Saturday, February 28, 2009
This El Quseir was a dusty shit hole with too many street dogs and lazy men sitting around. My sister and I didn't dare to walk in, but what we've seen of it wasn't up for much. Cracked, dirty houses (from the outside) and trash laying all over the place. The vegetables from the market had feeble leaves, the banana's were half rotten and there were no women to be found on the streets.
Getting things done in Egypt turned out to be a real problem. And I know problem after some of my trips!
It started already in the airport where Achmed from the travel agency got angry with me for buying my visa at the bank for 15 dollars and not with him for $25.
The hotel was fair enough but 8 kilometres away from everything, so we were forced to stay at one spot. Taking a taxi? "That will cost you ten dollars per person one way, madam."
Although temperatures were between 20 and 25 degrees Celcius, the wind made things a bit chilly and the whole reason why we went to Egypt in the first place almost impossible: diving.
After some difficulties, we got things done and overall I've had a good break from my long days studying. But it wasn't easy. Anyway, it gave me enough reason to write.
To be continued...
The European Parliament's rapporteur on Turkey, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, has said Armenian lobbyists have threatened to destroy her career because she has refused to refer to the World War I-era killings of Anatolian Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as "genocide."
The Dutch Christian Democrat, whose report on Turkey was approved with a record 65 votes against only four votes in opposition and one abstention in the Committee on Foreign Affairs on Feb. 12, said the Armenians have told her that they will do their best to prevent her re-election to the European Parliament.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Judaism: Jewish texts have little to say about a possible afterlife, placing more the spotlight on the proper behavior in this life, not the one to come.
Christianity: The vast majority of Christians believe in heaven and hell...and that your ‘end’ depends on your deeds and faith during life.
Islam: Similar to Christians, Muslims believe in the day of judgement in the afterlife, when the dead will be divided between paradise and damnation.
Buddhism: Though specific beliefs vary by sect, Buddhists hold fast to the doctrine of reincarnation, ending only in the final liberation known as Nirvana.
Hinduism: Like Buddhism, Hindus believe in reincarnation and karma, with the status of your next life depending on your acts in this one.
Taoism: Life and death are flip sides of the Tao, and death is a transformation from being to non-being, with no heaven or hell.
Gaining after life:
In the Asian cultures and religions, afterlife is related with your life-on-earth and your well-doings.
In Christianity, martyrdom can only gained through pacifistic means and practices.
In Islam, however – since there is still a lot of confusion and denial about how to interpret the Q’ran - after life can be reached through Jihad, as divers sects points out: killing infidels. Islam and Confucianism are the only religions/philosophies which legitimates war.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Anyway, on the side bar of this screen, every day a new picture pops up with beneath the Entrecard symbol. If you click on the picture, you will be directed to another site, and we of Internations earn One point with it...so do so...ola..)
I approve only sites which are interested, and I guess blog-owners only choose Internations to advertise here with their blood-and-tears earned entrecard points because they find this site nice. So it goes both ways.
Especially I want to do some free PR, the first time in 30 years (thank you) for some sites worth mentioned. Here we go:
Martin in Bulgaria
Cher in Prague
PG in Prague
Matt in Japan
And an anti-politics blog of the USA.
And many more...!!
There are more such as Rachel her photo blog from Argentina, Mova in Indonesia, Saudi Deist and Denford from Harare in Zimbabwe; they all are already on Internations their blog roll, not necessary to do some more PR here...
Click on them as well; read them, every day for the next 3 months.
The world is more fun if you broaden your vision over the borders of Turkey and beyond.
And don’t forget to come back here and click around; the more page views, the more we earn and the more we are motivated to make you happy for unsolved mysteries, independent points of view regarding politics, beautiful art, poetry, photography, twitter news and more so on. In the end you don’t need your expensive newspapers anymore, but only us..))!!
'Natural selection's fingerprints can be detected in the human genome. But many mutations have spread thanks thanks to pure chance; a process known as genetic drift' >contemporary science<
At the moment I have my breakfast: two steaks with mushrooms, potatoes and garlic sauce; how genetic manipulated am I?.)
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
But Turkish Airlines had a number of accidents in the previous years. The airline got a bad reputation with regard to safety. The website Airsafe.com keeps track of all modern-day civil aviation accidents worldwide and figures from the site indicate that Turkish Airlines has one of the highest accident rates in Europe. Scroll all the way down.
According the site (after quick investigations by Dutch newspapers), Turkish Airlines tops the Crash list in Europe and belongs to the top-5 worldwide.
Airsafe.com looks after each airline company their accidents and compares it with the total of deaths by crash related to the total amount of flights. Not one European airliner comes above the score of 1.0, but Turkish Airlines ranks 3.58. And this number was that of yesterday. BA has a score of 0.22, KLM of 0.88. So you are more likely to crash with a Turkish Airlines flight.
