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Archive for January 30th, 2012|Daily archive page

Mind-reading scientists predict what a person is going to do before they do it – by Daily Mail Reporter – 1st July 2011

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2012 at 3:02 pm
It has long been a dream of both scientists and law enforcement officials alike. Researchers monitoring brain activity can now determine what action a person is planning before he carries it out. Although it is currently only possible to know what someone is going to do just moments before it happens, the implications of the breakthrough are huge. Scroll down for video Breakthrough: Researchers monitoring brain activity can now determine what action a person is planning before he carries it out Breakthrough: Researchers monitoring brain activity can now determine what action a person is planning before he carries it out Police, for example, would love to know what a criminal is intending to do during a tense armed stand-off. Lead researcher Jason Gallivan, of the University of Western Ontario, said: ‘This is a considerable step forward in our understanding of how the human brain plans actions.’
 
Over the course of a one-year study, volunteers had their brain activity scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while they performed one of three hand movements – grasping the top of an object, grasping the bottom of the object, or simply reaching out and touching the object. The scientists found that by using the signals from many brain regions, they could predict, better than chance, which of the actions the volunteer was merely intending to do, seconds later. One day soon? Christopher Walken in the 1983 sci-fi film Brainstorm, which follows a team of scientists who record their thoughts
 
One day soon? Christopher Walken in the 1983 sci-fi film Brainstorm, which follows a team of scientists who record their thoughts
 
Co-author Jody Culham said: ‘Neuro-imaging allows us to look at how action planning unfolds within human brain areas without having to insert electrodes directly into the human brain. ‘This is obviously far less intrusive.’ The new findings could also have important clinical implications. Mr Gallivan said: ‘Being able to predict a human’s desired movements using brain signals takes us one step closer to using those signals to control prosthetic limbs in movement-impaired patient populations, like those who suffer from spinal cord injuries or locked-in syndrome.’ The findings are published in the Journal of Neuroscience. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2010245/Mind-reading-scientists-predict-person-going-it.html
 
 
 
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As formal a Confirmation of existence of Neurotech as any. Combine this with Telecoms technology like the wirless cellphone and the Orwellian surveillance society is impossible to escape. Run for elections free minded citizens wherever you are with or without a political party backing you or set up one – the Mental Autonomy / Mentral Privacy Party along side or within your Green Parties.Pass bills and laws that prohibit such technologies, or freedom as we know it, will have ended.
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The Half-There House – by Ellen Gamerman, WSJ.com – 29th Jun 2011

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm
A 6,400-square foot home is half-buried in a grassy slope in East Hampton, NY. When Bob Stansel and Tammy Marek were planning their new luxury home here, they didn’t want to overwhelm the neighbors. So they buried half of it. Except for its arching corrugated metal roof, the unadorned modern structure built of concrete and glass barely rises higher than the grassy slope into which it’s built. More than 3,200 of the four-bedroom home’s roughly 6,400 square feet are located in a lower level, making the house appear more than twice as big from the side as it does from the front. Using subterranean construction to avoid restrictive building codes is a popular option in places like California’s Napa Valley, where home owners burrow underground for more space. But the couple here said their decision wasn’t driven by regulations; instead it was their own desire for a pared-down aesthetic. “I don’t think I’d want people thinking that was my dream of retirement, to build some monster,” said Mr. Stansel, a 65-year-old former mortgage banker who moved into the East Hampton home with his wife this winter.
 
“We didn’t want a bunch of expensive decorations on the outside.” On the property, Japanese maple and copper beech trees sit near a planted flat-roofed garage and grass driveway whose wide-set cobblestones look like part of the landscaping. Mr. Stansel took a 1,200-pound glacial rock, which he bought for $2,000 after becoming intrigued by its Alaska history, and trucked it from storage in Portland, Ore. to use outside as a garden feature. The owners filled the home with pieces chosen by an interior decorator. The interior is simple, reflecting the desires of Ms. Marek, a 52-year-old day trader and horse lover—the couple has four horses that are boarded away from home in Connecticut and Holland. “It’s more like a loft,” she said. The front door leads to an open plan living area with flooring made of Oregon black walnut and white Bulgarian limestone. A concrete slab marks the staircase, which is held up with a harpsichord-like row of steel cables. Arched glass walls surround the modern living room and lacquered wood kitchen, hugging the curve of the roof. Downstairs, a sitting area and den are lit by three pairs of 9-foot tall glass French doors around a lower courtyard. Mr. Stansel’s study and a general storage area, however, are in rooms without any direct light.
 
Architects are seeing more houses with unassuming façades that explode in size when viewed from the back, or homes split into multiple buildings so they’ll look less massive, or even homes that New York architect Lee Skolnick calls “McRanchions”—1950s ranch houses given luxury makeovers. “There’s a trend we’re seeing—it’s called ‘perceived thrift,'” said Chris Rose, an architect based in Charleston, S.C. “It’s kind of like the ladies going to Bergdorf’s and still buying stuff, but putting it in a brown bag.” Mr. Stansel had his fill when it came to towering properties: In 2009, he and Ms. Marek bought Canterbury Castle, a 1930s landmark in Portland, Ore. with a moat, drawbridge and turret, for about $290,000. They were already living in the house next door and bought the site as an investment. The city had deemed the crumbling edifice structurally unsound, clearing the way for the couple to raze it. Some locals were opposed, but the couple considered it unsafe and an eye sore. At the same time, Mr. Stansel and Ms. Marek were beginning construction on the Long Island house.
 
East Hampton-based architect Maziar Behrooz had come up with a design for the land’s previous owner, who was inspired by a photo of an F-16 fighter jet nosing out of an airplane hangar for the building’s shape. Mr. Behrooz dubbed it the Arc House, after the curve of the galvanized aluminum roof. Mr. Stansel was drawn to the home’s low-slung profile. The couple paid $1.25 million for the property down a long road lined with tall pines, and another $2.2 million for the building, Mr. Stansel said. Nearby, in a subdivision with meadows and fields for polo matches, a home is on the market for $2.9 million. The couple moved to New York because they thought it would make it easier to travel to Europe in their retirement, though they are considering spending the winters in Portland if they don’t find a buyer for their property there. Outside their Long Island home, a memento from their Portland past is now set into the ground. Two heavy stones serve as steps to a soon-to-be-built Zen garden—pieces of the castle they once owned.
 
 
 
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Isn’t this America land of the free? Why should there be a need for ‘ using subterranean construction to avoid restrictive building codes ‘ ? Which idiots write and ratify these codes? By the way in a certain 3rd world country the below abuse of residents is occurring : http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/1378/gambier1.jpg Vote them out and rewrite those codes! If you don’t have a good candidate, run for candidacy on the ticket of rewriting restrictive building codes ! Do not let them tell you what to do or how to build on your private land! Want lower taxes? Property assessments? Freedom from apartheid? Run for candidacy or find out which MP cannot be voted due to their oppressive social or political beliefs and unvotable desire to impose restrictive building (in some places DRESS – allow Burkha! Allow Nudism!) codes !

