Marzouki at Oasis: Christians, Muslims, Jews and atheists, all brothers in Tunisia – by Bernardo Cervellera – 06/20/2012 14:50
The Tunisian president reiterates the point that freedom of conscience is the basis of the Jasmine Revolution in his country. This means the right to change religion or have none at all. The transition is difficult in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Arabian Peninsula and Morocco. In such places, conversion and baptism are prevented by fear of what consequences they might entail. However, the Arab revolution has changed people’s mindset, carving greater space for the individual rather than the ‘Ummah’. The West has failed to understand what is taking place.
Tunis (AsiaNews) – The “destiny” of the Arab Tunisian revolution is to welcome “Muslims, Christians, Jews and atheists” as “brothers”, everyone with full citizenship. This is the pledge Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki made at the meeting of the Scientific Committee of Oasis currently underway in the Tunisian capital. Marzouki, who was himself a prisoner and an exile because of his activism in the field of human rights, returned home from France at the time the Jasmine Revolution. Last December, he was elected president with a huge majority. Upon hearing about the Oasis meeting, he decided to meet the representatives of the Committee to reassure them that the Arab revolution is not driven by Islamic fanaticism, but by democracy and a desire to integrate the religious rights of communities and the rights of individuals. “Freedom of conscience” would be protected, including the right to change religion or have no religion at all.
Towards freedom of conscience
What the Tunisian president said challenges a (pessimistic) view that is widespread in the West, namely that the Arab revolution is inevitably moving towards the Islamisation of North Africa and the Middle East. Marzouki was critical of this (Islamophobic and neo-colonialist) stereotype that is prevalent in Western media.
Still, some months ago the president did defend the conviction of two men who had been accused of “insulting the sacred” by posting images deemed offensive of Muhammad online. At the same time, he slammed the conviction on “blasphemy” charges of the makers and actors of the movie Persepolis in which God is shown reciting like any other actor.
For Marzouki, such dithering is inevitable in a country negotiating a path towards a certain “balance”. From this point of view, Tunisia’s journey is no different than that of other countries, torn by conflict over the place to be given to the sacred in society.
To illustrate his point, he mentioned the debate in the United States about Article 1 of the constitution (which mentions God the Creator that some would like to remove), abortion and homosexuality, a demonstration by French Catholics against an offensive show, and tensions in Italy over the presence of crucifixes in public places.
As he received a round of applause from those present at the meeting, the president reiterated that the foundations of his country must be freedom of conscience and that religious affiliation is no business of the state.
Social problems in Egypt and Libya
The situation is more contradictory in other countries stirred by the Arab revolution, Egypt above all. Here, a political majority constituted by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists is engaged in a power struggle with the military and economic power of the Armed Forces.
Various witness who spoke at the conference, including the spokesman of the Egyptian Catholic Church Fr Rafic Greiche and Dominican Fr Jean-Jacques Perennes, noted that many of the promises that came out of Tahrir Square (full citizenship for Christians and Muslims, freedom to build places of worship, an end to discrimination) did not materialise.
Fr Samir Khalil pointed out that in Egypt people voted for Islamic parties because they have no point of reference to decide other than their religious affiliation. What is more, 40 per cent of the population is illiterate.
Nevertheless, speakers said that among Egyptians, people are increasingly wary of “religious” discussions (on what is lawful or unlawful, on anti-Christian bias or morality). A majority of them would like to see political leaders, Muslim included, work to solve problems like unemployment, housing, public transit and education.
Unlike Tunisia, the revolution in Egypt has not moved forward by much. The country is in a stalemate with the military and the Muslim Brotherhood involved in a power struggle.
The same is true about Libya. After the fall of Gaddafi, the country has been affected by low-intensity chaos. Promises of freedom by the National Transitional Council have not yet brought security and peace to Christian communities, constituted mostly by foreign workers, often exploited and without union protection.
The Arabian Peninsula and Morocco
The sorest situation is in the Arabian Peninsula. In places like Saudi Arabia, the revolution was stopped in its track by sticks (repression) and carrots (financial handouts to the population). In the United Arab Emirates, the secret services engaged in “discrete but effective” controls, nipping in the bud any potential demonstration.
The situation of the area’s Christians, all foreigners from India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, etc, is well known. In Saudi Arabia, they are denied freedom of worship. In the Emirates, they can celebrate Mass, but are denied any public expression of their Christian faith.
Out of fear that even this modest right might be taken away, Christian communities dare not baptise Muslims who might want to join the Catholic Church.
The same is true in Morocco where the Arab Revolution was pre-empted by King Mohammed VI’s attempt at reforms. Under the new constitution, Christians are guaranteed freedom of worship, but here too it would be unthinkable to have Muslims baptised and become Christian. Conversely, in the words of Mgr Vincent Landed, bishop of Rabat, Catholics in the North African country do try to be close to every initiative coming from youth, women and men in search of “peace, justice and reconciliation” in society.
No Syrian representative came to this year’s Oasis meeting, perhaps due to that country’s tense political and humanitarian situation.
For Mgr Philippe Brizard, a former director of Oeuvre d’Orient, the revolution in that country was hijacked by the Gulf States and the West, whose goal is to remove Syria from the Iranian and (Shia) sphere of influence. This has turned the region into an arena for “big power” politics.
Some shared features
The ‘Jasmine Revolution’ has unfolded differently according to the countries it has affected. Results have thus been different, yet they share some features.
Prof Olivier Roy, from the European University in Florence, tried to list a few, noting their stable nature, from which “it is impossible to go back”.
1) First of all, the Arab revolts represent the end of politics centred on a charismatic leader, the saviour of the fatherland;
2) They mark the end of Islamist and pan-Arabist ideologies;
3) Although Islamic groups do exist, the demands for justice, jobs and a good economy have put to an end the slogan ‘Islam is the solution to everything’;
4) A certain patriotism (but not nationalism) has been encouraged and the rhetoric about the Ummah (the world’s Muslim community as a single entity) has been waning;
5) The Palestinian cause has taken a backseat, almost disappearing from slogans;
6) Democracy is seen as “possible”;
7) Islamic societies are undergoing secularisation and there is a growing awareness of the individual (Salafism is a perturbed reaction to this discovery).
For Olivier Roy, the West has failed to understand the Arab revolution. It did not expect it, even though it was entirely predictable in light of the underlying conditions developing in those societies (better educated youth without jobs, better-educated women without rights, a desire for justice against corruption, and more).
Fr Samir Khalil noted that the Arab world also rejects the West, for its alleged irreligiosity and immorality and its “atheistic” separation of religion and state.
Nevertheless, for the Jesuit clergyman, the future of these countries lies in a model of society based on the values of equality (gender, race, social conditions, and religion), solidarity among all citizens, openness to the contributions of all cultures, and a capacity to guarantee tolerance and mutual respect for differences.
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An article of hope for a better, more inclusive tolerant Muslim! Just as the Prophet intended. Meanwhile though Islam DOES NOT punish apostasy or disallow non-Muslims from their haram entertainments.
A Clean Break – Posted on June 28, 2012
Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for a clean break.
Here’s a nice little quote from a recent article based on the work of the most excellent Grant Smith of IRmep.
Material obtained under FOIA by IRmep reveals that during the same time period Jonathan Pollard was active; American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) officials obtained and used stolen classified US confidential business information passed by an Israeli diplomat. Although industry groups such as the US Bromine Alliance filed formal complaints and the FBI investigated, no action was ever taken. Israeli spy-master Rafael Eitan—mentioned in the DIA video— earlier infiltrated the NUMEC facility in Apollo, Pennsylvania at the invitation of its owner Zalman Shapiro. Although FBI investigators obtained eyewitness affidavits of the mass diversion of weapons-grade uranium from the site, presumably into the Israeli nuclear weapons program, a 1978 GAO report concluded no bona fide effort was ever made to properly prosecute Israel’s US based operatives. Victims of NUMEC toxic pollution are currently filing hundreds of millions in health claims as the US Army Corps of Engineers struggles to manage a toxic cleanup that could cost taxpayers up to half a billion dollars.
Israeli espionage against the United States is long-standing, wide-spread, deeply penetrated into both the public and private sector and inimical to the interests of the citizens of the United States. This espionage activity is often discovered and then covered up. That espionage includes Israel’s getting its hands on nuclear weapons materials to include, but not limited to, uranium – weapons-grade uranium.
Add to that the Lavon Affair and the attack on the USS Liberty and you have not only espionage and theft of nuclear technology but actual military and terrorist attacks.
If Mike Piper is right, you can add to that Israeli participation in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
And lately a very steady and fact-based researcher and writer has been expressing views on at least a couple of interviews he has done recently that Israeli might have had just a bit more than just some foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. If this person is starting to go in that direction, well, I just find that quite interesting.
Now let’s also add to this witch’s brew the fact of the Israeli lobby’s virtual death grip on both houses of Congress and both parties and its deep infiltration of the executive branch at the very highest levels.
Fortunately, the major media outlets, Hollywood and the US financial sector are controlled by Salafists. Imagine if the same elements who have done and continue to do all of the things mentioned above – imagine if they exercised overwhelming control of our media, entertainment and financial industries. We’d really be fucked the, wouldn’t we?
Now as many of you are aware, IRmep has just obtained a Defense Intelligence Agency video about the threat Jonathan Pollard represented to the interests of the United States. That video is on youtube and on the IRmep site.
Here is another quote from a recent Smith article that in my view shows you exactly how pernicious Israeli infiltration into the Obama administration is. Red highlighting is mine.
Less widely known is that Israeli front company Telogy was caught in the summer of 2010 illegally shipping nuclear weapons components out of California to Israel. When such crimes occurred in the past — such as in the case of MILCO smuggling nuclear triggers out of California to Israel — the US at least criminally investigated Israel’s US operatives even while carefully steering around the true masterminds such as Arnon Milchan and high Israeli intelligence officials. In the case of Telogy, the Obama administration simply leaked tidbits of the export violations to friendly press, helpfully allowing Telogy to quickly roll up its illegal US operations.
I find it more than a little interesting that the article that the above quote is taken from is entitled “Why Obama Will Free Jonathan Pollard.”
It’s all about Pollard.
Last November I linked to the Amazon page of this book.
