Category Archives: ignance in power

Torturing for peace…

… over bags of milk powder. Or just because…

Remember when the US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan were made out to be the bad brutes, and the British troops were said to take the smarter, more humane approach?

These are some of the pictures of British “interrogation techniques” that the Spanish daily El País features on its website, referring to a report in The Guardian, but that one doesn’t have the same juicy pictures El País has put online.

Just a few impressions of how noble a cause the Brits have been fighting in Iraq (and who knows where else.)

Marck Cooley (25) threatening to punch an Iraqi prisoner, who in turn is tied up with a coarse net, presumably to induce “anxiety and disorientation,” as recommended by the manual.

And a similar position, this time with the added bonus of having British army Darren Larkin standing on top of the alleged milk powder thief.

Apparently this has been said to be a British soldier simulating a kick into the bundle that is supposed to be another British soldier. I have my doubts. Make that “you have got to be shitting me.” It’s the same bloke as in the other two pictures.

Speaking of shitting someone… There’s no better way of getting your suspect to open up to you than if you make him poke out his bum for another to ‘hit him from the back’, all the while you’re taking pictures (and cracking one off with the other hand, presumably.) These and similar scenes of prisoners forced to perform oral sex on each other testify to the kind of freedom and human rights the troops are dedicated to.

And now watch Tony Blair in his post-office self-congratulatory pensiveness looking back onto all the right choices he’s made. This isn’t exclusively about the wars, but one wonders how a man can stand behind all this and still show his mug on the telly. Not that others weren’t doing the same, but isn’t Tony Blair the official envoy to the Middle East peace process on behalf of The Quartet (US, Russia, EU and UN)? Excellent choice, gentlemen. Who could top his kind of street cred?

Tony Blair talks to Sir David Frost in “Frost over the World”

Leave a comment

Filed under but seriously..., Demokratie, ignance in power, Law and Ordure, lying bull, nadshots, [andbehold]

Ist Ihr Blut schwul? (ja/nein)

Man erinnert sich mit peinsamem Ächzen an die Tage, wo AIDS als Krankheitsbild noch neu war, und vorerst mal als Schwulenseuche abgetan wurde. Will heissen, es gibt nichts zu sehen, bitte weitergehn. Sind ja bloss ein paar Schwule, nich wahr? Ronald Reagan (u.v.a.) lässt grüssen.

Scheinbar ist die Deutsche Bundesärztekammer nie über die frühen 80er hinaus gekommen…

Ist Ihr Blut schwul?

Pikant ist die Aussage, man könne das gespendete Blut nicht zweifelsfrei auf HIV-Viren testen. Wenn sich einE SpenderIn innerhalb von zwei Wochen vor dem Spenden infiziert hätte, sei der Virus im Test nicht nachzuweisen. Soweit so richtig, doch was ist die Konsequenz daraus? Was macht man dann mit Blutspenden von Heten? Finger kreuzen, Daumen drücken und rein damit?

Angesichts dem Umstand, dass sich schon seit langem nahezu gleich viele Menschen bei Hetero-Kontakten  mit dem Virus anstecken wie bei gleichgeschlechtlichen, wirkt die “Vorsichtsmassnahme”, sprich der Ausschluss ganzer Bevölkerungsteile, seltsam undifferenziert.

Im Dezember 2009 meldete die NZZ über die Aids-Hilfe Schweiz:

In der Schweiz waren es im vergangenen Jahr 778 neue Aids-Fälle, wie Aids-Hilfe Schweiz auf ihrer Website mitteilt. Drei Viertel davon sind Männer. 45 Prozent infizierten sich mit heterosexuellen Kontakten, 43 Prozent mit homosexuellem Geschlechtsverkehr.

45 zu 43 Prozent also. – Puh, das war ja knapp.

Aber  Mooment! Welche Zahl war gleich grösser?…

Wenn man in der Schweiz die Logik der Deutschen Ärztekammer übernähme, müsste das heissen, Heteros dürfen überhaupt nicht mehr spenden und Schwule sollen doch bitte Leben retten kommen. Dieses Männlein-Weiblein-Dings ist ja sowas von unhygienisch… Schauder.

