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More Dubious Secrets

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Systematic Overclassification of Defense Information Poses Challenge for President Obama’s Secrecy Review

Published on National Security Archive, by William Burr, July 17, 2009.

Pentagon classification authorities are treating classified historical documents as if they contain today’s secrets, rather than decades-old information that has not been secret for years.  Today the National Security Archive posted multiple versions of the same documents—on issues ranging from the 1973 October War to anti-ballistic missiles, strategic arms control, and U.S. policy toward China—that are already declassified and in the public domain.  What earlier declassification reviewers released in full, sometimes years ago, Pentagon reviewers have more recently excised, sometimes massively.  The overclassification highlighted by these examples poses a major problem that should be addressed by the ongoing review of national security information policy that President Obama ordered on May 27, 2009.  New presumptions against classification that may be added to an executive order on national security information will not, in isolation, end overclassification. Rigorous oversight, accompanied by improved training and consequences for improper classification are essential.   Continue Reading…

Earth Egg

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Published on Countercurrents.org, by Guy R. McPherson, 19 July, 2009.

The bumper sticker starts with bold type: EARTH FIRST!
The second line is smaller: We’ll mine the other planets later.

The very notion that we can rely on other planets for resources after we trash this one is ignorant and offensive. I’ll start with the offensive part before discussing the ignorant part.

First, ethics: Did these people learn nothing in kindergarten? Never mind treating every single thing as a resource, placed here (and apparently everywhere) specifically for human consumption. Do they have no problem obliterating the living Earth in the name of economic growth? Do they have no problem committing future generations to hell on Earth, as long as they get “their” share of the planetary pie?  Continue Reading…

Howard Zinn on Robert S. McNamara

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Historian Howard Zinn Responds To Robert S. McNamara’s Death, Calls Him A “War Criminal”:

Published on Talker’s magazine, by Justin Duckham, July 6, 2009.

Renowned Historian and social critic Howard Zinn, who wrote the ground-breaking book “A People’s History Of The United States”, spoke with Talk Radio News Monday about the death of controversial former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara. Zinn refers to McNamara as a war criminal, pointing to the Defense Secretary’s key role in orchestrating the Vietnam war. Zinn also compares McNamara to Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense during the Bush administration. Zinn states that while McNamara is smarter than Rumsfeld, both are the figure heads of “ugly, immoral wars”.

Listen the audio, 2.53 min. by clicking on ‘run’.

… see also the 4 comments.

La Suisse officielle ignore le Dalaï-Lama

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Publié sur SwissInfo.ch, par Alain Arnaud, Pékin, avec la collaboration de Michel Walter, Berne, le 16 juillet 2009.

Le Dalaï-Lama sera à Lausanne les 4 et 5 août prochain pour y dispenser son enseignement à la patinoire de Malley. Pour la première fois depuis dix ans, le gouvernement suisse renonce à rencontrer le guide spirituel des Tibétains et prix Nobel de la paix. Le résultat de pressions chinoises? …

… Vive polémique:

La version officielle suscite la polémique. L’Association de l’amitié suisse-tibétaine se dit «stupéfaite et triste» d’apprendre qu’il n’y aura pas de rencontre avec un conseiller fédéral. Et le groupe parlementaire Suisse-Tibet à Berne s’est fendu d’une lettre au Conseil fédéral pour exiger de lui qu’il rencontre le Dalaï-Lama.  Continue Reading…

Assisted suicide – Going gently

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The terminally ill should be helped to an easeful death, if they ask for it

Published on The Economist.com, by , July 16, 2009.

ON JULY 10th two people died whose lives, though long, were shortened by design and with others’ help. Sir Edward Downes, a British conductor, and his wife Joan had travelled to Switzerland, where the law on assisted suicide is the world’s most liberal. He was 85, partly deaf and almost completely blind; she was 74 and had terminal cancer. Holding hands and watched by their son and daughter, they drank a lethal dose of barbiturates and died.

In most of the Western world, suicide is not a crime, but helping another to commit it is. But not all the incapacitated, or terminally ill, or permanently despairing are willing to wait for a natural death, or to take messy and uncertain measures to kill themselves without medical help. Increasingly, they travel to Switzerland, where assisting suicide is a crime only if it is done for gain (around 100 foreigners each year die at Dignitas, a suicide clinic in Zurich) and lobby their governments to change the law at home. Continue Reading…

Glad to be godless

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Published on The Economist.com/blog, by Lexington, July 13, 2009.