Capturing Jonathan Pollard: How One of the Most Notorious Spies in American History Was Brought to Justice
Here, Keith Johnson, working for AFP, interviews the author of that book, Ronald J. Olive, who describes Pollard as having stolen more secrets than any spy in US history. It’s a good short read and ends with a powerful quote by Mr. Oliver who was a key player in the investigation into Pollard’s crimes. Speaking about the many Republican and Democratic members of the House and Senate who support Pollard, he says:
“They don’t know what the true story is,” said Olive. “I wrote my book to tell the story from the inside. It tells them everything they need to know. It’s the true story—not just what Jonathan Pollard is saying now. It’s who he really is, what he really did and the devastation that he caused.”
Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for a clean break.
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‘Fortunately, the major media outlets, Hollywood and the US financial sector are controlled by Salafists.’ WHAT?!? Hollywood controlled by Salafists?!? That might almost be worse than Zionists!
Could the govt. of the USA please show all fundos the door and keep the entertainment and finance industries free of all these self serving and biased groups? WHOS a Salafist or Zionist in Hollywood and the finance sector? Get rid of all these extraneous and agenda idiots out of the neutral spaces of the public sector! Proliferation and proselytization or infiltration by religionists is detestable and polluting!
Neutral spaces can only be useful to society and preserved by neutral workers. Identify all so called persons who are not dedicated to the job per se instead using work as a platform for religion or promotion of belief system (proselytization) and kick them out. This is public sphere not their home town backyard or at least demand any owners as well to make clear that the bank or production house is Salafist or Zionist aligned. Little wonder USA is bankrupt and the films are so propaganda like and manipulative. We the PEOPLE OF THE WORLD want agenda free banks and films!
Mali : Islamists rout Tuareg from their own rebellion in north Mali – 6/29/12 10:52 AM
Mali – Separatist Tuareg rebels led the takeover of northern Mali but Islamists who fought alongside them have now dislodged the desert nomads from all key positions, scuppering their dream of independence. It was the Tuareg’s rebellion, one which they have waged several times in past decades in their bid to split northern Mali, which they call Azawad, from the south where the government in Bamako has long marginalised their community.
But this vast northern desert had also become the base of Al-Qaeda allies and Islamists, whose fighters appeared alongside the Tuareg as they seized the main cities and then planted their own black flag, laying down their strict Islamic laws.
“Today, you need a magnifying glass to find a trace of the MNLA fighters,” said Malian journalist Tiegoum Boubeye Maiga, referring to the Tuareg rebel movement, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad. The MNLA was formed in late 2011, including members of rebel groups who were active in the nineties. Boosted by the return of heavily armed Tuareg who had gone to fight for Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, the rebels launched their rebellion in January and quickly overwhelmed a demoralised and poorly equipped Malian army.
Angry and frustrated, a group of low-ranking soldiers carried out a coup on March 22 against a government they said was incompetent in dealing with the rebellion. But the coup only worsened the situation as the unmanned north became easy prey and fell to the rebel groups in a matter of days. Alongside the main Islamist group Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) backed by the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) an offshoot of the also-present Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Tuareg were swiftly pushed aside. While they still maintained a presence, unilaterally declaring independence for Azawad, tensions grew between the two groups, erupting in bloody combat in the town of Gao on Wednesday where the Tuareg were chased from their headquarters.
MUJAO spokesman Adnan Abou Walid Sahraoui said it had “seized the governor’s palace and the residence of MNLA secretary general Bilal Ag Acherif who fled with his soldiers.” Some 20 people were reported killed by witnesses, and Ag Acherif was said to have fled, wounded, to a neighbouring country. While in former colonial power France the MNLA garnered certain sympathy, seen as a group which could counter the Islamist groups, and regularly given airtime to explain their struggle, the reality on the ground was different.
“While the Islamists were doing work on the ground, the Tuareg were talking to the media,” said Maiga.
The Islamists slowly moved their chessmen into place, first blocking the Tuareg from accessing the heavy weapons they had brought back from Libya and hidden in the AQIM-controlled mountains in north-eastern Mali, experts said. Then they won sympathy on the ground among the different tribes in the north, where Tuareg are a minority, by distributing basic goods and insisting they wanted to maintain the territorial integrity of Mali.
“When the mujahideen took Gao, they walked through the town brandishing the Malian flag, we liked that,” said Saly Toure who works for the Sahel Museum in Gao which has been closed since the beginning of the crisis. But to win “the Islamists also played the corruption card wholeheartedly,” said an African diplomat based in Bamako, on condition of anonymity. “A very influent leader of a citizens’ association in Gao was ‘bought’. Since then he turned his back on the Tuareg to support the Islamists.” He said the defeat of the MNLA would change the framework of negotiations with transition authorities who took over from the junta. Lacking money, abandoned by their supporters and riven by internal divisions, the Tuareg rebels have been sorely weakened, and only hold small towns such as Gossi, Menaka and Anderamboukane.
However the Islamists have not been welcomed with open arms and protests have broken out as many in the northern main cities – home to a hodgepodge of black African and Arab tribes – have no interest in the strict Islamic state sought by their occupiers.
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Where are the Americans when you need them? The Tuareg need help here. There are already too many Islamist countries. Send some mercs wrapped up in blankets to preted to be Tuaregs and also send funding and supplies to make sure the AFRICAN NOMAD Tuaraegs get their homeland. Whats going on USA? Diversity remember? And just look at what happend to the Sufi shrines just recently? Start emptying those US army bases back home filled with comfy whitebread kids and put those resources to good use, there is a FRIENDLY COUNTRY the CIA or FBI (maybe Russia and China should do that instead – for ‘humanitarian’ reasons, better the Red bloc than more strict shariah Islamists . . . ) or what not needs to carve out in North Africa where Gaddafi fell . . . airlift some ‘Tuareg’ to Mali pronto . . . heck put guns in the hands of ‘illegal immigrants’ (i.e. especially Latinos or others in the US military about to be thrown away . . . ) about to be deported, and send them there to garrison or be led by Tuareg commanders if USA can’t do anything else cleverer than send away trained and dedicated troops simply because they were not born in USA . . .
Israel holds beauty pageant for Holocaust survivors – June 30, 2012
Hava Hershkovitz, 79, (2nd right), a Holocaust survivor and winner of a beauty contest for survivors of the Nazi genocide, stands with other contestants during a contest in the northern Israeli city of Haifa June 28, 2012. — Reuters pic
JERUSALEM, June 29 — A beauty contest for Holocaust survivors stirred deep emotions in Israel today, with organisers hailing it an affirmation of life and detractors calling it a macabre spectacle.
Fourteen women who survived the Nazi genocide took the pageant stage before a packed hall in the city of Haifa. Each of the contestants shared a bit of their personal stories before the capacity crowd.
The event touched a raw nerve with some Israelis who saw it as cheapening the memory of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust during World War Two.
Others said it was a self-image boost for aging survivors, some of whom have fallen into poverty.
Shimon Sabag, director of Helping Hand, a private group that aids thousands of the estimated 200,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel, said the contest held yesterday had been so successful he may hold a similar event next year.
“There were 1,000 survivors there who enjoyed the event,” Sabag told Reuters. “People don’t have to see Holocaust survivors mainly as a group of wheelchair-bound victims.”
Former Israeli lawmaker Colette Avital, who heads a survivors’ organisation, was quoted by local media as denouncing the competition as “macabre”.
The contest winner, silver-haired Romanian-born Hava Hershkovitz, 79, regaled with a blue and white sash as a tiara was placed on her head. She said the victory was “her revenge, showing how despite the horrors her family went through, her beauty and personality have endured,” according to Shabag.
“We should never forgive and forget what they went through, but I find this a very constructive way to show these people remain beautiful,” he added.
Hershkovitz, one of hundreds of survivors in an assisted living facility sponsored by Sabag’s group, won a family weekend at a resort and all 100 contestants were issued with electronic distress buttons. — Reuters
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Israel shows confidence and forward looking to do this. Death camp chic this is not, but being quite holocaust related does subsume the ‘Death camp chic’ meme and take the ball away from the aggressors among Nazis (Differentiate : there are Nazi ideologists that do not accept the worst aspects of Nazism . . . ). And Leviathan’s love of women-mountains cannot be balanced with skeletal crones who suffered so much . . . Israel is displaying a form of maturity most nations of the world could do with, though in practical application on the ground (i.e. Gaza, Palestine issues) where the issue of UN treaties and land, there needs to be much more work. A sign of good things though.
Plumbing New Depths of Inanity in the Tea Party Crowd Sun, 07/01/2012 – 12:45 — Anonymous by: Dave Lindorff
Let me preface this column by saying that I don’t think all conservatives and right-wingers are stupid. In fact I have some right-leaning friends of a libertarian bent who are really smart, and a lot of fun to argue with. They may have an unquestioning faith, bordering on religious zealotry, in the wonders of the “market,” but like Jesuit-trained Catholics defending the existence of God, debating that faith with them can be entertaining and even challenging.
Having said that, I have to say that the so called “rock-ribbed” conservative crowd — let’s change that to “rock-headed” — that serves as the foot-soldiers for the Koch-brothers-funded Tea Party “movement” are really low-wattage.
Back in 2008-2010, their incredibly inane rallying cry was: “Keep your government hands off my Medicare!”
Never mind that the Medicare these bozos were trying to protect is a government program.
Now, after the latest Supreme Court decision, with conservative Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the four alleged “liberal” members of the court to uphold the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare), the new cry from these dopes is that they want to move to Canada “because the US is too socialist.”
I kid you not!
Wally Weldon (@WallyWeldon), is a classic of the genre. In a Tweet, he declares, “I’m moving to Canada, the US is entirely too socialist.”
Van Summers (@VanSummers) chirps back, “Screw this commie country, I’m moving to Canada.”
Problem: Canada has what might best be described as socialized health care. Way back in 1947, Tommy Douglas, a social-democratic provincial leader of the prairie province of Saskatchewan, introduced the first public hospital insurance program in Canada. That plan was expanded nationwide in 1957 in the face of militant opposition from the Canadian Medical Association. In 1962, Saskatchewan broadened the program to cover all medical costs, making health care in that province fully funded for all by the government. A conservative Canadian national government expanded the program in Saskatchewan nationwide in 1966. Doctors fees were set buy the provinces, but doctors responded by adding on private charges called “extra billing.” That practice was banned in 1984, giving Canada the basic system it has to this day. It’s quality health care at half the cost in terms of share of GDP (10%) that it is in the US (20%).