Three to hang for kidnap – by SRI VIGASHINI – 28th June 2011

In Justice, Law, Malaysia, spirit of the law, word of the law on January 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm
(newsdesk@thestar.com.my) JOHOR BARU: The High Court here sentenced three men to the gallows and two others were detained at the pleasure of the Ruler for kidnapping a schoolgirl three years ago. P. Steven, 26, P. Vicknes, 29, and R. Ravikumar, 22, were handed the death sentence for abducting a 13-year-old girl with the intention of getting a ransom of RM500,000 in Tampoi at around 11.20am on April 28, 2008. However, Judge Kamardin Hash­im ordered that two others, both 19, be detained at the pleasure of the Johor Sultan under Section 97(2)(b) of the Child Act 2001 because they were underage when the offence was committed. To the gallows: The accused being escorted out of the Johor Baru High Court after the sentence was delivered. According to the facts of the case, the victim was abducted while she was on her way to school.
The victim’s dad subsequently paid RM80,000 to the accused at a petrol station in Sungai Besi. S. Vijayaretanam represented Vicknes while Mohd Haijan Omar represented the other four. Both lawyers appealed for a lighter sentence. Mohd Haijan said the accused had not harmed the victim. “The victim was not injured and they provided her with food and clothes,” he said. Vijayaretanam said the victim was not sexually harassed. However Deputy Public Prosec­utor Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad said the offence was serious. They were charged under Section 3 of the Kidnapping Act 1961, which carries the death sentence or life imprisonment, as well as whipping. Earlier, nine accused were charged with abducting the girl but four were acquitted in April after the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case against them. All the accused were silent while the verdict was read out while some of their family members were seen weeping. The girl’s father M. Paramasivam, 48, who was present in court, said that he was satisfied with the judgment. “I accompany my daughter whenever she goes out as she is still afraid to step out of the house alone,” the businessman said. He added that he had also moved out of his old home as he was afraid for the safety of his family.
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The judge should punish according to the final ending of the situation. In this case the victimised family had a shock they would recover from in a few years at most. All were unharmed. But collectively these 3 people have up to 200 years of life taken away from them in a somewhat violent manner (hanging means that the neck is broken in a manner that kills via a noose). Is that a fair judgment, do the offenders learn anything?
To be lenient and even politically correct, the offenders could be required at very least to pay for any emotional or psychological stress quantifiable by some psyche personnel within the policeforce (this should not be  more than the entire value of the offender even if calculated by qualified panels of experts – we can’t have people demanding 100s of millions nor can people without the money pay damages that are impossible to foot , but we can ensure that the victims are protected from further abuse and compensated for any losses from the incident from any and all parties involved), offenders be put on probation having to report to a probation officer for a few months with a lifetime restraining order, preventing them from approaching the victims without permission from the court. At worst exile the offenders after a public apology at a public venue at Tampoi witnessed by any person’s interested in this case, probably media and judges, some relatives and busybodies.
Then extract some sort of compensation to the family, not more than will affect a reasonable living standard for the offender, as long as the victims require or as audited by some expert panel. Instead of imprisoning at taxpayer expense and making the offenders lose their lives quite meaninglessly with a fairly violent method, they could be made to pay out of their pockets (to some people loss of cash does not hurt them so for these people a tit for tat event could be more appropriate) or have the same done to them.
The offenders were greedy but not violent, nor did they imprison the victims so they should not be imprisoned in turn at cost to the taxpayer. This is a bad judgment IMHO as it is not equitable or commensurate with the suffering of the victims. Only the prison contractors benefit here. And conditions in jail are not necessarily appropriate unless we have fake ‘prisoners’ put into jail to mete out specifically tailored punishments – in which case the taxpayer loses again. Don’t hang, rehabilitate and let them live out the course of their lives, their mulling of the issue will be beneficial compared to a violent hanging and meaningless death.

NHS failed my dying father, reveals health secretary Andrew Lansley – by Daily Mail Reporter – 26th June 2011

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2012 at 2:58 pm
89-year-old was left in observation bay for days because no beds were available. Former pathologist discharged himself due to lack of care. Health secretary Andrew Lansley has told of his grief after his dying father was left in a hospital observation bay for several days because there were no beds available. Thomas Lansley, a distinguished NHS pathologist, died last year from cancer after spending the last six months of his life as an NHS patient. The health secretary, who was drawing up plans for NHS reforms at the time, said there were significant shortcomings in the way his father was treated especially during the final stages of the illness. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley was planning NHS reforms while his father Thomas, who was suffering from cancer, was one of the organisation’s patients Health Secretary Andrew Lansley was planning NHS reforms while his father Thomas, who was suffering from cancer, was one of the organisation’s patients Highlighting a lack of co-ordination between the many doctors and departments, he said he had been unable to work out who was in charge of caring for his father. Writing in the health service journal he said: ‘Those six months leading up to his death were very difficult.
 
‘I may have been secretary of state at the time but I still had a Sunday evening where I was trying to find him in the hospital that he had been taken to by an ambulance, and that took me about an hour and a half. ‘He was still in the observation bay next to the Accident and Emergency department for three or four days because they had no bed where he could be transferred to. ‘It was difficult – I’m the secretary of state for goodness sake – trying to work out, at any given moment, who was in charge. ‘Was it the GP… or was it at that moment the oncologist, was it the palliative care consultant, was it the hospice?’ Last month at a conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the National Council for Palliative Care Mr Lansley talked about how his father, who was one of the first scientists to work for the NHS, had found life difficult as a patient. He said: ‘He was in an inpatient bed in a community hospital and he discharged himself, because he thought, ‘Nothing’s going on here’.’ However Mr Lansley said that things improved in the final stages of his father’s illness and that he eventually had a ‘good death.’ He said: ‘Things at the end did get joined up. ‘When we talk about what does a good death look like, I have had a chance to see it’. His comments come as a report into end-of-life care is due to be published next week. It is expected to advise that the £104 million currently spent on emergency hospital admissions should be redirected into care for the dying in their own homes. While most people say they would like to die on their own home, currently four out of five die in hospital. Thomas Lansley, who was 89 when he died last November, ran a pathology laboratory in London from 1955 to 1983.
 
 
 
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If not that the Health Secretary was allowing his father’s natural death to be used in a propaganda story to justify so many other abuses or shortfalls in the English system, the neglect in the system itself is unbelievable and when it affects even a pathology lab skillef medical person shocking to the extreme. England is really gone. Little wonder the issues with the English economy. This is what nepotism and lack of meritocracy does to a nation. Very chilling that it even affects the Health Secretary!?! Falling through the cracks personified . . .

Net neutrality enshrined in Dutch law – Associated Press – 23rd June 2011

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm
Netherlands becomes first European country to ensure web providers cannot charge more to access certain services. The Dutch parliament has approved a new net neutrality law that will ensure free access to services such as Skype The Netherlands has become the first country in Europe to enshrine the concept of network neutrality into national law by banning its mobile telephone operators from blocking or charging consumers extra for using internet-based communications services. The measure, which was adopted with a broad majority in the lower house of parliament, will prevent KPN, the Dutch telecommunications market leader, and the Dutch arms of Vodafone and T-Mobile from blocking or charging for internet services like Skype or WhatsApp, a free text service. Its sponsors said that the measure would pass a pro forma review in the Dutch senate. Analysts said the Dutch move could shape the evolving European debate over network neutrality and push other countries to limit operators from acting as self-appointed toll collectors of the mobile internet.
 
