Glenn Greenwald Gets An Award, And The Huffington Post Celebrates
And the article about it in The Huffington Post celebrates Greenwald and Amy Poitras.
The Huffington Post, some may remember, got its start when Arianna Stassinopoulous Huffington persuaded a small army of bloggers to post things for free at a site she started. She implied that all kinds of good things would eventually happen to those who were with her from the beginning. Then AOL bought The Huffington Post for $300 million. Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington decided she couldn't spare a dime; she kept every penny of her share. And she is still flogging things -- her latest book with its Leaning-In-lite life lessons, for example, which she discussed on NPR the other evening -- to make still more money. How did her behavior, toward her unpaid employees, differ from that of the factory owners of the mills in Lawrence and Lowell in the 1880s? Yet she is not shunned but made much of, this woman who is, at the same time, with not the slightest sense of irony, a female Mr. Burns and a salon Bolshev
George Soros, Whose Only Claim On Our Attention Is His Money
Yet apparently the editors of The New York Review of Books think his banal views are worth the time of day -- perhaps he is, to them, if he helps subsidize them in some way. He's just come out with a foghorn-leghorn book-length report on the state of the E.U. (co-written, or likely mostlly written by, a Mr. Schmitz).
Here's what George Soros has to say on immigration -- he never once mentions the problem of MUSLIM immigration, and of Ilsamic ideology, and why that MUSLIM immigration might not merely alarm the people whom George Soros chooses to describe as "xenophobic" and "right-wing" and so on:
Schmitz: It seems the pro-Europeans are often silent on important issues because they are afraid that speaking up might increase support for the extremists—for example, in the case of the many refugees from the Middle East and Africa who hoped to reach Europe and were detained on the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Soros: Like it or not, migration policy will be a central issue in the elections. We must find some alternative to xenophobia.
Schmitz: What do you propose to do about it?
Soros: I have established an Open Society Initiative for Europe—OSIFE for short. One of its first initiatives is Solidarity Now, in Greece. The original idea was to generate European solidarity with the plight of the Greek population that is suffering from the euro crisis and Greek solidarity with the plight of the migrants, who experience inhuman conditions and are persecuted by the ultranationalist Golden Dawn party. It took us some time to get the project off the ground, and by the time we did, it was too late to generate European solidarity with the Greeks because other heavily indebted countries were also in need of support. So we missed that boat, but our initiative has had the useful by-product of giving us a better insight into the migration problem.
Schmitz: What have you learned?
Soros: That there is an unbridgeable conflict between North and South on the political asylum issue. The countries in the North, basically the creditors, have been generous in their treatment of asylum seekers. So all the asylum seekers want to go there, particularly to Germany. But that is more than they can absorb, so they have put in place a European agreement called Dublin III, which requires asylum seekers to register in the country where they first enter the EU. That tends to be the South, namely, Italy, Spain, and Greece. All three are heavily indebted and subject to fiscal austerity. They don’t have proper facilities for asylum seekers, and they have developed xenophobic, anti-immigrant, populist political movements.
[Apparently George Soros has never heard of UKIP, Liberty GB, Andrew Gilligan and many others in Great Britain, nor of
Theo Sarrazin and the millions who eagerly bought and read and agreed with his book, nor of Eric Zemmour, Elisabeth Levy, Ivan Rioufol, and all the others in France who are so alarmed about Muslim immigration, nor about the anti-Muslim immigrant parties in Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands. No, for him it's just an issue of economics, of poorer members of the E.U. not being able to bear the expense of these (unspecified) immigrants about whose desire, or ability, to fit into the countries they are smuggling themselves into George Soros has not a word to say. He's rich, and he must be clever at maklng money. But there are matters that require a higher type of intelligence, which he does not possess. Nor in his busy finagling life does he have sufficient time, apparently, to sit and read, and learn a lot more about what's going on in Europe, and a lot more about Islam, than he thinks necessary. Everyone around him has always treated him as an oracle and a sage-- he's got lots of articles to prove it -- why should he think otherwise?]
Asylum seekers are caught in a trap. If they register in the country where they arrive, they can never ask for asylum in Germany. So, many prefer to remain illegal, hoping to make their way to Germany. They are condemned to illegality for an indefinite period. The miserable conditions in which they live feed into the anti-immigrant sentiment.
87 people "on the Brandeis faculty" (professors? adjuncts? T.A.s? Who, exactly?) apparently joined in signing a collective letter demanded that the University rescind its planned invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali to speak at the 2014 Commencement, and to rescind its giving her an honorary degree.
Would it not be useful to know -- useful for potential or present students, useful for all of the faculty members at Brandeis and at other universities, too, where some of those signers may someday be applying for jobs -- their names and their departments?
