Saturday, August 06, 2005

the difference is barely there.

The difference is in the history. Murder Inc. and its wholly pwned subsidiary has a long history of invading, pillaging and disturbing these people. They have no history of disturbing the west.... Until now.

aQ telling MI that when it gets out of the affairs of the middle east everything will stop is not propaganda. Propaganda is:

...a specific type of message presentation aimed at serving an agenda. At its root, the denotation of propaganda is 'to propagate (actively spread) a philosophy or point of view'. The most common use of the term (historically) is in political contexts; in particular to refer to certain efforts sponsored by governments or political groups.

Purpose of propaganda

The aim of propaganda is to influence people's opinions actively, rather than to merely communicate the facts about something. For example, propaganda might be used to garner either support or disapproval of a certain position, rather than to simply present the position. [...]
What aQ do when they make their statements is initiating negotiation. They are laying out the terms for a cease fire; "get out of our affairs and we will cease all activities" is the opening bid. What MI do when they speak about what is happening is pure propaganda. They use language to distort the true situation; calling this a 'war on terror', a 'clash of cultures', the beliefs of the 'enemy' an 'evil ideology', claiming that the attacks have nothing to do with the illegal invasion of Iraq, re-writing history...and so on and so on. This is the essential difference between what comes out of the mouths of OBL and Bliar/USUK/Murder Inc.

I know under which rule I would rather live. I have said this before. What is true however, is that the side of right is on one side only in this case, and the people who are responsible will not back down and put an end to this absolute nonsense.

The "Plan for Iran" is coming into focus. To its eternal shame, even Canada is getting in on this plot to attack Tehran. I mention this due to the lines below talking about how MI could ease our dependence on oil if only the monies were diverted from nonsense to science.

The same has to be said about Iran. That place is soaked in sunshine. These people have no imagination whatsoever, and they are completely infuriating in this respect. Imagine if Tehran had spent the BILLIONS that they have wasted on nuclear technology on making their universities the greatest on earth; the place where every physics student is desperate to study. And yes, they really have spent that much money and probably more:

By 1975, The US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, had signed National Security Decision Memorandum 292, titled "U.S.-Iran Nuclear Cooperation," which laid out the details of the sale of nuclear energy equipment to Iran projected to bring U.S. corporations more than $6 billion in revenue. At the time, Iran was pumping as much as 6 million barrels (950,000 m³) of oil a day, compared with an average of about 4 million barrels (640,000 m³) daily today.

President Gerald R. Ford even signed a directive in 1976 offering Tehran the chance to buy and operate a U.S.-built reprocessing facility for extracting plutonium from nuclear reactor fuel. The deal was for a complete "nuclear fuel cycle".

The shah, who referred to oil as "noble fuel," said it was too valuable to waste on daily energy needs. The Ford strategy paper said the "introduction of nuclear power will both provide for the growing needs of Iran's economy and free remaining oil reserves for export or conversion to petrochemicals."[1] [...]

not only would they have an R&D programme that was the envy of the world, but they would be well on the road to having a clean energy economy, the technology for which they would be able to export to everyone that is too stupid to spend money on R&D and universities. Rather than wasting the ignoble fule on daily energy needs by servicing that demand with nuclear power, they would have saved the same amount of oil with clean energy technology. No waste problems. No threat to any other country. They would also be proving that an Islamic republic was able to compete with every other country on an equal footing, instead of being places that are backwards, crippled and broken and perpetually the pitiful underdogs of the world. They have had the billions to do the job. They had the enthusiastic populations to pull it off. They even have some brilliant scientists to put it all together. Instead, they spent (and continue to spend) money on nuclear power plants, the albatross technology that everyone in the west wants to be rid of - its almost as if they live in the same paralell universe that Bliar does, where no matter what is happening in another country, they will simply continue as they have been doing, no matter what the cost.

These people need(ed) to recognise Israel, put all their oil money into education, universities and R&D and put all their energy into Japan, who without the 'blessing' of oil or any cash cow, have managed to do very well since they have been forced to turn away from wasting money on pointless technology.

In the late 1970s Iran had the Japanese example to take inspiration from; "turn away from the war machine, and dominate", but you need to have an imagination to be able to see yourself in the future with a high tech economy ruling the roost with your brains and ingenuity alone. Now they will pay the price for their lack of vision. And so will we, as they retaliate and everything spirals into this, "If someone had told me this in the 80's I would have laughed out loud" future, which is beyond a nightmare.
posted by Irdial , 11:51 PM Þ 

I had started to tap a response to the al-Qaeda no.2's video, about how even he says aQs 'struggle' is about western policy, but to be perfectly honest I don't want to use his threats and justifications to talk about the effects of western governments detrimental policies around the world. And nor do any of the people who haven't had their opinions blinkered by the words of 'Murder Inc' (that'll be anyone that can use a search engine).

We don't need al-Qaeda propaganda telling us things will end when we get out of the muslim world to 'do the right thing' any more than we need the propaganda of 'MI' telling us that their killing and pillaging will rid the world of terrorism and benefit the general public to oppose terrorism. We don't need either and we aren't particularly inclined to believe either. As nice as their promises sound their words are two sides of the same sword, and they both know how to couch their threats in less contentious demands.

The justification for 'MI' getting out of other peoples countries has nothing to do with terrorism it is about not imposing your values upon people or nations that either do not to things the western way or are not ready to be fully integrated into western ways (I'm thinking more of global trade for this one).
Whilst we have nations we must respect their sovereignty

If 'MI' really want to 'liberate' people into western ideals then they must do it by inviting those who wish to live our way to live here and ensure that people have this option rather than being imprisoned or killed by their governments. 'MI' certainly shouldn't be propping up the sort of regime that discourages our freedoms for the sake of their profit margins.

Imagine if the oney that 'MI' spends in the pursuit of the final ~30 years supply of oil was spent on subsidising solar/wind power installations in our own countries, we would not need anything like as much oil, we would not be dependent on dealing with repressive governments, and we would not have any 'justification or rationalising' for political and military intervention in the area.

However 'MI' think that if their is a problem the only way to solve it is to make the other party relinquish it's opinion or lives, however 'MI' is no more neutral than the terrorists. Really mm you can't be equating our dumbocratically elected representatives with a lawless network of thugs? Well try substituting the anti-terrorism words of the US/UK 'leaders' with the anti-infidel words of the terrorists and vice versa, the difference is barely there.

