“To paint an image of what I think it looks like under a Ron Paul presidency, it would be Iranian nuclear missiles placed in Cuba and Katyusha rockets in Tijuana."
By the canal in Nottingham
16 minutes ago
“To paint an image of what I think it looks like under a Ron Paul presidency, it would be Iranian nuclear missiles placed in Cuba and Katyusha rockets in Tijuana."
A Forgotten Genocide
King Leopold's Ghost was written to remind the world of a forgotten atrocity- as such it is both highly accessible and informative.
The atrocities in the Congo included mass murder, enslaving the local population and working them to death and stealing and burning their. Much of the cruelty was officially sanctioned- with secret instructions to the authorities on how to enslave the natives. Some of it was done by individual sadists who were free to execute Africans for trivial offences or massacre villages at will if they refused to collect rubber.
One of the frustrations that Hochschild repeatedly refers to is that the tale largely has to be told from the point of view of foreigners, as the Congo's native population was not literate at the time and left few direct testimonies. However the records of the colonial authorities, missionaries, traders and diplomats are used to great effect.
The portraits of individuals involved in the story are well done, the story of ED Morel who initiated the international campaign against King Leopold's rule is particularly inspiring- a lowly shipping clerk who used his powers of deduction to realise that the Congo must be a slave state and then devoted his life to exposing it.
Whilst I was vaguely aware of the atrocities in the Congo I had not realised how much of it was the doing of King Leopold II personally. He was a deceitful, manipulative and immensely greedy man and his personal culpability in the genocide is established beyond doubt. He deserves to be considered along with Mao, Hitler and Stalin as one of the great monsters of the 20th Century.
The McKinsey work found it wasn't lack of ambition that stops women, more a lack of confidence in being able to fulfil that ambition, and not enough role models showing them the way. Mentoring, coaching and sponsorship are all important to stop women taking another job, or going in another direction. So is dealing with embedded prejudices among senior managers about the risk of employing women.Who would be doing this much needed mentoring and coaching. Who can challenge the embedded prejudices of senior managers?
North Korea, for all its faults, is undeniably still Korea, a place uniquely representative of an ancient and rather remarkable Asian culture. And that, in a world otherwise rendered so bland, is perhaps no bad thing.This is a regime that has let millions of people starve to death and runs gulags which whole families get sent to.
It seems to have slipped the professor's notice that many countries manage to stay independent without dragging children off to gulags, and that North Korea is a place where a lot of characteristically Korean behavior—speaking bluntly, for example—is punishable by execution.He also makes the point that North Korea has been highly dependent on support from outside to prop up the Kim dynasty so is about as far from representing an independent Korea as it is possible to get.
The renowned historian David Irving has watched the revolutions of 2011 with excitement - and notes that it's now the middle class, not the working class, that is making waves.He has lived his life in the shadow, or the glow, of upheavel.
Born just months before the Anschluss of 1938, he was a Nazi for most of his adult life - as well as an innovative and influential writer and thinker.
He has been a historian of revolution, and at times an advocate of revolutionary change.
Now in his mid-nineties, his continuing passion for politics is reflected in the title of his most recent book How to Change the World - and in his keen interest in the Arab Spring.
"I certainly felt a sense of excitement and relief," he says, talking to me in his north London home, which is strolling distance from Hampstead Heath.
Comments critical of Ford, given anonymously by some England players, were published, saying “his analysis was like a white wall of jargon”, “defensive and line-out drills were two to three years behind” and “he was full of pointless stats.”
Ford maintains these comments only represented “11 per cent” of the feedback and a number of players have been in contact to say as much. He is disappointed mostly because those who held critical views did not feel they could approach him.
A separate group, including women, the participants were asked to rank the comments on how derogatory they were.
The results found the magazine descriptions more demeaning than those from the sex offenders, reports the British Psychological Society's British Journal of Psychology.
BREAKING NEWS: David Cameron evicted after neighbours complain of drunken anti-social behaviour, foul language and urinating in the street
a) print ?The political committment to the Euro is sufficiently strong that I can't see (c) being allowed to happen as it would unravel the whole thing.
b) bail out Southern Europe ?
c) neither - at which point defaults start, absent
d) Euro-area fiscal union - with Germany running the show hands-on, because while they may trust the Irish, Dutch and Finns, they can't trust the Greeks or the Italians, and maybe even the French ?
evidence suggesting that firms owned by black people are four times more likely than those owned by whites to be turned down for loans.This is highly reminiscent of similar claims made in the USA in the 1980s and 90s. As it happens the statistics were highly misleading because they did not take into account the applicants credit histories or net worth at the time they applied for the loans. It did however lead to political outrage and the enhancement of the infamous Community Reinvestment Act which pushed banks to make sub-prime loans.