Tea Party wackos see socialism in Obamacare (!) and in everything Obama the Democrats do.Against all logic, Tea Party wackos see “socialism” or even communism in Obamacare (!) and in everything Obama the Democrats do (if only!).
Canada’s Medicare-for-all program is not socialist in the way that the British National Health program is socialist–with UK hospitals owned by the government and UK doctors receiving state salaries. Doctors in Canada still are private entrepreneurs, but their fees for service are set by the provincial governments. Hospitals can also be private, but patients only pay a nominal charge for treatment in them. Their costs and their reimbursements are negotiated by governments.
Do these conservatives who want to flee to Canada to escape “socialist” Obamacare even know any of this?
It’s hard to believe they wouldn’t. Fox TV, the main “news” source for the ignorant and willfully ignorant, has run plenty of scare stories about a non-existent “wave” of Canadians allegedly pouring across the border to the good-ol’ capitalist USA to get medical treatment they are allegedly denied in “socialist” Canada. On investigation, most of these stories fall apart very quickly. But at least the viewers ought to get the picture that Canadians have socialized medical care.
Obamacare isn’t remotely socialist, meanwhile. Its crucial flaw, indeed, is precisely that it leaves the whole funding of American medical care in the hands of the private insurance industry (it caters shamelessly to most of the industries in the US medical-industrial complex, but especially to the insurance industry, which expects to clean up on the health insurance mandate). Canadians, meanwhile, effectively did away with private health insurance in their country when they introduced their Medicare program for all Canadians.
Meanwhile, these clowns who want to flee to Canada may be in for a rude surprise if they do more than yack on Twitter and actually try to flee Obamacare. Canada doesn’t provide its free medical care to outsiders, and it’s very hard on would-be immigrants who might want to get a free ride on their health care system. If you go to Canada and get sick or injured, you will get treated, but you’ll also get a hefty bill if you’re not Canadian. You should hope you have some kind of private US medical insurance to handle the bill or it could really set you back.
I had some friends in their late 50s who tried to immigrate to Canada from Alaska a few years ago. They both had lifetime insurance from the woman’s former job as a state worker in Alaska, but even so, they were denied landed immigrant status in Canada, and were told it was because the immigration authorities feared they would end up using (abusing) Canada’s health care system anyhow.
No surprise that, but it is a delicious case of “turnabout is fair play” (not for my two friends, who knew all about Canada’s health system and, with their lifetime retirement insurance plan, had no need or desire to freeload off it.) Conservatives in the US are always railing that Mexicans are coming across the border illegally to the US to get free Medicaid in this country. Now they want to go further north across the next border to freeload for health care themselves.
But it’s not going to work.
They’d do better to do a little research about Canada’s system of government-funded health care, and then, once they understand it, join the fight to get the US Medicare program they love so much, “socialist” as it may be, expanded to cover every American they way it works in Canada.
I’m not holding my breath for a new Tea Party cry of “Get the government’s hands to broaden their reach and extend my Medicare to cover my kids, my grandkids amd my neighbors!”
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They both had lifetime insurance from the woman’s former job as a state worker in Alaska, but even so, they were denied landed immigrant status in Canada, and were told it was because the immigration authorities feared they would end up using (abusing) Canada’s health care system anyhow.
They could simply be required to sign away their rights of access to Canada’s healthcare system then be allowed to move instead? This sort of thing shows where the hegelian dialect between governments is at work, they want to prevent immigration and hence force people to remain in countries that do not suit them through inflexible laws. Such people innvariably become disillusioned and disruptiv and end up in jail, enruiiching the Prison-Supplier/Contractor Complex.
In the real world before the passport was invented, people did move and passport laws are artificial and do not regard very reasonable reasons for moving, especially those from fundo countries that need the ‘first/free world’ to beat understanding of the UN Human Rights Charter into them or unseat the Dictators and their nepotistic family blocs.
In fact poor health (this is a spiritual or perhaps energic thing) could be very well due to NOT being allowed to migrate by governments which again causes more cost for all countries overall intentionally, making insurance and healthcare profiteering an industry off the people being disallowed to move to a suitable magnetic declination! Wanna have lots of earth quakes and senile aging people? Degradation of young minds? Keep disallowing migration and voting dictators and plutocrats!
Chinese Father Disappears After Protesting Wife’s Forced Abortion – written by Brian Koenig – Thursday, 28 June 2012 10:49
The man whose wife fell victim to the Chinese government’s strict one-child policy has gone missing after he posted photographs online of his wife and their aborted baby. Government officials had forcibly aborted the late-term pregnancy earlier this month, prompting an international outcry and, consequently, leading to the suspension of three officials in the Shaanxi province.
The abortion took place on June 2 (seven months into the pregnancy), provoked by the fact that Deng Jiyuan and his wife Feng Janmei could not pay the 40,000-yuan ($6,300) fine for having a second child. In protest of the horrific act, Deng Jiyuan published graphic photos of his dead baby online, attracting a flurry of international criticism and reigniting the debate over China’s controversial one-child policy.
Embittered over Deng’s public reaction, local officials coordinated a backlash against the family, branding them as traitors and setting them under government surveillance. “We are already heartbroken from losing the baby,” lamented Deng Jicai, a sister of Deng Jiyuan. “How did we become traitors?”
Deng Jicai has since condemned the government’s actions, asserting that guards have patrolled outside Feng’s hospital room and have even followed family members when they go to the restroom or leave the hospital. Deng also emphasized that her brother and sister-in-law initially refrained from notifying the media but spoke to German reporters who were traveling to the province after the government refused to deliver investigation results that had been promised.
“We did not make more out of the story,” Deng attested. “My sister-in-law mainly stated what she had experienced.”
Deng Jiyuan traveled to Beijing last week to meet with lawyers and journalists to discuss the incident. But, according to his sister, Mr. Deng was met with fierce resistance. “More than 100 people and a dozen of cars showed up to stop him, and a man suddenly appeared and kicked my brother in the stomach,” Deng Jicai said.
On Sunday, government officials purportedly urged local townspeople to unfold a banner near the hospital where Feng was located, which called the family “traitors” and ordered that they be excommunicated from the town. Meanwhile, photos were posted online displaying a red banner that reads, “severely beat the traitors and expel them.”
Ms. Deng responded on China’s popular Twitter-like service Sina Weibo, decrying the government’s effort to defame and incite violence on her family:
I feel like crying but have no tears. Where is justice? Zengjia Township, where I was born and brought up, how can I still love you? I just don’t understand in what way I have committed treason! I don’t know what you mean by calling me a ‘traitor.’ My lord, in what way I have sold the People’s Republic of China? I didn’t beg you for pity for my miserable sister-in-law. I didn’t ask you for even the slightest bit of sympathy. Just get lost! Let us go home!!!
Prompted by the family’s tragic story, 43-year-old Zhang Wen Fang has also risked government retribution as she reached out to the human rights organization All Girls Allowed to describe a similar incident that occurred four years ago. LifeSiteNews.com reported on the story:
According to Zhang, on May 23rd, 2008, when she was nine months pregnant, at least eleven Family Planning officials entered her home while her husband was away. Eight or nine men and three women dragged her into a van and took her to the People’s Hospital, where they induced labor despite her protests. At 8 p.m. they tried to inject an unknown chemical into her stomach, and Zhang resisted: “I pulled the needle out,” she said. “But then six men held me down so that they could give me the injection with a second needle.” Afterwards, they kept her in a room and did not let her family know where she was.
Two days later Zhang’s contractions began and then her water broke. “I was saying, ‘Help, help!’ but they ignored me and wouldn’t even let me out of the room,” she said. When she woke up the next day, after having lost consciousness, Zhang’s baby was gone. “When I asked the officials and doctors what happened to the baby, if it was alive or dead, they would not tell me,” she lamented.
“Some people think contacting the foreign media equals selling out the country,” says Liang Zhongtang, a retired social sciences research who now studies China’s family planning policy. In turn, Liang affirms, the Chinese government is pursuing physical recourse to silence media reports that may position the country’s social policy under an unfavorable spotlight.
Another Chinese couple (below), Yang Zhongchen, and his wife Jin Yani pose in their one bedroom home in Qianan, China, July 26, 2007. Seven years earlier, Yang’s heavily pregnant wife was dragged from her bed and taken to a clinic, where her baby was killed by injection while still inside her.
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Instead of forced late term abortions, how about getting China to send the offending family to a country that would not mind a few more kids even if not ethnically local? There must be some international treaties to allow easy migration based on problem issues like these. UN? NAM? How about putting such parents in touch with countries that are ready to allow them to migrate to to avoid such terrible and dehumanizing treatment? China’s higher authorities have as of now punished the officials over late-term abortion case :
Police officer in jail after allegedly forcing girl, 15, to strip naked for ‘sex exam’ in the backseat of a car – by Laura Cox – PUBLISHED: 20:22 GMT, 30 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:18 GMT, 30 June 2012
Unacceptable: Capt. Juan De los Rios was arrested after allegedly forcing a 15-year-old girl to get naked so that he could inspect her to make sure she hadn¿t been having sex
A Florida police captain was arrested after allegedly forcing a 15-year-old girl to get naked so that he could inspect her to make sure she hadn’t been having sex.
The girl was so mortified when Captain Juan De los Rios, a Miramar police force veteran of 28 years, told her to strip off that she complied, allowing him to carry out a ‘sex check’ on her.
De los Rios insisted that he inspect the girl’s private parts using his flashlight to look for signs of bruising when he came across her and a 19-year-old male friend talking in the backseat of a car.
He ignored the girl’s protestations that the pair were not having sex and told her that he needed to ‘see inside’ to make sure she was telling the truth.
After he had finished with his ‘exam’, the disgraced officer told the teens to go home.
The humiliating crime happened back in January but the girl was so mortified by what had happened that she initially refused to report it, NBC Miami reported.
Charged: Capt. Juan De los Rios was charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious conduct involving a child for making the girl strip naked and is being held at the Broward County Main Jail
She confided in her sister who eventually managed to persuade her to tell their mum and dad.
The parents immediately contacted authorities and a warrant was issued for De los Rios’ arrest.