I'm guessing that most of them were in Islamic and Judaic studies. But we already know that most departments of Islamic studies are now peopled not by the likes of Joseph Schacht, that is linguistically-gifted, supremely-well-educated Western scholars of Islam, but by Muslims themselves, including that most dangerous kind of Muslim, The Convert. And the presence, in the thick of al this Brandeis mess of someone -- Assistant Professor Joseph E. B. Lumbard -- who is an example of that self-inflicted adult-onset Islam-- at the impressionable age of 18, just starting his Spiritiual Search in college, he apparently fell under the spell of Seyyid Nasr, a well-known Shi'a, and has never looked back -- should raise eyebrows. For sensible people, who exchange looks of pity when friend tells them that his child has gone off with the followers of Reverend Moon, or joined the Church of Scientology, realize that someone who coverts to Islam is in that same group of the pitiable, but represents a special danger because of the centrality of Jihad -- the "struggle" to remove, by violence or by other means if violence would not for the moment be effective or perhaps not neccesary, all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam. Convert to Islam, or to the manner born, it is most unwise to hire Muslims -- it only seems paradoxical and unfair -- to teach non-Muslims about Islam. For every word will be measured, and every truth is likely to be obscured.Lumbard himself appears to be Shi'a and Sufi, and perhaps he believes, or allows himself to believe, that Islam is that, all Rumi's love poems and whirling dervishes, and Sura 9 can safely be ignored. But neither Sura 9, nor much else in the Qur'an, nor in the "authentic" Hadith, can be ignored. And what kind of understanding of Islam do you think the hapless students at Brandeis will receive?
Yet in hiring Lumbard, the department said something about itself.
And just imagine that you are a member of the Islamic Studies department, or the Judaic Studies department, many of whose members feel it is their duty, part of their mission, to keep reassuring their "Muslim brothers" of just how much they support them, of just how much they too deplore any signs of "Islamophobia" and want to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and so on and so predictably dismally forth.
Remember: this is in a university. Few will want, in those departments, to offend, to be less than "collegial." If you don't have tenure, there is practically nothing you will do that might offend even a single one of your tenured masters.But tenured faculty, too, in the Islamic and Judaic Studies Departments, would not wish to offend their colleagues. It can be most unpleasant to do so. And the ways that Muslims become outraged, and seek revenge, are by now well-known. If a Muslim colleague sent word that this "hatemonger" was being honored by Brandeis and that "we hope you will stand with us" and protest -- how many would refuse?
I don't know the names of anyone -- save that of Lumbard --- among the 87. But here's what I'm going to guess. I doubt that any faculty members who are real refugees, from the former Soviet Union, for example, would be among the signers. There might even be a lone apostate or two, likely from Iran, who refused to sign.
But let's find out. Let's be given the names, and then, in the spirit of Sir Lewis Namier, a prosopographical study may be done.
Keith Gessen didn't do what he was supposed to do. That is, he didn't write a review of the books he was assigned to review in the article that appeared in The New York Review of Books for April 24, 2014.. He didn't do justice, especially, to Serena Vitale, who as the author if "Il Bottone di Pushkin," a wonderful book, deserved to have the contents of her book on Shklovsky, interviews she had with him in 1979, described more fully. Richard Sheldon translated "Zoo or Letters Not About Love," that has been re-issued, but it is an exaggeration to call him Shklovsky's chief champion in the United States. The title of "champion" of Shklovsky, Eichenbaum, Tynanov -- Roman Jakobson, of Moscow, Prague, and 7 Scott Street in Cambridge, Mass., was his own champion and needed no other -- was really Professor Thomas Winner, of Brown University, who kept their works accessible, cheap, and read by generations of studious Slavists in the Brown University Slavic Reprints Series. On this side of the Atlantic, he was a one-man Mouton.And Gessen offers only a single sentence about what followed Formalism in the 1960s, with the lectures that caused people to flock to Tartu from Moscow and Leningrad,to listen to Lotman, describing him, without more, as a "semiotician" which doesn't quite apply to Lotman's complete corpus, including his studies of prosody and of Pushkin. . Nor does he mention other literaturovedy (literary scholars), such as the formidable Gasparov and his studies of comparative prosody (a word here about Bely's diagramming of scuds, which Nabokov brought to Western attention in the appendix on prosody which he included in his translation of Eugene Onegin). "Art As A Device."
Those caveats having been made (and Lawrence ), it's an excellent article. And the brief summary of "Art As A Device" and, especially, of "Making Strange" the device that for Shklovky was central to literary art, with examples from Tolstoy, is just one of the reasons that I'm posting a link to Gessen's omnium-gatherum non-review review here. Though I still regret that Lawrence Sterne -- a figure more important in Russian than in English literature -- appears as "Lawrence Stern." That's making things just a little too strange.