I HAVE to write a separate news story about the Sotomayor confirmation hearings this week, so the column will probably be about something non-newsy: a summer camp for the children of atheists in Ohio.

I visited Camp Quest a couple of weeks ago. It’s like a regular summer camp—lots of kids sleeping in cabins, exploring the woods, roasting marshmallows over campfires and heaving buckets of water over each other for no particular reason …

… Plus, of course, summer camp is fun. You get to shoot longbows and stage comedy skits. I listen to an amateur naturalist teaching the older kids something slightly rude about a certain type of toad they find in that pond. You can tell a male from a female because it croaks when you press its back. Why? Because males of this species will try to mate with anything. So when a male feels a weight on his back, he assumes it is another male. He croaks to say: “I’m male, too. Go away.” (full text).

Washington is Playing a Deeper Game with China

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Published on Voltairenet.org, by F. William Engdahl, July 13,2009.

After the tragic events of July 5 in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China, it would be useful to look more closely into the actual role of the US Government’s ”independent“ NGO, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) …

… Uyghur exile organizations, China and Geopolitics

On May 18 this year, the US-government’s in-house “private” NGO, the NED, according to the official WUC website, hosted a seminal human rights conference entitled East Turkestan: 60 Years under Communist Chinese Rule, along with a curious NGO with the name, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO).

The Honorary President and founder of the UNPO is one Erkin Alptekin, an exile Uyghur who founded UNPO while working for the US Information Agency’s official propaganda organization, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty as Director of their Uygur Division and Assistant Director of the Nationalities Services.   Continue Reading…

After America – Narratives

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For The Next Global Age

Book Review: After America – Narratives For The Next Global Age, by Paul Starobin, Viking (Penguin), New York, 2009, Narratives For The Next Global Age, (and on amazon) – Published on Countercurrents.org, by Jim Miles, 15 July, 2009.

After a half decade of books on the ‘American empire’ and many more on the politics, military, religion, and economics that are pieces of the whole, a new trend is now appearing on the book market. After the election of Obama as president, the new material is all forward looking, promoting ideas or creating possible scenarios of where the U.S. can, may, could, or should direct its energies. The general trend is the recognition that the “empire” is in significant decline, generally considered due to a combination of economic and military misadventures under the Bush regime, with recognition that it all started well before. While some see the imperial role as one that requires regaining U.S. dominance and power others see it as finding a balance in a new ordering of the world in which the U.S. will still be important but will no longer be dominant …   Continue Reading…

We Offer Riches and Perks for Corrupt Cronies, and Crumbs for Everyone Else

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Published on AlterNet, by Chris Hedges, July 14, 2009.

If you defraud banks and customers of billions, you get taxpayer money. But if you are poor like Tearyan Brown of Trenton, N.J., you are in trouble.

Tearyan Brown became a father when he was 16. He did what a lot of inner-city kids desperate to make money do. He sold drugs. He was arrested and sent to jail three years later for dealing marijuana and PCP on the streets of Trenton, N.J., mostly to white kids driving in from the suburbs. It was a job which saw him robbed at gunpoint and stabbed in the chest. But it made him about $1,400 a week …

… He had a trial after two years in jail and was found not guilty. The sheriff’s deputies in the courtroom said as he was walking out that they “had never seen anything like this.” He reaches into his baggy jeans and pulls out his thin brown wallet. He opens it to show me a folded piece of paper. The paper says, “Verdict: Defendant found not guilty on all charges.” It is dated Jan. 31, 2008.  Continue Reading…

About The Swat Operation

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Providing Clear Knowledge To The World

Published on Countercurrents, by Mehroz Siraj Sadruddin, 14 May, 2009.

Over the last few months, the media in Pakistan and around the world has been filled with news reporting, analysis and commentary on the ongoing military operations in Pakistan’s North-western regions of SWAT, Malakand and Waziristan.

Under extreme pressure from Washington and from the people of Pakistan who have borne the brunt of the casualties and other externalities of George W. Bush’s failed war on terror, Pakistan’s civilian government and the military’s top brass decided to scrap a controversial peace deal, which had already been violated by the Taliban many times, and to launch a decisive military campaign against the organisation and their allies in Pakistan’s tribal areas …  Continue Reading…

China: Security Build-Up Foreshadows Large-Scale Crackdown

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Government Should Carry out an Impartial Investigation, Not a Witch Hunt

(en français: Chine : Le renforcement du dispositif de sécurité au Xinjiang fait craindre une importante vague de répression).

