Friday, May 7, 2010

500 Years Later



Part 2

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Part 7

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Part 10

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Owen 'Alik Shahadah award winning film 500 Years Later (www.500yearslater.com), produced by M.K. Asante,Jr.

"To understand the entire Eurocentric discourse on Africa and African people is a vivid exercise in the removal of agency from a people. The almost primary purpose of this study, new and old, is the continuous reassertion of Conrad's "Heart of Darkness ." This is the Eurocentric tradition in anti-African scholarship that provides the moral-academic justification for the slave trade; the most successful commercial venture in the history of humanity. In Europe's bid to protect their trade interest it is clear the marriage between racist academia and the exploitation of Africa were not strangers. The need for the continuation of this tradition is not lost in today's markets which are heavily dependant on sustaining the impoverishment of Africa. "

The Coming Insurrection

Revolutionary movements do not spread by contamination, but by resonance, according to this report by Sarah Nardi in Adbusters.

...Officially authored by “The Invisible Committee,” an anonymous group of activists and intellectuals, The Coming Insurrection is a slim manual that predicts the imminent collapse of capitalist culture and outlines a plan for the regeneration of collectivist values. Written in the wake of widespread riots that gripped French suburbs in 2005, the text is interpreted by some as an anarchist manifesto, a situationist-inspired call to arms. The French government sees it as a “manual for terrorism.” The move against Coupat and the rest of the Tarnac 9 was intended as a preemptive strike against the burgeoning anti-capitalist movement in France. While the others were released with relative speed, Coupat was held under “preventative arrest” until May of 2009 and labeled by the government as a “pre-terrorist.”

And there, buried within the idiom of conservative fear – leftist, anarcho, collectivist, commune – is the word that points to the real danger in this story: pre. Preemptive. Preventative. Pre-terrorist. The French government, fearing the societal upheaval that a mass rethink of capitalism would spawn, exercised the principles of preventive medicine as the doctrine of law. It suspected the presence of renegade cells, mutating into malignant tumors of dissent and threatening the health of the entire body politic, so the government acted preemptively by swiftly excising the tissue in question.

The one ray of hope shining down on this brave new world – in which people can be detained for transgressions they have yet to commit – is the massive show of solidarity that has grown around Coupat and the others. Groups have sprung up across France, Spain, the US and Greece. In Moscow, supporters marched in protest outside the French embassy. And in June an unauthorized reading of The Coming Insurrection at a Barnes & Noble in New York City sparked a spontaneous – albeit brief – insurgency that flowed through the streets and nearby shops...

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The coming insurrection - The Invisible Committee

Apparently that text can't wait -- not even during sex

Report Reveals Surprising News About Social Media and Its Grip on Our Lives

Beth Snyder Bulik  reports for AdAge:

Would you answer a text during sex? If you're younger than 25, one in 10 of you would.

How about during a meeting? While you're eating? Or even while, as the Retrevo Gadgetology Report recently asked, when you're "on the john"? Some 22%, 49%, and 24%, respectively, of online under-25-year-olds agreed they "could be interrupted by an electronic message" while doing any of those things.

The older 25-plus age group was only half as tolerant to electronic interruptions -- 6% could be bothered during sex; 17% during a meeting; 27% during a meal; and 12% in the bathroom. But that's still a lot of people of all ages engaging in social media anywhere and anytime.

"Social media is embedded in our lives. It's why people go to a restaurant and check Foursquare before they sit down with their friends, then take a picture of their food before they eat and upload it to Facebook," said Manish Rathi, co-founder and VP-marketing at Retrevo, a consumer electronics shopping and review site. "We've started asking these questions because we wanted to know how social media is contributing to gadget buying and usage."

While not that many people actively engage in social media during sex, they do in bed. Retrevo found that almost half of social-media users check in via phone while lying in bed. About 48% of those polled said they check or update Facebook or Twitter after they've gotten into bed at night and/or before they get out of bed in the morning. That number jumps to 76% for the 25-and-younger set, with a whopping 19% of those millennials saying they also check in whenever they wake up during the night.

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Union of Conscientiously Work-Shy Elements

The Union of Conscientiously Work-Shy Elements (Danish: Sammenslutning af Bevidst Arbejdssky Elementer) was an unusually successful frivolous political party in Denmark. It was founded in Aarhus in 1979 by a comedian, Jacob Haugaard (born 1952), and a few friends. Haugaard stood as a candidate in Aarhus in each parliamentary election, until in September 1994 he was very unexpectedly elected to the Folketing with 23,253 personal votes, thereby winning a "kredsmandat" (1 locally based seat in parliament).

He made the following promises in the 1994 election:

  • Tail winds on all cycle paths
  • Better weather
  • Better Christmas presents
  • Less sex in school staff rooms (withdrawn during the campaign - he said it had been brought to his attention that sex in the staff room was a long-established privilege for teachers and as such could not be abolished)
  • More whales in the fjord of Randers
  • The right to impotency
  • More pieces of Renaissance furniture in IKEA
  • 8 hours of spare time, 8 hours of rest, 8 hours of sleep
  • Nutella in army field rations
  • The placing of a public toilet in the park in Aarhus where he after each election spent his state party funding on serving beer and sausages to his voters.
  • More bread for the ducks in parks

(The last three promises were actually fulfilled during his term in office.)

While the party had been intended as a joke, he found himself often having the deciding vote in a hung parliament, and took his duties seriously until the parliamentary election in March 1998. He was afraid of being in the parliament, and he really respected the parties. He then announced his retirement from politics.