You've all heard of ISIS, the maddest of mad-dog Muslims operating in Syria, whose members want to efface the border between Syria and Iraq, and impose Sharia straight up, undilated by time and custom and common sense and sanity.
But there is another ISIS. It's an organization consisting of declared or still-prudently-undeclared apostates from Islam, who recognize what's wrong with it, and hope somehow to bring an Enlightenment to Islam.
These are the signers of the St. Petersburg Declaration.
Even The Widow Of Saint Sadat Finds A Way To Blame America
Jehan Sadat, the widow of Saint Sadat, has for years been receiving for decades huge sums of money from American universities, beginning with the University of South Carolina, that spent $313,000 on her salary and expenses until she, faced with this information becoming public, resigned to avoid a scandal, but Jehan Sadat still managed to rpackage herself and to continue to receive from American sources-- lately, the University of Maryland -- hundreds of thousands of dolalrs annually. She gives well-paid speeches, comes and goes at will, is feted wherever she goes, has received more than 20 honorary degrees, and all because she's the widow of Sadat, and Sadat graciously agreed to take back the entire Sinai, together with billions of dollars in Israeli-funded improvements to its infrastructure. Jehan Sadat has been able to observe the United States,and to understand how its policies ae made. She's not an illiterate peasant in rural Egypt, knowing only bits and pieces of the Qur'an that are recited in the mosque.
But here she is, this advanced,and by reputation "secular" Egyptian, of the highest social class, claiming that the situation in Egypt is the result of an American (or is it "Zionist" -- a word she does not use, because she's been made aware, in her intermittent Ameican months, of the need to avoid using that directly) conspiracy, a desire to split the state of Egypt, "just as" the American government split the state of Iraq (when the Americans spent two trillion dollars and thousands of llives, trying to keep Iraq together, and to liimit the Sunni-Shi'a split, and to "reconstruct" what had hardly been constructed in the first place), and Syria (where the entire conflict has been without any American aid, but only huffing-and-puffing, but plenty of men, money, and war materiel from Iran and Lebanon (Hezbollah Division) on one side, and from Qatar and Saudi Arbia on the other.
Look at the spectacle she makes of herself here. That money that the University of South Carolina spen, and the University of Maryland, and lots of other schools, might better have paid for a few salaries for professors, or for two dozen adjuncts, or fifty miserably-paid Teaching Assistants. What a waste these celebrity appointments are, but in this case,the case of this mentally primitive ingrate, especially, what an outrage.
UPDATED: Blind Hate Cuts Down Three Lives at Kansas City Jewish Complex
Overland Park, Kansas Interfaith Gathering 4-13-14
Yesterday, we received a call alerting us to the shooting at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom assisted living center complex in Overland Park, Kansas. I called a member of my small synagogue here in Pensacola, Florida, a native of St. Joseph Missouri, who I knew had a relative who lived at the Overland Park Village Shalom assisted living complex. When he returned my call he said he had spoken to his cousin who said he was secure in a lock down of the assisted living complex. Like millions of Americans my friend’s cousin wanted more details on the innocent victims and the perpetrator of this heinous crime. All we knew at the time was that the perpetrator had been apprehended allegedly shouting “Heil Hitler”.
For some hours news media locally in Kansas City and nationally wouldn’t reveal anything about the identities of the perpetrator and his victims. Tragically, as the facts emerged, we learned that the alleged perpetrator was a known Supremacist and ex-KKK official, who in 2006 and 2010 had run on a white supremacist platform for both the US House Senate, 73 year old Frazier Glenn Miller of Aurora, Missouri.
Reat Underwrood 14 Year Old Shooting victim
Two of the victims were a well regarded Johnson County physician and his talented 14 year old grandson, Dr. William Lewis Corporon and Reat Griffen Underwood, a freshman at Blue Valley High School. They were at the JCC for a singing contest. Both Dr. Corporan and his grandson were members of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leewood. Dr. Corporon had moved to Kansas City from Oklahoma to be closer to his grandchildren.
Terri La Manno, age 53
As reported by the Kansas City Star on April 14th , The third victim was Terri LaManno, 53, of Kansas City a Roman Catholic.. "She was killed at the Village Shalom assisted living facility in Overland Park. She went there every Sunday to visit her mother, a resident of the facility, authorities said". Ms. La Manno was wemplyed as an occupational therapist at the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired. The LaManno's were long term parishioners at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Kansas City. Parish Priest Steve Carter in a statement extolled Ms. LaManno's virtues saying:
She was a loving mother and wife, and a gentle and giving woman. She will be greatly missed by our community. St. Peter’s parish family is coming together to support and comfort Terri’s family and all who loved her, during this very difficult time.