“I could also see some countries following the Dutch example,” said Jacques de Greling, an analyst at Natixis, a French bank. “I believe there will be pressure from consumers to make it clear what they are buying, whether it is the full internet or internet-lite.” The Dutch restrictions on operators are the first in the EU. The European commission and European parliament have endorsed network neutrality guidelines but have not yet taken legal action against operators that block or impose extra fees on consumers using services such as Skype, the voice and video service being acquired by Microsoft, and WhatsApp, a mobile software maker based in California. Advocates hailed the move as a victory for consumers, while industry officials predicted that mobile broadband charges could rise in the Netherlands to compensate for the new restrictions. “We support network neutrality,” said Sandra de Jong, a spokeswoman for Consumentenbond, the largest Dutch consumer organisation, based in The Hague. “We don’t think operators should be able to restrict the internet. That would be a bad precedent.” Only one other country, Chile, has written network neutrality requirements into its telecommunications law. The Chilean law, which was approved in July 2010, took effect in May. In the US, an attempt by the Federal Communications Commission to impose a similar set of network neutrality restrictions on American operators has been tied up in legal challenges from the industry.
 
 
 
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This is MERELY the internet. Try ensuring that the REAL LIFE nations are not allowed to charge beyond a certain amount. People are having land alienated or even made bankrupts when they cannot pay extreme assessments while nepotism and GLC collusion destroy free enterprise and impoverish the population. DO NOT VOTE PLUTOCRATS and NEPOTISTS into political power. The whole point of this article makes it look like life is fine. But this is just on the internet, abuses and loopholes occur throught REAL LIFE SOCIETY at every level, there is no neutrality IRL (in real life) and that should be the concern of everyone, net neutrality is fine but without REAL LIFE neutrality, we still live in a prison.

A royal salute to the Commonwealth – Telegraph – 1st Jul 2011

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s tour of Canada is reaffirming the strength of one of the great global institutions, says Peter Oborne as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend a Canadian citizenship ceremony in Quebec. There is no mistaking the overwhelming affection with which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been greeted on their inaugural royal visit to Canada. That is, in part, because everything they are doing resonates with a shared history. Take their first engagement: a visit to Canada’s National War Memorial was a poignant reminder that Canadian troops had served alongside the British in the two great world wars of the last century. Government House, where the couple stayed in Ottawa, was visited by King Edward VII when he was Prince of Wales, in 1860. In 1951, Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip were entertained there, secretly bringing with them a draft proclamation in case George VI, already very ill, should die while they were away.
 
The crowds who have flocked to see William and Catherine are surely sensing this profound link between our two nations. Alexandra Anghel, who waited five hours, articulated it very clearly after meeting them: “William’s lineage is amazing, he’s walking history – I can’t believe I saw walking history.” She was absolutely right. When the second in line to the throne travels to Canada, it is like visiting family rather than some foreign country – not least because his grandmother, the Queen, is head of state in Canada. Such is the invisible strength of the Commonwealth, the association of independent countries that emerged out of the wreckage of the British Empire at the end of the Second World War. For many years it has been automatic in progressive circles to sneer at the Commonwealth as a meaningless relic of our imperial past. New Labour, with its hatred of British history, symbolised this attitude. Tony Blair, for example, never took the Commonwealth Conference – the remarkable biennial event attended by heads of government from all 54 Commonwealth countries – very seriously.
 
This was because the Commonwealth never fitted into New Labour’s relentless modernising vision. Blair regarded traditional British values and identities as xenophobic, if not racist. Indeed, the Commonwealth does not rate a single mention in his autobiography, whereas there are endless pages devoted to the United States and the European Union. But I would argue that it is Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s poodle-like relationship with the United States, and the former’s slavish worship of the European Union, that now looks out of date, while the Commonwealth is more relevant than ever. Consider the facts: just under two billion people, approximately one third of the world’s population, live in Commonwealth countries. More than half of them are under 25. They come from every continent and subscribe to every great world religion. The Commonwealth is cheap:the cost to Britain of our membership is barely 20p per head, and a fraction of the £50 per head swallowed by the European Union (and that’s before the money spent by Britain bailing out bankrupt eurozone countries). It is true that the Commonwealth lacks a heavyweight administrative machine, unlike the European Union, the United Nations or Nato, but in the 21st century this may well be an advantage. The nature of diplomacy is changing very fast. With the gradual fading of the United States, and the semi-collapse of the European Union, we are moving away from a world dominated by one, or at most two, great powers. Instead, we have entered an informal world of independent but nevertheless interrelated nation states. The Commonwealth is ideally suited to this new world, with its multitude of informal connections, many stretching back centuries. Furthermore, the Commonwealth is devoted to the promotion of humane and democratic values.
 
But unlike the neo-Conservatives, it does not try to promote these values through invasion. It uses quiet diplomacy and gentle pressure. Pakistan, for example, was quietly induced back into the Commonwealth after its membership was suspended following a military coup in 1999, something that, given current concerns about that nation, we should be very grateful for. There is one urgent cause for concern, however. The central reason for the success of the Commonwealth has been the Queen. She is the talismanic figure at the heart of it all, and has been present at every Commonwealth Conference for the past 60 years. She knows most Commonwealth leaders personally, and many of them are now old friends. When she dies the Commonwealth will be thrown into crisis. Handled in the wrong way, the institution will swiftly collapse. Certain things will have to change. There is no hard and fast rule that a British monarch should be head of the Commonwealth, as the Queen has been. Indeed, there is an argument for selecting the next head from among one of the other member states. Ten years ago that choice was obvious, and Nelson Mandela would have been chosen by acclaim. There is also no reason why the Commonwealth should continue to be based in London, home of the Commonwealth Secretariat. Last year the Marquis of Lothian, a former Conservative Party chairman and shadow foreign secretary, made a radical proposal: “Britain should accept that centring the Commonwealth in London leaves it open to accusations of carrying the shades of empire. It should be re-based in India, which itself has the potential to become a powerful inner core of a living network of relations that cross continents and have unparalleled global reach.”
 
Lord Lothian’s suggestion opens up an alternative vision of a future British foreign policy. We would no longer be tied so closely into Washington and Brussels, two connections that have served us so badly over the past two decades. We could look instead to a wider world, and indeed a Commonwealth based in democratic Delhi could prove an important counterbalance to the stealthy rise of totalitarian China, as it seeks stealthily to build its regional influence in the Far East through the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Over the past few decades Britain has been unlucky in its leaders. With only a few exceptions they have been hostile or blind to British history. The two greatest offenders were Edward Heath, who led us into the European Union, and Tony Blair, with his uncritical connection with the United States. Throughout this period our political class has turned its back on the traditional network of alliances, and the Commonwealth has only really been sustained thanks to the immense personal charisma of the monarch. Fortunately, the Cameron government is starting to engage once more with the Commonwealth after more than two decades of neglect (even Margaret Thatcher fell out with the Queen over Thatcher’s refusal to take the Commonwealth seriously). Amazing to relate, but during all the New Labour years not a single British foreign secretary visited Australia or New Zealand, two of our oldest and closest Commonwealth allies. William Hague travelled there earlier this year, the first foreign secretary in 17 years to do so. His prime purpose was to prepare for the forthcoming Commonwealth conference, to be held in Perth.
 