Quotes

* "If work is so healthy, then why not give it to the sick?"

* "Work? We can't be bothered, That's what we have the Germans for." (from a song)

See also


~ Link ~

45 percent of world's wealth destroyed: Blackstone CEO

Private equity company Blackstone Group LP CEO Stephen Schwarzman said on Tuesday that up to 45 percent of the world's wealth has been destroyed by the global credit crisis.

"Between 40 and 45 percent of the world's wealth has been destroyed in little less than a year and a half," Schwarzman told an audience at the Japan Society. "This is absolutely unprecedented in our lifetime."

But the U.S. government is committed to the preservation of financial institutions, he said, and will do whatever it takes to restart the economy.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner plans to unfreeze credit markets through a new program that will combine public and private capital in a fund that would buy bank toxic assets of up to $1 trillion.

"In all likelihood, that will have the private sector buy troubled assets to clean the banks out in terms of providing leverage ... so that we can get more money back into the banking system," Schwarzman said.

He expects the private sector to end up making "some good money doing that," but added there were complex issues on how to price toxic assets.

He put part of the blame for the financial crisis to credit rating agencies.

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The story of the Israeli secret service, the Mossad

...Yossi Melman: Under the British mandate the element which is known nowadays as Mossad was doing political espionage, diplomatic espionage, to have a feeling of what the British rulers are up to, trying to maintain contact with Arab leaders in the surrounding countries and also were in charge of smuggling the weapons to the Jewish underground formations, the militias, and also they were in charge of illegal, what the British called illegal immigration of Jews mainly from Europe after the Second World War and the Holocaust, to Palestine, to the pre statehood Israel.

Annabelle Quince: According to Gordon Thomas, author of Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad, what made the Mossad so effective was the training many of them gained from the British, both in Palestine and later in Scotland.

Gordon Thomas: What made them good and powerful was they had a British officer who trained them. He was a Zionist and he offered his services to them, and the British wanted him to do that, because they were having a handful of trouble with the Arabs. But he had taught the Israelis exactly the tactics of how to fight and defend themselves, and from that, many volunteered to join the British Army during World War II, and they became members of a special operations executive. They were trained in espionage tactics and the Jews who signed on were young, clever, formidable and they were trained in Scotland, then they were dropped into Europe, and they became among the first spies that entered the war in Europe. When they went back to Israel after the war, they were recruited into the Haganah again, and they became part of the formation that would lead to Mossad, and these people had learnt espionage techniques, they'd learnt guerrilla warfare techniques, and they had also learnt some techniques from the Americans in the jungles of Asia, and they combined all these to form themselves into what eventually became known as Mossad. Now Mossad itself, the word just means 'the office' if you like, and they were very small in number. At one stage there were four separate intelligence services who were conflicting with each other, and one by one, the Prime Minister reduced them all and Ben Gurion insisted as Prime Minister that it would be Mossad. He knew the Mossad people from the war, he knew what they'd done, and these were people he wanted to head his intelligence service. And they began in a small office, then they moved to a building in the centre of Tel Aviv, and now they have a certain number of safe houses around Tel Aviv. They've expanded, they expanded like any small company going big if you like. And they're extraordinary, I mean they're out in the Negev Desert, the people who are out there are the most deadly of all, they are the Kidon. Kidon in Hebrew means of course bayonet, and these are the assassins.

Yossi Melman: Its role and mission has changed during the years. The Mossad I would say have had traditionally more or less four or five missions. One, and it's the most important one, is to provide intelligence, information, about the capabilities and the intentions of Israel's enemies and mainly to provide an early warning if these enemies, these states which are considered to be enemy, though declare themselves as enemies, are planning an attack on Israel, this is the ultimate goal of the Mossad, and for that, they are running agents under deep cover. They are told 'Please do nothing, don't risk yourself, only provide us with information which would indicate let's say the Syrian Army or in the past the Egyptian Army are planning an attack against Israel.' This is the main mission. I can give you a very good example which is still engraved in our minds, and this is the days which led to the Yom Kippur War, the 9th October, 1973 war. The Mossad had a very good agent in Egypt. His name was Alsof Mawan, he was the son in-law of the then Egyptian President, Gamal Abdul Nasser, actually he volunteered to provide information; eventually he was paid but he came to Israeli Embassy in London, wanted to work with Israel, he wanted to take revenge on his father in-law and maybe there was some other motive. First he was rejected. After a few weeks he came back again and then he was accepted, and went underwent some tests and eventually was recruited and run as an agent, and he provided Israel, a day before the war of '73, with very precise information that the war is imminent and it's coming that it would happen within a few hours. The information was so important and so shocking, that the head of the Mossad at the time personally flew to London to meet him secretly, to make sure that this agent is accurate and was telling the truth. And he called the Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir at the time, and told her, 'Tomorrow there will be a war'. ...

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Nikola Tesla predicted SMS in 1909

Texting may be a boon in today's world, but the concept was visualized more than a century ago.

And, it was a pioneering American physicist who had predicted the portable messaging service, like the SMS, via a handheld device in the Popular Mechanics magazine in 1909, its technology editor Seth Porges has claimed in a report.

Nikola Tesla, the physicist and a mechanical engineer, whose name lives on at the electric car maker Tesla Motors saw wireless energy as the only way to make electricity thrive, according to Porges.

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Eurozone under warfare: Engdahl on Greece crisis

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image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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