We need to take non-meddlesome behaviour as our starting point and then if we are threatened we can legitimately say what do you think you're trying to achieve where is your justification, there is nothing *we* can do, leave us alone, or we will Tao your ass (won't we AkFe?).
Could this really work? When was the last time Switzerland got invaded? And we don't have to become like the Swiss to become like the Swiss. Anyhow they have a civillian army just in case.


Liar's current wish list of repressive measures:

The talk of amending the Human Rights act is paticularly unwelcome, it shows an attitude that thinks human rights are not rights at all but a check list of things that need to be tolerasted by the state in order to avoid a civil war and the undertone of his current proposals say that not all humans are equally entitled to such rights. It fundamentally affects all our rights not just those who allegedly preach 'in/direct incitement to terrorism'.

Yet, apparently the laws are going to be targetted at very specific groups, but the cowardice of the government, to be honest and say the proposals are inherently racially discriminatory (if not in word certainly in intention), means that the legislation is going to be drafted in the same vague way that catches out any form of criticism of government aggression (see demonstrators arrested under anti-terrorism legislation).

The idea of proscribing organisations that use our tolerance of free speech to preach non-mainstream viewpoints seems immensely fool hardy it's not simply that it will be harder to find out what is being talked about and whether the action to achieve thier goal is violent or non-violent, but also that people are entitled to question what our representatives in government do and if they do not find that information from groups in the UK they will find it from literture or websites abroad, potentially more extreme and dogmatic in their viewpoint and more likely to inflame anyone disenfranchised by life in the UK. If people are made to hide their opinions their expression will also take on the stress of that oppression.

The German banning of the swastika and nazi propaganda has not eradicated racism or 'neo-nazi' violence in Germany (in fact the few incidents that are reported here seem incredibly more brutal) and the banning of certain muslim websites and preachers will have just as great an impact on anti-western sentiment in the few individuals that are willing to engage in terrorism.

It's long gone time for the mealy-mouthed liberals to drop the "powers could be used unjustly by a future government" from their arguments, your contemptuous, threadbare PM is here.


A timely reminder of an earlier post.
posted by meau meau , 11:11 AM Þ 
posted by Alison , 9:37 AM Þ,2933,163537,00.html

Payola Shocker: J-Lo Hits, Others Were 'Bought' by Sony
Monday, July 25, 2005 By Roger Friedman

I always say when people ask me that the so-called vipers of the movie business would not last a day in the record business. Now Eliot Spitzer's office has decided to prove the point.

"Please be advised that in this week's Jennifer Lopez Top 40 Spin Increase of 236 we bought 63 spins at a cost of $3,600." "Please be advised that in this week's Good Charlotte Top 40 Spin Increase of 61 we bought approximately 250 spins at a cost of $17K …"

Ironically, it didn't help, as the memo notes that the company actually lost spins — or plays of the record — even though they laid out money for them.

See above: The internal memos from Sony Music, revealed today in the New York state attorney general's investigation of payola at the company, will be mind blowing to those who are not so jaded to think records are played on the radio because they're good. We've all known for a long time that contemporary pop music stinks. We hear "hits" on the radio and wonder, "How can this be?"

Now we know. And memos from both Sony's Columbia and Epic Records senior vice presidents of promotions circa 2002-2003 — whose names are redacted in the reports but are well known in the industry — spell out who to pay and what to pay them in order to get the company's records on the air.

From Epic, home of J-Lo, a memo from Nov. 12, 2002, a "rate" card that shows radio stations in the Top 23 markets will receive $1000, Markets 23-100 get $800, lower markets $500. "If a record receives less than 75 spins at any given radio station, we will not pay the full rate," the memo to DJs states. "We look forward to breaking many records together in the future."…

Announced today: Sony Music — now known as Sony/BMG — has to pony up a $10 million settlement with New York's Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. It should be $100 million. And this won't be the end of the investigation. Spitzer's office is looking into all the record companies. This is just the beginning. But what a start: Black-and-white evidence of plasma TVs, laptop computers and PlayStation 2 players being sent to DJs and radio programmers in exchange for getting records on the air. And not just electronic gifts went to these people either. According to the papers released today, the same people also received expensive trips, limousines and lots of other incentives to clutter the airwaves with the disposable junk that now passes for pop music…

Nice, huh? How many times have I written in this column about talented and deserving artists who get no airplay, and no attention from their record companies? Yet dozens of records with little or no artistic merit are all over the radio, and racked in displays at the remaining record stores with great prominence. Thanks to Spitzer's investigation, we now get a taste of what's been happening…

And then there's the story of a guy named Dave Universal, who was fired from Buffalo's WKSE in January when there was word that Spitzer was investigating him. Universal (likely a stage name) claimed he did nothing his station didn't know about. That was probably true, but the DJ got trips to Miami and Yankee tickets, among other gifts, in exchange for playing Sony records. From a Sony internal memo on Sept. 8, 2004: "Two weeks ago it cost us over 4000.00 to get Franz [Ferdinand] on WKSE."

Franz Ferdinand, Jessica Simpson, J-Lo, Good Charlotte, etc. Not exactly The Who, Carly Simon, Aretha Franklin or The Kinks. The "classic" is certainly gone from rock.

The question now is: Who will take the fall at Sony for all this? It's not like payola is new. The government investigated record companies and radio stations in the late 1950s and again in the mid 1970s…

Spitzer is said to be close friends with Sony's new CEO, Andrew Lack, who publicly welcomed the new investigations earlier this year when they were announced. Did Lack anticipate using Spitzer's results to clean house? Stay tuned …

(found on Robert Fripp's Journal pages on DGM...)
posted by THESE , 12:27 AM Þ 
Friday, August 05, 2005

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posted by Alun , 8:41 PM Þ 

"Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against - then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens' What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."

- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957

Someone just quoth this over at slashdot
In a thread about a proposed EU directive making P2P apps illegal.

I have been thinking about a new website, where you can log in and list a piece of legislation that you believe needs to be removed from the statue books in order to restore freedom from your country. There would be comments, moderation and every other feature you would expect.

I have said before that parliaments sit down and make law even when they don't have to because that is why they exist. To make new law.

