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Old 14-10-2012, 09:06 AM   #41
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Yep. Prostitution, pornography, drug use, abortion. These are all things that happen. You can jump up and down and scream about how terrible they are, but they will still happen. Make them illegal and they will still happen.

Each and every one of these subjects provokes a huge, knee jerk, emotional reaction, and that causes half the problem. No one in their right mind would say they are always great things, but sometimes, no matter how upsetting, or distasteful we find it, they are necessary. We persist in looking at these things from a moral standpoint, but every case is different.

No one would deny (I don't think), that prostitution is a very necessary thing for some people. Men or women who, for whatever reason, don't feel able or willing to form a relationship, but still want companionship or physical closeness, or even just a businesslike release of sexual tension. Nothing wrong with that at all, as far as I can see. But prostitution is illegal, immoral. Women or men who sell their bodies are considered somehow less virtuous than other human beings. Why? If someone has such low self esteem that they feel it's the only thing they are able to do, or they do it to feed a drugs habit, then they are separate issues, and in a fair world, people in those situations would be supported and helped to resolve those issues. But, if someone, of their own free will, decides they want to work as a prostitute, in my opinion no more should be made of it than if they want to work as a plumber. It's a different kind of service, but take away the moral judgement and that's what it is.

But, like Reve says, the money isn't in that. It's much better to demonize the whole thing. Possibly literally.
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Old 14-10-2012, 09:34 AM   #42
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Default Copy typing for the win!

I'm going to put in a couple of excerpts from a book called 'The Fall' (NOT the band) by Steve Taylor. It's a very interesting book, and worth a read.

'As well as being the most successful species in the history of the earth, the human race has been by far the most destructive and violent. It's impossible to read any history book - dealing with any period of history over the last five thousand years - without being shocked by what the historian Arnold Toynbee called "the horrifying sense of sin manifest in human affairs"'
..............
It's sometimes said that war is 'natural', either because of certain chemicals (such a a high level of testosterone in men, or a low level of serotonin) or because we're made up of 'selfish genes' which are determined to survive at all costs and make us compete against other individuals or groups for resources. But there are two improtant facts that contradict this view.

The first is that war is completely unknown amongst the rest of the animal kingdom. There are some primates who show a degree of aggressive behaviour, such as gorillas and chimpanzees, but even they are nowhere near as war-like as human beings. Their small degree of war-like behaviour only seems to occur when their natural way of life or their habitat is disrupted.
This appears to have been the case with the chimpanzees of Gombe in Tanzania, who were famously studied by the primatologist Jane Goodall. They have been used as the basis of a 'demonic male' hypothesis, suggesting that male primates - including human beings - are genetically programmed to be violent and murderous. However, it's now clear that the violence of the chimpanzees at Gombe is the result of social and environmental disruption caused by human beings. As Margaret Power points out in her book The Egalitarians, Goodall's own early studies of the chimpanzees showed a lack of violence. It was only later, after their feeding patterns had been disrupted, that they began to be aggressive. Recent studies of other chimpanzee groups in their natural environment show them to be extremely peaceful.'
......................................
'But most other species are even more peaceful than primates. Of course, many animals kill other species for food, but aside from this, as J.M.G. van der Dennen writes in his book The Origins of War, 'Genocide, genocidal warfare, massacres, cruelty and sadism are....virtually absent in the animal world'.
............................
'The second reason is that, far from being 'as old as humanity' war is actually a relatively recent (at least in terms or our whole history as a species) historical development. there is still a general assumption that early human beings were primitive 'savages' who were much more aggressive and war-like than modern human beings - but archaeological and ethnographic evidence which has acumulated over the last few decades has now established that this isn't true..................there's now a general agreement amongst scholars that so-called 'primitive' human beings were free from inter-group aggression and also from much of the 'interindividual' aggression which van der Dennen speaks of. Van der Dennen examined the data on over several hundred primal peoples and found that the majority of them were 'highly unwarlike' with 'war reported as absent or mainly defensive,' while the others only had 'allegedly mild, low-level and/or ritualised warfare.' While another scholar, the anthropologist R. Brian Ferguson, has written that, 'the global pattern of actual evidence indicates that war as a regular pattern is a relatively recent development in human history, emerging as our ancestors left the simple, mobile hunter-gatherer phase.'

As we'll see, warfare only seems to have begun at around 4000 BCE. Since then, however, as if to make up for lost time, human beings have turned large parts of this planet's surface into a constant battleground.'
..........................................
The entire book is about why this happened, and what we can do about it now. It's a really good read, with some really compelling evidence and I'd recommend it. And no, I didn't write it and I don't know the author!
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Old 14-10-2012, 11:49 AM   #43
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Default War on badgers

The badger cull is starting. A new company formed to kill our badgers for the farmers who accuse the badgers of spreading TB to their cattyel meaning that many are put down. They all get put down anyway and silly farmers for deciding it is too expensive to vaccinate their cattle. Many are up in arms and protestors will be arrested and called terrorists no doubt. Any fool could tell the farmers that their cattle, which have always suffered with TB, are spreading this infection to the badgers. But as usual this is about money and yet another war on nature started by farmers with their pesticides, fertilisers and antibiotics to increase profits. You can see that there is also a war by GM on organic farming methods. The man who cloned Dolly the sheep dies this week. I am sure they will miss him very much.

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Old 14-10-2012, 11:55 AM   #44
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Default the invasion

I love our immigrants and what they have brought to our culture. We have always had immigration in Britain and it is what we are - Norman/Saxon/Celt/Viking/Caribbean/Indian whatever. But there is a more subtle invasion that has taken place which will terrorise the poor here and steal all the land - to make money. First though a look at how it happened.

These quotes are from the BBC, the closest thing we have to a non partisan media.

“ The Labour MP argued there was a "gulf" between the "splendid rhetoric" of ministers' announcements on lobbying reforms and the reality of the current proposals under consideration.
'Transparency'
He demanded to know why had the government "retreated" from publishing a code of conduct for lobbyists.
The government has held a public consultation on plans to create a register of lobbyists acting on behalf of third parties.
Under the plans, when meetings are held between such lobbyists and ministers or other parliamentarians the names of the organisations they are representing will be made public.
A summary of responses to the consultation will be published before Parliament's summer recess, Mr Harper revealed.
Draft legislation would enable detailed scrutiny of the plans to begin during this session of Parliament, he added. The session is expected to last until April next year.
But Mr Flynn said the reforms would not constitute "worthwhile transparency" unless the content of discussions with lobbyists was also divulged.
Mr Harper said that the level of detail to be revealed about meetings would be "meaningful", arguing that his plans would strike the right balance between transparency….”

This was ion May 2012 and really it reads that the Government has no intention of dealing with the people who put them where they are. In fact they are the same people who put the Labour Government in power and things were the same then. But due to a bit of secret filming which is how many things are being discovered lately we now have a crisis and it is no surprise to me that it is about arms manufacturers who of course support conflicts that need the supplies of stuff they make. They could make peaceful items but there is not so much money in that. When commissioned to make an aircraft carrier for billions it will end up costing many more billions and probably not be fit for the purpose by the time it is built. How can we lay people know whether it really costs billions to make and arm the thing anyway. We depend on the advisors to the government who are paid large sums by the tax payers. Obviously such a system was designed to be abused. We live in a world where the chief executives of charities, housing associations and other not for profit organisations pay themselves hundreds of thousands of pounds a year while they cut front line pay. Yet on the whole we have no idea what these people earn, not what they do as the main work done is by front line staff. The chief executives tend to move in murky financial circles and load the organisations with debt.

Today BBC:

“ Retired senior military officers could see their access to ministers and officials "shut down" if the system is found to have been abused, Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond has said.
His comments come after four retired military leaders were secretly filmed by the Sunday Times offering to influence MPs on behalf of arms firms.
But Mr Hammond said he was satisfied that the current system was "robust".
The paper said all the officers involved have denied any wrongdoing.
On standing down, former members of the MoD have to serve a two-year period of "purdah" - when they are not allowed to work in the private sector.
Access levels
Reporters for the newspaper posed as lobbyists for a defence manufacturer and approached four senior retired officers to ask if they would help them secure contracts.
Mr Hammond told the BBC's Andrew Marr show the "revelations were deeply damaging to the individuals concerned and their reputations".
"There is no way that retired officers influence the way military equipment is procured. I'm satisfied that the system we have is completely robust.
"But there is an issue, firstly about whether any rules have been broken and clearly at least one, possibly more of the individuals named in the Sunday Times piece were still under the terms of the two year restriction that applies after they have left the service ……”

Believe it or not this is how Britain comes to be involved in wars. If not I would not be pointing it out on a peacemaker thread. There is a huge and powerful lobby at work but we cannot see it. What we see is a statement from a senior minister that Saddam has nuclear weapons. That Iran soon will have nuclear weapons. That we need new nuclear weapons to maintain peace. That Afghanistan is training people to blow up the world. That we need a new aircraft carrier, as though the old one which we sell cheap cannot manage to launch and land planes.

It is the same message as that when we are told we must build more homes on green belt land. More roads. More railways. That we taxpayers must pay for this.

And it is the same message when we are told that our water companies, electricity and gas providers, railways, police services, council housing, benefits services, forestry, airports, oil and gas reserves, gold reserves must be sold cheap to foreign multi national corporations so that they can fleece the population at leisure. All our recent governments have been doing this.

And the same message we were told when our coal mines were closed and our car industries closed or sold. Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Landrover etc. The factories were closed because our governments refused to help them in any way but then assisted all the foreign car manufacturers set up little factories here with massive grants and incentives. You will note that there is a not a single ‘British’ car left on the streets, nor a British TV set in any home. Our car manufacturers had reached the stage of using ‘uniparts’. The same distributor or alternator in all our cars. That was bad for business. Which business? The ones that were lobbying so hard.

And the same message when they say we must bail out the multi national corporations we call our banks because they have lost billions gambling, having paid massive bonuses to their staff to do this.

Now why exactly we have leaders who are prepared to favour the corporations that destroy us is an immense question. They have sold their souls. It is war and no peace in sight. Our country which withstood invasion or accommodated it has been invaded and bought up with the complicity of our leaders. The European Union is described by the panel awarding it the peace prize as a gravy train in Brussels. They have said this for decades but never tried to stop it. A war hidden from our gaze that will take no prisoners when its troops are all in place. All the poor will be enslaved by it, then the leaders will wring their hands and complain that they did not know this was what the lobbyists had in mind for us.

