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polly7

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Hometown: Saskatchewan
Home country: Canada
Member since: Sat Jul 9, 2005, 11:46 PM
Number of posts: 14,350

Journal Archives

The Battle of our time: Breaking the Corporations

By Nozomi Hayase, Common Dreams
Common Dreams
Monday, Jan 19, 2015

Predatory Capitalism and Survival of the Fittest

What does the illusory world of psychopaths look like from the inside? Within this state devoid of empathy, individuality comes to be defined as opposition to the underlying communal self. In this environment, the development of individuality often necessitates pitting one against another. It is a hostile and competitive, dog-eat-dog world. Governed by reptilian impulses like fight or flight, one is driven by interests of simple self-preservation and advancement. In this, relationship becomes a battleground, or in the words of the psychopath, a game—or just doing business.

In the eyes of these ruthless and careless sections of humanity, the earth itself is no longer alive, but only a resource to be exploited. Their dry intellect tears apart the web of life, with its intricate threads of interdependence. The existing extreme form of capitalism has become the ultimate social expression of the psychopaths’ internal reality of survival of the fittest. These minorities without conscience attempt to control systems to create desired selfish outcomes and tend to impose their narrative upon others.


Lifting the Veil of Illusion

With the 2008 financial crisis followed by the waves of whistleblowing in recent years, global institutional failures are being increasingly exposed and the facade of democracy is being peeled away. In noting the effect of leaks that revealed how much the public had been kept in the dark, Assange said, “We are walking around constantly in this fog where we can’t see the ground. These disclosures are a break in the fog.”

A veil of illusion is being lifted and a global awareness of psychopathic control over the levers of power has begun. The 1% elite who put themselves above the law can no longer hide their true agendas. Who are these beings behind the masks of powerful governments and institutions, those who claim to be more capable and superior? Most importantly, why have we forsaken ourselves by distrusting our own judgment? With peak oil, debt ponzi schemes and endless wars spurring energy and financial crises, this self-destructive game is almost up and the house of cards economy is crumbling. The bubble of an inflated self will inevitably burst, and our minds eventually catch up with what our hearts already know.


Full article: http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_69061.shtml

Five Years after the Earthquake in Haiti

By Beverly Bell and Jackson Doliscar
Source: Otherworldsarepossible.org
January 19, 2015

Some things never change. In Haiti, no matter the century or decade in question, one can be certain that: the state and elite are trouncing the rights and needs of the majority, the population is protesting to demand land and justice, and the international community is taking the wrong side.

Five years after the earthquake that killed an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 (no one knows for sure) and rendered 1.9 million more people homeless, the fraudulently elected administration of Michel Martelly has abandoned any pretense of democracy. Having failed to hold elections three years in a row, instead letting national and local elective seats become vacant, the government now rules by decree. It is also attacking and killing human rights defenders. The elite, in combination with foreign corporations, are seizing land for agribusiness, mining, tourism, and free trade zones. The grassroots has taken to the streets to demand democratic government and an end to foreign occupation by the UN. Social movements are also mobilizing for defense of land, housing, and rights. The US has, until recent months, staunchly supported the government. It has backed this support with “security” funding, including more than $7 million for the police in 2015, for a nation not at war against anyone but its own people.


Jackson Doliscar: The Martelly government that’s been in power for four years should have organized elections every year. In its quest to achieve a totalitarian government, it hasn’t organized any election. Every year, a third of the senate must be renewed. This hasn’t happened. As a result, by January 12, two-thirds of the senate will be gone; we’ll be left with only 10 senators out of 30. That’s the goal Martelly has pursued so he can rule by decree and be solely in charge of making law.

We have to be very vigilant to prevent the rise of another dictatorship, patterned after François Duvalier’s. The international community has to be vigilant, too, to insure that the country takes steps to implement overdue elections to salvage what remains of this deficient, pseudo-democracy.