Everyone and their dog knows that there are enough laws - in fact that there are too many laws. In order to restore freedom and return our countries to a state where people are free, it is required that we remove laws from the statute books to fix the balance that has been slowly eroded.

This website would collect lists of all the laws that must be removed. Each law would, after six months of debate, be either moderated as 'good to go' or 'must keep'. Shoud it be marked good to go, the relevant legislature would be notified. If a motion is not tabled for its removal within sixty days, the law would rendered null and void, and it should no longer be obeyed by anyone.

Unless people are willing to take this sort of action, the steady accretion of laws will continue unabated, and everyone everywhere will end up living in a world identical to 'The Trial' by Kafka, where you can be accused of a crime but not be told....ummm right.
posted by Irdial , 8:15 PM Þ 

So, people who merely say stuff are to be rounded up and kicked out.

Groups are to be banned, including 'Hizb ut Tahrir' who I had never heard of until I read that they were to be outlawed. Well, thanks for pointing them out so I can read their website.

I quoth it:

O Muslims:

We in Hizb ut-Tahrir do not believe it is allowed to kill civilians or to harm people who have amaanah (security). We believe there is a distinction between the theatre of war; the conflict between armies on the battle field, and material actions undertaken inside cities. Since the armies on the battlefield fight, they kill and are killed and the army which fights in the path of Allah is rewarded and helped (by Allah). As for fighting in cities and among civilians, it is a different matter and it is not correct or allowed. Islam has given an excellent example in its battles and its dealings during the good Futuhaat (conquests) which were undertaken to spread justice throughout the world. The actions of Salah ad-Deen when he liberated al-Quds from the crusaders is a testimony to that. When he won in the battlefield he entered the city of al-Quds and did not spill blood or kill a prisoner, while at the same time the crusaders spilled the blood of Muslims inside the city of al-Quds and even in Masjid al-Aqsa such that the blood in some places reached knee high as reported by the historians. This is Islam, its civilisation and values and this was the malicious crusader, his civilisation and values.

Despite the fact that we in Hizb ut-Tahrir are against explosions in cities and we do not believe they are allowed, we wonder why the West look at their civilians who have been killed in one way and look at Muslims who have been killed in another way?

Why is it that the Muslims killed in Palestine, the Muslims killed in Iraq, the Muslims killed in Afghanistan, the Muslims killed in Chechnya, the Muslims killed in Kashmir, the Muslims killed in Fatani in Thailand, the Muslims killed in the Moroland in the Philippines, the Muslims killed here and there, whose blood is unjustly spilled day and night by the Jewish state, America, Britain, Russia, the Hindus, Thailand and the Philippines, at the hands of the tyrants of all nationalities is justified? Why is it that those whose blood has been spilled unjustly are said to have been killed in self defence by the G8 countries! However, when Americans, British, Jews, Russians, Hindus and others are killed, the world is turned upside down for their sake!

Why do those Kuffar in the West and the Jews expect that the massacre of Muslims will not result in violent reactions from Muslims?

Why do they not expect that the violation of honour, desecration of Qur'ans and the sanctities, the brutal crimes in occupied Muslim countries such as Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir and Chechnya will push some people to take revenge, to meet killing with killing. Why do they not expect this?

Why do they not solve the problem by stopping their aggression against the Muslims and stop spilling their blood? Why do they not look at the reason for the problems and remove it rather than focussing on the effect and leaving the cause?

Why indeed. Its the queastion we all keep asking.

The spokesman for this group said, on hearing this news:

There will be serious repercussions in terms of community relations if this ban goes ahead.

We have a lot of support among the Muslim community in Britain and it will be seen by the Muslim community as stifling legitimate political dissent.

Hizb ut Tahrir is a non-violent political party. It has had a history of non-violence for the last 50 years and these measures are like what we have seen in Uzbekistan where President Karimov has been burning his political opponents alive.

hmmmm my emphasis.

Aparently anyone involved in websites like this Hizb website will also be given the boot. Websites can be run from anywhere. You know this. Even Bliar knows this. I wonder when it will become illegal to write 'Bliar' on a blog instead of 'Blair'. Other countries have laws against disparaging the leader, Bliar is following them into the abyss, so why not?

Honestly, shutting up people who are AGAINST violence (or for it for that matter) is really sinking to the lowest of the low. This has nothing to do with speech and everything to do with murder; the murder of people in other countries by USUK. I'm surprised that they have not reactivated the laws forbidding the voices of turists to be broadcast, it worked before didn...oh, no, that didnt do anything did it!

OBL's No2 said it perfectly. You WILL be leaving, so you might as well leave sooner rather than later and after tens of thousands of needless deaths. And why not? Imagine if an agreement had been reached with the IRA decades ago - imagine all the lives that would have been saved. In the end, we have come to peace with the IRA and eventually we WILL see and end to the OBL situation, and not through 'victory' but through sheer fatigue.

In fact, it would be better to end it now while OBL is alive so that he can personally declare that it is over. Should he die without declaring a total cease fire, there will be no end of illiterate and maladjusted nincompoops ready to 'avenge' his death and 'keep the struggle alive'; we have seen that in a nebulous non-organization like OBL's people can make up whatever they want and attack whenever they want and it will be attributed to him. Only HE can turn off this flood of cell based martyrs. Something to think about.
posted by Irdial , 6:42 PM Þ 

Well, what would you most like a refund for?

I'm sure all the people who paid for the national rail service and all the other stolen services and utilities would love to get a refund for all the money they paid into those services.
posted by Irdial , 6:36 PM Þ 

Heath Ledger in 2001's A Knight's Tale
Manning supposedly called Heath Ledger "this year's hottest new star"
A judge has finalised a settlement in which film studio Sony will pay $1.5m (£850,000) to film fans after using a fake critic to praise its movies.

In 2001, ads for films including Hollow Man and A Knight's Tale quoted praise from a reviewer called David Manning, who was exposed as being invented.


He supposedly called Heath Ledger "this year's hottest new star" for his role in A Knight's Tale, said The Animal was "another winner" and Hollow Man was "one hell of a scary ride".

But The Ridgefield Press, a small paper in Connecticut, said David Manning had never worked for them.


Are people dumb enough to believe advertising? Any advertising. let alone the selective quotes stuck on film and theatre posters...

Yes, I know they obviously are, but it still amazes me.

Can I get a refund for Gladiator being shite?