Next time, perception or not, the better service of Turkish airlines or not, KLM will be my carrier, at least for the time being.
A Turkish Airlines passenger plane from Istanbul with 135 people on board has crashed near Amsterdam's Schiphol airport this morning. It was a TYA flight departed this morning 07.55am from Istanbul.
The Boeing 737, which appears to have only just missed the landing runway, has broken into three parts, but is said not to be on fire. I just got the news through twitter.
There are confirmed reports of 9 dead, including the 3 crew members in the cockpit.
Weird was that a couple of minutes after the crash, people started to make phone calls.
I prefer Turkish Airlines over Royal Dutch KLM, and will continue doing so...
As far as I know, no close connections of me in this flight, but you never know.
Update: 9 dead, 50 injured of 25 severely injured.
It was annoying to see, until the very last moment, that the Turkish authorities was denying that there were casualities. This is also a traumatic experience of the survivors.
Update; yes, a friend, his wife and daughter were on the plane, but safe.
Update: 84 injured, 6 critical
Update: Turkish daily Hurriyet and Turkish government take their fight over the dead bodies to another level: accusing each other for misinformation. Guess what: f'ck you idiots!
Livestream here, in Dutch.
The global financial crisis has hit Turkey hard. Just as in the United States and Europe, job losses are the order of the day. But in spite of it all, the Turks still have something to celebrate. For the European Court of Justice has ruled in favour of two Turkish plaintiffs who were sick of having to move heaven and earth in order to obtain a visa to travel to an EU country.
The press is jubilant and the business community has immediately called for assurances that this verdict not be allowed to disappear into the back of a drawer. As they see it, the Turkish government should immediately enter into negotiations with the EU's member states to ensure that the verdict has tangible consequences.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
At the moment my priorities are somewhere else, but will be back soon...
I have plans to commercialise this blog, but have to get in touch with all the co-bloggers here, which will takes several weeks.
At the meanwhile, the grow of this site continues with around 350 unique visitors every day, around 450 visits and around 500 page views each day.
Also, from now on you can follow me on Twitter.
Monday, February 23, 2009
During a talk at the Apollo Hotel in Amsterdam yesterday, Israeli speaker Ron Edelheit was pelted with shoes thrown by members of the audience. Mr Edelheit was a spokesman for the Israeli army during its recent offensive in the Gaza Strip. The shoe-throwers, students from Groningen and Leiden, have been arrested. They are members of the International Socialists (IS).
Outside the hotel, around fifty others protested against Mr Edelheit's visit, in what police said was a peaceful manner.According to the Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel, the location for the event was changed at the last moment, after the College Hotel received threats.
Four shoes hit Ron Edelheit, not bad...
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
So much for the official denials on all sides.
U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein sort of let the news slip the other day... I'd like to witness that CIA debriefing.
Just another day, I suppose...
World... Keep on turnin'...
Carnival as we know it today combines two almost diametrically opposed traditions. One is cultural and originated in pre-Christian times. Based on pagan beliefs and primitive nature religions, these festivities celebrated the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Ancient examples include Roman festivals like Saturnalia and Bacchanalia. While the first one was dedicated to Saturn (the god of crop and harvest), the second honored the Roman god Bacchus. Primarily the god of wine, Bacchus also inspired other pleasurable activities, from music to sexuality to ritual ecstasy and mass madness. In that spirit these festivals ran wild with people eating, drinking, and frolicking, dressed as animals, crop or vines, but also as devils and witches to signify the battle between the evil, dead spirits of winter and the good, budding spirits of spring.
With the advent of Christianity, these pagan and cultural festivities were appropriated into the Christian (mostly Roman Catholic) religious tradition of commemorating the end of the Christmas season.
Every had an email like this before?
Would you like to help me out by sending me vast amounts of money, in order to let me escape from my country? If so, I would gladly pay you $15 million with of my inheritance upon me release. You have never seen, or heard of me in your life, but I assure you this is not a joke! I prefer cash, but if that is unattainable, I also accept credit card numbers. I got your e-mail address randomly through a friend of a friend of a friend you said you were nice.
The book “Cry for Help: 36 Scam email messages from Africa”, by Henning Wagenbreth, documents several horror stories experienced by people who had bad enough judgment to fall for such scams.
Wagenbreth adds illustrations to 36 of his favourite e-mail hoaxes, thereby turning them into rather twisted works of art!
Friday, February 20, 2009
- Paul Simon, from The Boxer
This is the last of this series on Western Imperialism. I've been told the section has been a bit heavy, and in a way I agree, but only if we're fearful about such things. Otherwise, its simply more or less "the state of the world today", and all of us are affected to a significant extent.