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Old 14-10-2012, 04:17 PM   #45
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Default Steve Taylor

Reverend I do not know the man but am fascinated by this book. I see war starting around the same time. 4000BC is the date most give to 'Adam & Eve' not as the first humans but as the ancestors of a particular tribe which includes the man called Enoch. 4000BC is also the date for the vast temples of Malta. According to the book attributed to Enoch the fallen angels and war gods arrived in Lebanon around 3,600BC which coincides with the beginnings of many great civiliazations - Egypt, Indus, Sumerian. The start of religion worshipping male gods, the building of vast temples, and war also seem to have started then. Something definitely happened and it is unlikely that it was just genetic. It is obvious that most people are not warlike from the womb, but some are and make this happen for the rest. the tragedy is that such people in antiquity are treated as heroes, and in the modern age tend to overcome anybody in their way psychopathically to become leaders. It is said that around 1% of humanity is psychopathic but when placed in danger many people will revert to a primal ferocity in order to survive, a blood lust. It is described by such phrases as ' a red mist descended', 'he saw red' etc.

It would appear as though such people control the great corporations and empires in our world, are the chief executives and generals. The rest of us are putty in their hands. We need an active court system and legislation to make them accountable and the ICC fully subscribed for those called leaders who usually act above the law in their own countries. They will destroy us all first. I note that the latest Government are asking employees to give up their employment rights, particularly in the case of unfair dismissal to help us get over the deficit. They would but should be asking the CEO's to step down or work on front line pay. That would do the job better. certainly leaders and CEO's should be subject to psychopathic testing and lie detectors. They make us take psychometric testing these days before employing us.

The 'front line' is everything in this world and without it CEO's can do nothing. Now they are making strikes illegal, unions powerless and workers fearful for their ill paid jobs so they will undercut each other. This is why they encourage immigration to find people who will take the low paid jobs when they sack the front line staff. these CEo's are not only self serving and corrupt but short sighted. Nothing they do is sustainable. They only see short term gain and when in trouble move on. They use HR departments like the Gestapo to terrorise staff and can rely on governments and courts to support them. One day their children will hate them and it is written that they will hide before the truth, when it comes out. Anyone can see that this is what is happening now. We should let them do what they threaten. They say if we tax them (highest rate tax was 95% of earnings in the 60's) they will leave the country and work elsewhere. The world might want our expensively trained doctors and dentists but CEO's? I do not think so. Why would a group of tenants want to pay the Housing Association CEO £300,000pa? They will say to get the best person, but that is the worst person. Their overpaid Board of Directors and 'remuneration panel' work out this pay. While cutting the pay of the front line. I think these men and women are like Butcher Haig and will be hated by history, just as they are revered and feared now. Can history hurry up please.

The war between the front line workers (who do all the work) and the Boards of Directors (who do so little work) has long been fought unsuccessfully. It is hard to envisage any peace that does not bring equality. Even as a child I wondered why the men digging the roads earned so little. A child thinking this cannot be a Marxist or Communist or Anarchist or Terrorist can they? Just a child asking why the naked Emperor does so little for his milliions and has people who are expected to clean his bath, lay out his clothes, cook his food, drive him in his car and do all his work for him while calling him Sir, Master, Your Highness, Your Majesty or Lord. Isn't it all just so silly?

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Old 14-10-2012, 06:50 PM   #46
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Default Slide to war or headlong rush

I still have not touched on the war of the sexes, class war, race war, classroom war etc. But I may as well comment on today’s news. I am sure I am in enough trouble for my outspoken views but here goes.

Today Reuters reported that Israel had fired a missile killing two militants on a motor bike who had been identified as Al Qaida. An Islamic site confirmed this and at the funeral today Al Qaida smocks were worn by some which had not happened in Palestine before.

I know zilch about these militants but I do note that Al Qaida is ever ready to take responsibility for things. That they have been linked with the Benghazi attack, when an American much liked by the Libyans was killed. A man dedicated to helping them get sorted out peacefully and thus building a bridge between the US and Islam.

I also know that A Qaida has done more damage to the Islamic cause by creating hostility between Shiites and Sunnis than anyone could imagine possible. That they were headed by a man who was trained by the West and killed when he could have been captured, which one would think preferable. Killed in fact in front of a live TV audience at the White House, later shown to us. Unprecedented.

I know that the world is prepared to go to any lengths to fight these people. That those caught have been held in a special prison where they have been water boarded and treated rather harshly for some years without trial.

As we slide towards War, I cannot help but note the timing of events that lubricate the way. Israel is not now dealing with Palestinians so much as Al Qaida. This justifies the use of drones, missiles and much else. Peace processes need no longer be discussed as who can talk to them?

This has happened shortly before the next TV debate between Obama and Romney who has already criticised Obama over the Benghazi and his lack of support to Israel. Can Al Qaida involvement possibly help the Palestinians? - absolutely not all they can do is destroy them and any hope of peace. Who gains?

There is also some link between these developments and an umbrella of three terrorist Jihad organisations facilitated by the problems on the Sinai border with Egypt. It looks as though the Palestinians are in for a bad winter and it looks as though the war with Iran is even more likely. I am not denying the truth of the news reports but it is convenient at this time to say the least for the hawks and a disaster for the peacemakers.

Anyway Palestinians needs to distance themselves fast from any terrorist organisations joining in at such a time or their cause is lost forever. And great care needs to be taken by all to ensure we are not being misled again.

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Old 15-10-2012, 09:06 AM   #47
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Default War & Peace on Drugs?

The Daily Telegraph has come to my rescue. This was on Google, but only briefly, this morning and it caught my eye. It is the kind of scientific report that the Government completely ignores as it continues its dread war on drugs, which is a war on their people really. I note that it was published by the Telegraph and not those media run by News International. I may be wrong but feel that even though Mr Murdoch and his son were given a dressing down by Parliament this year, the Conservatives will not wish to alienate them further by changing tack on the drugs war, else he change sides back to Labour before the next election. Anyway I bet this report makes absolutely no difference, there have been many others before. Scientists are also in the news protesting against the badger cull, even the one responsible for the test cull. But the Conservatives will not want to upset their farmers and corporations depending on dairy products who seem to have that hunting blood lust to kill these poor creatures.

‘The UK Drug Policy Commission, which carried out a six-year study, has called for a “wholesale review’’ of drugs laws and the classification system.
It likened some drug use to “moderately selfish behaviour” such as “gambling or eating junk food”.
The report said that possession of small amounts for personal use should be a civil offence. It argued that many otherwise law-abiding young adults are criminalised and this is not always effective in promoting responsible behaviour.
The commission urged Parliament “to revisit the penalties applied to all drug offences and particularly those concerned with production and supply’’, but stopped short of calling for the decriminalisation or legalisation of most drugs.
Its six-year study found much of the £3 billion Britain spends each year on tackling illicit drugs was not based on evidence.
Until the Government pursues policies based on what works, it would continue to waste public money and damage lives.
“Seeing all drug use as invariably problematic can reduce the cost-effectiveness of policy,’’ the commission added.
“Just like with gambling or eating junk food, there are some moderately selfish or risky behaviours that free societies accept will occur and seek to limit to the least-damaging manifestations.”
Drugs policy needs to be changed to focus on lowering the risk of harm to users and to others, the report said.
Some 42,000 people in England and Wales are sentenced each year for the possession of drugs, with about 160,000 people given cannabis warnings, the report said.
For cannabis, there was “an argument that amending the law relating to the growing of it, at least for personal use, might go some way to undermining the commercialisation of production”. ‘ Daily Telegraph 15.10.12
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...-records.html#

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Old 15-10-2012, 11:54 AM   #48
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Default Class war (1)

I was intending to get to class war yesterday and hey presto my local paper the Herald Scotland published an article all about it yesterday. Not about what I see with class war but nevertheless interesting. I am copying the whole article for those with an interest in this kind of war and how we might establish peace here:

“ Class war exists – and guess who's winning?
Ian Bell
Columnist
ONE of the few truly funny things to emerge from the banking crisis was the rediscovery of Karl Marx.