Or for Carlsberg actually being flavourless fizzy piss and not my passport to Partyland?
Or for not getting a shag after wearing 'Lynx' deodorant? (N.B. I have never worn Lynx deodorant. I cannot stress that strongly enough. Any body product which results in you trailing a cloud of noxious fumes with you all evening is never going to attract anyone but the hard of smelling.)
Or for...

Well, what would you most like a refund for?

posted by Alun , 6:24 PM Þ 

"We don't want it to be beautiful, we hate this wall. Go home."

meddling is meddling is meddling
posted by meau meau , 1:27 PM Þ 

Tony Blair is expected to reveal detailed plans to extend the home secretary's power to deport or exclude foreigners who encourage terrorism.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke has already said he wants to extend his existing powers to cover those who "seek to provoke others to terrorist acts".
Mr Clarke said he wanted to be able to exclude an individual from the UK if their presence is deemed "not conducive to the public interest".

He said there would be consultation before the final list of "unacceptable behaviours" was decided upon.

Anyone wanting to enter the UK would then be checked against this list - and if they are on it they may be refused permission to enter the country.

Mr Clarke also said he planned a new offence of "indirect incitement to terrorism", to add to the current offence of direct incitement.
Anyone affected by the new powers would have the right to appeal or have the case judicially reviewed.

How wonderfully vague! This is so flexible as to be molded to block any kind of free speech imaginable! I can just taste the bureaucratic nightmare of "the list."
A perfect step for the budding fascist.
posted by Barrie , 4:53 AM Þ 
Thursday, August 04, 2005

I just heard some of the new Ladytron tracks, and.....they are beautiful.
Ladytron still rule....amazing.
Be grateful for Ladytron.
posted by Irdial , 12:55 PM Þ 

Tony McNulty

Hahahaha! Last week I read "Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said" by Philip K. Dick. One of the characters is named McNulty, who is appropriately a somewhat oversized, overzealous moral entrepreneur, a middle-rank detective in the incredible police bureaucracy that has come to overshadow the lives of all citizens. Given the task of verifying the main character's fake ID cards (because no matter how high the technology, ID cards can always be faked), he fails and only realizes the cards are fake until a bit too late.
Interesting coincidence. The book has some very strong words towards an ID-card-friendly surveillance society. Dick had a knack for depicting fascism.
posted by Barrie , 5:26 AM Þ 

"The government has admitted "overselling" the advantages of national identity cards. Tony McNulty, the Home Office minister responsible for the project, told a left-wing think tank ID cards would not be a panacea for terrorism or fraud. But the government remained committed to the scheme - despite the high cost.

Mr McNulty also said a battle between the Commons and the Lords about whether the cards become compulsory would end in deadlock. "

This is like a teenager who, having been shown the logic of their decision is completely detrimental and has none of the benefits they argued, is too bloodyminded and stubborn to admit they are wrong and back down and are intent on pursuing to the self-destructive bitter end, despite the high cost.

And one person with some sense in the Labour party, Mo Mowlam, is in 'critical but stable' condition in hospital. I wish her well.
posted by chriszanf , 4:31 AM Þ 

Mowlam: We must talk to al-Qaeda
Mo Mowlam
Mowlam plans a one-woman show
Mo Mowlam has called on the British and American governments to open talks with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

In a TV interview to be broadcast on Sunday, the former Northern Ireland secretary describes the war on terror as "completely counter-productive".

And she says she will use her new one woman show to criticise government policy on Iraq and the Middle East.

Ms Mowlam, who stood down as Redcar MP in 2001, said the US and UK should open dialogue with their enemies.

In an interview with Tyne Tees television to be broadcast on Easter Sunday, Ms Mowlam said the UK and US were acting as a "recruitment officer for the terrorists" by carrying out military action in Iraq.


Asked if she could imagine "al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden arriving at the negotiating table," she replied: "You have to do that. If you do not you condemn large parts of the world to war forever.

"Some people couldn't conceive of Gerry Adams or Martin McGuinness getting to the table but they did."

Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman Sir Menzies Campbell criticised Ms Mowlam's remarks.

"What possible result would there be from sitting down with al-Qaeda?" he asked.

"Their intention is to destroy the liberal values upon which our way of life is based.

"You cannot negotiate with those whose aim is your own destruction."
posted by Irdial , 12:56 AM Þ 
Wednesday, August 03, 2005

intellectuals and professionals no longer bother to spread knowledge in the USA and this is augmented by a brain drain to China, India and perhaps Europe.

And Canada!

Such a good point. I have vowed to never visit the states on personal time OR on academic time, until they change their entrance procedures (despite the fact that Canadians are exempt from some of the "restrictions" - it's no excuse). Just like an unethical company that I will never do business with, so it is with an unethical country. I have decided to do my Master's degree in Canada, DESPITE good prospects and good connections in American schools (which are wonderful, I bet - it's a pity their country does not want me).
Think about the staggering impact this has for universities in America. Universities RELY on an internationally-based faculty, coming from all over the world to extend thought. They rely on visiting profs and lecuturers from different countries to further research, development, and diversity. When everyone eventually starts saying "No, I refuse to visit America" - and they will! - then American universities (among many other things) will be screwed!

Last night I was formulating some kind of post involving the following two things, but I can't quite think of how I intended to put them together. So I'll just list the links.

Meanwhile, debate in the media is kept superficial (elections are treated as sporting contests), and right-wing commentators are subsidised while left-of-centre ones are marginalised. People who feel cheated by the system turn to the Right for solace, and vote for politicians who further subsidise corporations, cut government services, expand the repressive power of the state and offer irrelevant scapegoats for social problems with economic roots. The process feeds on itself.
Within this scenario, George W. Bush (and similar ultra-right figures in other countries) are not anomalies but, rather, predictable products of a strategy adopted by economic elites--harbingers of a less-than-friendly future--as the more "moderate" tactics for the maintenance and consolidation of power founder under the weight of corporate greed and resource exhaustion.

History of Corporations

Polanyi argued that the development of the modern state went hand in hand with the development of modern market economies and that these two changes were inexorably linked in history. His reasoning for this was that the powerful modern state was needed to push changes in social structure that allowed for a competitive capitalist economy, and that a capitalist economy required a strong state to mitigate its harsher effects. For Polanyi, these changes implied the destruction of the basic social order that had existed throughout all earlier history, which is why he emphasized the greatness of the transformation.
posted by Barrie , 8:48 PM Þ 

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German sporting goods maker Adidas-Salomon is buying U.S. rival Reebok in a 3.1 billion euro ($3.8 billion) deal to expand its reach in Nike's home market.