The dangers of war extend well beyond the soldiers and body bags, the deaths of innocent civilians, the havoc heaved upon the lives of the survivors on all sides. In fact, most of us reading these pages will never see much of that firsthand, and therefore, consider ourselves largely unaffected. But that's far from the case. Wars affect us all in very significant ways.
To start, nations can not afford wars - the economies are not built to support them. In truth, with every war, nations go deep into debt, and the economic impact is currently being seen around the world. The U.S. has invested TRILLIONS in its war machine this past decade, and it has essentially bankrupted the U.S. economy, and the shock waves are spreading around the globe.
Secondly, war in and of itself is a massive transfer of wealth from average citizens to the Deep Money, those that control the international banking system. Its no secret - and well documented - that the same bankers financed both sides of WWI and WWII and plunged the citizens of dozens of nations into massive debt, to be paid from their labor hours of future generations. Since WWII, wars have generally been waged on poor nations leading to massive reconstruction efforts through IMF / World Bank financing, in exchange for the natural resources of those countries. In short, the only people in the world that wars benefit on a large scale is the banks and the corporations that provide reconstruction and those that buy the resources at deep discounts. Its tragic in this regard, and if we're not careful, it will ultimately lead to our slavery.
In this series, we've walked through a series of steps that hopefully shed some light on the events taking place today. Granted, it was a fast and incomplete walk through... Book are written on the subject. And while some disagree with various aspects of it, I'll argue that in whole it makes more sense than presuming the state of the world is just a series of accidental bad policies.
In Part I, I introduced the idea that the Middle East wars we currently see are part of a larger strategy to economically, politically and militarily isolate Russia and China to assure Western (U.S./U.K./Germany/France) hegemony in the world. Whether Russia and China capitulate easily may have everything to do with whether the Third World War is launched.
In Part II, we discussed that Obama has plans to carry out the Bush legacy for imperialism, and that it didn't start with Bush at all. The truth is that it goes back to pre-WWI, and while the tactics have changed over time, the goal was always the same - global hegemony.
In Part III, I pointed you to "A World Without Islam" by ex-CIA executive Graham Fuller, who demystifies Islam as the culprit in the unrest in the world today, and who himself points to Western imperialism as the cause.
In Part IV, we discussed the militarization of the Arctic as a key example of the East-West positioning and resource wars.
In Part V, I demonstrated the Western passion for redrawing the map of the world to suit its interests in power, positioning and resources.
Taken together, they make a pretty compelling case to those with open minds.
Why does this matter to you?
Well, in 2002, the U.S. established a "Nuclear First-Strike Policy" against 7 countries... China, Russia, N. Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya. I'll leave it to you to guess why.
In January of 2008, The Guardian reported that NATO was intending to establish its own Nuclear First Strike policy. Again, you'll have to guess to why, but I doubt anybody senses "imminent threat". I mean... This is the stuff we demonized "the evil Russkies" for over decades.
So... We can't change the momentum until we see things for what they are, and this series was hopefully enough to get some of you on your way to seeing things at least a little differently.
Don't believe me... Do your own research. No telling where it might lead you...
Peace. Love. Freedom.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Al-Mansouri was born in Iran and fled to the Netherlands in 1998, where he was an active member of human rights organisation Amnesty International and lived in Maastricht.
He was arrested while travelling to Syria in 2006 and extradited to Iran, where he was charged with terrorism for supporting the Arab minority in Ahvaz. Ahvaz is an oil-rich region near the Persian Gulf which seeks autonomy. Since his arrest, the Dutch government has repeatedly called on Iran to ensure that Al-Mansouri receives a fair and open trial.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
One things I've learned in my time here is that people who refer to themselves as Kurdish LOVE George Bush (and they're going to LOVE Obama, too...). It is, perhaps, the only group of people I've run across in my travels who do. That begs the question... Why? So I ask (knowing the answer by now, of course).
"Uh... for another time", is the general response. "Does it have to do with new maps?", I ask, which leads to a knowing smile from my new friend (everybody is a new friend to me, as far as I'm concerned), indicating that yes, it does have to do with new maps.
I have to give my Kurdish friends ample credit for being up to date on at least this aspect of today's geo-politics, because much of the world has not yet made the connection. The global planners in the U.S. government have, indeed, created complete sets of new maps that give strong clues as to what their intentions are and whose interests they are serving (the U.S./Anglo alliance of oil/military/economic policy).
The map below was prepared by Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters and published in the U.S. Armed Forces Journal in June 2006. With a close inspection you'll notice that countries such as Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia and others are scheduled to lose territory while entirely new nations are to be created (including a "Free Kurdistan").
