzur's parents had her moved briefly to a hospital in India to see if her vision could be saved, but doctors said the damage was too severe, said Islam.

Honor Killing Fatima Abdullah

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Moral Imperative of Revolution

This piece in Foreign Policy, titled Everything You Think You Know About the Collapse of the Soviet Union Is Wrong is a great read to put the Arab revolutions in context. In the last few years of observing the Egyptian scene, I had become convinced that most of all Egypt was going through a moment of moral crisis and the moral collapse of the Mubarak regime's legitimacy. I still believe it was the key factor that made the January 25 possible. This passage in the FP piece, by Leon Aron, comes after an explanation of how the Soviet Union appeared solid in most respects, and is very instructive in that regard:
For though economic betterment was their banner, there is little doubt that Gorbachev and his supporters first set out to right moral, rather than economic, wrongs. Most of what they said publicly in the early days of perestroika now seems no more than an expression of their anguish over the spiritual decline and corrosive effects of the Stalinist past. It was the beginning of a desperate search for answers to the big questions with which every great revolution starts: What is a good, dignified life? What constitutes a just social and economic order? What is a decent and legitimate state? What should such a state's relationship with civil society be?
From Elder of Ziyon

"Death Sentence" for Israeli Dog

Perhaps the Daily Telegraph, Time, AFP and the BBC can be forgiven for running a story that was newsworthy simply due to its highly unusual nature. Making #1 on the BBC’s Most Shared list is testament to the interest that it generated.
But it doesn’t change the fact that even during relatively “quiet” periods in Israel and particularly when the main news stories are coming from neighboring countries such as Syria, some media are still compelled to publish stories that are not only negative but actually demeaning to Israel or the Jewish religion.
In any case, international media outlets should do the professional thing and follow the Israeli press in publishing corrections.

Honor Based Violence Under-Reported

women and the young girls are scared to death (literally) to report these horrible crimes that aew sanctioned in Islam, because the authorities are so Islamophilic. Would you go to law enforcement if you knew they would throw you to the wolves? As bad the situation might be, involving the kafir is a death sentence.
Just ask Banaz Mahood.
The BBC article focuses on ....get this, honor killing in the gypsy culture. Yeah, OK. Next they'll be doing a segment on gender apartheid in the bumble bee community.
Honour-based violence 'massively under-reported' BBC (hat tip Donald)
Domestic violence generic Honour-based violence can occur in many communities, police say
Police have urged honour-based violence victims to come forward after warning that many crimes go under-reported.
[...] The conference was organised by police and north Wales community safety partnerships.
Det Insp Kelly Isaacs said: "We want people to know it's on our radar."
Police said honour-based violence can cover imprisonment and murder, where victims are punished by their family or community "for undermining the accepted code of behaviour, thereby bringing perceived shame and dishonour on the family".
"It was very violent, very abusive... nobody wanted to listen”
Saima Afzal Campaigner
It also focused on forced marriages, where one or both spouses do not consent, or can not consent because of learning or physical disabilities.
DI Kelly Isaacs, said: "Whilst an awful lot of reported cases come from south east Asian communities, it's by no means confined to those communities.
"One case from any community is a policing priority for us as a force.
"One of our key issues is that these crimes are massively under-reported.
"We hope to give people the confidence to contact us. They need to know they can come and talk to us."