Female student, 60, sues college professor after sexuality course required them to ‘masturbate, document sexual abuse, fetishes and promiscuity to pass’
Police in Detroit attempt to clear out local infestation of seagulls… by SHOOTING them
He turned himself in at the Broward County Main Jail where he is being held on $30,000, charged with two counts of lewd or lascivious conduct on a child under age 16 by someone over age 18.
He has been suspended from the force and faces up to 15 years in prison as well as a $10,000 fine.
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Save the taxpayer money from the prison contractor or even courts system and also do not shame publicly like this. The expense of shame was off 1 person (victim) by 1 person (aggressor), not 1 person by the whole of society. At most make the policeman strip in front of as many relevant people of the girls choice as needed and be done with the whole thing.
The police man gets to keep the job, has been punished appropriately and equitably in sufficiently private settings so that continuation of work is possible, and can continue police work and life with whatever useful experience from so many years on the force. For a mistake of a few minutes, taking away all of the above and destroying a man’s life is an indictment on society. Shouldn’t there be some form of privacy applied here? How about a transfer instead? This cop should not be finished off like this, for a moment’s mistake, does the city have the right to throw away a decade or more of work and value?
Anderson Cooper : ‘The Fact Is, I’m Gay’ – 7/2/2012 8:42 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Anderson Cooper has revealed … he’s gay and he’s proud.
Cooper made the announcement in a letter to Andrew Sullivan, who was doing a story for TheDailyBeast.com about the social impact of famous people who come out as gay.
Sullivan reached out to Cooper for his thoughts, to which Anderson replied with a letter.
“There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand,” Cooper wrote.
“The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”
“I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don’t give that up by being a journalist.”
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Maybe being homosexual (gay or lesbian) typifies people with a sense of equilibrium and fair mindedness. Being gay to balance out the collective nature of man.
Sexual ‘society’ as is, is quite invasive as of now, perhaps the natural state of affairs would be bisexuality where attraction and entertainment is concerned.
Biologically mm/ff procreation can be viable due to technology so extinction of mankind is no longer a valid excuse to denounce. There needs though to be more bisexual people coming out as bisexual, and all existing homosexuals need to examine this line of thought before marrying and later divorcing which does hurt the case for sexual diversity.
Practicality, organic and cost wise, the heteros have the case (no need to use tech), but where awareness, abuse and other factors are considered, yes gays and lesbians are the frontline against oppression of sexual diversity and sexual choice. This was never taught in school, there needs to be a UN approved syllabus to prevent further gender wars and sidelining and abuse of LGBTs. Barring genetic basis preferences, in a civil and protected environment, perhaps there will be more bisexuals rather than homosexuals?
As crops rot, millions go hungry in India – by Mayank Bhardwaj – NEW DELHI | Sun Jul 1, 2012 6:03pm EDT
(Reuters) – Every day some 3,000 Indian children die from illnesses related to malnutrition, and yet countless heaps of rodent-infested wheat and rice are rotting in fields across the north of their own country.
It is an extraordinary paradox created by a rigid regime of subsidies for grain farmers, a woeful lack of storage facilities and an inefficient, corruption-plagued public distribution system that fails millions of impoverished people.
And it is an embarrassment for the government led by the Congress party, which returned to power in 2009 thanks in large part to pledges of welfare for the poor, who make up about 40 percent of the 1.2 billion population.
Quite why the authorities could not simply offload the mountains of grain for free to fill empty stomachs is puzzling, but the explanation lies in the complex regulations that govern procurement and distribution.
“This is a case of criminal neglect by the government,” said D. Raja, national secretary of the Communist Party of India, an opposition group. “The ruling party has been the worst manager of the demand-supply of food grains.”
Officials say that, in all, about 6 million tons of grain worth at least $1.5 billion could perish. Analysts say the losses could be far higher because more than 19 million tons are now lying in the open, exposed to searing summer heat and monsoon rains.
Saddomajra, a village in the bread-basket state of Punjab, is one of the dumping grounds for the record stockpile of wheat that has accumulated after half a decade of bumper harvests in the world’s second-largest producer of the grain.
Here there are thousands of sacks of decomposing wheat, occupying an area the size of a football field and towering in some places to the height of a house. Tarpaulins cover most of the mounds, but many of the bags are torn, spilling blackened grain blighted by fungus and insects.
“The wheat has been lying there for the past five years. It smells very bad,” said Hakkam Singh, who works as a watchman at the open field. “Nobody steals it, but people use it to feed fish and poultry farms.”
At another dump, on the outskirts of Punjab’s Amritsar city, locals told Reuters that officials sometimes dip into the sacks of rotting grain to mix it with fresh wheat for distribution to the poor who hold ration cards.
WHEAT STOCKS AT ALL-TIME HIGH
In India the government buys rice and wheat from farmers at a guaranteed price, a support system akin to the subsidies that led to Europe’s notorious butter mountains and milk lakes.
The government has raised the price it pays to buy wheat by more than 70 percent since 2007, which only encourages more production. As a result, stocks are now at an all-time high of about 50 million tons, 12 times more than the official target.
“It’s related to pure economic security for the farmers,” said Purnima Menon, a research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in New Delhi. “They make a safe choice of crops.”
Rajiv Tandon, a senior adviser for health and nutrition at aid organization Save the Children in India, said that to diversify the country’s food basket farmers should be offered incentives to grow vegetables and other cash crops.
However, he said root-and-branch modernization is needed. The farm sector was transformed by the introduction of high-yielding seeds, fertilizers and irrigation during the Green Revolution nearly half a century ago, ending a dependence on imports, but it has seen only incremental reform ever since.
Storage is one of the biggest problems of all.
“For the last 25 years the storage capacity has not been upgraded at all,” Tandon said. “Part of the grain is officially stored outside store houses, where the chance of rotting is high. There are often not enough sacks and tarpaulins, and sometimes it is dumped by a graveyard or cremation centre.”
Grain stocks officially deemed as stored in government warehouses now stand at a record 82.4 million tons. However, that is about 20 million tons more than actual capacity, which means grain lying in the open is being passed off as “stored”.
WHO WILL BUY?
State-run Food Corp. of India (FCI), the main grain procurement agency, buys about one-third of total wheat output to run welfare programs and keep stocks for emergency needs.
What to do with the rest is a conundrum for the government, which is reluctant to sell wheat for less than the inflated support price it paid to farmers because it would put further strain on an already hefty fiscal deficit.
Recently it offered 6 million tons of rice and wheat to state administrations for the poor at cheaper rates, in addition to 55 million already earmarked for financial year 2012/13. But there were not many takers because state governments are grappling with budget overruns themselves.
Exporting wheat is not an attractive alternative.
After buying wheat from farmers and adding freight, storage and transport costs, the free on board (FOB) price is around $346 a ton. However, Indian wheat would only be competitive in the export market at around $260, which implies a loss – effectively a further subsidy, and this time to consumers in other countries – of $85-90 per ton for the government.
The brimming granaries forced India to lift a four-year-old ban on private exports last September, but lower global prices have scuppered those plans.
Traders say that even if India went all-out to export wheat it could at best sell 6-7 million tons a year because of transport bottlenecks and doubts about the quality of the grain.
New Delhi is considering the export of up to 3 million tons of wheat to sanctions-hit Iran, but traders say Tehran will not be falling over itself to buy because of concern that Indian grain may be tainted by fungal disease.
Last month the government decided to offer 3 million tons of wheat to local biscuit makers and flour millers at $205 a ton against the $225 it paid to farmers in 2012.
“Subsidizing our bread and biscuit makers is easier than subsidizing consumers of other countries,” said a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified due to political criticism of a solution to the surplus that benefits private companies rather than the poor.
In China, a large portion of wheat stocks are channeled into the country’s rapidly expanding animal feed sector, replacing more expensive corn. However, India has an exportable surplus of corn and its meat consumption is far lower, so there is little demand for wheat as a replacement for other grains.
A government-supported survey published earlier this year found that 42 percent of India’s children under 5 are underweight, almost double that of sub-Saharan Africa. The finding led Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to admit that malnutrition was “a national shame”.
The cause of this widespread malnutrition cannot be tied mechanically to a lack of staples like rice and wheat.
Indeed, many families living on less than $2 a day are fuelled and filled by subsidized carbohydrate-rich food like wheat chapatis. These lack the much-needed protein and other nutrients that come in more expensive food. Poor hygiene and contaminated water are also to blame because they cause illnesses like diarrhoea, which prevents nutrient absorption.
Still, there are real grain shortages in the poorest states.
Here the problem is an inefficient and corruption-prone distribution system. Eighteen months ago investigators said millions of dollars worth of grain meant for poor families had been siphoned off and sold locally and abroad in a scam involving hundreds of government officials.
In 2010 the Supreme Court urged the government to distribute grain free to the hungry rather than let it go to waste in warehouses and open fields, but that hasn’t happened.
This is because state governments are reluctant to buy extra grain for distribution under the food welfare program and, even if they were, only people with under-the-poverty-line ration cards would be entitled to buy it in subsidized shops.
“The problem of rotting grains and the poor going hungry lies in the system itself,” said Biraj Patnaik, principal adviser on food issues to the court.
The government is now planning a food security scheme that will guarantee cheap grain to 63.5 percent of the population.
However, critics see this as political gimmickry. They doubt that the new scheme will be less corrupt, more efficient or better targeted than current programs, and they suspect that the government will not be able to afford a plan that may cost as much as $12 billion in additional subsidies a year.
(Writing by John Chalmers; Additional reporting by Ajay Verma in SADDOMAJRA, India, by John Chalmers, Satarupa Bhattacharjya and Ratnajyoti Dutta in NEW DELHI and by Naveen Thukral in SINGAPORE; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)
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Weekend volunteers with trucks could be given free fuel and maps to ferry grain that is fast deteriorating from warehouses to any area starving. The military (instead of sitting pretty in barracks) could be the first to get moving. India should use those manpower resources. Starving Indians probably would not care that the soldiers did not do their morning run or obstacle course on any day. The starving Indians would however certainly prefer that Indian soldiers bring grain about to rot from warehouses to their homes so that they wont starve while grain rots! This is akin to a national emergency! Taking things too easy India?
Is it a tax or a penalty? Obama and Romney struggle to define aspect of healthcare law – by Calvin Woodward, Associated Press / July 3, 2012
Obama’s health care law is closely modeled on the universal-coverage plan Romney achieved as Massachusetts governor. That plan contains a penalty for noncompliance similar to the one in the federal law upheld by the court last week.