Oder, wenn schon, denn konsequent: Überhaupt niemand darf mehr Blut spenden. Hah!

Aktuell scheint die Ärztekammer eine HIV-Infektion durch einen Swingerclub-Stammgast gern in Kauf zu nehmen, solange er bloss nicht schwul ist. Ach Gottchen. Ein Glück gibt’s die Wissenschaft.

Mehr bei schwulesblut.de

Leave a comment

Filed under but seriously..., ignance in power, [andbehold]

BP swaps Tony Hayward for Robert Dudley

In the latest Daily Show, Jon takes another well-placed and hullarious stab into the heart of the filthy beast they call BP.

Reporter’s voice: “Outgoing CEO Tony Hayward is set to receive a year’s salary and then a healthy pension worth millions. BP claims it is not a golden parachute.”

Jon Stewart: “No, of course, not a golden parachute… –  It’s just golden. Only cos BP has decided parachutes are a costly and unnecessary safety apparatus…”

And on the fact that the utterly failing Tony Hayward is being transferred to his new job for BP in Russia, while Bob Dudley leaves his post in Russia to take over American operations for BP:

Jon Stewart: “What is BP, it’s like a game of musical chairs where the music never stops, and even if it did, there’s always two really nice chairs.”

Watch the segment here.

Leave a comment

Filed under but seriously..., econopocalyshit, ignance in power, lying bull, quote of the..., Schöner Wohnen, Schmiergeld, [andbehold]

Zum Glück gibt’s Silvio!

Kleine Vorschau auf Erik Gandinis aktuellen Kinofilm über Silvio Berlusconis medial gestützte Politkarriere. Darüber schüttelt man sogar den Kopf, wenn man “Tutti Frutti” noch irgendwie lustig fand…

Selbstbeweihräucherung Marke Berlusconi

Den Beitrag, den die Sendung “Box Office” auf SF1 darüber gesendet hat, kann man hier sehen. (Klick aufs Bild.) Schrecklich, wie der Film meine Befürchtungen bestätigt.

Interessant dabei das leicht ungelenke Lob eines seines Kumpanen:

“Silvio Berlusconi ist ein grosser Mann. Er ist ein grosser Führer. Er benutzt nicht die gleichen Methoden und hat nicht die gleiche Ideologie […] wie Benito Mussolini, aber er ist trotzdem eine grosse Persönlichkeit.”

Wenn das ist, was deine Freunde über dich als Kompliment sagen, dann ist irgendwas falsch gelaufen…

Leave a comment

Filed under but seriously..., Demokratie, ignance in power, lying bull, Schmiergeld, sing along, [andbehold]

New Britain?

Good luck to Tory PM David Cameron and Liberal Democrat Junior Partner Nick Clegg in turning around Britain from its 13 years of Labour’s “Third Way”. – A strategy that was initially supposed to find the common ground between liberal and conservative interests, much like Germany’s “Neue Mitte“… Well, that didn’t work (neither did it for Germany)… Now I wonder how the two parties from either side of Labour are going to manage just that.

If the deal works, it will change the shape of the Conservative party – and if it fails, the Lib Dems could find themselves rubbed out as a progressive force. (The Guardian)

Not sure if it can get much worse than Blair and Brown, to be honest. It was them that gladly went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, it was Brown as the Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) who oversaw the making of the crisis he ended up having to deal with as PM (talking about a fair deal for a change!), civil liberties have been done away with in the anti-terrorist frenzy… At the very worst, this government is going to end up with the same contradictory policy which ignores people’s real problems that Labour has thrust on Britain so far.

In the intense negotiations with the Lib Dems, the Tories agreed to drop their plans to raise the threshold for inheritance tax, but the Lib Dems accepted that spending cuts will start this year as part of an accelerated deficit reduction plan.

Civil liberties laws will be reviewed, including abolition of ID cards and a referendum will be held on the alternative vote electoral system in which Tories could oppose the change. The Tory annual immigration cap will be kept, and extra money for disadvantaged pupils has been agreed. The Tories have insisted that their plans to recognise marriage in the tax system remain, but the Lib Dems will be entitled to abstain on the issue.