As the best of all capitalist worlds wobbled on its axis, baffled economists, dismayed hacks and terrified politicians began to whisper that perhaps, just perhaps, the old bearded bogeyman had been right after all. Who'd have thought?
What they meant, through gritted teeth, was that they had stopped mistaking a set of philosophical ideas for thuggish regimes and a wall in Berlin. What they intended was a limited concession to perhaps the least complicated Marxian assertion of them all, the one that says capitalism is "inherently unstable". Like a spinning top, it is bound to fall over, time and again. There is, as the 21st century might say, a design flaw.
Predictably, this insight led to no conclusions. Few among the baffled, dismayed and terrified got around to realising that Marx's insight had never been a secret. The ghostly laughter had echoed when Thatcher was promising a property-owning democracy, when Gordon Brown was declaring "an end to boom and bust". Spectral chortling had accompanied the birth of credit-default swaps and the seven-times-salary mortgage. Capitalism has a crisis, large or small, at least once a generation: some secret.
Yet when they awoke mid-nightmare to this old truth, the "serious policy-makers" went no further. They dared not. So they neglected to ask if there had been more to Marx than a one-liner. They didn't want to know about the connections, about inequality, exploitation, the control of production and labour by the few and not the many. Even when rigor mortis began to enter the international financial system, they didn't want to hear about class.
This was a pity. The claim that capitalism is about as stable as a house of cards in a light breeze makes no sense unless you deal with class, what it signifies and describes. Why did we have an "unsustainable credit boom"? Because real wages had been held down and tick introduced as a substitute. How did employers and governments manage to suppress earnings? Because their class, and the class they represent, has ownership of capital and production, and because it controls labour.
That's the simple, not to say simplistic, version. It helps to explain why people could "afford" the seven-times-salary mortgage, but couldn't afford just to buy a house. The old Marxian wage slaves became interest-payment slaves. For those who owned the capital, loan sharking was vastly more profitable than salary bondage.
Too easy, in fact. When things began to fall apart it turned out that the "credit-addicted" employed class had been struggling along well enough with their mortgages and credit cards. Defaulting had not become a national hobby. The banks were less prudent.
So how do you persuade those who had already been paying up to pay up again? One way or another, the banking crisis has put a trillion-pound hole in Britain's accounts. The class who put themselves in charge of capital, labour and ordinary lives almost brought down their own system by refusing to be content with giant salaries and mere compound interest. So how to get the suckers – you may prefer citizens – to pick up the bill?
First, tell them it was their fault. You got a kitchen on credit or voted to have a hospital built? You brought down Lehman Brothers. Then tell them there is no alternative to a bracing round of austerity, unemployment, wage and spending cuts. We – you must not forget to say – are all in this together. Tell them it would be wrong and foolish to tax wealth, but vital to sort out welfare scroungers. Say this: "It's your money those work-shy con artists are taking. Let us get it back for you. In the national interest, of course."
Above all, deprecate any mention of class. Deprecate it mightily. Deprecate it until you are a fetching blue in the face. Tell them class describes nothing important. Tell them it's a mean-spirited distraction for an aspiration nation full of strivers. The squeezed middle hauling on its bootstraps is no different, you must say, from those who "happen" to possess unearned wealth.
What sort of person isn't a striver? Either a sponger or an envious type who doesn't want – you can forget logic at this point – privilege for all. That type wants only class war.
MARX had a lot to say about class conflict. While he neglected to recommend specific weapons and tactics – baseball bats, garden implements, mockery? – he did hold it to be inevitable.
He also said, somewhat famously, that the "history of all hitherto existing society" was the history of struggles between classes. For a Coalition Government stuffed with rentier toff millionaires, this is inconvenient. It must be why David Cameron never asks me to help with his speeches.
Addressing his troops in Birmingham, the Prime Minister went to great lengths to describe a country in which class is of no account and aspiration – but not just any sort of aspiration – is everything. His first aim was to shut up all those folk, some even on his own side, who believe that he's just a posh boy lacking a single clue about how life is lived by those he tries to govern.
Without actually lying (much), Cameron was trying to conceal his class origins by dismissing the very idea of class.
George Osborne, the Chancellor, had tried an equivalent manoeuvre with his scheme for workers to surrender employment rights in exchange for a few company shares. He failed to explain why such an exercise in participatory capitalism is never attempted in City boardrooms. He thought he was satirising utopian notions of workers' control. But the stunt was based on a far dafter idea: we can all be capitalists.
We can't, of course, and Osborne's friends wouldn't care for it if we could. There's a word for a system in which the fruits of industry by hand or by brain are truly held in common. It is not to the Chancellor's taste. Even Labour, supposedly waging class war, rid itself of that idea years ago, leaving nothing worth the name in its place. Osborne just wants us to believe that we and he could live in the same world, occupying the same economic space, with the same rights and powers. If we give up a few rights, that is.
The Tories get away with these fictions because they know all about class war. They think they know how to win it, too. They understand the uses of the poor and helpless as scapegoats, ideal for keeping the lower orders at each other's throats. They deploy fear as a weapon and foster docility with vain hopes for those who yet "aspire".
Cameron doesn't deplore class. He defends his own with every fibre of his devious being. His sort caused the great crash and it is his job, above any other task, to ensure that no-one rebels against the price now being exacted. He only rails against class, even when his target is a straw man like Ed Miliband, to prevent us from seeing him for what he is.
But he's the man who leads the party whose chief whip – spontaneously, sincerely, instinctively – believes that there are two kinds of people in the world, his own and the plebs. Personally, I'm leaning towards baseball bats.
http://www.heraldscotland.com/commen...nning.19133424

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Old 15-10-2012, 12:36 PM   #49
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Default class war (2)

What I mean by class is not exactly what the word means these days. Perhaps I really mean ‘caste’. This is the situation into which you are born due entirely to the situation in which your parents and ancestors inhabit. Mobility of class does not come into it. Obviously a person born into poverty can win £110 million on the Euromillions lottery and be listed amongst the thousand richest people in the country. But as we all know that will not necessarily make them acceptable in the drawing rooms of the aristocracy who will view them as ‘nouveau riche’.

The real class war is not between the rich and poor at all. That is a different war. The classes that I mean are royalty, aristocracy, gentry and the working classes. The working classes being those who have to work for a living. The others are born into titles, land and family fortunes. Things are changing for them with the plutocracy of course. At one time an earl was born into a family and assured his seat in the House of Lords. He and the local gentry were landowners go back to feudal times. Farmers paid them rents, tenants paid them rents and they ruled these people in their fiefdoms.

Now that may seem an archaic way of looking at life but as soon as you go deep into the countryside you will become only too aware that it still exists. It exists in countries all over the world whether these people are sheikhs, rajahs, lords or dons. The US was going to be different but even they have created their dynasties as we see all too clearly - the Kennedies, the Ewings and so on.

Usually we are expected to bow or tip our hats when they pass. They inhabit a different world and we belong to them. Enlightened as the despots are thought to be they are not there by merit, wealth, intelligence or chance. But by birth.

To find the origin of such a system is not hard. It did not exist in the world until around 4000BC, before that there were tribal leaders and they are found in graves in Egypt with their sceptres of maces, but the graves are identical to their subjects and if anything these ones were chosen for their savvy or strength. Egypt was not the only country to kill them when they got their first grey hairs and this system is called regicide.

But after the First Dynasty in Egypt around 3500BC the Pharaohs (great house is what the name means) were buried in vast graves, with many of their attendants and wives sacrificed with them. The same is true in Iraq or Sumeria as it was known. These were the first Dynasties and as the name implies these great houses were in fact family trees. Succession was by birth. And this was also seen in the smaller counties that made up the country. They were called Nomes in Egypt and there were 42 of them. They were also ruled by families. Those people who had been there before they arrived were enslaved into a feudal system.

If a country invaded another as when the Normans invaded Britain, the old order was replaced by a new order but it was still feudal and the working classes carried on but with new masters,. These working classes made up the rank and file of the armies, not the officer corps. That is a remnant of the difference between the one class and the other.

Usually the working classes just got on with it. They ‘knew their place’. If they were the untouchables in India they had no choice anyway and still have very little. But in their hearts was what one could describe as class war. They knew well that their lords and masters had no good reason to look down on them. Kings might claim a divine right to rule, but the working classes did not actually believe it.

Revolutions happened from time to time. France was a notable example. But in no time at all the old order was replaced by a new hierarchy. Oliver Cromwell decapitated the King of England but within a year or two was considering making himself king instead. He was not of the working class anyway.

Because of the threat to the ’upper classes’ there has always been a draconian regime to ensure no revolution can take place. The officer corps is part of it. The Riot law another. We saw that in the UK two years ago as riots happened around the country and police forces were mobilised. Scotland sent officers to London. When it comes to it looters and rioters will be shot, .and this is preceded by the ‘Riot Act’ being read. It has happened forever. In fact it is just as well otherwise we would be governed by criminal gangs roaming the streets and breaking into our homes.

Religions conspire with this and preach subservience. The monarch usually is the Head of the Church. In the past the second sons of aristocrats often entered the Church. The royalty is protected by what is called Treason. This is always punishable by death.

Most countries are governed by the upper classes...South America has had many revolutions but the indigenous peoples are usually governed by an upper class that arrived from Europe. There are some exceptions but they are usually bracketed together as being ’communist’. That is what was hated about ‘communism’ it was not initially ruled by upper classes but dared to allow rule by the working classes. Most of these regimes are a sham. Mao Zedung was every inch an Emperor. Russian is ruled by an elite too.

So when we think about class war it is not necessarily a real war on the streets. It is a war in the heart of most people who are governed by an elite that they can never be part of. As a result there is never any real peace either in the world or in the hearts of the citizens who work for a living. Just a burning resentment. The rulers know of course - they bare not immune to common sense but so many have paintings of their ancestors in their family halls, traditions set in stone, that they can never change.

The UK Parliament has become an upper class. MP’s are all ‘upper class’ whether some were once from working class families. I say this because they all subscribe to the traditions and pecking orders of the ruling class, ultimately by an oath of allegiance to the monarchy.

There will never be any real peace in this world until the upper classes come off their high horses. They are no better, many are inbred. But we do not want a war to make this happen and the whole sentiment is of course treasonable. But that is the basis of real ‘class war’. It is alive and kicking and we all know it.

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Old 15-10-2012, 03:26 PM   #50
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Default war on drugs to continue ad infinitum

As predicted the Government is not impressed by any suggestion from experts that it cut its £3 billion a year war on drugs and user of them. They have no rights of course and the ‘experts’ are mistaken. The Daily Mail today:

“A Home Office spokesman 'welcomed' the UKDPC's contribution to the drugs debate.
However, they said: 'We remain confident that our ambitious approach to tackling drugs – outlined in our Drugs Strategy – is the right one.
'Drug usage is at its lowest level since records began”

The Mail also mentions that others are unhappy too:


“Mary Brett, of Cannabis, Skunk, Sense, which aims to prevent the use of drugs, said: 'They just haven't thought it out. Drugs are illegal because they are dangerous. Cannabis is getting stronger each year.
'People haven't grasped how cannabis affects the brain. It contains chemicals within the plant that stick in the brain cells. This impairs the transmission of all the other chemicals that carry out functions in the brain.”


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...#ixzz29NaWjrdK
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

So who prepared this report. This is from their website:


“The UK Drug Policy Commission launched in April 2007. Our objectives are to:
Provide independent and objective analysis of UK drug policy;
Ensure this is used by UK governments when considering policy, and by the media and public to encourage a wider, informed debate
We commission research and collect evidence about what works to inform and encourage good decisions about all aspects of drug policy.
The Commission is independent of government and special interests, both in our funding and work programme. We are not a campaigning body and we do not come from any particular standpoint.
We are a charity and limited company, and are grateful to all our funders, particularly the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, for their support.
For legal and copyright information, click here.”

And who is mary brett? Apparently she was a teacher at King Challoner’s Grammar School in Amersham and is a ‘biologist’. She was on the Board of Eurad - Europe against Drugs (see below) but is now a Director of Canns. Whether she is an expert is a question I cannot answer but this is from Canss website:


“Cannabis Skunk Sense (CanSS) is a registered charity currently run and funded principally by volunteers.
 
Its mission is to raise awareness of the continuing and growing threat to children, teenagers and their families, posed by cannabis use. The Charity was born out of the desperation of parents with children suffering from behavioural and mental problems as a result of drug taking, typically cannabis.
 