According to Perry, the US can’t deal with Iran in isolation. You see, “There is an area over there of all of them working together” [one might call it, "the Middle East"], and if we’re going to tackle Iran as a nuclear threat then “we need to bring Syria into the mix.” His logic seemed to be that the only way to safeguard the world against the Shiite theocracy of Iran was to launch a war against the Sunni-dominated secular dictatorship of Syria.No, the Syrian regime is dominated by the Alawi sect. They are recognised as Shias by the Iranian mullahs although some would regard them as heretics. They certainly are not Sunnis though.
Well if twisted branches aren't enough to settle the matter then I really don't know what is.
The discovery in Siberia of tree branches twisted together could be proof that Bigfoot really does exist
Surely that puts them top of the bribe paying survey. It's like when people talk about "one of the worst serial killers" it's always actually one of the best ones whose killed loads of people.
Russia and China come bottom of bribe-paying surveyCompanies from Russia and China are most likely to pay bribes when doing business abroad, a survey suggests.
Novellist Winterson in 'screaming rant' with neighbour
Best-selling author Jeanette Winterson has been embroiled in a confrontation with a neighbour after accusing him of damaging her Range Rover, it is claimed.
I think everything that we're talking about tonight keys into much larger questions about what these so-called values are that we want to uphold, how exactly we want to live, what sort of people we think we are. We said we want a good health service but do we want to pay for it? We want to reduce our environmental footprint but we don't want to have bin collections every fortnight, we want them every week, so that we can go on making as much rubbish as we've always made, and piling it up outside the front gate. If anybody suddenly says make less rubbish we say but that's interfering with my civil liberties, I must make as much rubbish as I like because I live in the rich West. So some where there are a lot of contradictions which need to be straightened out and we do need - we need less packaging, we need less rubbish, we need to be a lot more conscious about what we're doing to the planet, to the environment. But in order to do that it can't just be about us putting stuff out in the bins at night it has to be about supermarkets and packaging which is a huge issue [CLAPPING]. I've been a member of Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth for the last 25 years and we used to do those symbolic protests where you unpack everything at the checkout and just chuck it all back at them and you have at least two bin bags worth full before you've even eaten anything. That is a big problem and I think we should all start addressing that and be going in there and saying we don't want all this crap and then we could have fortnightly collections but it's up to us to change things and no you can't keep putting your rubbish out every week you know, we're all in here going to have to change our ways. [CLAPPING]
This is a very tricky question and James Lovelock, a scientist whom I have a huge amount of respect as you know, is a proponent of nuclear energy and really thinks it's the only way forward. And it is someone we have to take seriously. I am trying to wade through the mass of evidence information on this to make up my own mind because it's tricky. However unlike James I do find wind farms rather beautiful. And I would rather see as much power as we can get coming from renewables rather than go down the nuclear route. But again it's back to what - how much are we prepared to give up, will you use less power, less electricity? I've just put in a geothermal system underground for my electricity which is fantastic but it costs £12,000 and Gordon Brown took seventeen and a half per cent VAT off me in order to put it in. That doesn't help the householder to help the planet. But there's a lot that we can do ourselves but we are going to have to rein in, pull back a little bit. We can't just say this is a problem for politicians, it's bigger than us, it's not bigger than us, it's about us in our homes tonight, so switch the light off. [CLAPPING]
Amnesty International called on Canadian authorities Wednesday to arrest and prosecute George W. Bush, saying the former U.S. president authorized “torture” when he directed the U.S.-led war on terror.The former human rights organisation has also described the system by which the USA detains enemy combatants as "the Gulag of our times". There are flaws with Guantanamo Bay- it seems likely that some of the detainees are innocent and they fall into neither the category of prisoner of war or standard criminals. However to compare a detention camp with a few hundred individuals suspected of terrorism- which two US administrations have found no adequate alternative to- with the Soviet system of gulags under which millions of people were sent to their deaths is a lie. Not only a lie but a trivialisation of genocide that David Irving would be proud of.
Prosecutors were delighted with the verdict and said "Justice has been done" although they said on a "human factor it was sad two young people would be spending years in jail"Now because we now know Knox and her male accomplice no one cares about were in fact released it is clear that the prosecutors did not say any of these things. The Daily Mail was intending to use a piece with fabricated quotes in other words- doing a Hari as it were.
