“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for October 18th, 2010

Gilad Shalit In The Media.

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I have meant to write more on this topic, but couldn’t.

Still, Just Journalism has a good piece on the hypocrisy that is so evident in the British media:

“There were noticeable differences between The Guardian, The Independent and the BBC News website on the reported resumption of talks between Israel and Hamas over the release of Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit.

The biggest issue relates to the fact that Shalit has been denied visits during the period of his capture – a clear violation of the Geneva Convention and International Human Rights Law. The BBC article on the renewed talks did not even mention that he has been denied all visits.

The Associated Press and Independent articles, on the other hand, did both mention that Shalit has not been allowed visits; however, they failed to cite this as a violation of international law. The Independent noted that:

‘Sgt Shalit’s family has repeatedly complained that Hamas has not allowed visits to him by the International Red Cross.’

The Independent stated that:

‘Since his capture four years ago, Shalit has received no outside visitors.’

The failure to cite international law contrasts with coverage of Israeli actions, such as construction in the West Bank, where the issue of legality is frequently raised. “

What a contrast to how the British journalist Alan Johnston’s captivity was covered in the media.

Written by modernityblog

18/10/2010 at 22:29

Meghan McCain On Bits Of The Tea Party.

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The Torygraph has a funny piece on Christine O’Donnell:

“Miss McCain, a Republican who is making a name for herself as an outspoken pundit, said what many party colleagues have been afraid of uttering publicly.

She is moderate who supports gay marriage, has criticised her father’s vice-presidential running mate Sarah Palin and taken issue with the anti-tax Tea Party for its “innate racism”.

Miss O’Donnell, 41, is a Tea Party darling.

She is trailing badly in the Delaware Senate race, is best known for having spoken out against masturbation and admitting she had “dabbled” in witchcraft.

Her first television campaign advertisement began with her saying: “I am not a witch.”

“Well, I speak as a 26-year-old woman and my problem is that, no matter what, Christine O’Donnell is making a mockery of running for public office,” Miss McCain said on ABC News. “She has no real history, no real success in any kind of business.

“It scares for me for a lot of reasons. In my group of friends, it turns people off because she’s seen as a nut job.” “

Very brave words, cos if Ms. McCain wakes up one day with pin holes in her then we’ll know the rumours about Christine O’Donnell are true, very brave 🙂

Update 1: Nick Lowles has more on some anti-Obama types:

“So you can imagine my surprise when I came across some anti-Obama activists outside the White House this afternoon. I was even more surprised to find them to be supporters of Lyndon LaRouche, well known to us at Searchlight for his right wing conspiratorial views.

There were about seven LaRouche activists there, some with placards with pictures of Obama with a Hitler moustache.

After taking a few photos I went over and struck up conversation with one of the people there. “Wasn’t it unfair to link Obama to Hitler?” I asked. “No,” came the reply. According to this woman the same people and institutions that funded Hitler were funding Obama – including, she told me, the Bank of England. hmmmm.”

Update 2: Ms. O’Donnell is very shaky on a key part of North American politics, the US constitution:

“The US constitution has its quirks but it is crystal clear on one issue: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” begins the first amendment, adopted in 1791. But more than 200 years later, its meaning appears to be lost on Christine O’Donnell, the Tea Party favourite running for a US Senate seat.

At a debate today for the Delaware Senate seat once occupied by Vice President Joe Biden, O’Donnell appeared to be nonplussed by the wording of the first amendment, repeatedly returning to the subject and sounding incredulous after her Democratic opponent Chris Coons attempted to explain it to her.

When Coons told her the text of the constitution prohibited government from establishing any religion, O’Donnell replied in apparent bewilderment: “You’re telling me that’s in the first amendment?”

Minutes earlier, the audience at Widener Law School in Delaware had laughed in derision when O’Donnell asked: “Where in the constitution is the separation of church and state?”

Not only is the first amendment perhaps the most famous part of the constitution but the “establishment clause”, as it is known, is the subject of legal precedent stretching back into the 19th century. No less an authority than Thomas Jefferson, one of the constitution’s authors, declared the clause’s aim to build “a wall of separation between church and state”.

While O’Donnell’s campaign was quick to attempt damage limitation, saying that the words “separation of church and state” appear nowhere in the constitution, the gaffe does O’Donnell no favours as her campaign unravels and she trails far behind Coons in latest opinon polls.”

Written by modernityblog

18/10/2010 at 21:50

A Billionaire, Mine Owners And Unpaid Wages.

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The billionaire President of Chile, Sebastian Pinera, has been milking the pain and suffering of the 33 miners that were trapped underground for all that it is worth.

But the carefully crafted photo-shoots with Sr. Pinera, all smiles, hides a deeper reality, other mineworkers at the San Jose mine have not been paid for two months.

Imagine, you are already short of money and then you don’t get paid for two months, that’s what the mineowners inflicted on the San Jose mineworkers.

These consequences of the accident largely go unreported, except for two small pieces on the BBC:

“But their colleagues have taken to the streets in protest because they haven’t been paid since the accident, which happened two months ago.”

And the returning miners face a grim future:

“Many have returned to poverty in the hardscrabble neighborhoods that climb the hills around Copiapo, the Atacama region’s gritty capital. Some have strained relationships with the families who held vigil, praying for their survival. All face a search for work since the mine that employed them has filed for bankruptcy.

Miner Carlos Mamani lives in a small green wooden house on an unpaved road in Padre Negro, a neighborhood on a hill where the glittering street lights of Copiapo stretch out like a carpet. But Padre Negro’s 38 houses lack access to sewers and running water. Mamani and his neighbors must walk for blocks to two public taps to get water and then carry it back up the hill.

“This area is dangerous at night. Drugs are sold here and there is theft. I’ve lived here for a while and I still have to be careful to avoid problems,” said one of Mamani’s neighbors, 15-year-old Jose Vadillo.

Some miners live closer to central Copiapo, in a neighborhood where gangs mark their territory with old sneakers hanging from electricity poles. Bugueno is among those living in Tiltil Bajo, a neighborhood of wood and tin houses that lack sewage connections.”

Written by modernityblog

18/10/2010 at 00:53