JD: The international community saw in Martelly a man who would meet its dictates. It backed him and promoted him in the race for the presidency. The international community, with the US as its key player, found in Martelly the man to implement its goals, namely free access to land for international mining corporations, for tourism development, and for partnerships with big international conglomerates – to the detriment and displacement of the peasantry.


Full article: https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/five-years-after-the-earthquake-in-haiti/

A 16-Year-Old's Death Is Forcing Ethiopia to Confront Its Sexual Violence Problem

Posted 16 January 2015 11:58 GMT



Last year, on an October day like any other, Hanna Lalango was in a public mini-bus on her way home from school. Suddenly, one of the other passengers threatened her with a knife. Five men kidnapped the 16-year-old, taking her to a house belonging to one of them. Hanna was gang-raped and held in the house for several days. Afterwards, she was left in the street, severely injured. When she finally received treatment for her gynecological injuries, it was too late. She died on November 1, 2014.

Her tragic story was not mentioned in media until 15 days after her death. In fact, the brutal gang-rape might not have crossed the public's mind at all, if it was not for university lecturer and Yellow Movement AAU women rights activist Bléna Sahilu. Bléna stumbled across a brief report in a newspaper and decided to start the campaign #JusticeForHanna on Twitter. The Facebook page of the campaign states:

Seeking for an adequate punishment to all responsible for this heinous crime so that no other woman has to go through the same tragedy.

Soon after the launch of the campaign, the story went viral and #JusticeForHanna quickly became one of the top 15 trending hashtags in Africa in 2014.


Full article:
http://globalvoicesonline.org/2015/01/16/a-16-year-olds-death-is-forcing-ethiopia-to-confront-its-sexual-violence-problem/

Pope Francis Has Come to the Philippines, But Not All Filipinos Are Allowed to Look

Posted 17 January 2015 4:04 GMT


Human rights groups were blocked by the police from getting near the pope motorcade. Image from Facebook page of Kathy Yamzon

Not everyone in the Philippines was able to see Pope Francis when he began his current visit to the Philippines. A group activists carrying signs for social justice says the police prevented it from staging a demonstration in sight of the Pope's motorcade. There are also reports that law enforcement officers detained several street children during the Pope's public procession.

Pope Francis will tour the Philippines from January 15 to January 19. The visit, themed “mercy and compassion,” takes Pope Francis to the largest Catholic-dominated nation in Asia.

Some 2,000 activists gathered in Manila to greet the Pope by unfurling banners that highlight some of the issues that affect the nation's poor, such as hunger, landlessness, and injustice. Police blocked the march from getting near the motorcade, however.



Mudwalk performance artists, who depicted the plight of typhoon Haiyan victims, were barred by the police from handing a letter to church authorities. Photo from Facebook page of the group.

In addition to interfering with protesters, the government also reportedly “detained” and “caged” street children a few days before the Pope's arrival. Manila Standard Today, a major daily newspaper, questioned the wisdom of this policy, saying it amounts to a Potemkin-Village approach.


Overkill police deployment? Aquino is president of the Philippines. Image from Facebook page of labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement).

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2015/01/17/pope-francis-has-come-to-the-philippines-but-not-all-filipinos-are-allowed-to-look/

How Muslim and Christian Women in Nigeria Banded Together to Fight Violent Extremism

Posted 19 January 2015 6:30 GMT


Nigerian pastor Esther Ibanga joined with Muslim leaders in the city of Jos to call for the return of Chibok girls who were kidnapped by the extremist group Boko Haram. Credit: Women Without Walls Initiative (Willie Abok). Published with PRI's permission

But even after the Christian and the Muslim demonstrations, the violent clashes continued. At that point, Ibanga reached out to a local Muslim religious leader, Khadija Hawaja.