Leave a comment

Filed under Demokratie, ignance in power, Law and Ordure, Schöner Wohnen, [andbehold]

Zur heiligen Heuchelei…

Im diffusen Gerede um die neu entdeckte Tatsache, dass die Kirchen offenbar wissentlich Mitglieder gedeckt haben, die sich an Minderjährigen bedient/vergangen haben, statt sie zur Rechenschaft zu ziehen, wird gerne die Pädophilie mit Schwulsein verwechselt, bzw. gern absichtlich gleichgestellt. Als ob Hetero-Pädagogen natürlich dagegen gefeit wären, der Verlockung des Machtmissbrauchs nachzugeben. Und das ist das eigentliche Stichwort… Gefunden in der letzten Woz.

Viele Priester wählen eine spirituelle und seelsorgerische Existenz und nehmen den Zölibat in Kauf, weil es dazugehört, sie schätzen aber nicht die­se Lebensform an sich. Wie nach anderen Amputationen auch, lernen sie, damit zu leben und ihm einen Sinn zu geben. Der Zölibat ist keine kranke Lebensform, das wäre ein zu enger Normalitätsdiskurs, ein Mensch darf wählen, so zu leben. Viele Leute leben unfreiwillig für einige Jahre im Zölibat, weil sie keine sexuelle Beziehung haben, krank oder im Gefängnis sind. Begehen sie alle Übergriffe? Nein. Sexuelle Übergriffe auf Kinder werden nicht nur von pädosexuellen Tätern verübt, sondern auch von anderen, einfach, weil sich die Gelegenheit bietet. Damit kommen wir zum Herzen der Dinge: Es geht um Macht.

Machtmissbrauch in jeglicher Hinsicht geschieht schlicht und ergreifend, weil er möglich ist. Weil niemand hinschaut und der Täter sich sicher fühlen kann, unerkannt und ohne Konsequenzen davonzukommen – wie wenn man beispielsweise der illegalisierten Hausangestellten den Lohn verweigert. Durch gezieltes Wegschauen bietet die kirchliche Hierarchie den Tätern Nischen – sie weiss es. Schlimmer noch: Sie ist Mittäterin.

Opferschutz ins Zentrum stellen

Gewaltprävention bedeutet zuerst: Fenster öffnen, Öffentlichkeit herstellen, Kommunikation ermöglichen, verletzlichen Mitgliedern der Gesellschaft eine Stimme geben und Möglichkeiten zur Verfügung stellen, damit sie ihre Rechte durchsetzen können. Es heisst, den in geschlossenen Institutionen besonders verletzlichen Kindern zuzuhören und öffentlich klarzustellen, wo die Grenzen sind und was ein Übergriff ist, damit Kinder sich leichter wehren können. Es heisst auch, Opfern Begleitung zu bieten, damit sie nicht Opfer bleiben, sondern bessere Erfahrungen dem Trauma entgegensetzen können, kurz: Opferschutz ins Zentrum zu stellen.

Das aber geschieht in der katholischen Kirche bis zum heutigen Tag nicht. Was sexuelle und andere Übergriffe in der Kirche begünstigt, ist das extreme Machtgefälle in der Hierarchie, einer geschlossenen Männerwelt mit dem Papst an der Spitze, die sich auf Machterhalt konzentriert und dafür leugnet, vertuscht und aussitzt. Bis heute haben die Machtträger keine Verantwortung für die Strukturen übernommen, die die Übergriffe weiterhin ermöglichen. Das ist eine Sünde, die zum Himmel schreit.

Leave a comment

Filed under but seriously..., ignance in power, lying bull, nadshots, [andbehold]

Haiti is being “helped” to death

Before anyone accuses me of denying emergency aid to the people of Haiti, I want to point out that I’m all for giving Haitians every bit of help we can afford — just not only now, in the form of food deliveries and water tanks and search-and-rescue teams. The world needs to look at Haiti (and almost all so-called Third World countries) in the bigger picture, looking at what goes into the country and, more importantly, what comes out of the country.

A clue: foreign debt plus interest.