It is acknowledged widely that cannabis can act as a gateway drug to other harmful drugs. Government figures show that the age of initiation (9 or 10) is falling, the average age of first use is now 13 and among 14/15 year olds, cannabis/skunk is their drug of choice.
 
Cannabis has changed and around 80 to 90% of the drug seized is now Skunk. This is a different and far stronger drug that was available in the sixties and seventies.
 
Cannabis use causes impairment of the brain functioning leading to changes in personality, cognitive problems, in some cases, addiction, psychosis and even schizophrenia. Not to mention damage to the cardiac, immune, reproductive and respiritory systems. The consequences of use, if not necessarily life-threatening, can result in lasting damage to health, education and employment prospects.
 
The challenge for us all, and our purpose is to communicate to the widest possible audience, the huge threat posed by the drug epidemic facing society, which arises principally from Government failure to prevent increasing numbers of children and young people being drawn into the drugs culture.”

And this is from Eurad:
 
“EURADs vision may be described as a third way between the 'war on drugs' approach and drug liberalization. We are not against the user but the use. Our overarching purpose is not ideological, religious or cultural but rather the welfare, health and dignity of both individual and society.
EURAD supports the UN drug conventions and the universal prohibition of narcotic drugs. The purpose of prohibition is not to penalize but to prevent the use of these very harmful substances in society.
Law enforcement is a vital component in drug policies but must be part of a broad strategy aimed at prevention (in supply reduction as well as demand reduction) and recovery - not a substitute for it.
Policy
Eurad thinks preventing harm is always better than repairing - both in terms of human suffering, effectiveness and the cost involved. Prevention and long term follow up towards recovery and rehabilitation needs a far greater emphasis on today's drug policy agenda.
Drug policies is commonly divided in two: demand reduction and supply reduction. However we think it more adequate to talk about the continuum rather than the dividing drug policy in two compartments. The continuum starts off at the site of production and cultivation, through manufacturing, trafficking and sales to where it meets the consumer. The aim of policy up to this point is solely one of prevention.
Eurad sees prohibition and law enforcement as the most vital part of prevention. Behavior takes place in an environment where availability is defined by the mix of risk factors and protective factors. Prohibition is the most effective protective factor. But it is far from sufficient. “

As you can see these are the people who favour spending billions on  punishing the users, who are putting the business in the hands of criminal gangs who are corrupting and making even mo9re dangerous the drugs while in turn making billions. Just why they take that route is debateable but we could be sabving £3 billion on prevention and making many more billions on taxing the easy to grow herb, and regulating its supply and providing advice.

The Government will choose to listen to Mary Brett over the Professors advising them and Organised Crime will be breathing a sigh of relief. The over burdened NHS will have to deal with the effects of the many poisoned by unscrupulous suppliers who adulterate the drugs for profit. Recently they were spraying ‘skunk’ with tiny glass balls to make it look more potent. They also spray the herb with potent and dangerous chemicals which is why so many wish to grow it themselves. They are targeted by Police who have access to helicopters to detect the tell tale heat given off by lights in lofts and have reported to them any surges in electricity usage. There are around 40 successful raids a week on growers in Glasgow alone. Is this really a good use of police finances when they are cutting their numbers and budgets. We also have to pay to keep growers and users in prisons. Can they really not be allowed to make that choice. I have been around cannabis users for around 45 years now and they are some of the nicest and most responsible people in society. As opposed to some of the drinkers and chronic tobacco users I have also had the pleasure of knowing.

Ultimately the whole idea is to make a lot of money for the criminals who also run prostitution, loan sharking, people trafficking, protection and racketeering. Some are as wealthy as nations and have private armies on our streets. They seem to have more say in what happens at government level than any real expert. And this is why we have wars. The drug war has been going on since I was a teenager (I am in my 60's now) and must have cost more than the national debt.

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Old 16-10-2012, 09:12 AM   #51
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Default classroom war

The next war that I see causing us all problems I sum up as the classroom war. We all have had different experiences of education, some going to what are called good schools and some going to the others. Some loved their schools and others did not. My wife did, I did not.

It makes not a scrap of difference. The aim of them all is to provide an education which enables you to pass exams, to read and write, to count and to behave. Some do it in a Mr Nice Guy way, others do not use that approach at all.

It is to iron out the differences between us and to remove any residue of what is natural. I recall an American Indian dismayed by the system failing his braves who used to be able to run all day but now could not.

Children have quite developed spiritual lives but over the years this spirituality and innocence is drained from them and replaced with society’s goals. And it is not happily received. Most children feel rebellion arising from early on in their schooling. But by punishment and reward they gradually realise that it is in their interests to conform.

Nowadays in inner cities there is considerable resistance and some pupils are disruptive and aggressive. Teachers bemoan the effect this behaviour has on the whole class. Parents bemoan the effect it has on their own child. I have been to exclusion meetings where a child faces being expelled after many detentions but no real change. What has amazed me with these is how often I have found myself on the side of the child and upset at the attitude of teachers. Not all teachers are what one would call good teachers, or even honest people.

My schooling was torturous. I hated it. I was sent away from home to a series of private schools where we were bullied by teachers, mostl of whom had been through the war serving in the iorces. We were frequently beaten and it was to develop ‘character’.

I could go into paedophilia at this point. I was lucky perhaps - not afraid to stand my ground and my parents were a worry to my teachers. But others were not so lucky and perhaps prettier. Illicit sex between boys or between teachers and boys was quite common. We all knew about it and our parents probably knew but denied the possibility when faced with the teachers. Public schools have much to answer for in this regard and it is how the upper classes are brought up. That though is just part of the war. Some older boys aged 17 or 18 would have boyfriends of 13 at school. It may have been officially discouraged but for hundreds of years was in some way tolerated and a blind eye turned. Things look different in my old school. Now it is a co-ed and seems enlightened but many of our pliticians and Lords went to the older style public schools, with caning and a system called fagging where young boys had to ‘serve’ the prefects.

The real war is one of will. The idea being that a child does not know what is good for it but some adult does. That adult however is not the parent but someone who is a professional. Very few children are educated at home by their parents. These days many people choose where to live according to the quality of local schools.

Now education is an odd thing. Some kids love to read and will do this from an early age, devouring books by the dozen and acquiring much knowledge in the process. Some love nature and investigate it. Nowadays you will find children have learned an extraordinary amount about computers, from each other not from school. Basically the genius child will pretty much teach itself and just needs the told to do this.

Sport is part of the war. Any team sport, or indeed competitive sport, has roots in military training. It is teaching children what it is like to fight in an army against an enemy that is almost identical. Fencing, boxing and martial arts obviously do this but do not think that cricket and football are just about playing with balls. You must give your all for the team and win at all costs. Indeed this underpins education anyway. It is to help your country to win.

To enable this we have to ‘break’ our children. Some take this better than others but it puts that generation at war with its parents until it is done. Look at a wild horse taken as a pony and the way that it is taught to be saddled and ridden. Children are not represented in parliament but perhaps they should be. They have no say in anything really until they are no longer children. It is not a way to enlightenment, but nor is putting a small boy in a monastery. That is done to ensure that there are children to serve the elders.

Education is of course brain washing. It is hard to see what can be done but being honest about it, and facing the fact that it is really all about making sure that a whole generation puts up with a small clique controlling a country, might be a beginning.

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Old 17-10-2012, 09:39 AM   #52
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Default Miniature World War

Difficult to see a way to peace in this war. 200 people die by the hour from mosquito bites. In fact from something tiny carried by the mosquito. Plague carried by fleas carried by rats used to decimate the populations. Ticks, fleas, worms, tsetse flies and the organisms they carry still do. Aphids destroy crops, so do the rather larger locusts. Cholera, Typhoid, Typhus still ravage. Bacteria like TB are rampant. And yet the biggest danger exceeds by number the total of all living organisms on the planet and all bacteria, is much smaller and is the virus.

We wage this war at great risk to ourselves and very inefficiently. We have overused antibiotics and pesticides so that they are no longer effective and science looks to ever more dangerous alternative. But the truth is that this happens to any species that grows out of control. And to declare war on Nature itself is foolish. It is a war ultimately on ourselves.

Take the aphid. Farmers in their greed tore down the hedgerows and splashed DDT everywhere. They killed off the natural predators that stopped the aphid population growing out of control. They tried many different types of pesticide and are now changing the genes of their crops. What they have mostly refused, and governments and corporations have backed them financially with this, is to return to organic farms with natural plots that can harbour the ladybirds and wasps that do the job better. Kill the badger and see what explodes.

We also have a war within. It is called auto-immune disease and is also growing out of control. Our bodies turn on themselves. There are autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis which are caused by the immune system declaring war on our organs. But many other diseases are also caused by our own bodies. MS where the myelin sheath of the nerves is destroyed. A disease of the thyroid can cause a host of auto-immune disease. Diabetes is widespread and may be diet related but the damage is also done by our own bodies. Cancer is. Once the signal is given our cells start serving a set of rules which is destructive to the whole.

That is true of the whole planet also. Identifying the problem is one thing but averting the crisis quite another. However those sages who stated that first one must find peace within are right. It is just easier said than done. But I would point out that in the natural world the signal is given when a population spirals out of control and this is the one thing that the world refuses to recognise, let alone deal with. It is too explosive politically. Many sensible people say this but no one will listen. As a result farmers take advantage of the growing market for food and use even more pesticide to exploit it. Pharmaceutical companies get rich on devising temporary cures for the deteriorating health of the vast population.

And as a result in secret conversations at the top they prepare for the great cull. A poisonous war after which the world will need to repopulate. This is not the way to go, it is the corporate mindset that likes it. And unfortunately for us they rule everything and try to brainwash us to think they have the answer. Perhaps the corporations are the ultimate auto-immune disease for the human when its time is up because it no longer has ‘common sense’ and is forever looking for a war to wage.

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Old 17-10-2012, 10:37 AM   #53
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Default food war

I always find the articles written by Amira Hass fascinating. She writes about the small things that are done to humiliate the Palestinians in the camps, Gaza and the West Bank. They in turn reflect the depth of the hidden war and how difficult it must be to look for a peaceful solution if you are so treated. Nevertheless that is what these people seek. Very few fire rockets, more queue for food. Hummus is a staple for them by the way. If the Welsh or Scots were treated like this by England there would be a bloody war, never mind occasional rocket attacks. The US mainland was not bombed in WW2 yet went to war, however if deprived of the foods they love by another for no good reason one cannot imagine the anger of the US citizens. It is easy to criticise if you live in luxury and do not have restrictions on your movements, food, water and health care because you are a 2nd class people.