“That's when I realized the issue is really not religion, the issue was politics. But religion was used as a very powerful tool,” she says. “I reached out to her and I said, ‘Hey listen, you know we're not each other's problems. It's not about you being a Muslim and me being a Christian. These politicians are knocking our heads together. And it's all about them maintaining power.'”


“She could have been killed,” Ibanga says. “And I could have been killed also, going into a Muslim community.”

After months of collaboration, Ibanga and Hawaja founded the Women Without Walls Initiative.

“We want to do away with the walls that divide and separate us, whether it's the walls of social class or the wall of ethnicity or the walls of religion,” she says. “We really cannot join the politicians in this fight. We are mothers. We are life givers and we are solution bearers. And we think that we should bring solutions to the table, rather than dwell on the problem.”


http://globalvoicesonline.org/2015/01/19/how-muslim-and-christian-women-in-nigeria-banded-together-to-fight-violent-extremism/

How Muslim and Christian Women in Nigeria Banded Together to Fight Violent Extremism

Posted 19 January 2015 6:30 GMT


Nigerian pastor Esther Ibanga joined with Muslim leaders in the city of Jos to call for the return of Chibok girls who were kidnapped by the extremist group Boko Haram. Credit: Women Without Walls Initiative (Willie Abok). Published with PRI's permission

But even after the Christian and the Muslim demonstrations, the violent clashes continued. At that point, Ibanga reached out to a local Muslim religious leader, Khadija Hawaja.

“That's when I realized the issue is really not religion, the issue was politics. But religion was used as a very powerful tool,” she says. “I reached out to her and I said, ‘Hey listen, you know we're not each other's problems. It's not about you being a Muslim and me being a Christian. These politicians are knocking our heads together. And it's all about them maintaining power.'”


“She could have been killed,” Ibanga says. “And I could have been killed also, going into a Muslim community.”

After months of collaboration, Ibanga and Hawaja founded the Women Without Walls Initiative.

“We want to do away with the walls that divide and separate us, whether it's the walls of social class or the wall of ethnicity or the walls of religion,” she says. “We really cannot join the politicians in this fight. We are mothers. We are life givers and we are solution bearers. And we think that we should bring solutions to the table, rather than dwell on the problem.”


http://globalvoicesonline.org/2015/01/19/how-muslim-and-christian-women-in-nigeria-banded-together-to-fight-violent-extremism/

What Drives Blasphemy Charges in the Middle East? (It's Not Just Religion)

Global Voices

Posted 8 January 2015 18:20 GMT

Excerpts:

Commenting on Cheikh's case, journalist Brian Whitaker, author of the book Arabs Without God, writes that religion has become a “political weapon” in Mauritania:


The strange thing about laws against apostasy and blasphemy is that most of the people who fall foul of them are neither apostates nor intentional blasphemers. In practice these laws have very little to do with theology and are mostly used as a pretext for settling political scores or pursuing personal grudges.


Using religion as “a pretext for settling political scores”
Whitaker indeed points to a broader trend across the Arab world. Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, which differ widely both politically and culturally, have seen similar cases in recent years.


It seems clear in the Quran that apostasy and blasphemy do not require punishments such as the death penalty or lashing — yet authorities in countries like Mauritania, Saudi Arabia and Iran continue to do the opposite. It seems the motive is more rooted in politics than religion.

“Arab rulers act as if Islam is in danger…maybe they are afraid of the collapse of their thrones,” Tunisian blogger Khaoula Frehcichi wrote in a blog post. “They know very well that criticising the religious institution is the first step to unsettle their regimes.”


http://globalvoicesonline.org/2015/01/08/what-drives-blasphemy-charges-in-the-middle-east-its-not-just-religion/

I like this follow-up comment:

"The word blasphemy should disappear from human consciousness right along with the religious fanatics who created it.
One man's blasphemy is another's truth and truth will never come from religion."