This article in The Nation outlines quite nicely how instantaneous help in the form of food and credits may seem a noble gesture, but on the flipside of this uneven relationship between Haiti and the “world community”, these same measures create more long-term problems than they solve in the short run, much like giving a homeless person a heroin habit instead of a job — and charge them for the drug, too. Haiti is still unashamedly being bled out: food aid at dumping prices, sponsored by the US govt, is good money for the US farming industry, while rice prices in Haiti (a former rice exporter) fall into the cellar, robbing farmers of their livelihoods. And to add interest to injury, the cost of paying back its foreign debt outweighs all the “help” the country gets. To think that Haiti was the very first slave nation to gain independence (on paper), but that has since spent the roughly two centuries under the yoke of financial pressure, would seem to give enough reason to just scratch the slate clean and give them a real, new chance at independence.

Haiti’s vulnerability to natural disasters, its food shortages, poverty, deforestation and lack of infrastructure, are not accidental. To say that it is the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere is to miss the point; Haiti was made poor–by France, the United States, Great Britain, other Western powers and by the IMF and the World Bank.

Now, in its attempts to help Haiti, the IMF is pursuing the same kinds of policies that made Haiti a geography of precariousness even before the quake. To great fanfare, the IMF announced a new $100 million loan to Haiti on Thursday. In one crucial way, the loan is a good thing; Haiti is in dire straits and needs a massive cash infusion. But the new loan was made through the IMF’s extended credit facility, to which Haiti already has $165 million in debt. Debt relief activists tell me that these loans came with conditions, including raising prices for electricity, refusing pay increases to all public employees except those making minimum wage and keeping inflation low. They say that the new loans would impose these same conditions. In other words, in the face of this latest tragedy, the IMF is still using crisis and debt as leverage to compel neoliberal reforms.

For Haiti, this is history repeated. As historians have documented, the impoverishment of Haiti began in the earliest decades of its independence, when Haiti’s slaves and free gens de couleur rallied to liberate the country from the French in 1804. But by 1825, Haiti was living under a new kind of bondage–external debt. In order to keep the French and other Western powers from enforcing an embargo, it agreed to pay 150 million francs in reparations to French slave owners (yes, that’s right, freed slaves were forced to compensate their former masters for their liberty). In order to do that, they borrowed millions from French banks and then from the US and Germany. As Alex von Tunzelmann pointed out, “by 1900, it [Haiti] was spending 80 percent of its national budget on repayments.”

It took Haiti 122 years, but in 1947 the nation paid off about 60 percent, or 90 million francs, of this debt (it was able to negotiate a reduction in 1838). In 2003, then-President Aristide called on France to pay restitution for this sum–valued in 2003 dollars at over $21 billion. A few months later, he was ousted in a coup d’etat; he claims he left the country under armed pressure from the US…

Then of course there are the structural adjustment policies imposed by the IMF and World Bank in the 1990s. In 1995, for example, the IMF forced Haiti to cut its rice tariff from 35 percent to 3 percent, leading to a massive increase in rice-dumping, the vast majority of which came from the United States. As a 2008 Jubilee USA report notes, although the country had once been a net exporter of rice, “by 2005, three out of every four plates of rice eaten in Haiti came from the US.” During this period, USAID invested heavily in Haiti, but this “charity” came not in the form of grants to develop Haiti’s agricultural infrastructure, but in direct food aid, furthering Haiti’s dependence on foreign assistance while also funneling money back to US agribusiness…

A 2008 report from the Center for International Policy points out that in 2003, Haiti spent $57.4 million to service its debt, while total foreign assistance for education, health care and other services was a mere $39.21 million. In other words, under a system of putative benevolence, Haiti paid back more than it received.

Leave a comment

Filed under but seriously..., Demokratie, ignance in power, Schöner Wohnen, [andbehold]

The fox and the sheep

So Sarah Palin is actually going to get paid to sit on Fox News as a “political analyst”? Really? When’s the last time she ever analysed anything, leave alone come up with original and share-worthy insight that a pet turtle couldn’t divulge in between two nibblings of tomato?

Accordingly, she’s getting a bit of a pointing, laughing and bashing by the few, usual media that haven’t entirely lost their minds, and quite tellingly, also by some of her former political allies right down to none other than Fox News posterchild Bill O’Reilly himself.