It's not exactly 3bn but it's a lot closer than anything in my wallet.
posted by meau meau , 12:27 PM Þ 

I think this person's flickr photos are outstanding
posted by meau meau , 11:54 AM Þ 

Bruce Schneier alerts us to a project for issuing RFID biometric cards to visitors to the US. On the face of it this is a stupid and ineffective overeaction to the symptoms of trrrrrrrrrsm, we should all know by now that 'identifying' a person's features does nothing to control their actions and that the only pre-emptive approach to 'solving' the terrorist problem is one of policy changes.


In a way this is a better reaction to the problem than forcing other countries to adopt simarly inane biometric passport schemes and the like, if this implemented then there is one less excuse for the government to 'justify' it's biometric passport (the one that goes you'd have to buy a visa) and the problem of US government paranoia is limited to it's own borders - the rest of the world can carry on in a more grown up manner and watch as the US tourism industry withers to nothing, intellectuals and professionals no longer bother to spread knowledge in the USA and this is augmented by a brain drain to China, India and perhaps Europe.

Look at the comments about the current system and you know this will happen:

I have visited the US several times this year. With the current US Customs procedure, I am required to have a machine-readable passport, which the friendly customs agent scans when I hand it to him. After that, the agent takes a picture of me with a little eyeball cam connected to his computer, and he takes fingerprints of both my index fingers.

When I entered the US the first time this year, I thought this would be a one-time shot, but no, they did the same thing again afterwards also.

These new procedures already made [me] reconsider some travels to the US. The new RFID thingy is a further step in the same direction.

My Bold!
posted by meau meau , 10:33 AM Þ 

"Please note that some blogs can contain strongly-worded language and highly-personal views."


So says one 'Darren Waters', BBQ News entertainment reporter.

Of course, the BBQ does not contain 'highly-personal views'. Not even hyphenated ones.

Davis attacks UK multiculturalism

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis is calling on the government to scrap its "outdated" policy of multiculturalism.
Allowing people of different cultures to settle without integrating let the "perverted values of suicide bombers" take root, he told the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Davis, favourite to become the next Tory leader, urged the government to "build a single nation" and demand "respect for the British way of life". [...]

YOU SEE??!?!?!

I wonder what Davis would say about the 'traditional' British who attack Multisexualism? Hmmmm he can't win this argument....or anything like it...ever
posted by Irdial , 9:50 AM Þ 
Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Radio in case
posted by captain davros , 11:41 PM Þ 

Yes indeed, this arrived via email today.

Maybe you could tender ISLAND as a cost effective lower overhead alternative.

cat pigeons
posted by meau meau , 4:04 PM Þ 


The Govt. of People’s Republic of Bangladesh has decided to introduce Machine Readable Passport (MRP), Machine Readable Visa (MRV) and Machine Readable National Identity Card (MRNID).

Now Ministry of Home Affairs intends to accept EOI from international firms to implement the programme under “one” contract for all goods, services and works. This “one” contract will have two major segments: (1) phased implementation and (2) post implementation maintenance and operational technical support. Following are the major components of the program:

  1. Carry out detail systems study
  2. Determine client/ user requirement
  3. Design MRP, MRV, and MRNID
  4. Develop business processes
  5. Make recommendations reading policy changes
  6. Develop procedures for the business process
  7. Launch change management program
  8. Carry out technical feasibility study
  9. Determine functional specifications
  10. Develop technical design and specifications
  11. Design details LAN & WAN layouts
  12. Provide detail implementation plan
  13. Start production of blank MRP, MRV, MRNID
  14. Customize software
  15. Deploy LAN & WAN
  16. Deploy all required hardware/ equipment
  17. Install integrated systems for pilot test
  18. Pilot test full life cycles of MRP, MRV, MRNID issuance
  19. Launch management, user and technical training
  20. Launch full life cycle integrated system

Full life cycle system deployment and business process will maintain the following general guidelines:
Local Office – (480 locations & 69 + Foreign Missions)
  1. Application information & images captured electronically
a. Foreign Missions- Visa application & images will be captured, processed and issued
  1. Physical information verification for local offices located within Bangladesh
a. Foreign Missions-Divisional HQ, Dhaka will carry out all necessary verifications
  1. Physical and electronic files transferred to the Divisional HQ and /or District offices
a. Foreign Missions –Dhaka Divisional HQ will coordinate

Divisional Headquarters / District Offices (6+68) locations:
  1. Electronic and print/ paper information validated
  2. Documentation and electronic filed
  3. Validated information sent to National Headquarters for issuance
  4. Visa application and images captured and processed at selected Divisional HQs & Foreign Missions.
National Headquarters (1 Location):
  1. Finger print checked 2. Quality control assured 3. Passport, ID produced 4. Product delivery
Other Sites:
  1. Disaster Recovery Site 2. Ministry of Home Affairs 3. Passport & immigration Department 4. All passport control points in Bangladesh (airports, land ports & sea ports)
Qualification & Experience
The interested firm with no subcontracting should have the following professional and financial background:
  1. Minimum turnover USD 80 (eighty) million each year over last three years
  2. Minimum 7 years experience in MRP, MRV and Machine readable ID card manufacturing
  3. (a) Successful project implementation experience of MRP, MRV in three different countries (b) Successful project implementation experience of Machine readable ID card project in three different countries
  4. Experience in setting up at least one central registration system
  5. Experience in setting up MRNID or MRP project with data capturing and processing sties of 200 or more in at least one country
  6. Implementation experience of one large Information Communication Technology (ICT) Project of USD 10 million or more within last 5 years including significant experience in large systems implementation and database management
  7. Must have experience in providing security features for MRP, MRV and MRNID
Others Details:
The interested firms must provide following information:
(a) Company profile, number of offices and locations, total number of staff, association with other internationally reputed relevant firms

(b) Latest audited financial report, yearly turnover, financial performance and records to show capacity to execute large ICT project

(c)Description of similar assignments implemented in last 10 years including transaction volume (number of passport/ visa/ ID), contract reference details

(d) Similar and/ or large ICT project implementation experience, and

(e)Availability of appropriate professional qualification and experience among staff.