The fundamental problem of the euro is the lack of a fiscal dimension. Successful currency unions, such as the US, have mechanisms for fiscal transfers from members that are thriving to those that are struggling.This is completely true, but whereas people are willing to allow their money to be taxed in order to subsidise their compatriots, they are unlikely to be satisifed with transfering billions of Euros a year, for decades to come, to give to foreign countries. Every time a country that is a net recipient of fiscal transfers institutes some kind of benefit for their citizens that a net contributer does not provide, tensions will be inflamed.
The Labour leader will criticise companies with the “wrong values” who do not create jobs, invest in companies or train their staff.
So Labour's solution to the economy is to micromanage businesses by judging whether they have the "wrong values"?Mr Miliband will tell the party’s annual conference that the days when all businesses are taxed and regulated equally should be over. Instead, firms will be judged according to how they make their money.
12.23pm: Danny Alexander has just started his speech. Now. He started with a tribute to his grandfather, who is in the audience and who has been a Liberal since 1936. But then he had a couple of rocky moments. He told a rather lame 'it's all Balls" joke about Labour (which was very funny when Michael Heseltine first tried it in the 1990s, but which made us groan in the press room). And then, when he talked about Gordon Brown's "unsustainable spending", someone shouted "rubbish".
'The only bully here is you, who is trying to insert false smears into an entry about an honest journalist who risks his life to report on human rights abuses and who has been given awards for his "courage" by Amnesty International, just because you think he is "self-publicising" and "a careerist".'It also seems to like all his other failings- plagiarism, inventive reporting, blocking critics on Twitter, appearing as a talking head on any TV discussion show that would have him.
After it emerged that I had done this, some defenders of the powerful people I had taken on over the years for their wrongdoing saw an opportunity to try to discredit what I had written about them. Amid legitimate criticism of what I had done wrong, there were lots of untrue statements, but I’m hardly in a position to complain that some people saw it as an opportunity to take a free kick.
In 2007, I travelled through the Central African Republic to report on the fact the French government had been bombing the country. An anonymous claim was made that I had exaggerated the extent of the French bombing, and that I had fabricated a quote from a French soldier on the ground. Two representatives of the NGO that I travelled with came forward to The Independent’s investigation into my journalism and they said my description of the bombing damage was entirely accurate, and that they have photographs of it. They also explained that they witnessed me speaking to several French soldiers when the person making these charges was otherwise occupied.
First of all it is hardly a "few instances", his list of vandalism under his David Rose identity stretches to almost a thousand entries over the course of years. David Rose was not his only identity, he was also active on other forums and had at least one other pseudonym "Niko".The other thing I did wrong was that several years ago I started to notice some things I didn’t like in the Wikipedia entry about me, so I took them out. To do that, I created a user-name that wasn’t my own. Using that user-name, I continued to edit my own Wikipedia entry and some other people’s too. I took out nasty passages about people I admire – like Polly Toynbee, George Monbiot, Deborah Orr and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. I factually corrected some other entries about other people. But in a few instances, I edited the entries of people I had clashed with in ways that were juvenile or malicious: I called one of them anti-Semitic and homophobic, and the other a drunk. I am mortified to have done this, because it breaches the most basic ethical rule: don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you. I apologise to the latter group unreservedly and totally.
all the more surprising because she is such a strong advocate of animal rights - a passion that does not seem to translate into protecting underage girls.
Knox's first-of-several alibis for the night of the murder was that she was at her boyfriend (and co-defendant) Sollecito's house all night, sound asleep until 10 a.m. the next morning.
A few days later, when that was proved false by telephone records, eyewitnesses and Sollecito's admission that it was a lie, Knox claimed she was in the house during Meredith's murder ... and she knew who the murderer was!
She said it was her boss, Patrick Lumumba, the owner of a popular bar in town:
"He wanted her. ... Raffaele and I went into another room and then I heard screams. ... Patrick and Meredith were in Meredith's bedroom while I think I stayed in the kitchen. ... I can't remember how long they were together in the bedroom, but the only thing I can say is that at a certain point I remember hearing Meredith's screams and I covered my ears. ... I can't remember if Meredith was screaming and if I heard thuds but I could imagine what was going on."
Solely because of Knox's claim that Lumumba murdered Meredith, he was arrested and sat in jail for two weeks before being released when the police discovered about a hundred eyewitnesses who could place him at his bar all night, the night of the murder.
If the police were intent on framing Knox for the murder, they were easily distracted by this wild goose chase.It is a piece worth reading in full, although many people will dismiss it because the lawyer's name is Ann Coulter.
The UK has been conducting sabotage against the Gadaffi regime? That certainly explains this photograph:The BBC has learned* that David Cameron set up a secret unit within Whitehall to mount covert economic operations against Colonel Gaddafi.