Column from The Nation:

O’Reilly had just shown John Heilemann, coauthor of Game Change, on 60 Minutes saying, “She still didn’t really understand why there was a North Korea and a South Korea, she was still regularly saying that Saddam Hussein had been behind 9/11, and literally the next day her son was about to ship off to Iraq and when they asked her who her son was going to fight, she couldn’t explain that.” While Sarah flashed a fixed smile and told Bill that she didn’t let that sort of thing get to her, it started to dawn on me that, in one important respect, Fox and Palin are quite different: Sarah Fox is not nearly as clever as cable Fox…

Bloomberg’s Margaret Carlson, on Monday night’s Countdown, said it best: “Sarah Palin is the latest in a line of populists, but she’s very different in one way. Populists historically have pretended not to know anything. They’ve actually been part of a fairly intellectual group of people. But she really doesn’t know anything. And it’s in God’s plan apparently that she not learn anything.”

Leave a comment

Filed under but seriously..., ignance in power, lying bull, [andbehold]

Palmöl ist schlecht für ihre Gesundheit…

Weiter gehts in der Serie um Palmöl und die dunklen Gestalten, die sich unter verschiedenen Deckmäntelchen an dem profitablen Geschäft bedienen.

Hier das, was mich ursprünglich auf das Thema gebracht hat. Ein Dokumentarfilm über die Machenschaften der kolumbianischen Regierung und deren Busenfreunde in der Industrie. Der Film zeigt eindrücklich, wie die Regierung und Industrie unter dem Vorwand einer ökologischen Revolution und Umstellung auf Nachhaltigkeit Palmöl für “Ökotreibstoff” anbauen, wie sie die Anbaugebiete in Wälder und Naturschutzzonen ausweiten und dabei gänzlich rücksichtslos und unter kompletter Ignoranz des Gesetzes gegen die Bevölkerung und die Flora und Fauna vorgehen.

Vertreibung, Entrechtung und Mord an den BewohnerInnen der Gegenden sind die eine Seite, Zerstörung der Waldgebiete (Hallo Ökotreibstoff?) und ein Ausbau der Militärdiktatur sowie weit um sich greifende Korruption in Kolumbien weitere von vielen.

Der Film dauert ca. 50 Minuten und ist äusserst empfehlenswert.

Der Palmölkrieg – Energiepflanzen vertreiben Kolumbiens Kleinbauern (SRF DOK vom 15.6.2009)

Vorher zu diesem Thema erschienen: Regenwald vs. Knusperknäuschen

Leave a comment

Filed under but seriously..., Demokratie, ignance in power, Law and Ordure, lying bull, Schöner Wohnen, Schmiergeld, Was macht eigentlich...?, [andbehold]

People, not places

This month has finally seen the release of Invincible’s long-awaited video for her song “People Not Places”, which is a personal favourite of mine.

Ilana Weaver aka Invincible grew up in Israel until the age of about 8. Now representing Michigan, and Detroit in particular, she has evolved into an outspoken rapper, an activist and entrepreneuse who lends her voice to the downtrodden of this earth, besides making flatout ingenious music. In this song, Invincible reveals what Palestinians and those who care to find out have known for decades, but which is still ignored in large parts of Israeli society: the mechanism of appropriating land and extinguishing Arab names, people and culture to make the old Arab land new Israeli land.

Bottom line: while Ilana’s mother can afford to just miss “people, not places”, Palestinians whose land was stolen and whose families dispersed do not have that luxury. Without the land, the people have nothing to cultivate their roots in.

A great track that features Abeer Alzinaty on the hook and Suhell Nafar of DAM on a bonus verse. Both are some of the highest-ranking representatives of the budding Arab-Israeli hip-hop scene and they have been featured in the prize-winning and highly recommended documentary Slingshot Hip-Hop.

Click to watch the video...

Click to watch the video...

Read more on her own website.

Read the lyrics after this…

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under but seriously..., ignance in power, Law and Ordure, lying bull, Schöner Wohnen, Schmiergeld, sing along, [andbehold]