Yes indeed, this arrived via email today.
posted by Irdial , 3:44 PM Þ 

"... But I can't do it, because I have to assume the moral high ground. So here's a stick and a gun, you go do it. But wait 'til I'm out of the room."
posted by Alun , 2:38 PM Þ 

posted by meau meau , 12:25 PM Þ 


Like an adjective, only worse.
posted by Alun , 10:57 AM Þ 

Now that the man in Italian custody has said that Iraq was the motivator that made him do what he did, perhaps we will stop hearing the absurd pager fed nonsense about atacks happening 'before 911' etc.

More interestingly, his admission that his team had nothing to do with the first suicide bombers and nothing to do with 'Al Qaeda' we will now certainly see the term 'Al Qaeda' shifted from being used as noun to being used as an adjective. This will enable them to keep the 'Al Qaeda' energy flowing whilst not appearing to have lost the plot completely.

Expect extensive use of phrases in the form 'Al Qaeda style attack' to begin the process, finally transorming into 'doing an Al Qaeda', and descriptions of people who have 'gone Al Qaeda' and so on. You know what an adjective is.

The bogey man OBL, that phantom menace will be kept alive in this further abuse of language. Watch and listen for it.
posted by Irdial , 9:51 AM Þ 

You Own:

Your data
Your attention

If you believe in and are willing to adhere to the following four principles, you are invited to apply to the AttentionTrust:
You own your attention and can store it wherever you wish.
You can securely move your attention wherever you want whenever you want to.
You can pay attention to whomever you wish and receive value in return.
You can see exactly how your attention is being used.


Hurgh? Buh? Is it just me or is this overly vague?
posted by Barrie , 8:00 AM Þ 
Monday, August 01, 2005

Tearing down those knowledge walls:

"Knowledge is open source. It cannot be curtailed and has to be freely available. The concept of open source is not new. It is a subversive ideology that has been surfacing every now and then, setting it's mark on the pages of history.

I am of the firm belief that money should never be made at the expense of restricting knowledge and innovation. Money can always be made by forming a services driven model around your knowledge. In the same way, the Roman Catholic Church could have continued to made billions of dollars if they had managed to keep the Bible 'licensed' from the people (which they did succeed to do, for about 1000 years!) The authors of the Quran, Mahabharata, Ramayan, Bhagwad Gita and hundreds of literary works of epic proportion could have taken the same route. But they have taught us an important lesson by giving and sharing their knowledge with the community."


by Shankar Iyer of Red Hat India Pvt. Ltd.
posted by telle goode , 7:30 PM Þ 

posted by meau meau , 10:56 AM Þ 

Seven more held after police raids in Brighton

(Independent - typical way-too-long story)

More swift police work. This is good to hear. This work is unobtrusive to the general public. Just as it should be.
I would also like to add that no addition of extra holding laws, ie "enemy-combatant/gitmo" style legislation that would enable any average joe to be held for some ridiculous time beyond what is currently stated as reasonable, would help in this or any situation. I have a feeling some idiots are going to suggest this kind of legislation, for no good reason. If we have them in custody, and we know what we are doing and have proper organization, we should not need to hold them for longer than a week (or whatever the current length is... can't remember) because by that time we would either figure out they are OK and can be let go, or we would know more about their 'transgressions' and can have a judge legally extend their jailtime (or... ugh... my terminology sounds wrong... sorry, I'm very tired here).
Throwing someone in a "Gitmo" is NOT going to get the problem solved faster, it does NOTHING for ANYONE, and encourages sloppy work.

Then we get a quote like this one:
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, the head of the Anti-Terrorist Branch, said the threat remained very real and urged people to remain vigilant.

I get irked when someone tells me to "be vigilant". If the police are effectively doing their job, NO ONE has ANY REASON to be more or less attentive to other people's business than before. This is what we pay police to do. They are good at "vigilance," the average person should not necessarily have to concern themselves over it, seeing as how they generally do not know whaton earth they are doing and get bent out of shape over things that are completely normal.
Unless of course they are SPIES FOR THE STATE. You KNOW what I mean.
posted by Barrie , 8:31 AM Þ 
Sunday, July 31, 2005

Focus: How can we stop this happening again?

The London bombings and their aftermath have sparked unprecedented calls for government action to prevent future attacks. In overwhelming numbers, people say they are willing to accept seeing civil liberties curtailed to secure long-term security. A YouGov poll in the aftermath of the July 7 bombings found that seven out of 10 people believed it was sometimes necessary to restrict civil liberties in order to combat terrorism. [...],,2087-1715169_1,00.htm

No, no, no and no.

The Enemy Within is The Times, and all people who think like them.

Not once in this scandalous, evil, un British, reactionary and rather stupid piece was there any mention of the UK staying out of the affairs of the middle east, despite the fact that one of the failed suicide bombing simpletons has now admitted to the Carabinieri that they were inspired by the USUK atrocities in Iraq to try and do what they did.

The fact of this matter, and it is the whole fact, is, that if the UK were not meddling in other peoples affairs, none of this would have happened. We would all still be living very quietly and without any fear.

If people like those at The Times succeed, the future of this country will be the wrong one, and it will all come to pass thanks to a small number of very bad people who will not to this day take 'no' for an answer.

The Section on ID cards is worth pulling apart, since we are perpetually interested in it here. I quoth:

Within five years ministers want compulsory “biometric” ID cards and passports, with fingerprints and iris scans, which would be held on a national database accessible to the police and border authorities. Charles Clarke, the home secretary, has said ID cards would not have prevented the London attacks but that they would make it considerably more difficult for terrorists to operate in Britain.

Critics say ID card technology is open to forgery and error and that the cost could be as high as £6 billion. Libertarians lament the arrival of Big Brother.

The scheme’s defenders argue that, as closed-circuit television has demonstrated, knowing where people are is crucial to the fight against terrorism.

Denham: “There were people who were sceptical about the scale of any serious terrorist threat to Britain before, but who will now be in no doubt. I think what the past few weeks means is that the government has to get this bill right in all aspects and make sure the scheme is the right one in terms of cost and how it works.”

Verdict: Despite the loss of some liberties, we will have to learn to live with ID cards.
This breathtakingly simple minded piece was written by one "David Cracknell". I want the same crack that Cracknell smokes when he writes.