Our prayers are with the families of the other victims, and all who have been touched by this senseless tragedy. We ask God’s special blessing on our Jewish brothers and sisters as they approach their sacred season of Passover.
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2014/04/14/4959519/third-victim-identified-as-kansas.html#tnt_refhome#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2014/04/14/4959519/third-victim-identified-as-kansas.html#tnt_refhome#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2014/04/14/4959519/third-victim-identified-as-kansas.html#tnt_refhome#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2014/04/14/4959519/third-victim-identified-as-kansas.html#tnt_refhome#storylink=cpyThe identity of the Jewish teenager being treated in a local hospital was shot several times and seriously wounded by Miller in the JCC parking lot Her identity has not been revealed.
Miller had allegedly stalked his victims with a question, “Are you Jewish”. His hatred was so febrile that without receiving an answer from Dr. Corporon and his grandson, Reat, he shot them simply because he presumed they were. Blind hatred knows no bounds; these Christian victims of yesterday’s mindless tragedy were simply in the way of his murderous anti-Semitic intent to kill Jews at the beginning of Holy Week. A period that celebrates the festival of Passover commemorating Freedom of Ancient Israelites from enslavement in Egypt and the resurrection of Christ on Good Friday, prelude to the Joy of Easter.
That imagery was evident in the remarks of Senior pastor at their Methodist church, Rev. Adam Hamilton, who said:
This is obviously a horrible, horrible thing that you wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through. They are really remarkable people. Being with them, what stood out was their strength of faith and confidence that this was not God’s will.
Reat’s mother, Mindy Corporon, speaking with amazing composure at an interfaith gathering at St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church in Overland Park said:
I am the mother of the son, who was killed.
I came upon the scene very, very quickly, before the police, before the ambulances. And I knew immediately that they were in heaven. I know they are in heaven together.
We were having life, and I want you to know that we are going to have more life.
Watch this Kansas City Star You Tube video of Mindy Corporon’s remarks at the interfaith gathering in Overland Park, Kansas:
Pastor Hamilton in his remarks noted the support network in the community and the imagery of a Good Friday memorial service:
They have a great network who want to be there and care for them. They said we have the utter confidence that our son and dad are together with God now; that brings them comfort. Their hope is that something good will come from this. This evil thing this person has done will not have the final word here.
Somehow it seems fitting that on Good Friday, when Christ’s own death was taking place and yet out of that horrible evil there was going to be something good that would come from it. And that’s really part of what we’re looking at here.
The Southern Poverty Law Center noted the long dossier of the perpetrator Miller:
Miller has been involved in the white supremacist movement for most of his life. He founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and was its "grand dragon" in the 1980s. The Army veteran and retired truck driver later founded another white supremacist group, the White Patriot Party, the center said.
Miller was the subject of a nationwide manhunt in 1987 for violating the terms of his bond while appealing a North Carolina conviction for operating a paramilitary camp. The search ended after federal agents found Miller and three other men in an Ozark mobile home, which was filled with hand grenades, automatic weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Miller tried running for U.S. House in 2006 and the U.S. Senate in 2010, espousing a white power platform each time.
President Obama offered his condolences to the victims of this hate crime by Supremacist Miller amidst FBI investigations along with local law enforcement officials in Overland Park, Kansas. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback vowed to bring the perpetrators and others involved to Justice, saying:
My heart and prayers are with all those who were affected by today's events. We will pursue justice aggressively for these victims and criminal charges against the perpetrator or perpetrators to the full extent of the law.
Michael Siegal, chair of the Jewish Federations of North America, said in an email comment that “no community should have to face a moment such as this one."
But sadly we must remember the tragic assault eight years ago in July 2006, by a Muslim supremacist at the offices of the Jewish Federation in Seattle when the assailant penetrated security, shot six and killed one member of the staff.
Blind hate in Seattle and blind hate yesterday in Overland Park, Kansas were both spurred by supremacist hatred of both Jews and Christians.
Egyptian Woman's Rights "Activist" And Conspiracy-Theorist
Don't assume, ever, that an Arab Muslim "fighrter for women's rights" or for "liberal democracy" must necessarily have jettisoned the conspiracy-theories, with Jews ("Zionists") behind everything that goes wrong in Muslim lands, or in the whole world. They haven't and they won't.
It is only when Isllam itself is questioned, and seen, correctly, as the source of all the many failures -- political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral -- of Muslim polities and peoples, that those conspiracy-theories are likely to be abandoned. And only a few of the most enlightened Muslims, who are essentially apostates even if they may not describe themselves, out of fear or filial piety, as such, who are likely to be free of such crazinesses.