(larger version of the map here)
Now, whatever cheers or jeers this new map may draw from particular portions of the populations involved, it begs that time honored question of "Why?" Why would the U.S. /Anglo governments want to redraw the Middle East map?
Oil and gas resources and pipeline delivery routes.
And to what do they owe the feeling of authority to do so? Military / politcal pre-eminance, including the NATO alliance.
Could all of this talk about terrorism and Pakistan simply be cover for supporting West-backed warlords who ultimately wish to destablize the country and ultimately establish the new state of "Free Baluchistan"? Chances are... Yes. Think Kosovo.
The U.S. government has long kept the Kurdish region of Iraq the most stable, and its where large deposits of oil are being divvied up among the Western oil giants, and in return, the West seems to be willing to promise the Kurdish region of Turkey in the creation of a Kurdish state. Ok... perhaps you're seeing the trend.
For more background, I'll direct you here... Again from Prof. Chossudovsky at Global Research...
The ultimate take-away should be that we need to become a lot more skeptical of what we read and hear from our own governments and media. If the average Kurd on the street knows about this redrawing, the chances are your President or Prime Minister does, too, as does the publisher of your nation's leading daily newspaper.
Its interesting that there's a lot of talk about other things, but no discussion of whether the West should be redrawing borders and promoting chaos through covert operations that will lead to new borders being made so that Western companies can more profitably exploit the resources of other nations. There's no discussion about why this is important to the West, or its long term plan to economically/politically/militarily isolate Russia and China. And there's no discussion about the ethics/morality of sending young people to fight and die under false pretenses for such plans.
Nor is there any discussion about the inhumanity of the millions of innocent lives taken and destroyed in the countries in which these resource wars take place.
(Free Speech in Europe? Not in Strasbourg as it relates to NATO... see here...)
Yes... A little skepticism and questioning is in order.
Or perhaps even outrage.
Peace & Love,
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Just as nearly every "hot spot" in the world seems to revolve around oil and gas supplies and pipelines, the Arctic Circle is no different. With Russia, the U.S., Canada (and therefore, London), Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland (and therefore NATO) all having a stake in the area, this has the possibility to be another front in the West vs. Russia global game. And although the article attached is 18 months old, the scenario may soon come to life.
As shipping lanes are beginning to open again in the circle, we can expect a renewed military buildup in the area, and the claims to research and production geography may go from maps on the wall to physical, military presences, and since much of the area is potentially very profitable and contested, it could get serious. Couple that with Moscow's stated warnings against any attacks on Iran (and Israel's apparent increasing plans to do so, backed by the U.S.), the manuevering for pipeline gateways in Central Asia and Pakistan, and there are plenty of pressure points to watch these days.
I'll direct you to this article by Michel Chossudovsky at Global Research. For those who aren't familiar with Chossudovsky, he's a Professor of Economics at the University of Ottowa and produces excellent research on the reasons for, and ramifications of, globalization, focusing in particular on the ties between economics, politics and militarization.
Monday, February 16, 2009
It's a bit arrogant maybe, not to worry that much about everything. You would think that one who has travelled a lot would get used to leaving things behind, but I can't sleep two or three nights before I leave. Have those horrible dreams of missing the plane or worry sick just before leaving if I really have everything, didn't forget everything and if my cat will be in good hands while I'm away.
Well, so far I think I'm stacked and packed but I will know for certain when arrived.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will put here some statements, this is the first one in a serie of 10.
About a year ago there was a compelling paper written by Graham Fuller, a former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA in charge of long-range strategic forecasting, who proposes that had Islam never existed, the world would be right about where it is today. He cites the conflicts and terrorism that are frequently attributed to Islam are more about oppression and imperialism than anything else.
One highlight... In 2006, Interpol tracked over 400 instances of terrorism in Europe. Only one is attributed to Islamic extremism. Makes you think about all the headlines we see, all the fear-based television video of radical extremists.
I've posted the article on my website in its entirety for those who are interested in a very well-informed perspective on the subject. Highly recommended for those keen on the topic.
Peace & Love,
Sunday, February 15, 2009
A couple a weeks ago my little darling was growing inside of me. Instead of him, a little voice is growing inside of me now. And that voice is becoming louder and louder!
That voice is helping me to understand my little baby. It helps me to figure out what my little darling wants.
If he says `oegageheoooooaa` it means that he needs attention. Crying means that he wants to have a clean diaper and `giigigoguugouu` means he wants to play with Nelly the red Hippo.
`Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh` means he wants to eat.
In the middle of the night `the voice` is helping me to get out of my bed so easily to feed. Even before my little darling is awake!
That little voice.....is that mine mother instinct? Sometimes I’m surprised that I was `you-can-do-everything anywhere at every moment- Sandra`.