Meanwhile, Mr Cameron sent out a welcome personal signal that he values the Commonwealth by making his first major foreign trip as prime minister last summer to India. Not for the first time, the Queen has been wiser than her politicians. Although it is rooted deep in our history, the Commonwealth is in truth an organisation ideally suited to the 21st century. She has sustained an institution which retains great value. It is important that other members of her family understand this. For while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first choice of a foreign country to visit is welcome, their second is regrettable. They are travelling from Canada to the United States. They are guaranteed a warm reception, but for the wrong reasons. They will be fêted as celebrities, not welcomed as members of a family of nations with which we have common values. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are the most glamorous young couple in the world. They have the capacity to do great things, not just for the monarchy but also for Britain on their foreign trips and it is the Commonwealth countries that should be their priority in the years to come.
 
 
 
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A royal salute? More WWI style like propaganda. ‘Them krauts is comin’. Blimey!’ Krauts from within or without, let the reader decide! With 4/5ths of the world population being non-Anglo, making up less than 5% of trade worldwide (circa pre-crisis 2009), and $8.981 trillion debt (circa 2010), and only the 7th largest economy worldwide. it is inappropriate that a single family from this country hardly a leader in ANYTHING (from reports even the legal system there is collapsing from inability to legislate) head the so-called Commonwealth nations. Why not the King of Saudi Arabia? Why not the Emperor of Japan? Or any African King or extant Indian Maharaja? How about the King of Morocco? King of Thailand? Try the Agong of Malaysia even. Do these personages need to be under the Commonwealth which will ALWAYS be headed by the Windsor family who’s parliament has resulted in a country that has consistently been complicit in incursions in the Middle East for the last 2 decades? This a dated remnant of neo-colonialism, even as super powers of the BRICS are leading. Why should the leader of the Commonwealth (or is it common ‘poverty’) be a Windsor (aka half German Saxe-Couburg-Gotha who changed their name to avoid being lynched by the English locals during WWI/II when Adolf was preparing to overrun England)? I say either OPEN that position of Head of Commonwealth to OTHER non-white ROYALS or disband the anglo-glorifying organisation. To be fair, all the above mentioned Royals should head the Commonwealth in turn (a life term multiplied by the number of Royal families from all ethno-political regions that is . . . ) before the Windsors (Gothas) lead the Commonwealth again (600 years at feels about right . . . see the Windsors in 2611 ). Share the leadership of the Commonwealth or lose credibility with the Multipolar World Order.

Yingluck, Asia’s new flavor and Pakatan has Malaysia’s reply – Nurul Izzah – by Wong Choon Mei, Iskandar Dzulkarnain – 5th July 2011 (Malaysia Chronicle)

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm
 
 Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailand’s new and first woman prime minister, is now the hottest name in all of Asia. Not only because this is a landmark political change for Thailand, but also because of her ‘X’ factor, her special oomph due to a combination of fantastic youthful looks and charisma. It remains to be seen how Yingluck performs as a leader but she has already won the hearts and minds of the Thais. In Malaysia, we have someone waiting in the wings. She is not yet ready , not for a few years more but she is definitely a potential with a capital P, much to the chargin of another youth rival, UMNO’s Khairy Jamaluddin. Of course, we are talking about Nurul Izzah Anwar, the daughter of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim. She is young, ambitious, bright and has all the qualities needed to lead. Especially the ones that have gone missing for ages in the scandal-tainted Malaysian political scene – integrity and honesty. Even so, within the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition, there is so much talent, she will have to wait her turn. However, in the wake of the Yingluck victory, Izzah had better prepare for the UMNO spin mills to churn plots and conspiracies aimed at sowing dissatisfaction amongst the Pakatan leaders. Why do you think some former UMNO leaders were so kind as to start an Izzah-for-PM campaign if not to shoot poison arrows and to demoralize the other deserving candidates in Pakatan? But Izzah is smart enough to catch this. She also knows she has to tread carefully. One of the main reasons is that supporters in Pakatan tend to be more realistic than those in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s UMNO-BN. Especially rife in UMNO is the culture of hero-worship, while dynastic politics is also the order of the day. In fact, no one can be prime minister of Malaysia except for Najib cousin’s Hishammuddin Hussein, Mahathir’s son Mukhriz and then back to Najib’s son. In between will be the seat warmers like Abdullah Badawi and soon-to-be-PM Muhyiddin Yassin.
 
Even wannabe Khairy Jamaluddin, Badawi’s son-in-law who tried to break into the old-boys-club, has slim chances and the only way for him would be to use a lot of money if he seriously wants in at the very top. Talent parade As hero-worship and family politics still rule the local scene, Nurul must be very careful she does not trigger the same sort of crticism for the Pakatan and her own PKR party. Even though she is a first-time MP, her passion for truth and capacity for hard work has set her apart. But people being people, they are to bound to say she got there the easy way, through her famous dad and mum. And this is why she has had to work all the harder. But surely, if Izzah continues, she will get somewhere one day. Who amongst the women in Malaysia has really been successful so far – Rafidah Aziz? Ng Yen Yen, Shahrizat Jalil? Would you vote for them? Within Pakatan though, women who can give Izzah a really tough challenge are many and these include, Dr Siti Mariah Mahumud, Lo’Lo Ghazali, Teresa Kok, Fuziah Salleh and the very gutsy Zuraida Kamaruddin. If we take away the gender wall, there are even more talents she has to get past. Her male contemporaries would include include Azmin Ali, Nizar Jamaluddin, Mohamad Sabu, Lim Guan Eng, N Surendran, Nik Nazmi, Tian Chua and Tony Pua, Khalid Samad and Dzulkefly Ahmad. These are just some names plucked because of their visibility. What about those still unknown and still waiting to be honed? In 10 years or so, when current batch of top leaders – Anwar, Hadi, Kit Siang, Karpal, Nik Aziz, Chua Jui Meng – give up their positions, the current second-liners must step in. Nurul and Co. would be ‘old’ faces by then. Spine of steel But for now, there is a quest for excellence that she and her colleagues must keep chasing and not rest on their laurels. Youth is wonderful but to govern a nation, maturity is essential especially political maturity. Or Pakatan would become like Najib and the UMNO elite, resorting to Datuk T and Commie plots to stay alive.
 