Published on Human Rights Watch HRW, July 10, 2009.

(New York) – Developments in Xinjiang over the past three days indicate that the Chinese authorities are poised to launch a widespread, politicized crackdown on Uighur communities across the region, rather than undertake an impartial and objective investigation into the violence, Human Rights Watch said today.

Since the violence erupted in Urumqi, the regional capital, on July 5, 2009, following what appeared to be initially a peaceful protest organized by Uighur students, the government has proceeded to deploy at least 20,000 troops in and around the city. National and regional authorities have also announced that they will seek the death penalty for protest organizers and those who committed violence …   Continue Reading…

Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere

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… by MARTIN LUTHER KING

Published on National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons, by Ahma Daeus, .

Listen the video: Private Prisons Commerce in Souls … 1/7 ff, 7.51 min.

The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons made a concerted effort when choosing its name to erase any possibility of ambiguity regarding who we are and our mission statement. It is our unwavering organizational belief that as long as our government permits Private Prisons For Profit to operate as legal businesses, the American Criminal Justice System, in particular, will never have the capacity to develop -in theory or otherwise- a credibility that the people of this great nation can respect and feel morally comfortable with …

… INCARCERATING PEOPLE FOR PROFIT IS IN A WORD WRONG

All law emanates from the people, so that, when the laws thus enacted are not executed, the power returns to the people, and is theirs whenever they may choose to exercise it …

… We must restore the principles and the vacated promise of our judicial system. Our government cannot continue to “job-out” its obligation and neglect its duty to the individuals confined in the corrections and rehabilitation facilities throughout this nation, nor can it ignore the will of the people that it was designed to serve and protect.

There is urgent need for the good people of this country to emerge from the shadows of indifference, apathy, cynicsim, fear, and those other dark places that we migrate to when we are overwhelmed by frustration and the loss of hope.

My hope is that you will support the NPSCTAPP with a show of solidarity by signing our petition to send one million signatures to congress expressing the will of the people to abolish the private prison for profit industry. (full text).

Re: Target sector of new phase of the WPHRE

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(Concerns: the ongoing online-discussion on the WPHRE = World Programme for Human Rights Education, see links at the end)

Linked with World Program for Human Rights Education WPHRE (on Berhane Tewolde’s Development Blog), June 29th, 2009, and with URGENT – your support for statement to … , February 16th, 2009.

Received by mail:
From: Kazunari Fujii
Date: 13/07/2009

Dear all, For the second phase of the WPHRE, “Human rights education in higher education and academic institutions (as well as other research institutions related to human rights)” seems appropriate to me.

We have learnt several lessons from the first phase. There could always be both positive and negative attributions of difficult situations of human rights to the WPHRE.

In examining the WPHRE, two important aspects or its inherent limitations appear that we need to accept but in turn utilise to a maximum extent which is the reason I think this sector may be a good choice.

AS A GLOBAL POLICY FRAMEWORK WITH A PLAN OF ACTION       Continue Reading…

The discovery of the Uyghurs

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Published on openDemocracy, by  Henryk Szadziewski, July 10, 2009.

The unrest in China’s western province of Xinjiang – known to the Uyghurs as East Turkestan – has focused the world’s attention on a comparatively neglected people. It is long overdue, says Henryk Szadziewski of the Uyghur Human Rights Project.

Anyone working on Uyghur human-rights concerns becomes used to a degree of surprise and unpredictability. I should have been ready, then, for the descent of the world’s media on our small offices at the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) – and, despite the tragic events in Urumqi, glad of the wave of attention to matters that are routinely neglected. However, to those who closely follow Uyghur issues, it has been a time of sadness and regret as well as an chance to tell long-buried stories of repression and campaigning for justice.  Continue Reading…

Two forbidden books in german

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We cannot belief it, but in Europe books can be forbidden. So the two first books written by Jan Udo Holey, under the pen name Jan van Helsing are still forbidden. He was one of the first in the german language part of the world explaining some hidden mechanism relatif to conspiracy theories, shown by the actual mess with our banks.