Wow, it’s true I’m a real mother now. Yes !
Yes , I’m wearing track suits because they are comfortable.
Yes, I have sleepless nights.
Yes, I have bags under my eyes.
Yes, my freedom is gone... but this.... this is where my heart is.
With a one week trip to Egypt coming up, the first stories will come tomorrow and after my trip.
I'm looking forward to it!
Jury members said the strength of the picture of an armed sheriff moving through an American home after an eviction due to a mortgage foreclosure was in its opposites - it looks like a classic war photograph, but is simply the eviction of people from a house. The black and white photograph was part of Time magazine's Tough Times in Cleveland report on the effects of the credit crunch.
Dutch NRC Handelsblad photographer Roger Cremers won the first prize in the category 'Arts and entertainment stories' for his pictures of Auschwitz tourism.
All that said, I saw one announcement that caught my eye... Russia and Turkey are becoming closer - article from Today's Zaman reposted at Global Research.
Its interesting to me because as we watch the game being played between Russia and the West, this could turn out to be a very big thing.
As mentioned before, the West has long sought a strategy of surrounding and isolating Russia, militarily, economically and politically, going back to Napolean. In the Cold War, tensions ran high and the rhetoric of fear became very dangerous to all. And now, with the West ramping up in Afghanistan and seeking control of pipeline corridors in Central Asia, the Balkans, Pakistan and producers in the Middle East, the concept of "security" is becoming synonymous with "domination of energy delivery".
Its no secret that a big part of Russia's resurgence is based upon its energy resources and delivery capabilities. The West, through direct military interventions and NGO "economic partnerships" is seeking to marginalize Russia's growing regional influence, and thus preserve its own global hegemony.
If this partnership with Turkey plays out to be truly meaningful, it could have a profound influence in the East/West balance of power, and will capitalize on other recent wins for the Russian side in the FSRs. Whether or not you beleive that to be a good thing is another story - perhaps it comes down to whether you believe the world is better served by having a single power in the West (EU/US), or balanced powers between East and West.
I'm intersted in how Turks percieve this development. It seems the Turkish military has been traditionally more aligned with the U.S./West. What are the internal impacts of the government forging deeper alliances with Russia? What do you see as the primary motivations? What are the regional / global impacts? Talk to me...
Saturday, February 14, 2009
I am not surprised at all by these words. The Israelis government, for the sake of good relations with Turkey looked at the other direction when Turkey was critiziced for its minority policies, its foreign policies and its history. Erdogan is doing more harm to Turkey in diplomatic sense than any previous Turkish PM.
But Erdogan declared himself not a diplomat, but a politician. He simple forget that politicians sets the tone for diplomacy.
As a reader of the daily Haaretz pointed out, Turkey is in a dodgy situation. This time I don’t think that the EU and or the IMF, and what about the USA, will be so uncomplaining with the current Turkish style of governing.
Here the note of a reader of Haaretz:
The Turkish leader joined the critics of Israel. Impertinent because he should keep his mouth shut. His country has laws forbidding mentioning of the crimes perpetrated against the Armenians. If Israel would adopt the Turkish model, a third of all lecturers in the faculties of social sciences and humanities in Israeli universities would be imprisoned, as well as a huge portion of Haaretz journalists. We will remind Erdogan of Leyla Zana and the short speech she made when elected to the Turkish parliament. She ended her speech in I take this oath for the brotherhood between the Turkish people and the Kurdish people. Her crime was that she said that terrible sentence, in Kurdish. According to Turkish law speaking that language is a crime. She lost her parliamentary immunity and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. When she wrote something from inside jail a further two years were added to her sentence. Tell this to the Arab members of the Israeli parliament.
(This beautiful photo courtesy of Belgin Zeytin Photography, an excellent photographer, available for hire in Istanbul for stunning portraits and other commercial work. See her portfolio here...)
I suppose this is the day when we make that special someone feel truly and uniquely special, and that is certainly a good thing.
But why stop there?
Rumi talks about Love as so endless that we can give it to everybody and still have infinite supplies to shower on those around us. He speaks of Love as "the sacred liquid", and questions why we pass it around in cups rather than swim in it together. He dares us not to simply wade in it, but to dive "deeper, and deeper still".
So, while we carry on with the tradition of a special day for those closest to us, maybe we can find a way to:
- Reach out to someone who made need a little Love, and make them feel special, too. And...
- Spend a few minutes running through memories of all the people we've met in our lives and with whom we've shared some interaction... some connection, and send Loving thoughts their way. And...
- Spend a few minutes passing Loving thoughts to those we've never met and whose paths we'll never cross. Chances are at least a few of them could use the positive energy.
Love... So endless... Let's not be stingy with it.