Pakatan Rakyat, when it comes to power, must make sure it stops emulating extinct UMNO culture and transform the nation into a democratic government that embraces new politics. Malaysians must start getting used to younger and more energetic leaders helming the nation. Age and gender should never be the criteria but obviously, aspirants must be fit, healthy and above all honest and accountable to the people. It won’t be so soon for Nurul and she still has to prove herself. One reason why some ‘evil’ people tried to make her compete against Azmin the PKR No. 2 post was to try and make her overconfident and become arrogant like Khairy. But Wan Azizah, her mother, has done a good job. Search for Izzah and you find a lady – tall, skinny, a little bit geeky and very determined. But rooted to the ground and very filial. This is why her enemies failed. Even so, she must be careful because more and more devious tricks and traps will be designed for her in the days ahead. This was why some of her colleagues advised her not to go for the vice-presidency so as not to fuel the image of UMNO family politics in PKR and to shield her from harm before her time really comes. But she is too popular and the members demanded her inclusion. Not surprisingly, in a one-member-one-vote election, she topped the list. After winning, she has been smart enough to hold back and watch and learn from her more experienced team-mates. Truth be told, it is very easy to gather experience. It is an essential quality but should never be used as a tool against her or other young leaders when their time comes. But our guess is she will be too smart to rush for it. With fresh looks, new ideas and an energetic ‘corporate’ feel on her side, Izzah has the potential to lead the country to new heights and put it on a more credible international footing. Malaysians are looking for a more moderate, modern and functional democracy. And Izzah should be able to achieve this for them. She has the political will and courage to make the break from the past.
 
Don’t underestimate her youth, there is steel in her. And she doesn’t blow with the wind. All she needs is a competent team drawn from the three Pakatan parties to help shape vision, strategy and execution. Riding on the Izzah gravy train On a personal level, she is married with 2 kids and juggles her political career with her family life. She is also academically well qualified, with a Masters degree from the United States. She speaks flawless English, which will help Malaysia’s international image. Although even if she couldn’t, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. She is also musically inclined, able to sing and play the guitar. She is a down-to-earth person, who is already a hit with the people. Like her famous father, she can hold an intelligent argument, articulates well on most platforms and issues and writes well. Just like Anwar Ibrahim, she can unite the Pakatan Rakyat although the coalition is already settling down and less glue than before is needed to get the parties working together. Yingluck’s win must have set alarm bells ringing in Putrajaya, with the top bosses and their strategists furiously plotting ways to fend off the new and unwelcome threat of young opposition leaders catching fire with the masses. They will surely try to neutralize Izzah’s instant appeal. Like Yingluck, she has a face worth a million votes, and Pakatan Rakyat is lucky to get a chance to ride on her gravy train. It is possible UMNO Puteri is now under pressure, and Umi Hafilda would have been an option if she was 10 years younger and had made less a villianess of herself. These are changing times. New trends have to yet to settle but the people have reached a point where they know what they want. It is inevitable Malaysians will follow the flavor of the world despite the hyperactive machinations of the existing ruling regime. In fact, the more they show their hand, the greater they instil in the people the sense and urgency for change. So political Malaysia – at the highest echelon – will not remain the domain of men. Unlike UMNO’s Hamidah Othman, who once famously said, women can never be chief ministers, Malaysian women will stride out. They are unstoppable! Watch this trend unfurl in GE14 and 15. – Malaysia Chronicle
 
 
 
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
 
“Not surprisingly, in a one-member-one-vote election, she topped the list. . . . With fresh looks, new ideas and an energetic ‘corporate’ feel on her side, Izzah has the potential to lead the country to new heights and put it on a more credible international footing.”
 
HOOOOOIIIIII Hold your horses you LIARS !!! That election quorum was only 8% rather than a 66% minimum. HONEST REPORTING PLEASE. This is OLD UMNO style politics, NEPOTISM style. Zaid is the honest one, because he left PKR in disgust. Chegu Bard is the honest one because he refused the PKR-VP’s post. Another one or 2 other MPs who at least protested are the honest ones because they were unsupportive. This ra-ra family oligarchy nepotism rubbish has to stop. Also Yingluck is a blight on the Thai political scene and a damning confirmation of the uneducated voter mentality in Thailand. Read the below if you are educated enough to grasp what I post : Try this one in relation to NEPOTISM on top of a failure to address seperation of powers, they can’t even seperate family from political party :
 
(1) If Thakshin becomes the PM, Yingluck cannot become PM in succession, or a dynasty will be formed and will set a bad example to politicians who lack the ethics to want the same. Love your family but not at the citizen’s expense. Not having the PM’s post in one’s family for generations is no sacrifice. Millions of Thailandns do not have the opportunity, so why should they vote for people who do not see the harm it can cause. If they do this will not come to past, but if it does (Thakshin as PM then Yingluck as PM in turn), then be prepared to vote for a 3rd Force Coalition for Pheu Thai merely replaces the existing Oligarchy of BN. This is what PM Badawi intended for Khairy in Malaysia and makes Pheu Thai citizen no better than Barisan in Malaysia. Nepotism is a sickness affecting too many of Thailand’s politicians, and their supporters know no better than to egg them on. This will create conflict of interest and make Pheu Thai’s governance and ethical paradigms untenable and begin a trend towards neopotism that will end in much misery for the people. Even blocs of MPs from the same family are causing conflict of interest in Parliament as of now. Only Tok Guru has had the statemanship and sense of ethics to demand his son-in-law to step down rather than fette him for leadership in PAS or GLCs.
 
(2) Anyone can look good on the podium, but to apply ethics and prevent conflict of interest via nepotism is the preserve of a handful of rare men like Tok Guru whom must propagate awareness of such ‘creeping individuals’. There are no such things as good actors. Only good roles.
 
(3) This country belongs to all Thais, no single family or group of families must be allowed to reserve seats much less the PM’s post, directly or indirectly because it insults the people’s intelligence. Why should they allow you to become a dynasty? Why not run as independents on this premise of preventing dynasties alone? In fact all those who have had MP posts in should step aside after they retire (or train UNRELATED proteges specifically to prevent conflict of interest to continue their good work) so that other families of this nation (names not of that current ‘MP Family’ via Oligarchy and reserved seat so unsubtle . . . ) can experience governing a nation and share that pride further among the populace in a manner that distributes this indirect influence having a PM or a former PM in a family offers.
 
(4) This right to be an MP or PM is to be shared by all Thailand citizens and if sequestered within ONE family, or a group of families results in Oligarchy and subsequent Dictatorship – not by 1 family but 222 families or less if you count the blocs of relatives within parliment and the personal networks that ultimately become oppressive of the people in time. (Google ‘Unmoderated Malaysian’ + The column that wasn’t – Marina Mahathir)
 
(5) Not having sons and daughters or relatives take up relinquished or retired seats is the essence of First World thought, this is the way REAL democracies must apply safeguards against nepotism to prevent conflict of interest, via strict and ethical politicians. I hope this warning will be taken to heart by the voters in preventing an Oligarchy or Fiefdoms and successive reservations of MP-ships or worse still Ministries and the DPM’s or PM’s post. There are unwritten rules clearly evident in application of ethics and prevention of conflict of interest via nepotism, and some of us aware will ensure that Dictatorship via an Oligarchy does not come to past. We can all be supportive of Thakshin or Yingluck alone (but only after both parents have retired) being PM, but not both in succession one after the other on the PM’s post. We also do not appreciate the fact that Thakshin, Wan and Yingluck, Kit and LGE, Karpal and Dio, Ngeh and Nga and a few others are forming the same family bloc style governments in PR as BN had. But if this continues when they become the mainstream dominant party, to intend to have Yingluck become PM after Thakshin becomes PM will result in the early death of Pheu Thai.
 