I have said it before; a medicine that cures your illness after you are dead is of no use to anyone, and this is precisely what ID cards are.

They would not have prevented suicide bombing (even Dumbo admits this), can not prevent it (as we see in Israel, where everyone has ID cards) and should not be introduced here. They are only useful to control the honest ordinary citizen; that is their true, ultimate utility. See this article in the observer of how ID cards will be used in the future, should they be itroduced here. You have the intelligence to be able to fill in the blanks.

The 'verdict' section is just about as simple minded as you can get. Why should anyone have to 'learn to live with ID cards' if ID cards will not 'stop this from happening again'?. The fact of the matter is that no one should put up with any loss of civil liberties whatsoever unless any such loss can be proved to be an effective measure against suicide bombers, and it of course should be a temporary measure to be revoked at the end of the crisis. ID cards, the new laws and everything that the government is proposing fails this measure, and so all of it should be thrown out immediately.

CCTV only helps you catch a criminal after he has done the crime, and in the case of suicide bombers, they are dead, and there is no one to arrest and punish, let alone question. It is only by luck that the second set of bombers failed, providing the police with some bad guys to track down. Had they succeeded, CCTV would not have prevented them from blowing themselves up, and CCTV will not stop the next set from doing so either. CCTV has actually shown that it is useless as a crime prevention tool, and is only of use in solving a crime after the fact. This article is about how we can stop this from happening again. CCTV and ID cards will not do it. More CCVT will not help. Introducing ID cards will not help.

There is a dreadful section on 'Multiculturalism' which again, completely ignores the true nature of what is going on. Everyone now accepts that the world is interdependent and interlocked. Imagine the world as if it were a single human body. If the right hand of the world takes a lit match and holds it under the big toe of its left foot, the whole body suffers the pain. This is blantantly obvious, but for some reason it is not obvious to the Cracknells of this world that bombing the crap out of Bhagdad is exactly the same thing. Bombing another persons country is no longer a matter of bad karma; it is now the case that when you bomb another persons country, the people who came from that country who live amongst you and who have done so for decades are hurt. Terribly hurt. This is directly analogous to shooting yourself in the foot.

Now that everyone from everywhere lives everywhere, governments cannot wage the plutocratic or philosophically driven wars in the way that they used to without directly, immediately and personally feeling the reaction of pain. This is a good thing, because eventually, this means they will have to stop what they are doing. When the population of the UK is 35% muslim, it will be literally impossible for the UK to bomb a muslim country without reason. Multiculturalism, and immigration are the carbon rods that cool down the runaway racist chain reaction which drops bombs on other peoples countries.

Wether or not people choose to speak English or watch East Enders has nothing to do with the wrongness of the current foreign policy, and to think that forcing people to speak English and be 'more British' will stop them wanting to pay back the foul crimes against humanity that will inevitably go unpunished is to underestimate the level of disgust and all consuming hatred these people feel. The article is wrong in this regard also. All of these people speak fluent English (and one speaks English AND Italian). They are angry about the murder of innocents for money.

The difference between them and the millions who marched in London is that they have been pushed to the limit, to a point where they have nothing to gain by staying alive in a world where there is no justice, where 'they' are to be the slaves of the west ad infinitum. That is how they see it. That is what is motivating them. No amount of East Enders can counter it. No pledge given in a citizen ceremony, no brainwashing in a school can dent it. When some people see horror perpetrated on people who are 'just like them' it drives them to the point of near madness. Look how army recruitment shot up after '911'; those young americans wanted payback, and they joined the army to get it. These people, who have no army, no power to join with, take their payback in a different way.

Had there been no British participation, none of these emotions would have been directed here. This is not just a selfish wish in a bid to stop the possibility of being destroyed on a bus while you are out getting ice cream with your children. Staying out of those people's problems in the case of the criminal Iraq invasion was actually the right thing to do. It is now of paramount importance that the UK does the right thing all the time. If it does not, then it will be burning its own toe by its own hand, and we will all have to live with he pain and the limping.

You will notice that I have not included the standard disclaimer, pouring scorn on the people who blew themselves up, though I do call them names, which you might take as a sneaky disclaimer. I don't like disclaimers of that sort. Every time someone wants to say something out of step with the current group think, they always prefix or suffix their statement with a disclaimer, so that they are not cut off from the group. Anyone who reads this blog knows what I think about violence, and so, I choose not to put a disclaimer into everything that I write about this nonsense. Everyone should already understand that 100% of people are against violence. Air and keystrokes shouldn't be wasted on these tiresome and false sounding disclaimers.

And now, it's time for tea, it being four o'clock.
posted by Irdial , 4:07 PM Þ 

"For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid!"

The Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati, 35, says that aid to Africa does more harm than good. The avid proponent of globalization spoke with SPIEGEL about the disastrous effects of Western development policy in Africa, corrupt rulers, and the tendency to overstate the AIDS problem.

Economist James Shikwati: "Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor."
Horst Friedrichs
Economist James Shikwati: "Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor."
SPIEGEL: Mr. Shikwati, the G8 summit at Gleneagles is about to beef up the development aid for Africa...

Shikwati: ... for God's sake, please just stop.

SPIEGEL: Stop? The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.

SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?

Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa's problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn't even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.

SPIEGEL: Even in a country like Kenya, people are starving to death each year. Someone has got to help them.

Shikwati: But it has to be the Kenyans themselves who help these people. When there's a drought in a region of Kenya, our corrupt politicians reflexively cry out for more help. This call then reaches the United Nations World Food Program -- which is a massive agency of apparatchiks who are in the absurd situation of, on the one hand, being dedicated to the fight against hunger while, on the other hand, being faced with unemployment were hunger actually eliminated. It's only natural that they willingly accept the plea for more help. And it's not uncommon that they demand a little more money than the respective African government originally requested. They then forward that request to their headquarters, and before long, several thousands tons of corn are shipped to Africa ...

SPIEGEL: ... corn that predominantly comes from highly-subsidized European and American farmers ...

Ruandan President Kagame has over a million deaths on his conscience, says Shikwati.
Ruandan President Kagame has over a million deaths on his conscience, says Shikwati.
Shikwati: ... and at some point, this corn ends up in the harbor of Mombasa. A portion of the corn often goes directly into the hands of unsrupulous politicians who then pass it on to their own tribe to boost their next election campaign. Another portion of the shipment ends up on the black market where the corn is dumped at extremely low prices. Local farmers may as well put down their hoes right away; no one can compete with the UN's World Food Program. And because the farmers go under in the face of this pressure, Kenya would have no reserves to draw on if there actually were a famine next year. It's a simple but fatal cycle.