“2,279 calories per person: How Israel made sure Gaza didn't starve
State forced to release 'red lines' document for food consumption in the coastal Strip following legal battle; official: state has right to determine who it assists.
By Amira Hass| 08:00 17.10.12
After a three-and-a-half-year legal battle waged by the Gisha human rights organization, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories has finally released a 2008 document that detailed its "red lines" for "food consumption in the Gaza Strip."

May 2010 by Amira Hass
The Defense Ministry is refusing - on security grounds, it says - to reveal why Israel prohibits the import into the Gaza Strip of items such as cilantro, sage, jam, chocolate, french fries, dried fruit, fabrics, notebooks, empty flowerpots and toys, while allowing cinnamon, plastic buckets and combs.
But in its response to a freedom-of-information suit last week, the state did admit, for the first time, that there is a specific list of permissible goods.
The suit, filed in the Tel Aviv administrative court by Gisha: Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, sought to clarify the criteria and procedures the authorities use to determine what goods to allow into Gaza. It was filed after Gazans began claiming that commercial interests inside Israel, and their lobbying power, were determining the permitted items.
In its response, the state "apologized to the court and the plaintiff for inaccuracies presented during oral arguments [in January], due to certain misunderstandings." The inaccuracy in question was its denial of the existence of written directives.
The response included two documents that the state termed drafts that are already being used in practice - one titled "Procedure for Permitting the Entry of Goods into Gaza" and one titled "Procedure for Tracking and Estimating Inventories in Gaza." The latter is supposed to warn of existing or likely shortages.
The state also submitted a third document, a "List of Critical Humanitarian Goods for the Population," whose existence it had previously denied. This list is periodically updated, it said.
A fourth document, called "Foodstuffs Consumption in Gaza - Red Lines," is a draft for internal use only, the state said, "and has never served as a basis for decision-making." Haaretz reporters Uri Blau and Yotam Feldman revealed the existence of this document in a June 2009 investigative report. It apparently determines the minimum nutritional needs of Gaza's population, according to caloric intake and grams of food, parsed by age and gender.
The state seeks to deny Gisha's suit on the grounds that revealing the first three documents would "harm national security and possibly even diplomatic relations." And since the fourth is not a basis for policy, there is no need to reveal it, the state argued.
Gisha filed its response with the court yesterday, in which it reiterated its demand for any documents that determine the goods transfer policy. "It is difficult to imagine how publishing a list of products, such as medications, foodstuffs and hygiene products, or revealing the procedures that determine this list, could harm state security," wrote attorney Tamar Feldman.

Sep 2011 by Amira Hass
Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad, formerly acting Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT ), permitted bringing processed hummus into the Gaza Strip in July 2009, for the first time in two years. However, Gilad did not permit bringing hummus with extras, such as pine nuts or mushrooms, into the strip.
Gilad, currently head of the Defense Ministry's diplomatic-security staff, had allowed bringing chickpeas, from which hummus is made, into Gaza a few months earlier, together with other legumes that had been banned there since 2007.
These details appear in documents COGAT released following a petition filed by human rights groups to the Tel Aviv District Court in February this year.
The groups - Gisha: Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, Doctors for Human Rights and HaMoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual - asked the court to instruct COGAT, a subordinate of the Defense Ministry, to disclose the regulations and criteria for permitting people to leave the Gaza Strip.
The documents consist of COGAT's weekly instructions regarding the exceptions that were allowed in or out of the occupied territories.
Although the petition pertained to the movement of people, some of the documents from 2009 came with an appendix listing the merchandise and items that COGAT permitted bringing into the Gaza Strip, such as basic humanitarian food items and other products.
The documents are mainly from 2005, 2006 and from 2009 to 2011. Those from 2007 to 2008, when the harshest restrictions were imposed, are missing.
In September 2007 Israel decided to impose a blockade on Gaza in response to Hamas' taking over the strip. The head of COGAT at the time was Yosef Mishlav.
Adding an item to the list of items permitted to bring into Gaza required the signature of COGAT's head himself. This was revealed in a document released following a previous petition filed by Gisha. Since COGAT is a subordinate of the Defense Ministry, the top official responsible for the permitted list of items was Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
In February 2009 United States Senator John Kerry visited the Gaza Strip and heard from Palestinians there that the banned items that Israel did not allow bringing into the strip included pasta. His shocked response was reported by the media. On March 3 legumes and pasta were still banned, but in May they were permitted into Gaza.
At one of COGAT's weekly meetings, between March 21 and May 2009, the officers decided to permit bringing toilet paper and hygienic products - "on the basis of examining every request individually" - into Gaza. In May the list includes "toilet paper" and "hygienic pads" with no conditions.
In the second half of 2007 Palestinians reported a shortage of toilet paper and hygienic pads for women. The list of hygienic items permitted into Gaza between March and May 2009 included toothbrushes and toothpaste.
In August 23 shampoo and conditioner were listed together with toilet bowl cleaners, in a category of "cleaning products that cannot be used for other purposes."
Between October 13 and October 21 COGAT decided to permit bringing tea and coffee for everyone in Gaza, not only for international organizations. In contrast, COGAT decided that tomato paste and fish preserves will be allowed, as before, only for the use of international organizations and only as donations - not for marketing.
Books, text books and writing instruments, printing ink, metal wires and bookbinding glue were still banned from the public at large and permitted only for international organizations, subject to COGAT's approval of each individual item.
A Gisha attorney told Haaretz that although the lists' existence was not new, "it disturbed us to see printed black on white that Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad himself had to consider bringing hummus into Gaza, despite the security risk it posed, but decided that pine nuts were too much."
In November 2009 Major General Eitan Dangot was appointed COGAT head and the list of permitted items grew. The cabinet decided to abolish the list on June 20 last year, in the aftermath of the raid on the Turkish flotilla to Gaza. However, there is still a list of banned items, consisting of products that can also be used as weapons.


http://www.haaretz.com/

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Old 18-10-2012, 09:13 AM   #54
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Default Too close for comfort

Thank goodness the FBI stopped Nafis doing what he intended. He was about to blow up the Fed Bank where the largest amount of gold in one place in the world is stored. But he also had another plan and yesterday is was stated that this was to kill Obama. A suicide mission against Obama at this time would change the world forever if successful. Biden would be President but not for long and the world would be at war. The man is not Iranian but affiliated himself to Al Qaida. I do not think that this is the end of the matter as the timing is extraordinary. Like the shooting of the Archduke which triggered the First World War. This is an official bit about it:

“JTTF were able to closely monitor Nafis as he attempted to implement his plan.
The complaint alleges that Nafis proposed several targets for his attack, including a high-ranking U.S. official and the New York Stock Exchange. Ultimately, Nafis decided to conduct a bombing operation against the New York Federal Reserve Bank. In a written statement intended to claim responsibility for the terrorist bombing of the Federal Reserve Bank on behalf of al Qaeda, Nafis wrote that he wanted to “destroy America” and that he believed the most efficient way to accomplish this goal was to target America’s economy. In this statement, Nafis also included quotations from “our beloved Sheikh Osama bin Laden” to justify the fact that Nafis expected that the attack would involve the killing of women and children.
During the investigation, Nafis came into contact with an FBI undercover agent who posed as an al Qaeda facilitator….
http://www.fbi.gov/newyork/press-rel...l-reserve-bank

That was close.

Meanwhile extraordinary things are happening on both sides of the Atlantic. The Evangelics of the US seem to be changing their mind about Temple building over the Palestinians. This is from Haaretz today:

“Jewish groups have pulled out of an upcoming meeting with Protestant colleagues over a letter from Christian leaders to congressmen calling for a possible suspension of U.S. aid to Israel.

“While we remain committed to continuing our dialogue and our collaboration on the many issues of common concern, the letter represents an escalation in activity that the Jewish participants feel precludes a business-as-usual approach,” stated a letter sent by seven Jewish groups to their Christian counterparts in canceling their participation in the October 22 -23 meeting in New York.

The event, an annual gathering, is known as the Christian-Jewish Roundtable and began in 2004 when the issue of Protestant groups divesting from their financial portfolios operations doing business with Israel rose to prominence. Prior to the Protestants' letter to the lawmakers, participants had pledged to update one another on activities regarding Israel, such as the Palestinians' statehood push in the United Nations and the upcoming Israeli elections.

The letter by the Jewish representatives was signed by the American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith International, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Union for Reform Judaism and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. The Anti-Defamation League had announced earlier this week that it would not attend the meeting.

The Jewish groups quit their participation, Ethan Felson, vice president and general counsel of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs umbrella group told JTA, because “There’s been a betrayal of trust. … We have to discern if there’s a positive path forward.”

Signers of the Protestants’ letter to Congress included the heads of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Methodist Church, the National Council of Churches USA and the United Church of Christ.

Saying they have “witnessed the pain and suffering” of both Israelis and Palestinians, they implored the lawmakers to launch “an immediate investigation into possible violations by Israel” of agreements with Washington for alleged illegal use of U.S.-sold weapons against Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Rachel Lerner, vice president of the J Street Educational Fund, wrote last Friday on the Daily Beast website that her liberal pro-Israel group “opposes proposals to condition or cut security assistance to Israel.” She added, however, that J Street shared the Christian leaders’ “concern that conditions in the region are deteriorating to the point where they `threaten to lead the region further away from the realization of a just peace.’ ”

Lerner called for American Jews to put "at least as much energy and effort" into pushing for a two-state solution as they are putting into fighting such letters, of which she said there would be more.

Also, a dozen Jewish clergy allied with Jewish Voice for Peace praised the Protestants’ leaders call. Many of the organization's members have called for boycotts of Israel.

“It is altogether appropriate -- and in fact essential -- for Congress to ensure that Israel is not in violation of any U.S. laws or policies that regulate the use of U.S. supplied weapons,” said the statement signed by 10 rabbis, two rabbinical students and a cantor”” Haaretz

Meanwhile the Prime Minister cannot be stopped from an apartheid policy that is bringing his country down around him:


“Separation fence threatens to destroy farming, ecosystem around Jerusalem
According to the Nature and Parks Authority, establishment of the wall will change not only the landscape, but also the special pace of life of traditional farmers.
By Zafrir Rinat| 04:

01 18.10.12 |
Soon bulldozers will begin to break ground close to the Palestinian village of Batir in order to build a new section of the separation fence between Israel and the West Bank. They will bring to a sad end one of the loveliest and most fascinating stories of local landscape preservation by generations of Jewish and Arab farmers. After the wall bisects it, the face of this landscape will be changed...