I think the reason that a lot of people were so negative is that they really thought they were watching a trial, a trial I had interrupted. But a select committee has so few powers. The judge at my appeal compared what I did to contempt of court, but if they had been in a court I wouldn't have done it, there'd have been no need. If we had any real justice in our society, the dock is exactly where the Murdochs would have been. Instead, it was a circus, so I played the clown.Well no. If you want "You can't handle the truth!" style theatrics a parliamentary committee is not the place to find it. However by asking dull but critical questions the person being interviewed is forced to give answers. Whilst the answers given may not be explosive at the time that they are given they can become much more significant later on. As James Murdoch has since discovered.
But here is my other worry. You could also name such a tax a "force Home Counties widows to sell their homes and downsize tax". This is a blog posting, not a finished print article, so I do not have hard and fast numbers for this, but a fair number of the people living in "mansions" are certain to be pensioners on relatively low incomes. Charge them several thousand pounds a year to stay in their homes, and many would simply have to move out.This is an emotive point of course even if it isn't rational- the current system compels people to choose to live where they don't want to as well- I wonder if the effect on the "poor widows" is not actually positive.
Consider the converse. One of the most striking things about the England riots is where they did not happen: Yorkshire, the North East, Wales and Scotland. These areas contain some of the worst pockets of unemployment in the country. But they are also characterised by a powerful sense of regional or national identity and difference that cuts across all classes and binds them together. And it is this, I am sure, which has inoculated them against the disease of “gangsta” culture and its attendant, indiscriminate violence.Which is to some extent related to the idea that it is those groups whose identity has been so thoroughly ridiculed and despised over the years who have adopted the chavvy faux gangsta' identity. I am not totally convinced- doesn't Liverpool have a strong regional culture?- don't other places that didn't erupt also have weak cultural identities like Portsmouth or Milton Keynes?
"one of the few avowed republicans in the Commons."Because hereditary privilege is a terrible thing.
MUSCULAR homosexual Russian men have been giving free titillating car washes in support of their beloved Vladimir Putin.
The handsome, hairy gay men who called themselves Putin's Bear Army showed their support for Russia's prime minister by donning tight denim cut-offs and getting soapy at the event in downtown Moscow.
Self-styled 'Putin bear' Oleg Komarov said: "Putin is a strong and powerful leader with excellent economic policies. He is also insanely hot and droolsome.
"I love it when he takes his shirt off and plays with guns. Of course a gun is just a metal penis, all gays know this.
"One time I saw a bead of sweat drip from his left nipple as he climbed a cliff face. I said 'hubba hubba' under my breath without even thinking about it.
"Vladimir Putin truly inspires me to go out and have anal sex with men."
Stephen Frears recalls meeting him soon after [Gordon Brown] had announced a big increase in money for films. "Do you know what you've done?'' the movie man asked. "Created a rush of absolutely terrible British films?'' the benefactor replied, laughing.So it's no surprise to learn that most of the films funded by the Quango failed to return their investment. Even spectacularly successful films like The Queen didn't repay the money that they had borrowed.
"Not all of the ones that have been released have started to recoup," explained the BFI spokesman. "The rationale for investing in films is not necessarily on the cultural strength of them. A large part of it is for developing new talent.I don't begrudge Jaime Winstone a successful career but as her surname suggests she is the daughter of Ray Winstone, so she was not some undiscovered talent who would never have an opportunity to make a name for herself in film without a half a million pound subsidy for a crappy British film like Donkey Punch.
"Donkey Punch was invested in under the Warp X new talent initiative – it's new talent, a new director, and one of its cast, Jaime Winstone, has gone on to do new things, and to make a name for herself."
But there is no suggestion that his actions were inspired by Melanie Phillips, nor am I making that claim.In an article titled:
I almost wonder whether he might be being disingenuous.
Hari did not hire a translator, instead browbeating a charity worker into translating for him. He promised to give her his notes when they returned so she could file her own report on the war, and then broke his word. He continued to hold on to the notes even after she complained to Simon Kelner, the Independent’s editor. “The reason for this became clear when his article came out, as most of the content differed from what interviewees told us,” the aid worker told us. Hari “completely exaggerated the extent of destruction in Birao”. He “completely invented quotes, in particular those of the French soldiers”. In one gruesome vignette, Hari had French soldiers telling a piteous story of how “children would bring us the severed heads of their parents and scream for help, but our orders were not to help them”. “They did not say this. I know because I was there and I did the translating for them.”Inventing atrocities in a conflict zone, such as the one highlighted, is something I spotted him doing a few years ago, although I initially assumed that he was simply gullible.