Islam stunts the mental growth. It discourages -- it punishes -- the exercise of skepticism, of independent thought. It encourages seeking blamee always, ideally, among the non-Muslims. It could be "the British" or "the Americans" but th favorite conspiracy-theory candidatge is "the Jews" or, as they can also be known, "the Zionists."
Here is someone described as a "woman's rights activist." If that was all you knew of her, you might be well-disposed. You would be wrong.
See how she allows herself to see the world, here.
Sir Albert Bore said a special adviser has been appointed to help investigate the ‘Trojan Horse’ allegations. He's changed his tune all of a sudden. Only last month he said the letter was 'defamatory'.
Former head teacher, Ian Kershaw, has been appointed as the city’s new chief adviser on Trojan Horse and will work on a full-time basis for the next six months. Sir Albert said Mr Kershaw, who built his career in the north east and previously worked in Coventry, would work closely with the already established operational group.
The operational group is investigating the Trojan Horse allegations along with officers from the Department for Education, West Midlands Police, Ofsted and other agencies.
He said a new review group was also being set up, which will be chaired by Home Office Director General Stephen Rimmer, who is currently on secondment in the West Midlands.
Some of the schools had not told the city that they had also received the Trojan Horse letters and more have come forward in recent weeks.
The council announced a freeze on the recruitment of local authority school governors last week stating that the system was “not fit for purpose”.
The allegations detailed in the Trojan Horse letter focus on the Park View Educational Trust, which runs three schools in the city – all of which have been subjected to snap Ofsted inspections in recent weeks.
Hailing Abu Jihad, Or, Today We Have Naming Of Parks
Khalil Al-Wazir, in arte Abu Jihad, has a park named after him, in a forest in Arab-occupied Judea and Samaria, by the Arabs who call themselves -- starting in late 1967 -- "Palestinians." Practically the whole PA gang turned out for the occasion.
Muslim Brotherhood Leader: We're Not About To Move Out Of GB
After all, the Muslim Brotherhood has full freedom of movement. Its members can take full advantage of every possible benefit offered by British taxpayers -- free health care, free education, generous housing subsidies, the works. And there are already millions of Muslims here, many doing exactly the same thing. And the Ikhwan receives much better treatment in Great Britain than it would in Egypt, where it originated, or in many other Muslim countries with functioning governments. Why would the Muslim Brotherhood leave? It's their country too. And their leader's words bespeak that underlying view, of Muslims, that the world belongs by right to them, and that as they work to achieve that goal, Infidels should not dare to set up obstacles to the achievement of that goal.
Read the we're-not-going-anywhere speech of the Muslim Brotherhood's head, from Cricklewood, here...
Tens of millions of Kurds now live in the Arab-ruled states of Iraq and Syria, and in the Islamic Republic of Iran (Ayatollah Khameeini, Supreme Leader) and the Turkish Republic (Rayip Erdogan, Very Supreme Leader). An independent Kurdistan, beginning in northern Iraq (with the oilfields whose revenues successive Arab governments have diverted for Arab uses), and then extending to the Kurdish territories in what was -- but never will be again, in the same way, Syria -- and then holding out great appeal to the Kurds in northwestern Iran, and finally, in Turkey itself -- should be desired in all the chanceries of the West.
On Monday, April 14, Jews around the world will invite their family and friends to join them for the feast of Passover, a holiday that celebrates the Biblical story of the Israelites, who were enslaved in Egypt under Pharaoh, and who fled from their cruel Egyptian masters across the Sinai desert to gain their freedom in the land of Israel. As celebrants drink wine and eat the unleavened bread that was once prepared in the desert, they sing an ancient song, “We were slaves unto Pharaoh in Egypt, but now we are free.”
As a young anthropologist, I was so enamored by the story of Passover that I spent a year among the nomadic Bedouin Arabs of the Sinai peninsula to get a taste of that ancient wandering way of life that must have been temporarily adopted by the Children of Israel during their sojourn in that “terrible wilderness” on their way to freedom in the Promised Land. One day, to my shock and surprise, I came across a settlement of Africans who told me that they were the descendants of the slaves that the Bedouin used to keep until the British outlawed slavery in the Sinai after the First World War. I got to know them rather well (as one of them was a fine musician). When I asked an elder what slavery was like, he told me, “Horrible. You worked all day, every day and you had no freedom.”
These former slaves were the northernmost expression of a slave trade that was as old as the Islamic conquest of Egypt and the land of Israel in the 7th century AD, and which reached its zenith during the 19th century. When European travellers and adventurers began to explore Ethiopia, the Sudan and Egypt during the 19th century, they described an active Nile valley and Red Sea slave trade dominated by Sudanese and Egyptian Muslim traders, facilitated by Bedouin tribes who still range from the borders of Ethiopia to the Mediterranean Sea. In the traders’ eyes, the ideal slaves were Christian and Pagan Ethiopians who were snatched from their homes in what is now Ethiopia and highland Eritrea.