(6) Could Pheu Thai citizen promise the people they will not create conflict of interest via nepotism after they gain power? Likely Tok Guru is already there in such understanding and statesmanship, what of the rest? This country belongs to all of us equally, please ensure all of our families have achance to have had arelative who was PM or Minister or MP. The citizen expects the best from REPRESENTATIVES voted by citizen, not conflict of interest and nepotism via reservation of seats. FINALLY Yingluck (like her BN countepart KJ) is too young to be PM and if Thakshin becomes PM (like Pak Lah has earlier before . . . ), then Yingluck should never be PM to prevent nepotism and oligarchy. It was nepotism that tore BN apart as the sons of former PM’s fought for the future right to be PM, while they were fighting they became so weak that Pheu Thai easily took over as the non-nepotists within BN and the citizen became disgusted with BN and went to Pakatan seeking a difference.
 
Thakshin/Yingluck trend is no different from Pak-Lah/KJ trend. Beware you nepotists of Pheu Thai! You’re headed down BN’s path . . . If Yingluck means business, she will ensure the best for her fellow citizens by sacrificing her ill gained opportunity to be PM to set an example to all would be Oligarchs within Pheu Thai citizen and even BN. There is no shortage of arrogance among Pheu Thai citizen’s MPs and adun as of now, this fetting of Yingluck as PM after Thakshin’s PMship could be the straw that breaks the Pheu Thai camel’s back – do not test the tolerance of the citizen, administer and form no dynasties or the individuals mentioned could also get out of Pheu Thai and let ETHICAL statesmen arise to govern Thailand . . .
 
Otherwise we will need to vote for a 3rd Force coalition instead with best invites to a most respected and ethical PAS party to join 3rd Force and lead by example (though minor technicalities remain unclarified) We do not need nepotists tearing up DEMOCRACY, they will find they have bitten off more than they can chew. Remove these feral political animals from our midst ! I do not care even if English Caucasian neo-colonial crowds love them. They are HARMING DEMOCRACY ! This shameless and bold faced promotion of a dynasty in waiting has gone on far enough, beware the teeth of the citizen, we will not tolerate a second BN via this NEPOTISM . . . just imagine if an Ayatolla appointed his son as the next Ayatolla, same thing with PMs or Heads of Political parties ! NO TO CONFLICT OF INTEREST ! YES TO ETHICS ! YES TO EQUALITY ! YES TO FREEDOM !
 
***Shame on you. How could you betray the citizen with nepotism? Ethics and conflict of interest are something you have yet to learn . . . I’d rather deal with negotiating about an Islamic State than mindlessly accepting a far more dangerous Nepotistic State, for people lacking ethics will stop at no lengths to retain power and even murder with C4 in time to come . . . I will concede that Nurul  could be a leader IN THE CASE that no PKR second liners who have had no relatives in PKR fail to become popular enough.
 
The ethical choice for Thailand would be someone causing the LEAST conflict of interest, and between Yingluck who has had her brother as PM (even after they retired), and an unknown second liner Phuey Thai Paty member (don’t tell me there isn’t anyone?!?), the latter would be a better choice simply by lack of having an advantage via oligarchy. Those who have had all the opportunities MUST ALWAYS defer to those who have not. And that would be true leadership being displayed, not this cult of family/mindless follower mentality promulgated by supposedly ‘erstwhile’ cybertrooper article writers and the globalist hegemonists.
 
Talk about 3rd world mentality in unprincipled treatment of politics and lack of statesmenship in Thailand! Thai voters your memories are short, did you forget that Thaksin tried to defraud with the aid of SingTel USD$1.9 billion from the Thai people with Yingluck in Charge of Thai Telecom? Do you know who the SingTel counterpart was who colluded with Thaksin’s son and sister, now PM? Lee Kuan Yew’s son both exact parallels an colluding to harm the citizens of both nations. If you cannot put 1 and 1 together, then you will get ZERO for your country as the international collusion destroys you and your country in time. Why do you encourage this Wong Choon Mei? HONEST REPORTING PLEASE. If this is a feminist foray for you, then readers, you already know where this is childishly leading. Gender politics cannot override GOOD and ETHICAL POLITICS. Nurul has no business in politics until both her parents are no longer active in politics and if Anwar does become PM, Nurul should not in tuen become PM as well, we might as well be back in Pak Lah’s time when KJ was slated to be OM immediately after him but dr.Evil wanting Mukhriz tore UMNO apart internally even as hatred for APARTHEID grew. This is a promotionary propaganda piece for PR by Wong Choon Mei and Iskandar Dzulkarnain neglecting so many facts ! Tsk tsk tsk, a Pakatan Rakyat Information Ministry in the making !
 
*** Commentary : This response was not allowed on Malaysian Chronicle. Most Information Ministry worthy. I am disappointed that instead of refuting or rebutting, Malaysia Chronicle has decided to be an authoritarian media portal favouring PR and ignoring the citizens’ comments. Beware voters, as mentioned many times before, it could be critical that Selangor and Penang MUST be controlled by neutral parties neither BN nor PR dominated, and East Malaysia controlled by East Malaysian local political parties ONLY, with the remainded left for Pakatan Rakyat, OTHERWISE Pakatan Rakyat with its burgeoning nepotists and oligarchs will become a second BN. The treatment of the comments in complete removal and censorship, are an indicator of the mentality that Pakatan Rakyat likely has. As in the title of this dishonest article, Yingluck is indeed like Nurul – both nepotists and from oligarch form political parties. #rd Force, Independent MPs, remove the 50% of nepotists from Pakatan by challenging them ! http://www.activistpost.com/2011/07/thailand-globalist-stooge-returns-to.html A RELATED REPOSTING WARNING ABOUT NEPOTISM : Please note the Oligarchs in Pakatan as listed below : NEPOTISM IN PAKATAN RAKYAT Three of the below must be challenged so that only a single candidate without relatives remains : Lim Kit Siang (MP Ipoh Timur – Perak) Lim Guan Eng (MP Air Puteh – Penang) Chew Gek Cheng (Assemblyman Kota Laksamana – Malacca) Guan Eng’s wife Lim Hui Ying Guan Eng’s sister (Vice-Chairman) Two of the below must be challenged so that only a single candidate without relatives remains : Karpal Singh (MP Jelutong – Penang) Gobind Singh (MP Puchong – Selangor) Karpal’s son Jagdeep Singh (Asssemblyman Dato Keramat – Penang) Karpal’s son Two of the below must be challenged so that only a single candidate without relatives remains : Anwar Ibrahim (MP Permatang Pauh, Seberang Prai) Wan Azizah Nurul Izzah Anwar(MP Lembah Pantai – Kuala Lumpur) Anwar’s Daughter Also either Ngeh (Pantai Remis) or Nga (Sitiawan) must go to prevent 2nd degree nepotism and the kind of environment that caused DAP’s Kulasegaran, PKR’s Gobalakrishnan, to be kicked out possibly an act of racism but more likely at the order of the Lim Dynasty clique. BN of course we do not need to discuss, blocs of relatives galore. Nepotism: Umno controlled by 3 families. – by Patric McClean http://macleanpatrick.com/category/published-articles/page/6/
 