In 2012 file photos President Barack Obama talks to reporters in Washington on June 8 and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop in Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 14.
It looks like a tax, smells like a tax, and the Supreme Court says it must be a tax. But politicians in both parties are squirming over how to define the Thing in President Barack Obama’s health care law that requires people to pay up if they don’t get health insurance.
The problem for Obama is that, if the Thing is indeed a tax, he is by definition a raiser of taxes on the middle class, which he promised not to be.
If that sounds like an opportunity for Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney, well, it’s not that simple.
Could you pass a US citizenship test?
Obama’s health care law is closely modeled on the universal-coverage plan Romney achieved as Massachusetts governor. That plan contains a penalty for noncompliance similar to the one in the federal law upheld by the court last week.
So if Obama is a raiser of taxes, so is Romney.
Contortions have ensued over what to call this health care Thing.
Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom strayed from Republican talking points when he told MSNBC that Romney agrees with Justice Antonin Scalia’s minority opinion that “very clearly stated that the mandate was not a tax.”
That position is at odds with congressional Republicans who are determined to portray the Thing as an Obamatax pure and simple.
“The American people do not want to go down this path,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “They do not want the government telling them what kind of insurance policy they have to buy, and how much they have to pay for it, and if you don’t like it we’re going to tax you.”
As for the other side, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California and some others have taken to calling it a “penalty for free riders.”
“This is a penalty on free riders,” echoed Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Just as everyone loves motherhood and apple pie, no one loves a free rider. Not Democrats. And not Republicans.
But Democrats didn’t make that up.
Some years back, Romney called his own Thing a penalty on “free riders.”
The whatever-it-is starts in 2014, will be collected by the Internal Revenue Service and functions like a tax in that its amount is keyed to the income of those who must pay it.
The Obama administration always shied away from calling it a tax for the obvious reason that tax increases are political trouble. But, paradoxically, his health care law only stands today because the high court considered the insurance mandate part of Congress’ broad powers of taxation, therefore constitutional.
The court carefully parsed all of this in a migraine-inducing summary of Chief Justice John Roberts’ written decision.
“The Affordable Care Act describes the ‘shared responsibility payment’ as a ‘penalty,’ not a ‘tax,'” it says. “That label is fatal to the application of the Anti-Injunction Act. It does not, however, control whether an exaction is within Congress’ power to tax. In answering that constitutional question, this Court follows a functional approach, ‘disregarding the designation of the exaction, and viewing its substance and application.'”
In other words, the Thing is a tax.
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All Americans DO NOT CARE what hegelian dialectic terms are applied. call this Tax or call this Penalty, so long as the people PAY, this angers everyone – against BOTH Obama and Romney. NO PAYING, otherwise NO VOTE ! Also, opt outs for any not wanting to pay!
ARTICLE 11 (2 Related Articles)
Chef serves up raw meat protest in Windsor
Rino’s Kitchen will have lamb tartare and lambe Carpaccio on special this weekend
CBC News / Posted: Jun 28, 2012 12:10 PM ET / Last Updated: Jun 29, 2012 9:28 AM ET
Rino Bortolin called the health unit’s decision to ban kibbeh culturally insensitive. Rino Bortolin called the health unit’s decision to ban kibbeh culturally insensitive. (Courtesy Courtney Renaud/Converged Citizen)
Health officials ban Lebanese dish from restaurants
(Note:CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external links.)
At least one Windsor chef plans to protest the local health unit’s crackdown on raw meat dishes.
Rino Bortolin will serve raw meat dishes lamb tartare and lamb Carpaccio this Canada Day weekend.
Other raw meat dishes : Steak Tartare, Carpaccio, Ceviche
“Until an inspector tells me to stop, I’ll keep serving it. And if they tell me to stop, I will probably still do it,” Bortolin said.
The decision flies in the face of the Windsor Essex County Health Unit, which has banned the raw beef dish kibbeh from a handful of Lebanese restaurants. It also told one restaurant to stop serving steak tartare in May.
Bortolin called the health unit “culturally insensitive” to “hard-working small businesses.”
“Certain preparations have been accepted for years and pose no harm when done properly. Those have been on menus for decades,” Bortolin said. “These meats and dishes have been prepared and eaten this way for centuries.”
Bortolin said the health unit has overreacted to an incident in Ottawa.
In February, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a media release warning customers to not consume finely ground beef sold at New Middleast Supermarket in Ottawa.
“The affected ground beef is a finely ground raw beef known to be used for Kebbeh,” the release said.
The release never mentioned a restaurant. In an email sent Wednesday, CBC News asked the CFIA why it made reference to a specific dish. The agency has not responded.
The owner of the New Middleast Supermarket told CBC News that he didn’t sell the beef to restaurants and that the meat in question was consumed by a customer.
“If it’s the source material, investigate that source and fix that problem,” Bortolin said.
Chef calls regulations into question
Chief medical officer Dr. Allen Heimann said beef must be cooked to an internal temperature of 71 C for 15 seconds before public consumption.
Bortolin contends the law does not prohibit him from serving raw meat, only that he must “be aware of susceptible segments of society,” such as children and the sick.
Bortolin said he hasn’t yet heard the reason behind the health unit’s sudden enforcement. He said he’s not aware of anyone in Windsor getting sick after eating kibbeh at a restaurant.
Heimann said that, to his knowledge, the local health unit never received a complaint about kibbeh being served at restaurants in Windsor.
“If they did, they would have used it as an example,” Bortolin said.
Heimann said inspectors are just enforcing rules already on the books.
Bortolin said the health unit should instead be educating the public on safe food preparation.
“You can easily use this as a teaching tool,” Bortolin said. “Instead of banning it outright, ask questions. We don’t need a government body telling us to eat here and eat this.”
He said before ordering, customers should ask when a restaurant’s meat arrived and where it came from.
“I welcome people asking questions,” he said. “All my meat comes fresh from Essex County. We do that for a reason.”
Japan raw liver lovers lament new food ban – Tuesday July 3, 2012 MYT 11:54:00 AM
TOKYO: Japan, the home of raw fish, has banned the serving of raw liver after a series of food poisoning cases last year in which five people died and 24 became seriously ill after consuming the dish at a major restaurant chain.
The dish, raw beef liver cut into bite-sized chunks and served with onions and sauce, was taken off restaurant menus indefinitely from July 1 by Japan’s Health Ministry.
“When you actually cook liver it’s a bit rough, but raw it’s very easy to eat,” said Yoshiko Miki, a 38-year-old who rushed to Kintan, a downtown Tokyo restaurant that specialised in the dish, before the ban came into effect.
“Especially the liver here is very nice and delicious. So when I think about the fact that I can’t eat it anymore, it’s quite sad.”
Food analyst Chiharu Saito, a member of the Japan Food Analyst Association, said there were a number of well-liked raw meat items on sale, but beef liver was the most popular.
“In terms of what has the most chance of causing food poisoning, I believe that’s why they chose to ban beef liver,” she said.
“It can be a star product for restaurants, and if they are suddenly unable to sell that then it will indeed affect sales and profits.”
Yuichi Kamata, management chief at Edge, the company that oversees the Kintan restaurant chain, said that probably 90 percent of customers had been coming specifically to eat raw liver, with a plate going for around 1,800 yen.
But despite the ban, it’s still far too early to count out the restaurant chain – or its star product. Kintan said it was looking into developing new products to circumvent the ban, including one in which the liver is partly cooked. – Reuters
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This is a right and free choice of all citizens who raise domesticated animals or fresh seafood for meat (I’d advocate getting those petri-dish meat production labs up but until then, the Right to Serve and Eat/Order Raw Food issue should not be compromised on . . . ), process meat under government oversight/health inspections and also the eatery which is again checked by hygiene inspectors and as the above restauranteur says, ‘allows questions to be asked’. How Orwellian can a government get? Also the law in the first article also smacks of racism ever so vaguely.
Raw beef liver is as integral as some types of sushi or asian food (Lebanese example above)to the Japanese, how could Japan act against one of Japan’s strongest points? Raw Food culture can hardly be said to be over-proliferated and has been a tradition for centuries, and barring the rare occasional incident (which might well be sabotage on the suppliers’ part in collusion with local officials or saboteur-workers trying to be racist or Orwellian) chefs are well aware and do take pains to ensure cleanliness of the raw food served. This ban seems unconstitutional. If there is nothing to stop people from humanely culling food animals and serving raw food at home, there cannot fairly be such impositions upon eateries which are obviously cleaner due to government checks and personal reputations of the vendors/owners.
John Henry (folklore) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Henry_%28folklore%29
John Henry is an American folk hero and tall tale. Henry worked as a “steel-driver”—a man tasked with hammering and chiseling rock in the construction of tunnels for railroad tracks. In the legend, John Henry’s prowess as a steel-driver was measured in a race against a steam powered hammer, which he won only to die in victory with his hammer in his hand. The story of John Henry has been the subject of numerous songs, stories, plays, and novels.
The legend of John Henry has been compared to that of other American “Big Men”, such as Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill. John Henry’s heroism is associated with several elements: his strength and grit as a working-class common man, his status as a hero to African American laborers, and his allegorical depiction of “the tragedy of man versus machine” and other aspects of modernization.
There are many versions of John Henry’s story. In almost all versions of the story, John Henry is a black man of exceptional physical gifts, a former slave, possibly born in Tennessee. Henry becomes the greatest “steel-driver” in the mid-nineteenth-century push to expand railroads from the East Coast of the United States, across and through the mountains, to the frontier West. However, the owner of the railroad buys a steam-powered hammer to do the work of his mostly black steel-driving crew. To save his job and the jobs of his men, John Henry challenges the owner to a contest: Henry will race the steam-powered hammer. John Henry beats the machine, but exhausted, collapses and dies of a heart attack.
The historicity of many aspects of the John Henry legend is subject to wide debate. It is commonly stated that Henry’s rail work, including his race against the steam hammer, occurred while working along the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. In particular, Henry is claimed to have raced the steam hammer during the construction of Big Bend tunnel near Talcott, West Virginia between 1869 and 1871. Talcott holds a yearly festival named for Henry and a statue and memorial plaque have been placed along a highway south of Talcott as it crosses over the Big Bend tunnel.