SPIEGEL: If the World Food Program didn't do anything, the people would starve.

Shikwati: I don't think so. In such a case, the Kenyans, for a change, would be forced to initiate trade relations with Uganda or Tanzania, and buy their food there. This type of trade is vital for Africa. It would force us to improve our own infrastructure, while making national borders -- drawn by the Europeans by the way -- more permeable. It would also force us to establish laws favoring market economy.

SPIEGEL: Would Africa actually be able to solve these problems on its own?

Shikwati: Of course. Hunger should not be a problem in most of the countries south of the Sahara. In addition, there are vast natural resources: oil, gold, diamonds. Africa is always only portrayed as a continent of suffering, but most figures are vastly exaggerated. In the industrial nations, there's a sense that Africa would go under without development aid. But believe me, Africa existed before you Europeans came along. And we didn't do all that poorly either.

SPIEGEL: But AIDS didn't exist at that time.

Shikwati: If one were to believe all the horrorifying reports, then all Kenyans should actually be dead by now. But now, tests are being carried out everywhere, and it turns out that the figures were vastly exaggerated. It's not three million Kenyans that are infected. All of the sudden, it's only about one million. Malaria is just as much of a problem, but people rarely talk about that.

SPIEGEL: And why's that?

Shikwati: AIDS is big business, maybe Africa's biggest business. There's nothing else that can generate as much aid money as shocking figures on AIDS. AIDS is a political disease here, and we should be very skeptical.

SPIEGEL: The Americans and Europeans have frozen funds previously pledged to Kenya. The country is too corrupt, they say.

Shikwati: I am afraid, though, that the money will still be transfered before long. After all, it has to go somewhere. Unfortunately, the Europeans' devastating urge to do good can no longer be countered with reason. It makes no sense whatsoever that directly after the new Kenyan government was elected -- a leadership change that ended the dictatorship of Daniel arap Mois -- the faucets were suddenly opened and streams of money poured into the country.

SPIEGEL: Such aid is usually earmarked for a specific objective, though.

Shikwati: That doesn't change anything. Millions of dollars earmarked for the fight against AIDS are still stashed away in Kenyan bank accounts and have not been spent. Our politicians were overwhelmed with money, and they try to siphon off as much as possible. The late tyrant of the Central African Republic, Jean Bedel Bokassa, cynically summed it up by saying: "The French government pays for everything in our country. We ask the French for money. We get it, and then we waste it."

Former Central African Republic leader Jean-Bedel Bokassa: "We ask the French for money. We get it, and then we waste it."
Former Central African Republic leader Jean-Bedel Bokassa: "We ask the French for money. We get it, and then we waste it."
SPIEGEL: In the West, there are many compassionate citizens wanting to help Africa. Each year, they donate money and pack their old clothes into collection bags ...

Shikwati: ... and they flood our markets with that stuff. We can buy these donated clothes cheaply at our so-called Mitumba markets. There are Germans who spend a few dollars to get used Bayern Munich or Werder Bremen jerseys, in other words, clothes that that some German kids sent to Africa for a good cause. After buying these jerseys, they auction them off at Ebay and send them back to Germany -- for three times the price. That's insanity ...

SPIEGEL: ... and hopefully an exception.

Shikwati: Why do we get these mountains of clothes? No one is freezing here. Instead, our tailors lose their livlihoods. They're in the same position as our farmers. No one in the low-wage world of Africa can be cost-efficient enough to keep pace with donated products. In 1997, 137,000 workers were employed in Nigeria's textile industry. By 2003, the figure had dropped to 57,000. The results are the same in all other areas where overwhelming helpfulness and fragile African markets collide.

SPIEGEL: Following World War II, Germany only managed to get back on its feet because the Americans poured money into the country through the Marshall Plan. Wouldn't that qualify as successful development aid?

Shikwati: In Germany's case, only the destroyed infrastructure had to be repaired. Despite the economic crisis of the Weimar Republic, Germany was a highly- industrialized country before the war. The damages created by the tsunami in Thailand can also be fixed with a little money and some reconstruction aid. Africa, however, must take the first steps into modernity on its own. There must be a change in mentality. We have to stop perceiving ourselves as beggars. These days, Africans only perceive themselves as victims. On the other hand, no one can really picture an African as a businessman. In order to change the current situation, it would be helpful if the aid organizations were to pull out.

SPIEGEL: If they did that, many jobs would be immediately lost ...

Congolese line up for a United Nations food delivery in 2002.
Congolese line up for a United Nations food delivery in 2002.
Shikwati: ... jobs that were created artificially in the first place and that distort reality. Jobs with foreign aid organizations are, of course, quite popular, and they can be very selective in choosing the best people. When an aid organization needs a driver, dozens apply for the job. And because it's unacceptable that the aid worker's chauffeur only speaks his own tribal language, an applicant is needed who also speaks English fluently -- and, ideally, one who is also well mannered. So you end up with some African biochemist driving an aid worker around, distributing European food, and forcing local farmers out of their jobs. That's just crazy!

SPIEGEL: The German government takes pride in precisely monitoring the recipients of its funds.

Shikwati: And what's the result? A disaster. The German government threw money right at Rwanda's president Paul Kagame. This is a man who has the deaths of a million people on his conscience -- people that his army killed in the neighboring country of Congo.

SPIEGEL: What are the Germans supposed to do?

Shikwati: If they really want to fight poverty, they should completely halt development aid and give Africa the opportunity to ensure its own survival. Currently, Africa is like a child that immediately cries for its babysitter when something goes wrong. Africa should stand on its own two feet.

posted by Irdial , 12:13 PM Þ 

passing a law forbidding a kind of speech doesn't cost any money over time

Neither does having a non-meddlesome foreign policy which would mean we wouldn't need the protection of

something real like doubling the number of police

but that wouldn't be of benefit to the real purse-string-pullers of politic(ian)s; the Bechtels, Accentures and Carlyles of this world, who have so much to gain in the emerging markets they've had created.
posted by meau meau , 9:19 AM Þ 

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