For even stronger consideration, I also list seats that HRP demands : 1. Padang Serai (Incumbent: PKR – N Gobalakrishnan) 2. Batu Kawan (DAP – Ramasamy) 3. Sungei Siput (PSM – Dr D Jeyakumar) 4. Ipoh Barat (DAP – N Kulasegaran) 5. Bagan Datoh (BN – Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) 6. Cameron Highlands (BN – SK Devamany) 7. Hulu Selangor (BN – P Kamalanathan) 8. Kuala Selangor (PAS – Dzulkefy Ahmad) 9. Klang (DAP – Charles Santiago) 10. Kota Raja (PAS – Siti Mariah Mahmud) 11. Rasah (DAP – Anthony Loke) 12. Teluk Kemang (PKR – Kamarul Baharin Abbas) 13. Alor Gajah (BN – Fong Chan Onn) 14. Tebrau (BN – Teng Boon Soon) 15. Lembah Pantai (PKR – Nurul Izzah Anwar) HRP might very well be aware of some things we are not aware of to list some surprising choices as well, do not discount their reasons. PSM’s Jeyakumar appears to have been bought by BN though, so their viability is uncertain until PSM’s clique leadership changes. I have done some probing and casual calls to PSM, they are not very grassroots, DAP of course (also tried earlier) is far worse and absolutely TREACHEROUS and clique based and beholden to SINGAPORE’s PAP. I would not be surprised if the nepotists in DAP are rounded up a 2nd time, for collusions with Singapore to subvert Malaysian Federal authority instead amongst other things like ‘neurotech abuse’. Everyone else, should meanwhile stand as independents in any constituency with bad assemblymen or MPs or people who do not endorse term limits and asset declarations. Here’s something that will help voters decide if candidacy is not their thing or too expensive : Barisan – Apartheid, Corrupt and Nepotistic-Oligarchs Pakatan – Corrupt and Nepotistic-Oligarchs (excepting PAS) 3rd Force – Corrupt Only (watch Marina’s cliques as well) Pick the coalition with the least flaws. End the APARTHEID ! Destroy the Oligarchs in all political coalitions ! 3rd Force is best.

Projecting the preferred image – by Marina Mahathir – 6th July 2011

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm
Deliberately causing problems to solve a problem is an entirely ingenious idea, like blocking the Penang Bridge just to show how inconvenient a demonstration can be. SINCE the subject has come up so often recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about our country’s image. In the first place, why do we even think anyone else spends much time thinking about us? And secondly, when they do, why do we even care? Obviously we do care since we seem obsessed with it. And the main reason seems to be that if we did not have a good image in the eyes of foreigners, they won’t invest in us or visit us and therefore we’ll become poor. Our standard of living, therefore, depends on what people think of us. It rather reminds me of those days, when some people said we should not have any public campaigns on HIV/AIDS in case foreigners think we DO have the epidemic here and therefore won’t come. We never thought that maybe foreigners might think better of us if we admitted we might have a problem but we are doing something about it, rather than be yet another country which prefers to sweep things under the carpet. When it comes to the image of a country, it really depends on who you talk to. Of course, we should be proud that we are almost a developed country with almost first-world facilities: great airport, great roads, good shopping malls.
 
We also have fantastic food and fairly hospitable people, especially to foreigners with money. We may not be very nice to those without money, such as migrant workers and refugees, but we don’t care about them. Unless, of course, their governments decide to stop sending domestic workers and we face the grim prospect of having to clean our own toilets. On the other hand, we seem pretty unconcerned when our image gets a battering all round the globe for attempting to whip women for drinking in public, actually whipping them for having babies out of wedlock, forming clubs for obedient wives and sexually harassing women for allegedly breaking immigration laws. Or declaring poco-poco haram in one state out of 13. I guess we don’t mind people laughing at us, as long as they still spend their money here. So image, just like justice in this country, is a moving target. It’s whatever we make it out to be. While we complain about men who ride their motorbikes dangerously on the streets when nothing is happening, when we need them we simply put red T-shirts on them and call them patriots. We should really send them to international conventions overseas as patriotic examples of Malaysian citizens. They must surely do wonders for our image. We should also send those fine people who blocked the Penang Bridge the other day just to show how inconvenient a demonstration is, to conferences on innovative ways to solve problems. Surely, deliberately causing problems to solve a problem is an entirely ingenious idea! Yes, Malaysia’s people, especially its leaders, really do wonders for our image overseas.
 
Apparently as a moderate Mus­lim country, we have absolutely no qualms about behaving just like the less-than-moderate ones, the ones who are quite happy to turn thugs and tanks onto their own people. We jeer at Western hypocrisy that supports tyrants and dictators when it suits them, but we don’t seem to be much different ourselves. Our image of ourselves must sometimes mirror the image of those we want to attract. We want to attract the deep-pocketed tourists from the Middle East and China, governments who also don’t look kindly on demonstrations. Therefore, not tolerating demonstrations here is just part of our marketing strategy, just like providing airport announcements in their languages, encouraging little Arab villages in the middle of the city and other amenities to make them feel at home. Perhaps we should mention it in our travel ads: “Come and shop in Malaysia. “We shall ensure nothing will block your route to the malls”. Our leaders are such intellectual giants that the concept of freedom and human rights has been distorted and diminished to only mean freedom and the right to shop and make money. I love it when certain leaders defend their right to shop in places they have not stepped into for decades. The sudden concern for the petty traders, mostly foreigners, who have not benefited from their wallets all this time, is so touching. So it depends whose image we want to emulate. In developed countries, millions can march peacefully and nothing happens to the economy. In fact, their economies have been devastated more by smart-suited bankers than any street demo against the ensuing austerity drives. Perhaps, in defining patriots and traitors, we should look at suits rather than T-shirts.
 
 
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I am concerned that while posing as one of the good guys, this daughter of one of the worst policy makers and dictators in history yet to be brought to book, has NEVER mentioned APARTHEID against the minorities in any direct manner very much the same way Tengku Dr. Harris and Raja Petra Kamaruddin of MCLM have yet to (Marina is a committe bearer in that outfit though). She has though mentioned feminism in an apartheid manner but never spoke out against the method of acquisition of the massive wealth of her parents or brothers either.
 
 
Shows that Nepotism triumphs over honesty to the people. One more reason never to vote for family blocs in government. They will not look after citizens’ interests, they will be looking after their own family interests. Nepotism is especially bad in the 3rd world with the people egging them on as well because they too are too selfish or uneducated to see the difference – as in Yingluck’s recent taking of te PM’s seat in Thailand.
 