In Steel Drivin’ Man: John Henry, the Untold Story of an American Legend, Scott Reynolds Nelson, an associate professor of history at the College of William and Mary, argues that John William Henry (prisoner #497 in the Virginia penitentiary, released by the warden to work on the C&O Railway in the 1870s) is the basis for the legendary John Henry.:39 Nelson asserts that a steam drill race at the Big Bend Tunnel would have been impossible because railroad records do not indicate a steam drill being used there. Instead, he believes the contest took place at the Lewis Tunnel, between Talcott and Millboro, Virginia, where prisoners worked beside steam drills. Nelson also believes that an early version of the ballad that refers to John Henry’s grave as being at “the white house”, “in sand”, and somewhere that locomotives roar, indicates that Henry was buried at the Virginia penitentiary, where unmarked graves have been found.
According to Nelson:
…workers managed their labor by setting a “stint,” or pace, for it. Men who violated the stint were shunned…Here was a song that told you what happened to men who worked too fast: they died ugly deaths; their entrails fell on the ground. You sang the song slowly, you worked slowly, you guarded your life, or you died.:32
Coosa Tunnel and tracks between Coosa Tunnel and neighboring Oak Mountain Tunnel, possible Alabama sites of John Henry legend.
Other research has placed Henry’s famous race near Leeds, Alabama. Retired chemistry professor and folklorist John Garst, of the University of Georgia, has argued that the contest instead happened at the Coosa Mountain Tunnel or the Oak Mountain Tunnel of the Columbus & Western Railway (now part of Norfolk Southern Railway) near Leeds on September 20, 1887. Based on documentation that corresponds with the account of C. C. Spencer, who claimed in the 1920s to have witnessed the contest, Garst speculates that John Henry may have been a man named Henry who was born a slave to P.A.L. Dabney, the father of the chief engineer of that railroad, in 1850. Since 2007, the city of Leeds has honored John Henry’s legend during an annual September festival, held third weekend in September, called the Leeds Downtown Folk Festival & John Henry Celebration.
Garst and Nelson have debated the merits of their divergent research conclusions. Other claims have been made over the years that places Henry and his contest in Kentucky or Jamaica.
Cultural references and influence
The tale of John Henry has been used as a symbol in many cultural movements, including labor movements and the Civil Rights Movement.
“ John Henry is a symbol of physical strength and endurance, of exploited labor, of the dignity of a human being against the degradations of the machine age, and of racial pride and solidarity. During World War II his image was used in U.S. government propaganda as a symbol of social tolerance and diversity. ”
The story of John Henry is traditionally told through two types of songs: ballads, commonly referred to as “The Ballad of John Henry”, and work songs known as hammer songs, each with wide-ranging and varying lyrics. Some songs, and some early folk historian research, conflate the songs about John Henry with those of John Hardy, a West Virginian outlaw. Ballads about John Henry’s life typically contain four major components: a premonition by John Henry as a child that steel-driving would lead to his death, the lead-up to and the results of the race against the steam hammer, Henry’s death and burial, and the reaction of John Henry’s wife.
Songs featuring the story of John Henry have been recorded by many blues, folk, and rock musicians of different ethnic backgrounds. Many notable musicians have recorded John Henry ballads, including: Furry Lewis, Big Bill Broonzy, Pink Anderson, Fiddlin’ John Carson, Uncle Dave Macon, J. E. Mainer, Leon Bibb, Lead Belly, Joe Bonamassa, Woody Guthrie, Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Gillian Welch, theDrive-By Truckers, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Henry is the subject of the 1931 Roark Bradford novel John Henry, illustrated by noted woodcut artist J. J. Lankes. The novel was adapted into a stage musical in 1940, starring Paul Robeson in the title role. According to Steven Carl Tracy, Bradford’s works were influential in broadly popularizing the John Henry legend beyond railroad and mining communities and outside of African American oral histories. In a 1933 article published in The Journal of Negro Education, Bradford’s John Henry was criticized for “making over a folk-hero into a clown.” A 1948 obituary for Bradford described John Henry as “a better piece of native folklore than Paul Bunyan.”
Ezra Jack Keats’s John Henry: An American Legend, published in 1965, is a notable picture book chronicling the history of John Henry and portraying him as the “personification of the medieval Everyman who struggles against insurmountable odds and wins.”
Colson Whitehead’s 2001 novel John Henry Days uses the John Henry myth as story background. Whitehead fictionalized the Talcott, West Virginia, John Henry Days festival and the release of the John Henry postage stamp in 1996.
In 1973, Nick Bosustow and David Adams co-produced an 11-minute animated short, The Legend of John Henry for Paramount Pictures. In 1996, the U.S. Post Office issued a John Henry 32-cent postage stamp. It was part of a set honoring American folk heroes that included Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill and Casey at the Bat.
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Consider the fact that a smaller ‘mega’ drill of this sort costs 24 times 401K at 10 million (bigger ones costs far much more) with the factory equipment to build the machine costing perhaps up to 100 million. That means 24 or 240 people could retire for everyone of these machines produced and have jobs instead (which also need buildings to house and electricity and insurance, other cost adding factors . . . ). Industrialisation takes away jobs. Now if the 99% is smart, think what will happen when fully functional Androids are developed. Will the 99% demand an equal Socialist share in a nation that supposedly belongs to all but is sequestered by plutocrats or term limited politicians (who attempt to become plutocrats), or keep building their own destruction as technology develops to make humanity redundant?
Vote for 99% types and insist on amendments for term limits at all levels where policies can be ratified. The nation belongs to all citizens and cannot remain in the hands of a handful of people who have no intention of ensuring everyone has a space and an equal share but instead write laws that oppress disenfranchise, or legislate into conformity to their narrow visions of the real world which in nature would simply see the alpha males (i.e beer guzzling Johns or Joe Publics, the semi-rich who retired to study social issues as as form of intelligensia at 21 rather than spend money on the Education-Financier Complex, even the odd ‘Bull Dyke’ lesbian ‘male’ or ‘Camp-chic’ Gays, aware of such issues from the sheer sexuality oppression discrimination of the narrow in society, who would beat Mr.Nepotist’s or Mr.Political Oligarch’s ass if they saw them in public – much like wildlife conducting the occasional kill of humanity – how many of their species were imprisoned in zoos to be gawked at till they died?), of any local society rise up in rebellion (vote rebellion if not respected and honestly conducted will result in physical rebellion) to throw down (Bastille/Independence style) those who attempt oligarchies in feudal satrap style as seen in Mubarak or Gaddafi’s or Salleh’s cases.
Tower about that? Chinese city builds its own version of the world-famous London landmark – by Tom Goodenough – PUBLISHED: 15:28 GMT, 5 July 2012 | UPDATED: 17:28 GMT, 5 July 2012
China is well known for leading the world in exporting goods, but these pictures of its very own Tower Bridge show the country is not adverse to importing a historical monument or two.
To the untrained eye, visitors to Suzhou in the east of China may well believe they have ended up 9,000km away by mistake.
The city in the Jiangsu province now boasts its very own – almost identical – version of London’s most iconic bridge.
The cloned Tower Bridge in Suzhou in China’s Jiangsu province, is an almost identical version of London’s landmark
As if that’s not enough to stave off homesickness for English visitors, the reproduction of the bridge also boasts a cafe at the top promising ‘English-style coffee’.
All that differs between the two replicas is that the Chinese version lacks a raising mechanism to allow boats to pass underneath.
The top floor of the building boasts a cafe promising ‘English-style coffee’ to guests
Unlike the version spanning the Thames, the replica Tower Bridge lacks a raising mechanism
And, of course, during the Olympics this summer, it also won’t boast the five rings currently adorning the version that spans the River Thames.
London is not the only city to have inspired builders in Suzhou, though.
Sitting about 200 miles north-west of Shanghai, the area has become well known for cloning other world-famous landmarks.
The river through the city also has its own Sydney Harbour Bridge, as well as a copy-cat Alexandre III Bridge straight out of the French capital, Paris.
English, Dutch and French visitors to Suzhou can all feel at home in the city thanks to its replica landmarks
As well as being inspired by London’s landmark, the city also boasts its own Sydney Harbour Bridge
As well as being inspired by London’s landmark, the city also boasts its own Sydney Harbour Bridge
The original Tower Bridge, complete with Olympic rings, which will be illuminated every night during the Games
On top of that, the area boasts a Dutch town complete with windmill and Dutch-style housing.
Suzhou is often dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’ and has been an important hub of China’s silk industry for around a thousand years.
The original Tower Bridge dates back to 1896 when it was the only crossing point over the river Thames.
A colossal 11,000 tonnes of steel help provide the framework to the tower which, at the time it was built, was the product of 432 working over an eight year period.
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Abit disjointed. How about marking out and building on the very Western border of Central Inland Asian nations an exact replica of England right down to Buckingham Palace? This ‘New England’ project could take a century or few to build but might well be worth the effort. China after all is 73 (219 if only the Angle parts are considered) times the size of England . . . might as well make the best use of that space. After ‘New England’ is built, invite any number of ‘white’ people (including ‘hoodies’ and ‘chavs’ to hold yearly faux ‘Riots’) to live there. So whos going to be QEIII? A Camilla or Kate lookalike? Would draw the crowd in China for sure, (i.e. ‘lets visit the Queen of Englishstan in the Western Regions this holiday . . . ‘).
Ann Romney: Obama’s whole campaign strategy is “let’s kill this guy” – by Jan Crawford – July 5, 2012 7:18 AM
(CBS News) On a mission to shatter the image of her husband as rigid and unrelatable, Ann Romney told CBS News she worries that President Obama’s entire campaign strategy is “kill Romney.”
“I feel like all he’s doing is saying, ‘Let’s kill this guy,” she said, seated next to her husband, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, in an exclusive interview with CBS News chief political correspondent Jan Crawford. “And I feel like that’s not really a very good campaign policy.
“I feel like Mitt’s got the answers to turn this country around,” she continued. “He’s the one that’s got to bring back hope for this country, which is what they ran on last time. But the truth is, this is the one that has the hope for the – for America.”
Romney: Roberts health care ruling not accurate
In August, some Democratic strategists let leak to the press that Obama’s top aides were looking at a massive character takedown of Romney in light of a deterring economy; “kill Romney” was a phrase used by one. “That was their memo that came out from their campaign,” Ann Romney said. “And it’s like, ‘not when I’m next to him you better not.”