Trade Secrets - Monbiot

By George Monbiot

Source: The Guardian
January 15, 2015

If a government proposes to abandon one of the fundamental principles of justice, there had better be a powerful reason. Equality before the law is not ditched lightly. Surely? Well, read this and judge for yourself. The UK government, like that of the US and 13 other EU members, wants to set up a separate judicial system, exclusively for the use of corporations. While the rest of us must take our chances in the courts, corporations across the EU and US will be allowed to sue governments before a tribunal of corporate lawyers. They will be able to challenge the laws they don’t like, and seek massive compensation if these are deemed to affect their “future anticipated profits”.

I’m talking about the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its provisions for “investor-state dispute settlement”. If this sounds incomprehensible, that’s mission accomplished: public understanding is lethal to this attempted corporate coup.

The TTIP is widely described as a trade agreement. But while in the past trade agreements sought to address protectionism, now they seek to address protection. In other words, once they promoted free trade by removing trade taxes (tariffs); now they promote the interests of transnational capital by downgrading the defence of human health, the natural world, labour rights, and the poor and vulnerable from predatory corporate practices.


So keep marching, keep signing, keep joining the campaigns that have come together under the Stop TTIP banner. In an age of ecocide, food banks and financial collapse, do we need more protection from predatory corporate practices, or less? This is a reckless, unjustified destruction of our rights. We can defeat it.


Full article: https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/trade-secrets/

Duplicate .... War Begets War: It’s Not about Islam; It Never Was

Sorry Tace.

Please see previous thread here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1016111405

By Ramzy Baroud

January 14, 2015

It is still not about Islam, even if the media and militants attacking western targets say so. Actually, it never was. But it was important for many to conflate politics with religion; partly because it is convenient and self-validating.

First, let’s be clear on some points. Islam has set in motion a system to abolish slavery over 1,200 years before the slave trade reached its peak in the western world.


Sure, the pornographic satire of Charlie Hebdo and its targeting of Prophet Mohammed was mentioned, but little was said, by Black, or the many others who were quick to link the subject to “7th century Islam”, to the hideous wars and their horrible, pornographic manifestations of torture, rape and other unspeakable acts; acts that victimized millions of people; Muslim people. Instead, it about western art and Muslim intolerance. The subtle line was: yes, indeed, it is a “clash of civilizations”.

Did any of these “intellectuals” pause to think that maybe, just maybe, the violent responses to demeaning Islamic symbols reflect a real political sentiment, say for example, a collective feeling of humiliation, hurt, pain and racism that extend to every corner of the globe?


Full article: https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/war-begets-war-its-not-about-islam-it-never-was/

Child living in remains of home destroyed by Israel dies from freezing weather in Gaza

Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 9 Jan — A Palestinian infant fell ill and died due to severe cold in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday, as winter storm Huda pummeled the region for a third day. Gaza Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said that two-month-old Rafah Ali Abu Assi died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as a result of the severely cold weather affecting the region. Ashraf al-Qidra said that the infant was taken to the Gaza European Hospital early Thursday for treatment but was pronounced dead at noon on Friday. The infant’s family lives east of Khan Younis in an area that was heavily damaged during Israel’s offensive on Gaza over summer. Her family reportedly continued living in their damaged home despite the destruction. Due to lack of alternative shelter, many of the nearly 110,000 Palestinians left homeless by Israeli bombardment have done the same, including many living in just tents. Temperatures in Gaza have been hovering only a few degrees above freezing in recent days as a freezing winter storm buffeted the region, flooding some areas in the small coastal enclave. The situation is aggravated by the lack of fuel for electric power, meaning that power is available roughly eight hours a day, with occasional cuts on top of that.

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=752684

Video: Gaza’s ruined homes offer little shelter from storm

AFP 8 Jan — Living by candlelight with no electricity and reliant on sandbags to stop their ruined homes flooding, Gazans who survived last year’s war are now struggling with a brutal winter storm. Duration: 01:07

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/video/gazas-ruined-homes-offer-little-180429998.html
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