These slave traders were not 19th century utilitarians. The Red Sea slave trade was characterized by extreme cruelty and deprivation that included, castration, rape, torture, murder and abandonment of the weak in the wilderness. By the 1830s, 10-12,000 of these slaves were traded annually up the Nile and Red Sea coast through the Sudan into Egypt. Although the British eventually made slavery illegal in Egypt and the Sudan during their occupation of these two countries, as late as the 1920s, Sudanese religious and political leaders were petitioning the British to allow them to keep their slaves. Clearly, the practice of slavery in this part of the world had not disappeared.
During the last few years, a new version of this slave trade has re-emerged in the area. The persecutors and the victims are almost the same, but the style of the trade has changed. In some ways it has become even more brutal than its 19th century forerunner. Researchers for the UN, the U.S. government and various NGOs who study this tragedy call it “Sinai trafficking,” a euphemism describing a revived Red Sea slave trade.
Between 2009-2013, it is estimated that 25,000-30,000 people were victims of Sinai trafficking and that they and their relatives overseas have paid ransoms to their Sinai Bedouin captors of at least $622-million. Of those who were kidnapped, anywhere from 25-50% of those captured die in captivity, usually from torture. The majority of the victims are Eritreans and almost all of them are Christians.
In 1993, after many decades of a heroically disciplined resistance struggle that was the envy of all Africans, a newly liberated Eritrea voted to secede from Ethiopia and finally became an independent state, recognized by countries around the world. After a short democratic honeymoon and a pointless border war with Ethiopia, instead of developing their war-torn society, Eritrea’s new leaders have turned the country into a totalitarian nightmare. The constitution has never been implemented, the government has put the head of the Eritrean Orthodox church under house arrest and it has drafted all teenagers into the army for indefinite service. The state then forces them to labour without pay on state farms, like bonded medieval serfs. In today’s Eritrea, arbitrary arrest is common, and thousands languish in prison without legal representation. Citizens do not have an automatic right to a passport and will be shot on sight if they try and cross the border to the Sudan or Ethiopia.
And so, there has arisen a black market that offers to smuggle Eritreans to the Sudan where they can find temporary refuge in UN-run refugee camps. This is where the trouble begins, as the demand to escape Eritrea is huge. The UN estimates that 5,000 people try to leave every month. In revenge, the Eritrean government has been illegally taxing its émigrés in Europe and the West 2% of their annual incomes. In 2013 a high level Eritrean minister fled the country. The government then arrested his 85-year father and 15-year-old daughter in retaliation.
As most Eritreans who want to leave their country cannot get passports, they know that there are corrupt members of the Eritrean Border Surveillance Unit who have close ties with businessman on the Sudanese side of the border. Desperate Eritreans often pay these middlemen up to $3,000 to be smuggled across the border to refugee camps such as Shagarab in the Sudan, with the help of Rashaida Bedouin traffickers who live on both sides of the border. If the refugees are lucky, they languish in camps like Shagarab, where the UN can almost protect them (many are kidnapped by traffickers from within the camp itself).
If they are unlucky, as so many are, they are directly and forcibly transferred to warehouses under armed guard by Rashaida Bedouin tribesmen. They are then smuggled across the Egyptian border with assistance from related Bedouin tribes who sell them on to the Bedouin of the Sinai Peninsula. The involvement of the Bedouin of the Sudan up and into the Sinai is similar in nature to that of 19th century Red Sea slave trade, except that now the transfer of human captives is done by truck on desert roads. If these captive Eritreans have survived thus far, this is where their hell begins.
The Sinai is now a haven for tribally based Al-Qaeda operatives as well as Bedouin smugglers and extortionists, who have a free hand in this revived slave trade. There are about 50 tribally based trafficking gangs working in the Sinai. Once the incoming groups of captive Eritreans are divvied up among the gangs, the poor victims are asked if they have relatives abroad with cellphones. If they do, and most do, then they are asked to call their relatives and arrange for ransoms of up to $50,000 per person which will then be sent to middle men in Egypt, or until recently, extorted from the many thousands of traumatized Eritrean refugees who the Bedouin already tortured and smuggled into Israel, before the Israelis finally tightened their border security with Egypt. In the meantime they wait.
But while they wait, their Sinai Bedouin captors torture them, regularly. Captives are beaten with whips and sticks, often four to five times a day. Men, women and children are regularly beaten with iron bars and hammers, often breaking limbs. Pregnant women are kicked and jumped upon, people are hung upside down for days, electrocuted and burnt, held in chains and assaulted sexually. Children are raped in front of their parents and women in front of their husbands. Young men are also raped. They are given little food and water and suffer from disease. Captives are specifically tortured when they are on the phone with overseas relatives, so that their screams will motivate them to send money to the Bedouin agents through international wire transfers. If a captive has already died, the Bedouin often threaten the deceased’s still captive relatives with even more violence, and so they often receive ransom payments for people that they have already tortured and killed.