(Watch more of the interview with Mitt and Ann Romney below.)
Mitt Romney’s image problem is perhaps the single most consistent aspect of his candidacy. The latest installment of his portrait as being unable to relate to the plight of the common man came Wednesday, with a report suggesting his already $250 million net worth, as estimated by his campaign, could be greater still with assets hidden offshore.
Ann Romney said it’s all part of a plan to portray her husband “in a light that is just completely wrong… they don’t’ get him at all.” Pressed by Crawford on what qualities in her husband she sees most misrepresented, she said, that “he’s not as approachable as I am or something like that. That’s like, really kind of funny to me because it’s all – it’s all backwards.”
“That’ll change,” Mitt Romney assured her. “That’ll come with time.”
One opening the pair has to usher in an “everyday” persona is their search for a running mate. Though Mitt Romney wouldn’t say where he is in the picking process, both he and Ann said they have a shortlist of favorites.
She said she’s been “giving [the veepstakes] a lot of thought actually,” and is convinced that “it’s gonna take someone else that’s gonna be there with Mitt, that Mitt will enjoy, with the same personality type that will enjoy spending time with them, and also competent, capable, and willing to serve this country.”
On their way to meet up with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., who frequents the running mate shortlist chatter, at a July Fourth parade in Wolfeboro, N.H., Ann Romney said she and her husband “been looking at” the possibility of choosing a woman to run alongside him. “And I’d love that option as well,” she said.
© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.
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Everyday man? OK. Try this to prove the ‘Everyday Man-ness’ of Romney. Dish out 401K to the first 10 homeless, jobless US army veterans who approach Romney to retire on. AND KNOW THIS, veterans are NOT even everyday men, the who premise of the above already stinks of elitism, even though USA has somehow managed to allow these veterans to fall through the cracks. Thats 4.01 Million, but there is nothing ‘everyday’ about someone who has 250 million WHEN the country is at war and has returning injured veterans. Thats about 2% of the total wealth. For true respect drop 40.1 Million of there is so much in liquid assets. Without veterans the plutocrats should fully expect ‘Muslims’ to target them first among all Americans, more so politicians who are plutocrats. Think about these suggestions which will even then may not ‘everyman-ise’ Romney in the eyes of the US citizen. As said before injured veterans ARE NOT everyday men to even begin with. Helping ONLY veterans is already elitist to begin with and this might not even happen. So if 100s of millions worth people do not help the elite soldiers, guess what they think ordinary citizens deserve and if they deserve the ordinary citizens’ vote?
California cities consider seizing mortgages – Published July 05, 2012 – The Wall Street Journal
A handful of local officials in California who say the housing bust is a public blight on their cities may invoke their eminent-domain powers to restructure mortgages as a way to help some borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth.
Investors holding the current mortgages predict the move will backfire by driving up borrowing costs and further depress property values. “I don’t see how you could find it anything other than appalling,” said Scott Simon, a managing director at Pacific Investment Management Co., or Pimco, a unit of Allianz SE.
Eminent domain allows a government to forcibly acquire property that is then reused in a way considered good for the public-new housing, roads, shopping centers and the like. Owners of the properties are entitled to compensation, which is usually determined by a court.
But instead of tearing down property, California’s San Bernardino County and two of its largest cities, Ontario and Fontana, want to put eminent domain to a highly unorthodox use to keep people in their homes.
The municipalities, about 45 minutes east of Los Angeles, would acquire underwater mortgages from investors and cut the loan principal to match the current property value. Then, they would resell the reduced mortgages to new investors.
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This is a good use of the power, though there are some aspects of Eminent Domain that must be entirely removed for Eminent Domain to be democratic, as well as recognition and allowing of Allodial Titles for citizens who do not want to be paying taxes forever. Perhaps the debt could have interest permanently capped on condition that heirs will take up on that debt? Compound interest is impossible to fairly apply DURING recession and should NEVER compound beyond 10-20% more to the value. There must be a limit to compound interest and late payment penalties that inflate pricing beyond a few times the actual market value.
CCTV footage shows details of Microsoft firebomb attack in Greece (VIDEO) – Published: 05 July, 2012, 21:01
A security guard speaks on the phone following an attack on Microsoft’s Greek headquarters at Marousi suburb, north of Athens (REUTERS/John Kolesidis)
Greek police have released CCTV footage of the night a group of people drove a stolen van into the Microsoft office in the capital Athens and set fire to 150 liters of petrol there.
The video clearly shows the van busting through the glass doors after a few attempts. After it stops, petrol can be seen spilling from the vehicle as three people wearing motorcycle helmets emerge from the van.
The men can then be seen around the front of the van, closing doors and presumably lighting the fire, before leaving the building.
The incident happened on June 28th, after security guards were forced out at gunpoint by the attackers. As a result of the fire, the main entrance was almost completely burnt down.
Microsoft representatives said they had received no calls with threats or warnings before the attack happened.
A few days later, a little-known leftist militant group called the International Revolutionary Front claimed responsibility for the attack. Their statement, posted online, says they chose Microsoft because it “is one of the most powerful companies of the computer sector … which is now carrying capitalism on its shoulders.”
The International Revolutionary Front made its first appearance last year, carrying out arson attacks on the personal cars of Athens policemen, as well as on a branch of US fast-food chain McDonald’s.
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IRF should liase with uninfiltrated Anonymous members, local (good) gangs and act as a military arm for freedom of humanity which identifies people (such as fundos from any faith, paedophile priests unaccountable, oppressive law enforcement not legally actionable but who have harmed the citizens, oppressive makers, MPs who either propose or ratify oppressive laws) and organisations most dangerous to human freedom. Taking out a target every week or month ‘Fight Club’ (1999 David Fincher) style should encourage recruitment.
Megaupload’s Kim Schmitz looks like a foil for that ‘Bitch Tit’ Bob character if anything . . . ‘Death Machines’ (1994 Stephen Norrington) are better than lame-o flying drones Kim? Drones are also so Orwellian, do something more dramatic and Death Machine-esque. BTW Congress and the WH has lots of ‘fat sweaty psychos’ needing a claw through their shoulder . . .
ARTICLE 17 (2 Articles on 2012 France’s New PM Hollande) Legacy of Sarkozy’s Lap of luxury remains : A falcon 900 aircraft, as used by the president
‘Champagne socialist’ Francois Hollande under fire as he makes his first trip as French president…in a £12,000-an-hour private jet – By Ian Sparks – PUBLISHED: 14:23 GMT, 8 May 2012 | UPDATED: 16:47 GMT, 8 May 2012
Francois Hollande has triggered accusations of hypocrisy by making his first trip as France’s newly elected socialist president in a £12,000-an-hour private jet.
The left-wing leader – who has promised massive tax hikes for the rich – was whisked into Paris in the luxurious Falcon 900 aircraft within hours of winning the election on Sunday night.
He made the 45-minute flight to address supporters at an open-air concert in the capital after spending the evening in his home town of Tulle, in central France.
He must be tempted…Sarkozy has kept up a dignified front in public, insisting he is not bitter about losing the presidency to Socialist Francois Hollande (left)
Second fiddle: Hollande stood by as Sarkozy took part in a ceremony marking the end of World War II
His lavish choice of transport came despite his insistence just a month ago that if he was elected, he would ‘travel by train’.
Twitter users were swift to attack the 57-year-old for ‘breaking his promise’ and being as keen on ‘bling’ as his luxury-loving predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy.
France’s Huffington Post online newspaper wrote: ‘The image of Francois Hollande taking a private jet to travel 300 miles between Tulle and Paris has clearly not gone down well.
‘Within hours of being elected, he is being called a hypocrite and compared to Nicolas Sarkozy.’
French actor and socialist supporter Gad Elmaleh posted on Twitter: ‘Private jet, open-air concert, new girlfriend – welcome to the world of show business.’
Others said he should have chosen between celebrating his victory in either Tulle or Paris, rather than taking the jet – which was paid for by the French socialist party and not by taxpayers. Entente cordiale? Sarkozy offered a ‘supportive’ arm to his former rival
Entente cordiale? Sarkozy offered a ‘supportive’ arm to his former rival
Showing the strain: Both men appeared tense while observing a minute’s silence at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris
But Mr Hollande’s spokesman Bruno Le Roux said: ‘He had no choice. He wanted to make a speech in his home town as a mark of respect.
‘But there are no trains from Tulle to Paris after 10.30pm.
‘To go by car would have taken five hours, and he would not have got to Paris to thank his supporters there until 3.30am.’
Socialist party treasurer Regis Juanico added: ‘This is ridiculous. In money terms, this plane cost relatively little.
‘Nicolas Sarkozy used a £6,000-an-hour plane during his campaign and hardly ever travelled by train.
‘But Francois Hollande only once took a private plane between Metz and Perigueux, and otherwise used the train on almost every trip.’
Today Sarkozy and Hollande met in public for the first time since the election as they marked the 67th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
The former rivals laid a wreath at the tomb of the untold soldier, beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
Despite winning their bitter contest, Hollande looked almost as strained as the outgoing president.
Sarkozy is facing an uncertain future – his poor English means he is unlikely to be able to make money on the lucrative US lecture circuit, and he has ruled out any return to politics.
He has said that he would to retire, adding: ‘I am not bitter.’
France Raises Taxes on Wealthy, Companies to Narrow Budget Gap – Wednesday, 04 Jul 2012 06:35 AM
France’s two-week-old Socialist government unveiled 7.2 billion euros ($9 billion) of tax increases to meet deficit-reduction goals and avoid bond-market punishment.
The 2012 measures, approved at a Cabinet meeting today, presage even larger tax increases and spending cuts next year in an economy that’s barely expanding.
The largest new levy will be a one-time surcharge on wealthy individuals’ assets to raise 2.3 billion euros. Another 898 million euros will be reaped by ending a payroll-tax holiday. Other steps include surcharges for oil and financial companies, each raising an additional 550 million euros, and a levy on dividends and stock options.
“We face an extremely difficult financial and economic situation,” Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said at a press conference today in Paris. “The wealthiest households, the big companies, will be asked to contribute. In 2012 and 2013, the effort will be particularly large.”