Netanyahu cabinet to adopt parts of Levy report on legal status of West Bank outposts
Report, handed to the cabinet in June, states Israel isn't an occupying force in the territories; senior official: Government will vote only on 'practical portions,' circumvent portion on legal status of West Bank.
By Barak Ravid| 09:27 17.10.12
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet will adopt parts of a report by a cabinet-sanctioned panel that advised legalizing West Bank outposts and rejected the claim that Israel's presence in the territories is that of an occupying force, Israel Radio reported on Wednesday”

Haaretz

The world is at a turning point but like a spinning top it is very hard to determine how it will fall. Dirty tricks are afoot as we have elections that will determine the fate of all. We have to read between the lines of the news and two things help to do this- the timing of events, and who stands to benefit from them in reality.

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Old 18-10-2012, 12:41 PM   #55
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Default war on drugs watchdog

The Government may ignore the experts and their painstaking research and follow the advice of self appointed persons with dubious qualifications but it does have an official watchdog which for example has today urged that various legal highs be banned. This is from wiki and explains how the watch dog is in fact told exactly what to think by the government who as i have explained have their own reasons for declaring war on the population. It defies belief but this is how desperate and isolated they are:

" On the advice of the ACMD, Home Secretary David Blunkett downgraded cannabis from Class B to Class C in 2004. However, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith returned it to Class B in 2009, against the council's recommendation, and also declined to follow its recommendation to downgrade ecstasy from Class A to class B.

In March 2010, the ACMD published a report, Consideration of the cathinones, which recommended that mephedrone and other cathinones should be made illegal. On the same day it released a report titled, Pathways to problems, detailing progress made on recommendations made in 2006. The report stated that not enough was being done about alcohol and tobacco usage and that the Misuse of Drugs Act should be reviewed. Because it was published on the same day as the report on cathinones, it received no media coverage, nor a response from the Home Office.

Members

The ACMD is required to have at least 20 members. Membership currently stands at 21. All members are unpaid, although expenses are reimbursed.

January 2011 Appointments

In January 2011, the government appointed nine new members to the Advisory Council, including a new chair. The new chairman, Les Iversen is a retired Oxford University professor of pharmacology and neuropharmacology specialist. The appointment of Dr Hans-Christian Raabe, a prominent member of the Maranatha Community, which aims to "re-establish Christian values in society" received coverage in the British press. Raabe, a General Practitioner from Manchester, had previously stood as a Christian Peoples Alliance candidate for the North West of England in the European Parliament elections of 2009. As a candidate for the CPA, Raabe had made a number of controversial statements concerning homosexuality, one being; "there is a disproportionately greater number of homosexuals among paedophiles and an overlap between the gay movement and the movement to make paedophilia acceptable". Raabe was quoted in response by saying, "This is an appointment regarding drug policy and what views I may or may not have on homosexuality are irrelevant." Dr Raabe once argued that "it is futile to pursue discredited policies of so-called 'harm-reduction'", and had written that "The only way of stopping people from dying from drug-related deaths is to prevent drug use in the first place". On the 8th of February 2011, Dr Raabe was sacked before his first meeting. The Home Office said it had made it clear his dismissal has been made irrespective of his religious beliefs.

Controversial resignations

Professor David Nutt of the University of Bristol was Chairman of the ACMD until being relieved of his post on 30 October 2009 after criticising politicians for "distorting" and "devaluing" research evidence in the debate over illicit drugs. David Nutt founded the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs on 15 January 2010. The goal of his new committee is to complement and eventually supersede the ACMD by providing independent advice that is untainted by government interference.

In February 2009, the government was accused by Professor Nutt of making a political decision with regard to drug classification in rejecting the scientific advice to downgrade ecstasy from a class A drug. The ACMD report on ecstasy, based on a 12-month study of 4,000 academic papers, concluded that it is not as dangerous as other class A drugs such as heroin and cocaine, and should be downgraded to class B. The advice was not followed. Jacqui Smith, then Home Secretary, was also widely criticised by the scientific community for bullying Professor David Nutt into apologising for his comments that, in the course of a normal year, more people die from falling off horses than from taking ecstasy. Professor Nutt was sacked by Jacqui Smith's successor as Home Secretary Alan Johnson; Johnson saying "It is important that the government's messages on drugs are clear and as an advisor you do nothing to undermine public understanding of them. I cannot have public confusion between scientific advice and policy and have therefore lost confidence in your ability to advise me as Chair of the ACMD."

In his October 2009 paper (based on a lecture given in July 2009) Nutt had repeated his familiar view that illicit drugs should be classified according to the actual evidence of the harm they cause and pointed out that alcohol and tobacco caused more harm than LSD, ecstasy and cannabis. Alcohol should come fifth behind cocaine, heroin, barbiturates and methadone, and tobacco should rank ninth, ahead of cannabis, LSD and ecstasy, he said. He also argued that smoking cannabis created only a "relatively small risk" of psychotic illness.

Explaining his sacking of Nutt, Alan Johnson wrote in a letter to The Guardian, that "He was asked to go because he cannot be both a government advisor and a campaigner against government policy. [...] As for his comments about horse riding being more dangerous than ecstasy, which you quote with such reverence, it is of course a political rather than a scientific point." Responding in The Times, Professor Nutt said:

“I gave a lecture on the assessment of drug harms and how these relate to the legislation controlling drugs. According to Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, some contents of this lecture meant I had crossed the line from science to policy and so he sacked me. I do not know which comments were beyond the line or, indeed, where the line was [...] ”

In the wake of Nutt's dismissal, Dr Les King, a part-time advisor to the Department of Health, and the senior chemist on the ACMD, resigned from the body. His resignation was soon followed by that of Marion Walker, Clinical Director of Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust's substance misuse service, and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's representative on the ACMD.

The Guardian revealed that Alan Johnson ordered what was described as a 'snap review' of the 40-strong ACMD in October 2009. This, it was said, would assess whether the body is "discharging the functions" that it was set up to deliver and decide if it still represented value for money for the public. The review was to be conducted by David Omand. Within hours of The Guardian revealing this, an article was published online by The Times arguing that Nutt's controversial lecture actually conformed to government guidelines throughout. The report of the review was published in February 2011.

On November 10, 2009 three further members of the Council resigned following a meeting with Alan Johnson. They were: Dr John Marsden, Dr Ian Ragan and Dr Simon Campbell. A sixth member, Dr Polly Taylor, resigned in March 2010, shortly before the decision to make the legal high, mephedrone illegal. On April 1, 2010 Eric Carlin also resigned after the announcement that mephedrone would be made illegal, saying that the decision by the Home Secretary was "unduly based on media and political pressure". He also stated "We had little or no discussion about how our recommendation to classify this drug would be likely to impact on young people's behaviour. As well as being extremely unhappy with how the ACMD operates, I am not prepared to continue to be part of a body which, as its main activity, works to facilitate the potential criminalisation of increasing numbers of young people."

Potential reduction of scientists on the committee

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 removed the legal requirement which meant the ACMD had to have scientists and experts on the panel.

Following the Act, the panel no longer has to have: someone who practices veterinary medicine; someone who practices medicine, other than veterinary medicine; someone who practices dentistry...." wikipedia

If it were not how the government also decides whether to buty arms, nuclear missiles and go tol war it would be laughable.

Jacqui Smith who singlehandedly made cannabis more illegal is a case in point. She was a school teacher who rose to be Home Secretary. In 2007 she admitted that she had smoked cannabis but said she was wrong and all drugs are wrong. Her husband was found to be watching porn, perhaps when she was at work, because she claimed the cost of this in her parliamentarty expenses. The woman then decided to make the laws regarding prostitution much more draconian, adding great danger to the women doing this. She has criminalised many good children and decent people who chose like her to try cannabis. Even a Prime Minister or two had a go. I would have thought it obvious that such a person should not be deciding any policies in this country and needs some kind of psychological help.

Fortunately for the government hardly anyone reads this thread or others like it and have no idea how bad government has got, and how we are possibly now governed by an ageing media baron who is not British and whose empire is accused of hacking phones of celebrities he calls scumbags. How long must we put up with this hypocrisy in the highest offices in the country and will I be extradited for asking this question?

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Last edited by reve; 18-10-2012 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 19-10-2012, 08:28 AM   #56
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Default war on the critics and peacemakers

Bit more from Haaretz:

Israeli Bedouin stage mass protest in wake of home demolition orders
Residents in recognized village of Bir Hadaj received demolition orders last week, accuse state of trampling on their rights as citizens.
By Yanir Yagna| 12:38 18.10.12 |
Some 2,000 Bedouin from the Negev town of Bir Hadaj staged a demonstration on Thursday morning outside of the government offices in Be'er Sheva, demanding the state rescind its plan to demolish homes in their community….Haaretz


“History
In 1978, Bir Hadaj was declared a closed military area, and the inhabitants were forced to relocate to Wadi al-Na'am near Beersheba. According to the Arab-Israeli NGO Arab Association for Human Rights, the inhabitants remained there until 1994, when they learned that their land was no longer being used for military purposes, but was being converted into a farm. The group states that they were only able to re-build their village two kilometers north of its original location.It was recognized by the government in 2004 and along with 8 other villages, became part of the Abu Basma Regional Council. Bir Hadaj is the largest town of Abu Basma with a population of approximately 5,000 and a total land area of 6,550 dunums. The al-Azzama tribe populates the town.” wikipedia




The Jewish majority is history
The government's acknowledgement that Jews are a minority in this land means one thing only: Apartheid is here.
By Akiva Eldar| 03:29 16.10.12
Amid a dry economic report published yesterday in TheMarker lies an official announcement/acknowledgment of unparalleled importance: The government of Israel confirms that between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River there is no longer a Jewish majority. In other words, in the territory under Israel's jurisdiction a situation of apartheid exists. A Jewish minority rules over an Arab majority. “ Haaretz

“Leaving post, U.S. official reflects on a new definition of anti-Semitism
Hannah Rosenthal, leaving her State Department position, says cleared obstacles en route to establishing a required 90-minute course on anti-Semitism at the Foreign Service Institute.
By JTA | Oct.17, 2012 | 12:10 PM
……Rosenthal and her staff of six within the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor cleared bureaucratic hurdles, she said, to establish a required 90-minute course on anti-Semitism at the Foreign Service Institute, the training school for diplomats, as well as a 341-word definition of anti-Semitism.

