Wednesday, December 9, 2009

YouTube ban in Turkey - More idiotry

Sometimes I cannot believe my eyes when I hear the Turkish government speaking about for me simple and rational issues. I know that they take each and every time the discussion ‘hostage’ with throwing the words ‘our sensitivities’ on the table, but today I heard the most lame excuse for the YouTube ban in Turkey: The Turkish Minister of Transport, Yıldırım said the main problem with YouTube was not the videos but the owners’ refusal to open an office and pay taxes in Turkey. The minister said that if YouTube offers a service in Turkey, it should also have a representative in the country.“If you refuse to do that, there is nothing this country can do for you,” he said. Yıldırım said his ministry, the courts and the tax administration all demanded a legal addressee for YouTube in Turkey, but it refuses, stating that it is a global company that is not considering opening an office in Turkey. “This is no different than an ordinary company that opens up shop without dropping by the tax administration,” Yıldırım said.

Okay, we know that Facebook, Google, LinkedIN, eBay, blogger sites, Yahoo, MySpace, CouchSurfing, Flickr, Plaxo, Orkut, Twitter, Wikipedia etc. don’t have an Office in Turkey either, since in general these are social media sites and that means you don’t pay for their services. So, is the Minister Of Transport in Turkey, responsible for Internet and thus social media, up-to-date what’s going on Internet? I don’t think so. And of course this guy is uproarious, dumb, and completely out of touch with the reality. A child of 10 knows that YouTube is a FREE video-sharing site. But I think that this minister wants that the Turkish citizens, in Turkey and abroad, are going to pay for these sites and that the Turkish government then can tax the users….are you kidding me?

And then you have Tayfun Acarer, president of the Information and Communication Technologies Authority, or ICTA, who said there were 32 court orders regarding YouTube. “Atatürk is a sensitive [matter] for Turkey,” he said. “Not only people who live in Turkey but ones who do business in Turkey have to be sensitive about this matter.” Acarer said he could not understand why YouTube’s lack of sensitivity was not being questioned by people who criticize the ban. “I believe that no commercial foundation is above Turkey’s sensitivities,” Acarer said.
Now mister Acarer, I am highly sensitive and allergic fot idiotry...does that counts as well?

Is a Christmas tree offensive?

It was the 13th day before Christmas and all was quiet in the Netherlands… except at The Hague University (THU), where a board decision not to put up a Christmas tree has sparked a “national outrage”.

De Telegraaf, the equivalent of the Turkish Hürriyet, in its never-ending quest to pander to the lowest common denominator, writes that “ the THU’s decision not to put up the traditional Christmas tree this year because of the large number of non-Western students has spread dismay across the nation”.

According to the paper, students, council members, parliament and no less than 1,000 De Telegraaf readers have expressed their outrage at THU’s yuletide blasphemy. One of the more subtle reader comments suggested the school board should be “covered in tar and Christmas decorations”, clearly a more festive variant on the time-honoured corporal punishment of tarring and feathering.

Another newspaper in a slightly more nuanced commentary, writes that Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, in its unrelenting campaign to prove that Western traditions are perishing under an Islamic onslaught, “hardly could have wished for a better Christmas present, particularly as the party is about take part in local elections in the Hague for the first time. Btw, lots of Christmas trees here in Turkey and two years ago, when we were in Dubai during Christmas, also there Christmas trees in the shopping malls...

And the our hero, the local politician Abdu Khoulani of the Islam Democrats says: “This is so inept, there have been no signals whatsoever from our supporters suggesting that a Christmas tree would be considered offensive”. hurray!!!

And what about the THU? Communications Director Annelies van Rosmalen says in reality the decision was a little less politically inspired: “The decision was all mine. I hated that tree and thought to myself ‘let’s go for something different this year’. However, with my phone ringing off the hook, I can tell you that right now I would love nothing better than to see that fake tree standing here”.

Be that as it may, it does not answer the question why the THU in an internal memo said the decision was taken “To emphasise the international character and diversity of the student body”. Smacks of backtracking on the part of Ms van Rosmalen...

source: rnw

6 Belges sur 10 contre les minarets

Une enquête réalisée par iVOX pour « Le Soir Magazine » à paraître mercredi montre que 59,3 % des Belges interrogés sont favorables à l’interdiction de la construction des minarets. Les Suisses, eux, s’étaient prononcés à hauteur de 57,5 % pour cette interdiction.

38 % des Belges interrogés se sont déclarés tout à fait favorables à l’interdiction de la construction de minarets. Parmi ces 38 %, les Wallons sont les plus favorables (44 %), devant les Bruxellois (40,3 %) et les Flamands (34,3 %).

Si l’on prend le critère de l’âge, le groupe des plus de 50 ans est bien plus favorable (47,9 %) à l’interdiction que le groupe des 30-49 ans (32,8 %) et des moins de 29 ans (29,9 %). Les hommes sont plus favorables à l’interdiction que les femmes, avec 41,8 % contre 34,2 %.

Les Belges ne seraient pas seulement opposés à la construction des minarets, ces tours extérieures d’où traditionnellement les muezzins appellent les fidèles à la prière, mais également à la construction de mosquées. Le sondage montre que 56,7 % des personnes interrogées sont opposées à l’édification de mosquées en Belgique et 61 % ne veulent pas qu’une mosquée soit édifiée dans leur quartier.

Ces résultats sont issus d’une enquête en ligne réalisée par iVOX du 3 au 5 décembre 2009 auprès de 1.050 personnes, avec un indice d’erreur de 3 %.

Sarkozy ne dit pas non aux minarets, mais à l’ostentation

Day Opening - December 9