Imagine somebody on the far end of the world spontaneously feeling the warmth of a hug, the feeling that someone truly does care about them, giving them what they need to make it through a perhaps difficult day. That's a good thing.
Love... Everbody... (at least) Today.
Friday, February 13, 2009
By The Times
Geert Wilders - Let Him In
Denying entry to the UK for a Dutch demagogue is bad politics and precedent.
Geert Wilders, the leader of the right-wing Freedom Party in the Netherlands, is not so much an unlikely as an incredible standard-bearer for liberty. His most prominent political stance is his opposition to what he terms “Islamic invasion”. He is the authentic voice of provincial populism and even xenophobia. He encapsulates the adage of Harold Macmillan that criticism in politics is never inhibited by ignorance.
Mr Wilders' remorseless themes are opposition to immigration and condemnation of Islam. He depicts Islam as monolithic, monocausal and monomaniacal. Its founder is a “terrorist” and a “war criminal”. Mr Wilders compares the Koran to Mein Kampf for its incendiary content, and demands that it be proscribed. With an irony so clumsy that it can be lost only on himself, he declares 2009 “a year to defend free speech”.
and there is morreee
I am worried when religion become more important than law.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Before I started traveling, I was a cog in the wheel in "Corporate America" for 16 years. You know, out there playing hard for the team, bringing in the deals, often adding my .$015 USD to the corporate quarterly earnings per share which was theoretically worth $1 per share price appreciation, though it never seemed to work out quite that way thanks to our inordinate overhead. But its fair to say that executives in most of the companies I worked for had a certain appreciation for my contributions in between their all-out efforts to find somebody who was willing to fire me.
It seems I've always had a problem with authority, and that attitude has a short shelf life in Corporate America, unless you're bringing in the business, and I did my share. If I had tried hard enough I probably could have found somebody to fire me, though I'm not sure exactly what it would have taken. At one company, the one of my longest tenure (5 years), a sharp and public "fuck off" to a Senior Vice President wasn't quite enough, but it was close. He deserved it. Probably 20 others similar stories along the way... yes, a real problem with authority.
Fast forward about about 5 years and I'm in my last job, a 40 person consulting firm where I was the VP of Sales. One day our sociopathic CEO showed up with a smile and asked me, "What can I do to help you on this deal?", which was a total set up for something else. My response was, "You'll do fine to just stop fucking everything up." I quit about a month later to go traveling for a while.
On inauguration day when Obama was in the process of taking the reigns of the world somebody asked me what message I would send to him on that monumental day. My response was, "Just stop fucking everything up." I'd say that's a pretty good message for the leadership of every country... JSFEU. Seriously... I can't for the life of me figure out why we need politicians or government at all.
And how do they FEU? Imperialism, oppression and graft, mostly. And oddly enough, most of the world has some strange Stockholm Syndrome thing working where we've fallen in love with our captors.
How bad is it? Well, William Blum has been tracing the damage of U.S. government's foreign policy for 40 some years... since Vietnam, and he thinks its pretty bad. With few exceptions, and meaningless rhetoric aside, most governments in Europe have walked in tight coordination, if not in lock-step, so for many of the readers of this site, yeah, you're government is pretty dangerous to us all, too.
For those that haven't read Blum, he has somewhat unique way of telling a story - very matter-of-fact with a dose of dry humor. But don't let that fool you into thinking he's a simpleton. His research is used widely by some of the biggest names in the business. I did an interview with Noam Chomsky on my website a couple of years ago - find it here - and he still fields my occasional questions on things, sometimes on the record, usually off. But he's the one that turned me onto Blum, and Chomsky references his research in many of his own books. So... regardless of what you think of Chomsky, Blum carries some gravitas in the foreign policy / investigative journalism arena.
I found one article you might enjoy, and it covers Blum's own open letter to President Obama, and interestingly enough... we have very similar views. He takes you on a quick tour of U.S / Western imperialism around the world today, and does so with a real sense of style. So whether you're looking to be merely entertained or actually want to learn something new, there should be something here for you. Check this out...
I wonder... If we all spent a little more time thinking critically and challenging those in authority, would this world be a little more peaceful? A little more prosperous? I think so, but not everybody does.
Interesting fact of the day... Farm and pack animals were domesticated by walking around eating the scraps of tribes. Today, we either eat them or make them carry our stuff in exchange for food.
Read more here.
Hamas likes to be portrayed as Heroes. But who are they?
Amnesty International reported yesterday that Hamas in the Gaza Strip have engaged in a campaign of abductions, deliberate and unlawful killings, torture and death threats against those they accuse of “collaborating” with Israel, as well as opponents and critics.
And I am pondering why only 30% of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip supports Hamas (besides the Turkish PM and his wife...).