Those captives who survive are often held for up to 18 months before they are ransomed and dropped off in Cairo. Having turned a complete blind eye to what their own citizens did to them in Sinai, the Egyptian authorities then arrest them and arrange for their eventual deportation. On one occasion a group of Eritrean captives overpowered their captors, escaped and reported their persecutor’s whereabouts to the Egyptian police in the Sinai. The police jailed the escapees and allowed the torturers to go free. The one Egyptian journalist who reported from the Sinai, Ahmad Abu Draa, was arrested by the government and put in solitary confinement for writing about the slave trade. The Egyptian government has done nothing to stop this new Bedouin slave trade, and deport most of those refugees who make it to Cairo to Ethiopia, which is marginally better than Eritrea, where they can be shot or imprisoned for having left “illegally.”
Many of those who make it to Egypt try and get smuggled to Libya in the hope that they can enter Europe by sea. In Libya they are often captured, put in prison and sometimes tortured. As one survivor pointed out, “There is much to be afraid of given our skin colour and religion … over 400 Eritreans are here, the women held in a separate location. The Muslims of other countries are taken care of, but we Eritreans do not get such an option.”
The Bureau of Land Management, whose director was Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) former senior adviser, has purged documents from its web site stating that the agency wants Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle off of the land his family has worked for over 140 years in order to make way for solar panel power stations.
“Non-Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle,” the document states.
Another BLM report entitled “Regional Mitigation Strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone” (BLM Technical Note 444) reveals that Bundy’s land in question is within the “Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone and surrounding area” which is part of a broad U.S. Department of Energy program for “Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States” on land “managed” by BLM.
“In 2012, the BLM and the U.S. Department of Energy published the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States,” the report reads. “The Final Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement assessed the impact of utility-scale solar energy development on public lands in the six southwestern states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.”
Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone and surrounding area (Click to enlarge.)
“The Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments/Record of Decision (ROD) for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States implemented a comprehensive solar energy program for public lands in those states and incorporated land use allocations and programmatic and SEZ-specific design features into land use plans in the six-state study area.”
“[Reid] and his oldest son, Rory, are both involved in an effort by a Chinese energy giant, ENN Energy Group, to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel manufacturing plant in the southern Nevada desert,” he wrote. “Reid has been one of the project’s most prominent advocates, helping recruit the company during a 2011 trip to China and applying his political muscle on behalf of the project in Nevada.”
“His son, a lawyer with a prominent Las Vegas firm that is representing ENN, helped it locate a 9,000-acre (3,600-hectare) desert site that it is buying well below appraised value from Clark County, where Rory Reid formerly chaired the county commission.”
Although these reports are in plain view, the mainstream media has so far ignored this link.
“A tortoise isn’t the reason why BLM is harassing a 67 year-old rancher; they want his land,” journalist Dana Loesch wrote. “The tortoise wasn’t of concern when [U.S. Senator] Harry Reid worked with BLM to literally change the boundaries of the tortoise’s habitat to accommodate the development of his top donor, Harvey Whittemore.”
“Reid is accused of using the new BLM chief as a puppet to control Nevada land (already over 84% of which is owned by the federal government) and pay back special interests,” she added. “BLM has proven that they’ve a situational concern for the desert tortoise as they’ve had no problem waiving their rules concerning wind or solar power development. Clearly these developments have vastly affected a tortoise habitat more than a century-old, quasi-homesteading grazing area.”
“If only Cliven Bundy were a big Reid donor.”
Update: ENN Energy Group describes itself as a “privately-owned clean energy distributor in China.” However, as the People’s Republic of China is a single-party state governed by the Communist Party, all large companies in China, one way or the other, are either controlled or are heavily influenced by the Chinese government.
UPDATE: The Blaze reports that the Reid / China angle is not supported by the facts. Bundy is simply claiming the Feds have no jurisdiction over the land and are systematically trying to drive him out of business. He's the last rancher left standing in the county.
Young people's money woes are down to lack of education,' said a headline to an article in the Observer of 30 March. Putting aside my dislike of the locution 'down to,' which strikes me, for reasons that I cannot quite explain, as extremely vulgar, it occurred to me that most young people's money woes must surely be caused by a lack of money.
Perhaps not. There are people in the world, after all, who get into money difficulties whatever their capital or income. In general, this kind of person does not lack education, he lacks the self-control necessary to follow Mr Micawber's famous prescription for happiness. The problem is not one of education but of character.