“Our reporting has improved many times over -- 300 percent in the three years I've been here,” said Rosenthal, 61, who took up her State Department post in November 2009. “That doesn't mean anti-Semitism was increasing in all those countries."

Rosenthal, who attracted headlines for high-profile encounters overseas with foreign officials, says the intradepartmental achievements were no small matter.

“That definition? It had to be cleared by a gazillion people,” she said. “But we were able to get a comprehensive definition that included not only traditional forms -- blood libel, stereotypes -- but newer forms like Holocaust denial and Holocaust relativism, and we were able to get included in there where legitimate criticism of Israel crosses into anti-Semitism."

Much of the definition straddles the delicate balance between legitimate criticism of Israel and anti-Jewish bias……..” Haaretz

I
have to say something about this. Most of my criticism here of Israel’s policies is written by Israeli Jews in their oldest newspaper. It cannot by definition be anti-Semitic. But if I wrote it then it probably would be. If one brands an entire people, race or religion then it is wrong always. Many innocents are included in the generalism. I consider most Israelis and Jews to be wonderful people and a blessing to humanity. But not all and deserve the right to criticise any of the evil ones, and of any nation.

I would never deny the Holcaust and we will never allow the 8 million Jews slaughtered to be written out of history. But I also worry about the other 52 million casualties of WW2, mostly innocents. And the victims of Stalin:

“Before the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union, researchers who attempted to count the number of people killed under Stalin's regime produced estimates ranging from 3 to 60 million…..Historians working after the Soviet Union's dissolution have estimated victim totals ranging from approximately 4 million to nearly 10 million, not including those who died in famines. Russian writer Vadim Erlikman, for example, makes the following estimates: executions, 1.5 million; gulags, 5 million; deportations, 1.7 million out of 7.5 million deported; and POWs and German civilians, 1 million – a total of about 9 million victims of repression.
Some have also included the deaths of 6 to 8 million people in the 1932–1933 famine among the victims of Stalin's repression. …Accordingly, if famine victims are included, a minimum of around 10 million deaths—6 million from famine and 4 million from other causes—are attributable to the regime, with a number of recent historians suggesting a likely total of around 20 million, citing much higher victim totals from executions, gulags, deportations and other causes. Adding 6–8 million famine victims to Erlikman's estimates above, for example, would yield a total of between 15 and 17 million victims. “ wikipedia

Famine was used as a deliberate terror by the way. Then we have Mao:

“ Nationwide political campaigns led by Mao, such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, are often considered catastrophic failures; and his rule is believed to have caused the deaths of 40 to 70 million people” wikipedia

But we have millions in camps even now:

“UNRWA recognizes facilities in 59 designated refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It also provided relief to displaced persons inside the State of Israel following the 1948 conflict until the Israeli government took over responsibility for them in 1952.
For a camp to be recognized by UNRWA, there must be an agreement between the host government and UNRWA governing use of the camp. UNRWA does not itself run any camps, has no police powers or administrative role, but simply provides services to the camp. Designated refugee camps, which developed from tented cities to rows of concrete blockhouses to urban ghettos indistinguishable from their surroundings (effectively becoming urban developments within existing cities or by themselves), house around one third of all registered Palestine refugees. UNRWA also provides facilities in other areas where large numbers of registered Palestine refugees live outside of recognized camps.
UNRWA's services are available to all those living in its area of operations who meet this definition, who are registered with the agency and who need assistance. UNRWA's definition of a refugee also covers the descendants of persons who became refugees in 1948. The number of registered Palestine refugees (RPR) has subsequently grown from 914,000 in 1950 to more than 4.6 million in 2009.”wikipedia

I am sure Ms Rosenthal means well and there are many bad anti-Semitic things happening in the world, but she must accept that the Palestinians are also a Semitic people. Also that many academics are bullied and lose their jobs if they do point out some of the evil things that are done to them. Newspapers are also bullied about their reporting and it is of great concern. This is from wiki on the liberal paper the Guardian:

“Despite its early support for the Zionist movement, in recent decades The Guardian has been accused of biased criticism of Israeli government policy. In December 2003 columnist Julie Burchill cited "striking bias against the state of Israel" as one of the reasons she left the paper for The Times. A leaked report from the European Monitoring Centre on Racism cited The Economist's claim that for "many British Jews," the British media's reporting on Israel "is spiced with a tone of animosity, 'as to smell of anti-Semitism'... This is above all the case with the Guardian and The Independent".The EU said the report, dated February 2003 was not published because it was insubstantial in its current state and lacking sufficient evidence. Greville Janner, former president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, has accused The Guardian of being "viciously and notoriously anti-Israel".
Responding to these accusations, a Guardian editorial in 2002 condemned anti-Semitism and defended the paper's right to criticise the policies and actions of the Israeli government, arguing that those who view such criticism as inherently anti-Jewish are mistaken. Harriet Sherwood, then The Guardian's foreign editor, now its Jerusalem correspondent, has also denied The Guardian has an anti-Israel bias, saying that the paper aims to cover all viewpoints in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
During the height of the 2011 England riots, The Guardian was accused of anti-Semitic incitement by the media monitoring organisation Comment Is Free Watch (CiFW), after Guardian journalist Paul Lewis singled out Hasidic Jewish residents who were not involved in the rioting. The content of his report stated, "The make-up of the rioters was racially mixed. Most were men or boys, some apparently as young as 10….But families and other local residents, including some from Tottenham’s Hasidic Jewish community, also gathered to watch and jeer at police.” CiFW responded by condemning the newspaper saying, "A 1,800 Guardian report doesn’t mention the race, ethnicity, or religion of the rioters, somehow found it pertinent to note that some of those who gathered to jeer police were, allegedly, Hasidic Jews." As a result of the negative publicity, the Guardian revised the story.
On 6 November 2011, Chris Elliott, the Guardian's readers' editor, wrote in The Guardian that "Guardian reporters, writers and editors must be more vigilant about the language they use when writing about Jews or Israel," citing recent cases where The Guardian received complaints regarding language chosen to describe Jews or Israel. Elliott noted that, over nine months, he upheld complaints regarding language in certain articles that were seen as anti-Semitic, revising the language and footnoting this change.
The Guardian's style guide section referred to Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel in 2012, but this claim was later retracted by The Guardian, saying, "We accept that it is wrong to state that Tel Aviv – the country's financial and diplomatic center – is the capital." wikipedia

As a result of this very powerful lobby very little criticism of Israel’s illegal activities, as defined by the UN, on the West Bank get reported. And this is enabling the situation to deteriorate sharply. Bullying anyone who criticises an evil policy as defined by the world’s governments cannot be right. It is a war not only on the freedom of speech, but on the defence of innocents. All innocents who have been imprisoned or murdered are important and no one should say one batch is more important than another in my book. I also object to Genghis Khan killing a million unarmed men, women and children one day before breakfast and am sure he would not have put up with my criticism either.

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Old 19-10-2012, 11:31 AM   #57
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Default The Elders

Although for some reason we hear so little about them there is a group of men and women so distinguished and so committed to Peace that they are not afraid to speak out against injustice which is driving the Earth to its end. They are called ‘The Elders’

Jimmy Carter to visit Israel, Egypt
A group of past heads of state that advocates for peace called The Elders announced the visit Thursday.
By The Associated Press | Oct.18, 2012

Former United States President Jimmy Carter will travel to Egypt and Israel next week, where he will advocate for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A group of past heads of state that advocates for peace called The Elders announced the visit Thursday.
Its news release says Carter will be joined by former Norway prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland and ex-president of Ireland Mary Robinson. The three belong to The Elders.
Carter wrote the 2006 book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid."
He said, "Israel's continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Middle East."
This summer, Carter said publicly that U.S. government influence in the Middle East is as weak as it has been since Israel was established as a nation-state in 1948.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomac...egypt-1.470858


The Elders is an international non-government organisation of public figures noted as elder statesmen, peace activists and human rights advocates, brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007. The goal Mandela set for the Elders was to use their "almost 1,000 years of collective experience" to work on solutions for seemingly insurmountable problems like climate change, HIV/AIDS, and poverty, as well as to "use their political independence to help resolve some of the world's most intractable conflicts
The Elders
Desmond Tutu (Chair), Archbishop of Cape Town, Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and former Chair of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
Ela Bhatt, founder of the Self-Employed Women's Association of India
Lakhdar Brahimi, former Foreign Minister of Algeria and United Nations envoy
Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director General of the World Health Organization
Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Brazil
Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
Graça Machel, former Education Minister of Mozambique, President of the Foundation for Community Development and wife of Nelson Mandela
Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Honorary Elder
Nelson Mandela, founder, former President of South Africa, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
Former Elders
Li Zhaoxing, former Foreign Minister of China, Ambassador to the United Nations and Ambassador to the United States
Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese opposition leader and former political prisoner, General Secretary of the National League for Democracy, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank founder and microcredit pioneer, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
At the launch ceremony, an empty chair was left on stage for Aung San Suu Kyi, the human rights activist who was a political prisoner in Burma at the time. Present at the launch were: Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter, Graça Machel, Nelson Mandela, Mary Robinson, Desmond Tutu, Muhammad Yunus and Li Zhaoxing. Members who were not present at the launch were Ela Bhatt, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Lakhdar Brahimi and Fernando Henrique Cardoso
…The Elders planned to send a three-person team on a mission to the Middle East from 13–21 April 2008, but eventually this could not take place. Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter, and Mary Robinson planned to visit Israel, the Palestinian territories, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the interlocking Middle Eastern conflicts. The Elders planned to prepare a report for the public to help people understand the urgency of peace and what is needed to secure it. The Elders also planned to meet and begin to work with groups that will reinforce the efforts by the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to negotiate a peace agreement based on a two-state solution. The Elders announced that the mission would instead take place in August 2009.
In August 2009 six Elders, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Ela Bhatt, Gro Brundtland, Jimmy Carter, Mary Robinson and Desmond Tutu visited Israel and the West Bank to draw attention to the impact of the long-running conflict on ordinary people, and to support efforts by Israelis and Palestinians to promote peace. They were joined on the trip by Richard Branson and Jeff Skoll. The Elders met Israeli President Shimon Peres, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and local peace activists involved in non-violent demonstrations. The report of their visit said they hoped it would "spur leaders and ordinary citizens alike to actions that will further peace, human rights and justice for all in the Middle East."
Four Elders, Mary Robinson, Ela Bhatt, Lakhdar Brahimi, and Jimmy Carter, returned to the Middle East in October 2010 to visit Egypt, Gaza, Israel, Jordan, Syria and the West Bank. The aim was to encourage peace efforts with an emphasis on the need to reach “a just and secure peace for all” based on international law. Throughout the trip, The Elders held discussions on the peace process with political leaders, representatives of human rights organisations, student and youth groups, women’s groups, business, civil society and opinion leaders.
During the trip, Mary Robinson said that “As Elders, we believe the two-state solution has the potential to deliver peace -- but a more energetic and comprehensive approach is needed." The Elders also called for an immediate end to the blockade of the Gaza strip, describing it as an “illegal collective punishment” and “an impediment to peace.” The Elders released a report outlining their conclusions following the visit, which they hoped would “be a helpful contribution to peace efforts.”
On 31 May 2010 The Elders condemned an attack by Israeli forces on a flotilla of ships attempting to deliver relief supplies to Gaza. They have also spoken out against the conviction of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a Palestinian leader of non-violent resistance, and in February 2011 stated that the decision of the United States to veto a UN resolution condemning continuing Israeli settlement building in the occupied Palestinian Territories was “deeply regrettable”.
Following major demonstrations across the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, The Elders stated that they stood in solidarity with “all those crying out for freedom and basic rights”. In an interview with CNN, Archbishop Tutu called on the international community to bring pressure to bear on Muammar Gaddafi to relinquish power“.wikipedia