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Squatting Cafe, Vrankrijkm Amsterdam (temporarely closed down)
Having started as an idealist movement to fight housing shortages in Amsterdam and other Dutch cities from 1978, squatting quickly became a way of life for many people who were looking for a place to live but could not find somewhere along the regular channels. It is estimated that there were some 20,000 squatters the Dutch capital in the early 1980s, most of them living on unemployment benefit. A subculture developed, with squatters' theatres, artist workshops, restaurants and newspapers, similar to Denmark's Christiania village in the capital Copenhagen.
Police actions to evict squatters increasingly led to pitched battles between riot police in combat gear, and firebomb and brick throwing squatters and in the end, deep rifts in the movement.
After eviction riots in 1982, some squatters considered that greater levels of violence directed at the authorities were justifiable, others wanted to retain the alternative and relatively peaceful lifestyle of the original squatter movement. Hard-line squatter groups began intimidating the less radical members, many of whom decided to break all ties with the movement.
After an eviction in March 2008 police say they discovered booby-traps set by squatters inside the occupied building with the intention of hurting or possibly killing policemen. Two months later, squatters pelted the police with bottles; one policewoman was injured. Police reported finds of arms, munition and pepperspray in the occupied buildings.
Currently there are estimated to be between 1,500 and 2,000 squatters in Amsterdam, says the Regioplan agency which is charting developments for the housing minister, Eberhard van der Laan. There are no figures from other cities, where house occupations "are so few that they don't constitute a problem", Regioplan writes. The agency says there are three kinds of them: the "traditional Dutch squatters", the "antiglobalists" who come to the Dutch capital from all over the world, and East-European workers, mostly builders from Poland, who are looking for a cheap place to stay.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Hamas often use the word ‘Neo-Nazi’s’ for Israelis; in psychology you call that ‘sublimation’; you accuse someone of something where you yourself suffer of/from.
That Hamas exist out of egotistical, feudal, tribal clans with an intense Islamite agenda is clear, and that they only serve their own people (and their radical Islamic view) and not the Palestinians is well-know, at least for me. Yesterday I found an article on an interesting UK based blog Caledonian Comment; The Thinking Blog. I agree with every word:
The United Nations (UN) yesterday halted humanitarian supplies into Gaza after Hamas forces (above) seized an aid convoy. Members of the Islamist group which runs the territory took control of 10 trucks in the second such confiscation within 2 days. The aid had been intended for the victims of the Israeli offensive which killed 1,300 Palestinians, left 5,000 wounded and thousands homeless. A spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency which supports much of Gaza’s 1.5 million population, said: “The Hamas government must return all of the aid that’s been confiscated and we have to be given by the Hamas government credible assurances that this will not happen again.” So now we see clear evidence that Hamas is hurting its own population. But what mystifies me is : a fortnight ago we had an unholy alliance of anti-semites, naive students, Islamic militants, social workers, do-gooders, Guardian readers and middle class lefties all taking to the streets to protest at Gaza being blockaded so that food and medicine couldn’t get to the population. But now that Hamas are doing the same thing, where are the demonstrators ? Don’t hold your breath.
At the moment the PM of Turkey is the only advocate of Hamas, and of course his wife, Emine...with the backing of Iran...
So... Here's a much-too-short summary of the world today - take it for what it is... The West is in a fevered race to secure not only the energy sources of the world, but also the energy supply lines, for the purpose of isolating and ultimately defeating its lone economic / political / military rivals... Russia and China.
For all the rhetoric about the renewed "threat from Russia", the West is increasingly boxing in Russia, and that being the case, its conceivable that it won't be long before one forces the other's hand and a widespread war breaks out. China, who has allowed a significant amount of economic imperialism within its own borders may face its own decision point about whether to acquiesce to the West, or stand with Russia. None of this is by accident... Its all so carefully plotted.
This week I'll pass a few articles along to you that may enlighten some of you to what's happening on the largest scale. It will then be your job, should you choose, to look with new eyes to what's happening in the Middle East and determine whether the mess is really about "terrorism" or Iran's "nuclear program", or whether these are merely plot lines for diversion.
Today, I'll send you this article, NATO in the Persian Gulf for some very important background information from our friends at Global Research. Its about 30 minutes to read, lots of information, but important for those of us who really do wish to avoid the inconveniences of nuclear holocaust...
Enjoy, and there's more coming...
The future has been revealed so that we may alter it.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
The commercially-available ‘friending’ software ‘Facebook Friend Adder’ is dedicated software that assists you to exponentially grow your ‘friend’ network with automated assistance. So much for “keeping it real.”