 
Let’s put it another way, APARTHEID is APARTHEID and you might as well vote your own relative as MP or PM (followed by yourself upon their passing??? Think Nuruls and KJs and oligarchies or nepotists and family blocs in political parties . . . ) than anyone else’s relative. In which case you would be no better than these very same self serving people. NO to sequestration of political seats within 1 family !

Does Michelle Obama Know About This? – abundanthope.net – 7th July 2011

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm
Oak Park, Michigan: Their front yard was torn up after replacing a sewer line, so instead of replacing the dirt with grass, one Oak Park woman put in a vegetable garden and now the city is seeing green. The list goes on: fresh basil, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, cumbers and more all filling five large planter boxes that fill the Bass family’s front yard. Julie Bass says, “We thought we’re minding our own business, doing something not ostentatious and certainly not obnoxious or nothing that is a blight on the neighborhood, so we didn’t think people would care very much.” But some cared very much and called the city. The city then sent out code enforcement. “They warned us at first that we had to move the vegetables from the front, that no vegetables were allowed in the front yard. We didn’t move them because we didn’t think we were doing anything wrong, even according to city code we didn’t think we were doing anything wrong. So they ticketed us and charged me with a misdemeanor,” Bass said . . . City code says that all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other suitable live plant material. Tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are what Basses see as suitable. However, Oak Park’s Planning and Technology Director Kevin Rulkowski says the city disagrees. He says, “If you look at the dictionary, suitable means common. You can look all throughout the city and you’ll never find another vegetable garden that consumes the entire front yard.”
 
So what is suitable? From another local news report: . . . we asked Rulkowski why it’s not suitable. “If you look at the definition of what suitable is in Webster’s dictionary, it will say common. So, if you look around and you look in any other community, what’s common to a front yard is a nice, grass yard with beautiful trees and bushes and flowers,” he said. God forbid your yard doesn’t include beautiful trees, bushes and flowers. It’s your job, Oak Park citizens, to give Kevin Rulkowski pretty things to look at. According to Bass’s blog, she’s demanding her right to a jury trial. So the city plans to throw the book at her. Our attorney spoke to the prosecutor today. (for the record, my crush on him is totally finished after today.) – His position: they are going to take this all the way. Officially, this means i am facing 93 days in jail if they win. No joke.
 
***Commentary by readers :
 
@| peoplerrrstupid | July 8th, 2011 at 8:30 am What a stupid, clueless f. ing city worker. THIS is what’s wrong with our country. Come tell me what I can plant in my yard, and I’ll politely show you the quickest way to get the eff off property.
 
A) I applaud the woman for demanding her right to a jury trial.
B) the prosecutor’s office should be ashamed of itself.
C) The city planning guy should to, but he’s obviously too stupid.
D) I hope some nice lawyer will donate his/her services to this woman and offer to counter-sue the city for their malicious attack on common sense.
 
my letter to mayor: Dear Sir, After reading an article about your city and your prosecution of a woman for growing vegetables in her front yard, I am shocked and embarassed that this can happen in America. With all of the green initiatives that municipalities are pushing these days, this woman should be held as a model. Furthermore, your staff is an embarassment, especially with his statements that “suitable” means “common” according to his dictionary. He must have a completely different dictionary than the rest of America. As a matter of fact, the vegetable garden meets the very definition of the word in so many ways. As a suburb of Detroit, I would think that there are more serious issues facing your community than whether or not a woman grows a vegetable garden in her front yard. With today’s budget issues, I am not sure why you are employing a staff that has nothing better to do. Its a waste of tax payers money, its bureaucracy run amock…you work for your citizens, not the other way around. Not that you guys are alone with that issue. Get rid of these wastes of space and possibly hire more police officers, or for heavens sake possibly stick the money in the bank. Now there is a novel concept for government. As a citizen, I can tell you that I would respect and vote for a mayor who came out opposed to such ridiculousness and guided his overzealous desk jockeys back on task. Please step back away from your ordinances and your red tape and your career municipal officials and just look at this issue and how ridiculous it is. Thanks, James
 
 
 
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I’m beginning to hate USA when I read articles like this. Where are the Hell’s Angels or Black Spades or even the Woodstock citizens of USA? Whats going on with you guys in ‘the West’? Run for candidacy and don’t let up fighting against such abusers and bullies. Sue the police department and Oak Park’s Planning and Technology Director! Can’t grow veggies?!? Whats wrong with them? This is psychological warfare, identify people who act like that and vote them to hell ! Oh heres an example of the same kind of behaviour in Malaysia too. See the link below : http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/1378/gambier1.jpg I suggest Julie Bass go to Amnesty International and file for refugee status to see which country would allow her to migrate for being persecuted andf threatened with a jail term. Anyone from UNHCR want to contact Julie Bass? I think she needs help and that Oak Park needs to be sued for something related to Human Rights.

Alasdair Thompson, New Zealand CEO, Fired for Sexism – Huffington Post – 6th July 2011

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2012 at 2:44 pm
Alasdair Thompson, New Zealand CEO, Fired After Linking Women’s Workplace Productivity To Menstruation, Childbirth The head of a major New Zealand employers’ group has been fired after implying that women were paid less than men because they took more sick leave due to menstruation. As the BBC is reporting, Alasdair Thompson of the Employers’ and Manufacturers’ Association (EMA) made the controversial comments on June 23 radio program. “Who takes the most sick leave? Women do, in general,” he said during a debate on recent figures that showed New Zealand women were paid about 12 percent less than men. “Why? Because once a month they have sick problems. Not all of them, but some do. They have children that they have to take time off to go home and take leave of.
 
Therefore it’s their productivity. It’s not their fault.” Thompson then went on to note, “I’m sorry, I don’t like saying these things because it sounds like I’m sexist, but it’s the facts of life.” Though Thompson reportedly apologized for the comments, that wasn’t enough for EMA, which was quickly bombarded with calls to ax the CEO. “After having considered this matter for some time the board believes Mr Thompson is no longer able to continue as CEO of the organization,” EMA official Graham Mountfort said in a statement, according to the National Business Review. “We regret that Alasdair’s role with the EMA is ending in this manner, especially considering the contribution he has made over the past 12 years. However under the circumstances the board has had to make this difficult decision.” New Zealand Women’s Affairs Minister Hekia Parata told the BBC on Wednesday that people would be pleased there had been a resolution. “I think that it’s been pretty clear from the response that the remarks made were unacceptable to a wide range of people and my own experience of talking to businesses and across the country is it was a generally felt view that they were unacceptable,” she said.
 
 
 
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Morally correct, ethically wrong. A week’s suspension and formal apology maybe would have been better? Though CEOs are overpaid and deserve no sympathy for their sequestration of wealth, this treatment of Mr.Thompson is extreme and should result in a lawsuit by Alasdair Thompson who should use the analogy of ‘an eye for an eye’ or ‘a tooth for a tooth’. In this case a private apology for a slight would be appropriately equitable and a public apology would be more than enough. Taking away the man’s job is just wrong and far more than ‘an eye or a tooth’.