The Archbishop will not be happy that in fact Gaddafi was caught in a sewer, tortured with a bayonet up his anus, and screaming in agony at his captors and asking what he had done to them, was finally shot in the head. The answer to the cruel despots is to take them to court and give them, and the world, time to contemplate on how we allowed their cruelty so long. Not to treat them as badly as they treated others. This is the only way to break the eternal cycles of violence and revenge which threaten us all. If the despots know they will be killed and their families too, they will never give up peacefully will they? We tend to become more intelligent in our old age and less belligerant. But there are some addled exceptions.

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Old 19-10-2012, 12:15 PM   #58
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Default The bomber

It is much too early to speculate where this will lead but one or two things coming out are very interesting. Notice how quiet it is. No President in a rose garden as far as I am aware talking terrorism. Mitt Romney also very quiet, having made a fuss about Obama not making a fuss about Al Qaida's Benghazi attack.

This bombing could have killed many Americans and made every headline for months if not years. The bomber's father says he spent all his money sending to boy to the US and that he is a peaceful chap and could not do this alone. In other words he was being used. But by whom. Al Qaida is always a convenient place to hang a bomber's hat but is it them or was he told to link up with them?

Now we find a man arrested for a routine child pornography charge appears to have sent emails to the bomber using an Arabic name. But he is named as Howard Willi Carter 111 of San Diego. Why would such a person pretend to be an Arab?

People will be getting very worried about where this is leading. Some foolish young man is used to make a very big difference to the world, just as Bobby Kennedy's assassin did. He was a Palestinian and that was when that peoples' problems really took off. There was another gun that they say killed the man, but we do not need to know about that. It was a plot behind a plot but aren't they all?

So who tried this on at election time? Again they have repeated that the target was to be Obama but as the FBI were on then case perhaps they went for the safer option. It is also clear that the men behind the bomber did not know about the FBI. One can imagine some intelligence agencies fidgeting over that. It has been a very clever and successful operation. The perpetrator is alive in custody and doubtless they already know exactly what was going on.

The real fall out may never be known but the White House Democrats must be fuming with the people orchestrating this. Had it happened Obama would probably be 'toast' as they say. He was Plan B.

I wonder if others can see how the world is already changing and key people are not so ready to tow the old corrupt lines any more. But it is all too close for comfort. How many Plan B's are out there trying to pull the wool over our eyes and the rug out from beneath our feet? I have not read that Al Qaida are taking responsibility yet as they seem to like to do. Nor Iran. Yet.

Bush and Blair may have needed a reason for war but we do not.

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Old 20-10-2012, 08:31 AM   #59
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Default Winnie the Pooh? Why not!

Quote:
Originally Posted by reve View Post
The Archbishop will not be happy that in fact Gaddafi was caught in a sewer, tortured with a bayonet up his anus, and screaming in agony at his captors and asking what he had done to them, was finally shot in the head. The answer to the cruel despots is to take them to court and give them, and the world, time to contemplate on how we allowed their cruelty so long. Not to treat them as badly as they treated others. This is the only way to break the eternal cycles of violence and revenge which threaten us all. If the despots know they will be killed and their families too, they will never give up peacefully will they? We tend to become more intelligent in our old age and less belligerant. But there are some addled exceptions.
reve x
For some reason, when I read this, the following poem jumped into my head, for the first time in 30 odd years. So I'm putting it on here. Not that I'm suggesting that Gadaffi wanted a rubber ball or gave much of a shit about Christmas.

King John’s Christmas

King John was not a good man –
He had his little ways.
And sometimes no one spoke to him
For days and days and days.
And men who came across him,
When walking in the town,
Gave him a supercilious stare,
Or passed with noses in the air –
And bad King John stood dumbly there,
Blushing beneath his crown.

King John was not a good man,
And no good friends had he.
He stayed in every afternoon…
But no one came to tea.
And, round about December,
The cards upon his shelf
Which wished him lots of Christmas cheer,
And fortune in the coming year,
Were never from his near and dear,
But only from himself.

King John was not a good man,
Yet had his hopes and fears.
They’d given him no present now
For years and years and years.
But every year at Christmas,
While minstrels stood about,
Collecting tribute from the young
For all the songs they might have sung,
He stole away upstairs and hung
A hopeful stocking out.

King John was not a good man,
He lived his live aloof;
Alone he thought a message out
While climbing up the roof.
He wrote it down and propped it
Against the chimney stack:
“TO ALL AND SUNDRY – NEAR AND FAR -
F. Christmas in particular.”
And signed it not “Johannes R.”
But very humbly, “Jack.”

“I want some crackers,
And I want some candy;
I think a box of chocolates
Would come in handy;
I don’t mind oranges,
I do like nuts!
And I SHOULD like a pocket-knife
That really cuts.
And, oh! Father Christmas, if you love me at all,
Bring me a big, red, india-rubber ball!”

King John was not a good man –
He wrote this message out,
And gat him to this room again,
Descending by the spout.
And all that night he lay there,
A prey to hopes and fears.
“I think that’s him a-coming now!”
(Anxiety bedewed his brow.)
“He’ll bring one present, anyhow –
The first I had for years.”

“Forget about the crackers,
And forget the candy;
I’m sure a box of chocolates
Would never come in handy;
I don’t like oranges,
I don’t want nuts,
And I HAVE got a pocket-knife
That almost cuts.
But, oh! Father Christmas, if you love me at all,
Bring me a big, red, india-rubber ball!”

King John was not a good man,
Next morning when the sun
Rose up to tell a waiting world
That Christmas had begun,
And people seized their stockings,
And opened them with glee,
And crackers, toys and games appeared,
And lips with sticky sweets were smeared,
King John said grimly: “As I feared,
Nothing again for me!”

“I did want crackers,
And I did want candy;
I know a box of chocolates
Would come in handy;
I do love oranges,
I did want nuts!
And, oh! if Father Christmas, had loved me at all,
He would have brought a big, red,
india-rubber ball!”

King John stood by the window,
And frowned to see below
The happy bands of boys and girls
All playing in the snow.
A while he stood there watching,
And envying them all …
When through the window big and red
There hurtled by his royal head,
And bounced and fell upon the bed,
An india-rubber ball!

AND, OH, FATHER CHRISTMAS,
MY BLESSINGS ON YOU FALL
FOR BRINGING HIM
A BIG, RED,
INDIA-RUBBER
BALL!

A. A. Milne
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Old 20-10-2012, 11:30 AM   #60
reve
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Default Poor John

I am sure he was an evil king as I would find it hard to think of one who was not. But his brother Richard the Lionheart is always portrayed as the great hero and in fact was one of the mosty evil men in history. That man bankrupted his country and took most able bodied men to his evil war against the Arabs who had retaken Jerusalem off the Europeans. He had all the prosoners of war executed - around 3000 - and was a very cruel man, to his subjects, his wife even his father. Yet the myth is what lives after him that he was a 'hero'. He only ever spent 6 months of his life in England and hated the place. John was quite different.

This is a bit of Richard's evil in wiki:

" Richard I was officially crowned duke on 20 July 1189 and king in Westminster Abbey on 3 September 1189. When he was crowned, Richard barred all Jews and women from the ceremony, but some Jewish leaders arrived to present gifts for the new king. According to Ralph of Diceto, Richard's courtiers stripped and flogged the Jews, then flung them out of court.

When a rumour spread that Richard had ordered all Jews to be killed, the people of London began a massacre. Many Jews were beaten to death, robbed, and burned alive. Many Jewish homes were burned down, and several Jews were forcibly baptised. Some sought sanctuary in the Tower of London, and others managed to escape. Among those killed was Jacob of Orléans, a respected Jewish scholar. Roger of Hoveden, in his Gesta Regis Ricardi, claimed that the rioting was started by the jealous and bigoted citizens, and that Richard punished the perpetrators, allowing a forcibly converted Jew to return to his native religion. Baldwin of Forde, Archbishop of Canterbury reacted by remarking, "If the King is not God's man, he had better be the devil's".

Realising that the assaults could destabilise his realm on the eve of his departure on crusade, Richard ordered the execution of those responsible for the most egregious murders and persecutions, including rioters who had accidentally burned down Christian homes. He distributed a royal writ demanding that the Jews be left alone. The edict was loosely enforced, however, and the following March there was further violence including a massacre at York" wiki

The sort of despot we still have in the world, pseudo religous, hypocritical, warlike and wicked. And of course determined to take Jerusalem off the Arabs.

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