The two forbidden german books are:

  • Geheimgesellschaften und ihre Macht im 20. Jahrhundert, ISBN 3-89478-069-X
  • Geheimgesellschaften 2 (das Interview), ISBN 3-89478-492-X

To read them you have to download a good peer-to-peer exchange programm like eMule or any other and then put the author or the book’s name into the search.

A Link: Jan Udo Holey alias Jan van Helsing on the english wikipedia.

(My comment added some hours later: Continue Reading…

Robert McNamara, artisan de la mise au pas des peuples

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Lié avec Eric Toussaint – Belgium.

Publié sur Voltaire net.org, par Damien Millet*, Éric Toussaint**, 8 juillet 2009.

Alors que l’administration Obama rend un hommage appuyé à Robert McNamara, décédé le 6 juillet 2009, Damien Millet et Éric Toussaint reviennent sur son bilan. L’homme ne fut pas seulement le secrétaire à la Défense qui théorisa la riposte nucléaire graduée et organisa la destruction du Vietnam en espérant l’empêcher de devenir communiste. Il fut aussi le directeur de la Banque mondiale qui utilisa les prêts bancaires pour étendre la zone d’influence états-unienne. À ce titre, il fut l’architecte de l’actuelle dette des pays du Sud …

… À qui ces prêts sont-ils accordés ? En pleine Guerre froide, la Banque mondiale agit pour contrecarrer l’influence soviétique et les différentes tentatives nationalistes et anti-impérialistes. Comme l’a souligné un rapport de l’Assemblée nationale française, son « rôle était de fidéliser la clientèle du tiers-monde en faveur du monde occidental » [5].  Continue Reading…

Destroying America’s Family Farm: HR 2749. A Stealth Agribusiness Empowering Act

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Linked with Stephen Lendman – USA.

Published on Global Research.ca, by Stephen Lendman, July 12, 2009.

… HR 2749 – the Agribusiness Empowerment Act:

Introduced on June 8, it “amend(s) the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) to improve safety in the global market, and for other purposes.”

Passed in 1938 to ensure public safety, FFDCA gives the FDA regulatory power over food, drugs, and cosmetics, later updated to include other biological products, medical devices, and products that emit radiation.

On June 10, FSEA was fast-tracked from the House Health Subcommittee to the Energy and Commerce Committee where on June 17 it cleared and was referred to the full House “for later consideration.” Continue Reading…

picture of the year

Comment first! »

This photo was first edited on this blog on January 31, 2007. Now I link it with the today’s article THE BURQA: PRISON OR PROTECTION, with a video: Inside Story – Burqa ban in France? – 25 June 09, 24.20 min, and with Burqa ban: What Barack Obama could learn from Nicolas Sarkozy about Islam.

black veiled women - picture of the year redim 60p.jpg

Found on Bloggers Kashmir this ‘picture of the year‘, submitted there by Feroze, on Wed, 2006-12-06.

I can not resist to pick it up and show you.

When on my travels I encouter such a … ?? human being ?? … I feel coming up in me strong old atavic reflexes … you know, the ones you have when removing a danger without thinking first …

THE BURQA: PRISON OR PROTECTION

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Linked with Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom WILPF. Then with The Killid Group TKG, and with institute for war & peace reporting IWPR (both on 13th July).
Also linked with picture of the year, with a video: Inside Story – Burqa ban in France? – 25 June 09, 24.20 min, and with Burqa ban: What Barack Obama could learn from Nicolas Sarkozy about Islam.

Published on WILPF, by Salima Ghafori (from: institute for war & peace reporting IWPR), May 20, 2005.

The oppressive Taleban regime is long gone, but many Afghan women are still afraid to abandon their burqas. “I feel naked without my burqa,” said Kabul woman Roqia, dragging large shopping bags and gasping in the heat. “I cannot take it off. I would feel that everyone was looking at me.”

More than three years after the fall of the Taleban, the streets of Kabul are still awash with ghostly blue shapes. Burqa-clad women surround cars at traffic lights begging for “baksheesh”. They float through the city’s bazaars and perch on motorcycles behind their husbands, often holding a cellular phone to their azure-covered ears.   Continue Reading…

Les Temps changent

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Un regard en arrière sur le cheminement des nouveaux mouvements religieux en Suisse

Lié avec CAP Droits de l’Homme, et avec La Suisse, havre de paix religieuse.