The article states, in a tone of shock, that the financial education charity (yes, you read it aright, charity) called MyBnk has discovered that 90 per cent of the UK population have never had any form of money management lessons. This, proposes the article, is why the British population have so pronounced a tendency to go deeply into debt to purchase what they do not need and that is worthless the moment it is bought.
This explanation for improvidence strikes me as rather like saying that sixteen year old British girls have babies because they don't know where they come from. In my experience of such young mothers as patients, they may not know the date of the Battle of Hastings but they certainly know where babies come from. They want their babies, who are not, for them, a mistake.
The analogy is not quite exact with indebtedness, of course, because the young indebted do not actually want the threatening letters and the bailiffs; but they know that at the end of the day, to use a locution almost as vulgar as 'down to,' nothing much will happen to them as a result of their default, nor is there any shame or social stigma attached to living above one's means.Certainly no government, or no public employee, feels such shame.
The article was a fairly typical example of the overestimate of the importance of formal education by the over-educated. They assume that everyone can be taught to behave in the same way that everyone, more or less, can be taught to read. Prudence, providence and probity, however, are character and cultural traits more than they are intellectual accomplishments. It is not that people don't know; it is that they don't care.
Bus station blast near Nigerian capital kills at least 35
(Reuters) - A bomb at a crowded bus station on the outskirts of Abuja killed at least 35 people during rush hour on Monday morning, witnesses said, the first such attack near the Nigerian capital for two years. Body parts and blood were strewn across the station and an unruly crowd of several hundred onlookers were roaming around with security forces unable to keep them away.
A Reuters cameraman saw 20 bodies at the station near Nyanyan bridge, about 8 km (5 miles) south of Abuja. A second Reuters correspondent saw at least 15 bodies separately loaded into waiting ambulances. "More than two buses carrying workers were cut up by the blast," witness Kingsley Ajimobi said. "I saw many people in the bus dead, and many were injured."
Police and the military did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but suspicion is likely to fall on Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has waged an increasingly bloody insurgency in the northeast. Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 60 people in an attack on a village in northeast Nigeria late last week. Eight people were killed in a separate attack at a teacher training college.
The Islamists, who want to carve an Islamic state out of Nigeria, have in the past year mostly concentrated their onslaught in the northeast, where their insurgency started.
A man opened fire outside a Jewish Community Center and a nearby retirement community in a suburb of Kansas City, Mo., on Sunday afternoon, killing three people before he was taken into custody.
The man, who was identified as Frazier Glenn Cross of Aurora, Mo., in Johnson County booking records. He was charged with first-degree murder and was scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoon.
The suspect, 73, is a former Ku Klux Klan leader with a history of anti-Semitism and racism, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization that tracks hate groups. It identified him as Frazier Glenn Miller, 73, commonly known as Glenn Miller, and said he was the founder and grand dragon of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
The shootings took place in Overland Park, Kan., a major suburb located just across the state line from Kansas City, Mo. Overland Park is the second-biggest city in Kansas and has a population of about 170,000.
A doctor and his 14-year-old grandson were killed in the parking lot at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and a woman was killed a short time later in a parking lot at Village Shalom, a senior living community about a mile away, the police said.
Mr. Miller was taken into custody on Sunday afternoon at a local elementary school near Village Shalom, the police said. In video taken by KMBC, a local television station, the suspect yelled “Heil Hitler!” while sitting in a police car.
The Southern Poverty Law Center said it sued Mr. Miller in the 1980s for intimidating African-Americans, and he has had several run-ins with the law since then. He served six months in prison after he was held in criminal contempt for violating the terms of the court order that settled that lawsuit. He also served three years in federal prison for weapons charges and for plotting robberies and the assassination of the center’s founder, Morris Dees. As part of his plea bargain, he testified against other Klan leaders in a 1988 trial.
The police said it was too early in the investigation to determine whether the attacks were a hate crime.
Mr. Miller made several unsuccessful runs for public office, including a bid for the Senate in 2010. He kept a website where he espoused views of white supremacy and eschewed racial mixing. He was a fan of David Duke, a white nationalist and a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and Louis Farrakhan, the former leader of the Nation of Islam who blamed Jews for slavery in America.
In a 2010 interview with Howard Stern, the radio shock jock, who is Jewish, Mr. Miller was asked who he hated more, Jews or African-Americans. Mr. Miller answered “Jews. A thousand times more. Compared to our Jewish problem, all other problems are mere distractions.”
Prodded to explain, he said Jews controlled the federal government, mass media and the Federal Reserve Bank. “And with those powers, they’re committing genocide against the white race,” he said.
In the same interview, Mr. Miller said he had “a great deal of respect for Muslim people” and called Adolf Hitler “the greatest man who ever walked the earth.”