Writing in his new book ‘Cyburbia’ about online social networks, British commentator James Harkin picks up on this phenomenon and is critical of what he sees as “weak ties” being a “...recipe for a carnival of threadbare electronic friendship.”
Somehow you get the impression that consumers and end users of this software are more concerned with their marketing reach than meaningful relationships.
Friday, February 6, 2009
And last but not least , Yigal’s Istanbul calling; a blog from this freelance journalist based in Istanbul, Turkey, where he works as a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor and the Eurasianet website, covering Turkey and the surrounding region. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Ha'aretz, The Jerusalem Report, The Times (London), The Walrus and other publications. Tomorrow Erkan, Ozlem and I will meet him for diner with him and his wife.
Last week we passed the barrier of 5.000 cities; since August 2007, more than 63.000 unique visitors from more than 5.000 different cities/places visited this blog, and we are still growing. The original blog was established 4 ½ years ago, December 2004, but didn’t write that much the first 2 years.
Since December 2008, Internations is part of the Entrecard metwork, where more than 10.000 blogs are linked, participating in. I see around 200 blogs a day, and it’s time consuming to deal with it daily. But for the time-being, it reaches out through a broader audience. This blog is there listed as ‘expat blog’ since it make more sense than being a ‘political blog’ or ‘personal daily life’ blog. For a while it was listed as News And Media blog, but since most of the bloggers are expats, expatriate, ‘expat blog’ covers it better. Anyway, the traffic increased with more than 100% up to 350 unique visitors each day, up to 500 page views each day.
We receive on a regular base emails of readers who are pleased with this blog. Last week a co-blogger and co-expat in Prague wrote on her blog Prague.today about Internations: Internation Musings is a multi-national, multi-blogger blog adventure that covers events and –yes- musings from an international perspective. A compassionate and intellectually honest blog with posts that go under the surface of our often too fast paced internet world. Take your time, take a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy a good read.
This compliment is well appreciated: thanks!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
This reiteration is entirely consistent with the last several U.S. National Intelligence Estimates, a joint report of the 16 intelligence agencies of the U.S. government, including the CIA, NSA, Defense Intelligence and others.
See the article here...
For all the hype created by the U.S. and Israel on the supposed threat from Iran, its important to note that other than the war with the U.S-backed, U.S.-supplied-chemical-weapons-wielding Saddam, Iran has not had a troop outside of its own borders in the last century. Sadly, the same can not be said about the U.S. or Israel, rationalized or not.
The IAEA chief also points out that Iran is currently the target of a well-funded covert operation of regime change similar to what the U.S. supported in 1953 against the democratically-elected government of the then prime minister Mohammed Mosaddeq, and further points out that Iran is currently surrounded by U.S. troops and nuclear armed nations.
There have been accusations - though no convincing proof - that Iran has armed terrorists.
Isn't it time we face the facts and realize that Iran is not a threat to anyone? They've been the victim of more than 50 years of harassment from the West, and 8 years of bold threats of war from countries which have proven their willingness to send their own to die, which is its own form of terrorism.
Perhaps they just want to be left alone. Perhaps the war-mongering regimes should leave them alone.
The former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan, admitted in his autobiography that the war in Iraq was primarily about oil. Can we be so dense as to not see that the case for war on Iran is the same?
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Headlines early in the new administration read "Obama to Close Guantanamo". Cheers all around, eh?
New headlines now (not in your local paper or on the evening news, so it must be a "conspiracy theory", according to our definition) are (click the link)...
Pop quiz... How many of the known 750 plus detainees at Guantanamo ever face trial and were convicted? I mean, you'd think it was a lay up and all. Forced, coerced and tortured evidence allowed in to the courtroom for the prosecution. Limited access to full and proper defense. All that stuff. They should have had convictions dropping like snowflakes on a January Davos morning.
Who knows how many? Let us know...
Peace, Love & Freedom... Rock on...
Monday, February 2, 2009
New York city is embracing its Dutch heritage with a yearlong celebration marking the anniversary of when Henry Hudson is believed to have landed in Manhattan, around September 1609.
Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen joined New York mayor Michael Bloomberg last Wednesday on the southern tip of Manhattan to commemorate the anniversary. Bloomberg said: "We really do have a very deep history, and it can be traced back to Hudson's arrival, and the small Dutch settlement that sprang up in its wake."
Hudson, an English explorer, arrived aboard the Dutch vessel Halve Maen (Half Moon) on a trip sponsored by the Dutch East India Company. He was seeking passage to Asia, but instead stumbled upon what is now Manhattan. His voyage soon attracted Dutch traders to the island, who established New Amsterdam and the New Netherland colony. They gave neighborhoods Dutch names, including Harlem (Haarlem), Brooklyn (Breukelen) and Staten Island (after the Staten-Generaal, the Dutch parliament).