Publié dans CAP Droits de l’Homme, par ses Editeurs, non daté.

Naguère omniprésente et incontournable, la question des “sectes” cède aujourd’hui la place à la crise islamique dans les préférences du média. Par contraste, en France, une certaine anxiété contre cette apparente perte d’intérêt semble se manifester de la part de certains.

Rien ne sert de courir … Depuis longtemps, misant sur leurs appuis politiques réels ou supposés, les adversaires des “sectes” en France dormaient sur leurs deux oreilles. Pendant ce temps, nombre de mouvements minoritaires faisaient état de leurs activités auprès du Parlement Européen.

D’après Le Cheval de Troie, ouvrage de l’historien et assistant parlementaire, Marcel Conradt, les lobbies européens comprendraient environ 15000 personnes, dont 5000 travaillent à l’intérieur ou autour du Parlement Européen. En tout 2500 à 2700 organisations et entreprises.    Continue Reading…

La Suisse, havre de paix religieuse

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Lié avec CAP Droits de l’Homme, et avec Les Temps changent.

Publié dans CAP Droits de l’Homme, non daté.

Certes, la Suisse n’est pas le premier pays enclin à la tolérance religieuse. Rappelons qu’avant que le succès de la religion chrétienne n’inquiète les Romains, ceux-ci toléraient toutes les croyances, pourvu qu’il ne soit pas fait injure à la majesté de l’Empire. De même au Moyen Age, en terre musulmane, on accueillait des réfugiés hérétiques, sans toutefois les contraindre à se convertir à l’Islam.

Il n’empêche qu’une république telle que celle Genève, bien qu’indépendante à l’époque de la Réforme, a légué à la Suisse une aura de grande diversité d’opinions. Témoin les myriades d’organisations internationales qu’elle abrite aujourd’hui …

… Les religions en Suisse – quelques chiffres:     Continue Reading…

“Stop Nespressure” campaign targets Nestlé

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Published on SwissInfo.ch, July 10, 2009.

The International Union of Food Workers (IUF) and Swiss union Unia have launched a campaign against Nestlé demanding the food giant respect workers rights.

Union representatives say the problem is largely at Nespresso factories in Asia. On Friday they introduced an awareness campaign called “Stop Nespressure” to highlight their grievances.

In Indonesia, workers who campaigned for the right to negotiate wages were subject to intense pressure from Nestlé management to abandon the cause, IUF said. Similar cases were reported in India and Hong Kong.  Continue Reading…

Why we are submitted

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During the Middle Age the Roman Pope’s army overrun Europe to annihilate any digressing belief from Roman’s dictate – as from Albigensians, Cathars or other people.

We may have forgotten that higher rangs of the Roman Catholic church were more and more occupied by Aristocrats. The aristocratic viewpoint about humanity is simple to understand: they dictate, the people obey.

The Roman Church was only the aristocrate’s tool to manipulate people in their sense. When the Pope’s army overrun Europe, it was not to safe the Catholic Church, but secure aristocrat’s domination over the rest of the world. Continue Reading…

Is Switzerland too sexy for the Chinese?

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Published on SwissInfo.ch, Alain Arnaud, July 2, 2009.

Chinese internet users can continue to ogle the Aletsch glacier and Simmental cows, after Beijing shelved plans for compulsory computer filtering software.
Readers there can also go on visiting the Chinese-language version of swissinfo.ch and see all its pictures without waiting interminably for the site to upload.

Beijing is seeking to bundle Green Dam Youth Escort software with all computers sold in China. The content-control programme is supposed to block porn sites, but computer-security experts argue it uses code banned by companies like Microsoft because it allows a computer to be hacked.  Continue Reading…

£8m boost for local projects fighting global poverty

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Linked with Department for International Development DFID annual reports.

Published on DFID, July 8, 2009.

A campaign against ‘fast fashion’, a project teaching UK schoolchildren the true cost of blood diamonds and a group using Brazilian martial arts to educate inner-city kids about global poverty are among the new projects sharing a £8.2m Government funding boost announced by Douglas Alexander today.

This year’s Development Awareness Fund (DAF) will back at least 30 new projects across the UK designed to help more people – from schoolchildren to community and faith groups – to understand poverty in the developing world and how they can join the fight against it.

The successful projects include:   Continue Reading…