France’s national auditor said July 2 that the government needs between 6 billion euros and 10 billion euros in savings this year to meet its 2012 target of a deficit equal to 4.5 percent of economic output. For next year, it needs to find 33 billion euros in savings to achieve its aim of 3 percent. President Francois Hollande has delayed the goal of a balanced budget to 2017 from the 2016 target set by previous president Nicolas Sarkozy.
France pays about 2.51 percent to borrow for 10 years, compared with 6.21 percent for Spain and 5.61 percent for Italy. The spread between French and German bond yields is at about 101 basis points, down from more than 140 points in mid-May.
Today’s mid-year corrective budget reverses measures pushed through by Sarkozy. Sarkozy had cut wealth taxes, saying it would encourage wealthy French to stay home, and eliminated the payroll tax on overtime hours to boost purchasing power and circumvent the 35-hour work week.
Hollande has said the 2013 budget will restore the pre- Sarkozy wealth tax rates on people with assets of more than 1.3 million euros. A one-time contribution is being imposed this year ahead of an overhaul of the levy.
French companies with 250 million euros or more in revenue will be asked to pay a portion of their corporate taxes early. Companies will pay a 30 percent tax on stock options, up from 14 percent. Executives receiving the options will be levied at 10 percent, from 8 percent now.
Another Sarkozy measure being rolled back is that French residents abroad will be tested on their means before sending their children for free to French state schools.
Among the measures that will be in the 2013 budget will be a 75-percent tax rate for income of more than 1 million euros.
The government has signaled that spending cuts are also coming. For its 2013-2015 budget, it plans to reduce the number of civil-service jobs by 2.5 percent annually and reduce operating costs — including car fleets — by 10 percent next year, Le Figaro reported last month.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has issued orders to all ministries except education and justice to cut spending by 2.5 percent immediately.
Hollande cut salaries for himself and for ministers by a third at his first cabinet meeting, fulfilling an election promise. French ministers will now be paid 9,940 euros a month instead of the 14,200 euros under the previous president.
Moscovici said that that taxes as a percentage of economic output will rise to 46.5 percent in 2016 and 2017 from 43.9 percent last year. Government spending will be 56.2 percent of output this year, before declining every year to 53.4 percent in 2017. Government debt is estimated peak at 90.6 percent of the economy next year, declining to 79.6 percent in 2017.
The government’s budget is counting on the economy expanding 0.3 percent this year, 1.2 percent in 2013, and 2 to 2.5 percent annually from 2014 to 2017.
© Copyright 2012 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.
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But for what looked like an earlier near slide into flagrant waste in the first article, an exceptional man. Unlike the nepotistic, term limitless trash politicians in Malaysia asking for 2 lifetimes of 401K for their own funerals . . . Lets hope Hollande does alot of good during his 2 terms in office, including sidelining all those who believe in uncontrolled Capitalism and nepotism so that the next crop of French leaders may eventually be able to set an example to the world.
Deflation results in pay cuts! GDP drops result in pay cuts! Unlike the rest of the idiots, who stupidly raise salaries when GDP rises and inflation occurs, Hollande lowers salaries. Not bad. Another good reform to institute would also be to only issue token checques to politicians worth more than 20 million individually. They must be there for their 2 terms to better the country, amend some bad laws instead of taking salaries that they don’t really need.
Hardcore punk rockers slashed with hunting knife in dressing room before gig ‘by former band member’ by Leon Watson – PUBLISHED: 10:48 GMT, 7 July 2012 | UPDATED: 14:12 GMT, 7 July 2012
A raging punk rocker stormed into a dressing room and slashed two members of his former band with a hunting knife before a gig, it emerged today.
Tattooed skinhead Harley Flanagan, 42, caused chaos when he knifed the pair – one of whom he also bit – at the Cro-Mags concert in New York.
The band, who have a strong cult following, was about to take the stage at Webster Hall, East Village, around 8.15pm when Flanagan burst in.
Former Cro-Mags bassist Harley Flanagan stormed into a dressing room before a gig and slashed two members of his former band in New York
The band’s former bassist, and one of its founders, had forced his way through the venue’s VIP section before unleashing his attack.
Law enforcement sources and witnesses told the New York Post that nearly 30 guests on the balcony were sent into a frenzy.
Security guards then jumped on the Jiu-Jitsu expert, who suffered a broken leg, before police handcuffed him to a chair.
Witness Dave Gustav said: ‘Someone was yelling, “Get his hands, get his hands, he’s got a knife!”‘
Another witness told the Horns Up Rocks website: ‘I talked to him outside minutes before it happened and I knew something was going to go down.
Handcuffed and reportedly suffering from a broken leg, Harley Flanagan is taken out of Webster Hall by an emergency worker
The attack occurred last night at Webster Hall in Manhattan, New York before the band the ‘Cro Mags’ were due to take to the stage
‘He was like a lunatic outside. Next thing I know he’s in the VIP area stabbing people!’
Eyewitness Justin Brannan said: ‘People started booing him and throwing stuff at him. His hands were handcuffed but he still gave everyone the finger.’
Bandmember William Berario, 45, was slashed above the eye and bitten on his cheek, the New York Post reported.
Michael Couls, 33 – the band’s current bassist, who is known in the hardcore world as ‘The Gook’ – was cut on his arm and stomach.
Police are visible outside Webster Hall after Harley Flanagan disrupted a ‘Cro Mags’ gig last night in New York City
Police are visible outside Webster Hall after Harley Flanagan disrupted a ‘Cro Mags’ gig last night in New York City
Both members of Cro-Mags were taken to New York’s Bellevue Hospital with non life-threatening wounds.
Flanagan, from New York, was also taken to the hospital. He was charged with two counts of 2nd degree assault and weapons charges.
The show, which was part of the CBGB Festival and also featured the band Sick of It All, was cancelled
According to the New York Post, Cro-Mags lead singer John Joseph McGowan told the crowd: ‘You can all thank Harley Flanagan for ruining the night for everyone.’
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An organic punk for sure! Not like all those gentrified OBE faux-attitude types who wear 1000s of dollars worth leather jackets or accessories, spend time in (or buying their way into) ballroom awards ceremonies, rolling in millions and such. Real punks are all cuts and bruises and burns, bad hair partial shaves, drugs, tattoos piercings, swearing, being chavs and beer swilling (because wine and anything costing more than a sterling is too toff, moonshine though is quite punk . . . ) louts, driving highly modified wrecks (as in the movie ‘Doomsday’ 2008 Neil Marshall – though the end is quite bad where a Bentley driving military woman takes over the Punks, YEAH RIIIGHT . . . real punks would eat Rhona Mitra for killing Craig Conway and Viper (Lee-Anne Liebenberg), or make Mitra a replacement for the ‘Gimp’ character . . . ) etc..
Punk is a lifestyle not everyone and mostly only the young or the older with a good constitution (and anyone with pain tolerance) can follow. The survivors of their youth punk phase tend to be burnt out vagrants with the lucky ones supported by their music. As for FEMEN or Pussy Riot type punk girls, Pussy Riot is very punk but they are definitely not aiming at the right target. Chaos for chaos sake? Pussy Riot needs to target specifics or will get little support or make little sense. Pure anarchy is pure punk, but at this level, the ‘commonsenseless’ reason and impact are lost on the mainstream. Think abit! And Russia and the Orthodox Church should after a stern conversation live on TV or radio or at Church rather than meaningless and costly jailterm, should let them off – religious people sure are merciless huh? The punishment of jail for civilian actions is excessive, and Putin being the ‘hardman’ Putin is supposed to be, could dismiss any charges in a show of being a ‘bigman’ as well – anto-Putin punks are no threat to Putin. BTW Putin . . . 2 terms only! Love those ‘In Soviet Russia’ captions though . . . Socialism is better than uncontrolled Capitalism.
Politician Pulls Gun On Man During TV Show – A television debate in Jordan descends into chaos when an angry politician brandishes a firearm at an activist. 2:59pm UK, Saturday 07 July 2012
A Jordanian member of parliament flipped out during a row on TV – and pulled a gun on his debating opponent.
MP Mohammad Shawabka was debating with political activist Mansour Sayf al Din Murad on the private satellite channel Jo Sat, discussing Jordanian politics.
In a video of the incident posted on YouTube, both men accused the other of various crimes.
“You’re a Mossad agent,” said the activist, to which the other replied, “You’re a big crook.”
The MP then stood up and began shouting at the activist. The host, Mohammad Habashneh, who was sitting between them, urged his guests to “calm down”.
Instead, the MP continued shouting at the activist. He then took off his right shoe and threw it, before pulling out a silver pistol from his waistband and pointing it toward the activist.
The opponents then left their seats, confronting one another, while the host tried to calm them down.
The two men continued to struggle as the programme ended and the credits ran.
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This isn’t Pastor Richards from GTA? “Evil doer! DIE DEVIL DIE!!! *boom*” Pastor Richards
“….. there’s blood and pubic hair all over the place!” Maurice Chavez
What did you Jordanian guys do to the Pastor huh? Where IS Barry Stark too? Weekly nude subway days! We still advocate guns for politicians in their own offices!
Flavor Flav : I Will NEVER Stop Blowing Things Up – Early July
Flavor Flav has a dilemma — he loves fireworks, he hates jail, but he REALLY wants to throw another insane 4th of July party next year … despite the warning he got from police.
Flav dodged a bullet earlier this week … when the Las Vegas PD shut down the incredibly awesome, incredibly illegal homemade fireworks display in front of the rapper’s home … and let Flav off with a warning.
Despite the close call, Flav tells TMZ … he vows to throw ANOTHER explosive rager in 2013 … explaining, “There’s a way you do it with respect … If I don’t follow their rules I can go to jail … so I’ll be more careful next year.”
Fun Fact — Flav says he dropped a couple grand on the fireworks display this year … but says it was worth it to see the entire neighborhood come together. In fact, he says everyone pitched in the next day to clean up the mess.
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Run for candidacy at whatever level needed to remove laws that allow police to put anyone in jail for fireworks (excepting when damage is actually done and the offender does not have the cash to compensate injured or damaged property). Got the money, got the popularity, but don’t know how to exercise citizen rights to get into politics to change policy (remember to leave office after 2 terms F.F., we don’t need Mugabe or Idi Amin in USA . . . set an example to the term limitless dictators in government!)?